Feeds

back to article Bloated Office 2010 kicks dirt in face of old computers

Microsoft has confirmed that the upgrade path from Office 2003 to its upcoming Office 2010 suite won’t necessarily be an easy one for customers to follow. The software maker said on Friday that PCs capable of running Office 2007 would be able play nice with Office 2010. However, punters still using Office 2003 won’t have quite …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Gates Horns

How big did they say.... ?

It does make me wonder why we have to keep updating our 'office' software.

The pen and paer has been for a while, so why must we 'upgrade' our office package just becuase MS needs a little more cash ?

Balls to it.

Take Open Office for a spin ?

May not have the superficial gloss of MS, but, well, it works and it is free........

P.

2
1
Silver badge

Office XP/2002

Reads 2007 doc fine with the free add-on

Office XP/2002 a little faster than Open Office. (8 year old 1.8GHz P4M with 1600x1200 screen and original never reinstalled XP from April 2002). Beats most laptops running Win7 or Vista.

However the latest Open Office and Ubuntu Karmic Koala work fine on 256M RAM PIII 450MHz laptop.

1
1

Scary Thought

The guy who lives next door to me. has a :-

P100mhz running Dos 6.0 (I think) with Wordstar.

Works perfect for him..

Only prob he gets he running out of printers with centronics ports (Any body got any old printer that work they dont want?)

0
0
Silver badge
WTF?

@MichealC

Looks like someone has been drinking the MS KoolAid.

"What is unreasonable is ANYONE expecting that kit speced to run 7 year old software would be even capable of running the latest edition,"

Thats the most stupid statement I think I've read in months and theres a lot of them on here.

Do you really think an Office application needs to be so complicated that it can't run on a machine from 7 years back that would be something like a 2Ghz processor and 500Megs of RAM?? If so then you're an idiot and just swallow any crap that MS puts out.

"PCs are designed to be upgraded."

And how many places or people actually do? You think a firm wants to upgrade or replace all its machines just so the staff can run a new office application that has little more functionality than the same thing 7 years previously and the new features it does have 99.99% of people don't give a toss about anyway?

Wake up and smell the Microsoft BS pal.

10
2
Coat

Missing the Obvious?... it's about hardware sales...

Unless someone has already pointed this out, we could be missing the obvious here...

Microsoft gained it's massive market share by teaming up with hardware manufacturers - OEM's.

It's a symbiotic relationship - each party needs the other.

If Microsoft released updates which *always* ran on older PC's, that knocks a significant reason for companies to upgrade hardware, therefore, the hardware market loses out and microsofts OEM deals lose out.

If microsoft, on each release of Office (or windows for that matter), work with hardware advancement, touting that their software works best with the latest XYZ, we get continued hardware churn - both sides are happy, because the punters are upgrading software and hardware.

It's a medium-to-long term strategy, because not everybody upgrades immediately - the continued prevalence of windows XP is proof, not to mention the number of companies still running Office 2003.

2
0
WTF?

How about some calmer analysis?

Sigh. My full install of MS Office 2007 takes up 640 Meg on my drive. That's hardly a phenomenal amount of resource. It's about 0.07% of my applications disk drive, for all my main productivity software.

I've just opened Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and for good measure put a 30,000+ word document into Word. It's using 96M of RAM. Not trivial, but any PC built in the last 7 years ought, for its main work function, have 100M of RAM available. A 512M machine running XP can handle it, easily. In comparison, I've just opened Firefox and opened BBC news, The Register and Anandtech - hardly a huge load - and it's taking 107M. Meaning Firefox with three pages needs more RAM than Word +30K word document, Excel and Powerpoint do simultaneously. And Office is the horribly bloated one?

Even with them both loaded, CPU load is trivial. Maybe 1%. OK, it's a modern machine, but still - even on an old machine it rarely uses much CPU. It's user-driven, after all, not rendering software.

Finally, MS does seem to get an unfair bashing when it releases any new software. Apparently MS is supposed to make everything run on 10 year old hardware - but if you're using a machine that old, why not use older software too? You don't *have* to upgrade. I've never heard anyone complain that the latest version of Adobe Photoshop should run well on their Pentium 2 with 128 Meg of RAM, yet apparently Windows 7, Office 2010 and Visual Studio should all run brilliantly.

There are reasons to bash MS, mostly for their business practices and occasionally for some of their older bits of software, and there's room to discuss whether or not the ribbon is a better interface than nested drop-down menus or not, but this knee-jerk "It's M$ therefore it's rubbish and EVIL and from the dEVIL!!!!111!!!11" reaction just makes it hard to decide whether an opinion is well reasoned and worth reading or just more hater nonsense.

Perhaps El Reg could give us a few examples of machines that it's impossible to run Word 2010 on? If it doesn't work on a 486 with 8M of RAM, that's one thing, if it doesn't work on an Athlon XP or P4 with 1G of RAM that's another, and if it doesn't work on an older Core2 with only 2G of RAM then it's definitely got a problem. But I suspect that would kill their point - a headline "Bloated Office doesn't run on a 486 with 8M and a 40 Meg HD from 1992!" doesn't sound nearly so dramatic. Of course, neither does "Office 2010 has the same resource requirements as the previous version."

3
2
Flame

96Meg!!!

Are you seriously suggesting that 96M of Ram is acceptable for a program that doesn't need to manipulate high-res images in memory, or do massive simulations? It's a fscking wordprocessor, for chrissake. 1MB is plenty for an adequate one, anyone that writes a wordrocessor that needs more than 10MB is clearly such a lazy arsehole that they shouldn't be let near a computer.

There really is something to be aid for requiring first year students to work on systems with 640K, it might teach them how to program properly.

0
0
Jobs Halo

Pah.

Office Schmoffice.

Pages.

Pure heaven.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Pages - Runs on old OS/HW? Er, not so much..

You think Microsoft is bad - check Apple's level of support for older HW/SW....

PowerPC - not so much. OS X 10.3? Nup.

0
0
Silver badge

Clue is in the article

"the 64-bit Office’s debut ... has beefed up that footprint considerably"

Moving programs from 32-bit to 64-bit will naturally increase demands on both memory and disk space. Can we stop the trolling now? (No, thought not.)

2
0
Happy

Cue all the OOO fanboi/nutters!

"Microsoft has confirmed that the upgrade path from Office 2003 to its upcoming Office 2010 suite won’t necessarily be an easy one for customers to follow."

So just like the latest O/S then? Move along nothing to see!

Yes OOO is great I use it at home, but businesses live in the real world and in real world, managers need someone to shout at when something doesn't work properly, so OOO is out!

0
3
Silver badge

All you Microsoft bashers!

Shameless pricks! Found an easy target, you think!

Look again - I'm absolutely sure that the new upgraded version will still screw up bullet points when you add paragraph numbering or vice versa.

I am equally sure that it will still randomly make your text very very small but bold and italic when you occasionally delete a blank line at the end of a paragraph.

There will still be empty lines which you cannot delete no matter what (even if you turn display of hidden characters ON).

So, you see? All the same functionality is preserved! Just buy a bigger computer and shut up!

11
0

MacWrite

Let's all look at MacWrite... (I'm talking about the 1984 Mac one!)

What I'd like, now, that MacWrite didn't have (or do all that well):

1) Vector Fonts - for lasers.

2) M$ Outline view and outliner tool

3) I'll say it. Stylesheets and finer grain Typographical control

4) unicode because some of us speak more than one language.

I suspect what I do with M$ is probably very typical and common - typing reports, letters, CV's. I don't do massive mailmerges or whatever those guys at admin do.. What do they do I wonder, I must go look one day (maybe if one of you are reading you could enlighten us).

0
0
Go

Bloatware...

...I mean how dare they make Office Communicator, Sharepoint, Excel, Oulook et all work together.

No what i want is a spreadsheet that I can't share and be notified when it's been updated, Oh an IM, but one that doesn't integrate at all with my calender please. Oh don't forget, If I want to do a web conference with whiteboard, can I have a seperate programme for that as well.

It'll be nice if I could have a seperate contact database as well, ideally a seperate one for each programme, oh and while I'm at it, can I have 4 spell checking apps as well, none of them working together.

You see, some of occasionaly use this bloat.

2
2

so ...

There's one good reason for using MS office, and that's so you can make extraordinarily complex documents.

There's one bad reason for using MS office, and that's so that you can be compatible with the other people who use MS office.

If producing specialized documents is why people use MS office, it should be as rare as math software or 3d modelling programs, not something stuck on every second computer. So most people use MS office because most people use MS office. It's a con.

So, help break the cycle. Unless you really, really have to, don't accept anything sent to you in .docx or .doc.

Send it back, Sir or Madam, send it back and ask the sender to let you have it in a reasonable format.

6
1
Bronze badge

Competition kills innovation, it seems.

I just don't get it. When I worked in Telecomms, we had 3GPP standards. Written in stone, agreed by the manufacturers of telecom. kit - worked, and ensured compatibility. In other words, my 12-year-old GSM 'phone - bought for the impending birth of my now 'hoodie-wannabe' son (would - save for the batteries) still bloody work.

Now, it seems we have different standards for even writing documents that, in the absence of a quill pen and an octopus to squeeze ink out of (no parchment in W.H Smiths, either) my kids won't be able to read my 'death-rattle' on any media when I finally croak.

What-the-fuc*k's wrong with a global S-T-A-N-D-A-R-D???. Sheesh, Microsoft hasn't (yet) changed the alphabet. If Office 2010 and OoO go head - to - head, so be it. Let the best man win. I want to write letters, FFS. Do I need to worry if I'm using Office 2010, 2007, 2003, Win-Me, or a box of crayons??? Content of the message is the kiddie, not what flashing lights are attached (ref. that magic wand detector). After all, as I mentioned on a previous post someplace, the US courts manage to do it on a "Petite" Typwriter. And that's a legal document. Announce the condemnnation of a man to death on a kid's toy? But, it's there for posterity.

Imagine if the US constitution were written on Win-97......Sheesh...

4
0

Andus - You're a card

So right you are. I will not replace my 10 yr old hardware until it breaks, or some other compelling reason. I still use Framemaker (defunct word processor). I think it cost 1000 quid >10 years ago. It writes to paper real good. All the usual on-screen editing, backspacing, etc, are just fine, and the thing shows all fonts in PostScript in a very pleasing way. I haven't seen anything better.

Most of my work uses Mathematica software, and so far, the newer versions work just as fast as the previous ( or faster). Maybe Wolfram's Mathematica has a different software development scheme.

Really, If I want to get the record for calculating Pi, I might have to upgrade something.

1
0
Bronze badge

A card?

Probably the joker ;-)

Some years ago when I moved to Finland, I had to get certain document copies authenticated by a "Notary Public". Bloke in Farnborough at clockhouse roundabout did it. Embossed stamp 'n all. Parchment-like paper, too. Impressed!

I was amazed - he had an ancient 'word processor' - I use the term loosely - machine with a 2(4?)-line LED display. I just couldn't understand it, and suggested to him I'd help him get a decent 'puter like mine (Win-3.1, 80386, 2meg of RAM - I kid you not). "Nope", he replied, "Does all I want".

Result was excellent.

-Andus

0
0
Gates Halo

Office 2010 rocks

I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate with Office 2010 Beta and I'm loving every moment of it. The ribbon UI is incredibly productive and easy to use. The aero interface is beautiful. I used Vista and Office 2007 for 3 years and loved those products too.

I think there is a serious problems among the self-proclaiming geeks with not being able to appreciate a beautiful UI. I wonder if they also prefer ugly women to beautiful ones?

3
14
FAIL

Your opinion does not count

You loved Vista = you cannot be trusted.

And should consider getting a nice white coat with wraparound sleeves.

7
3
Joke

Norah Batty, Mate

Ugliness is subjective. Crikey!, you can't expect such a value judgement to apply to geeks. If my wife/dog has her ears nibbled by rats, I still love her. Full Stop.

0
0
Bronze badge
Stop

A beautiful UI

is

>_

2
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: Your opinion does not count

It's your opinion that doesn't count, especially when it's an uninformed and clearly biased silly opinion. I think we can all ignore your ignorant comment.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

haha - Blatant troll of the year award

Clearly you do not have "The Knowledge"

0
1
FAIL

"Ugly" Women?

So software and women defined by you as "ugly" are no use, are they? The trouble is that what we need is not tarted up software or tarted up women, but rather ones whose attractiveness and usefulness gets more and more appreciated as we get to know them better. My wife happens to be flat-chested and shaves her moustache every day. However I've been happily married to her for over thirty years and am not planning on changing her! In any case, the tarted up ones who had flashy figures and hair-free faces 30+ years ago are past their sell-by date now, anyway :-)

2
0
Oz
Joke

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Are you sure your wife isn't a dude?

0
0

Neither dude nor dud

"Are you sure your wife isn't a dude?"

Quite sure -- she's had nine kids :-), so she's definitely a functional woman. She's not a dud either. However, IMHO is not functional but IS a DUD.

0
0
Bronze badge
Joke

Paperclip RIP

So that's why Mr MS Paperclip got killed off ...

"It appears you are attempting to increase functionality by adding bloat no one wants. Would you like to launch Microsoft Money or Microsoft Project Manager ?"

2
0

Not even on Office 2003 at work...

...and I work for a MAJOR utility company. Heck, we only upgraded to XP from 2k last year, and at the same time we upgraded from Office 97 to (wait for it) Office XP. No, I wasn't aware it existed before we upgrded to it, either, and I'm a certified geek. And we had to upgrade all our computers just to handle *that* - yup, we fail BIG time at IT...

I use 2003 at home, and have no desire to upgrade - I've used a few computers with Office 07 on, and didn't like it at all. Things I could use shortcuts for were OK, but anything else took twice as long and offered no tangible benefits. Ran like a concrete donkey half the time, too.

Now I guess (as some will be mentally pointing out) it might have improved with continued use, but that would involve it actually interesting me enough to WANT to re-learn how to use Office in a significantly different way to that which I have become accustomed. And you can't customise the pesky Ribbon thing, either, to fit the way YOU work, like you could the old toolbars.

Not all change is bad, granted, but as far as I'm concerned this ain't all that good...

3
0
Thumb Up

I can't even read this

Sorry, I couldn't finish reading your post. I did manage to get off the floor - eventually, but I plan to giggle the rest of the day over your "concrete donkey".

1
0

Still a lot faster than Open Office

There's no doubt that Microsoft Office is getting bigger, hopefully in part because of new functionality and not just "bloat". Some telling benchmarks of different office versions can be found, for example: http://www.oooninja.com/2008/07/benchmarking-microsoft-word-95-2007.html

However, their own benchmarks of Open Office show it to be vastly worse than MS Office. Opening a document on MS Office took 0.5 to 1.5 seconds. Opening a document with Open Office took about 8.5 seconds. http://www.oooninja.com/2008/05/openofficeorg-getting-faster-benchmark.html

0
3
Bronze badge
Troll

misleading statements

Is there any reason why you avoid mentioning what the test authors say about comparison?

"the results are not an apples-to-apples comparison between Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org Writer because of differences in the test documents, operating system, and test procedure. Check back later for a direct comparison."

Unfortunately, they don't seem to have done directly comparable tests yet.

0
0

Anyone else?

When Google Docs/OO.o don't cover my tasks, I install Office 2000. Not touched it in 3 years, but my copy is here ready.

1
0
Happy

Bloaters

I ditched MS Office about the time Office 2003 came out. Tried many different packages, and now my business uses Open office and IWorks, the latter has surprised me no end in it ability to produce good clean looking documents. I exchange documents with customers mainly in PDF form.

When I worked for "other people" I was the only one in the factory with a Mac, a Macbook Pro,with IWorks on it. They all hated me for it. Why should I be different? That was until some swanky customers starting sending in their Bills of materials and data in docx or xlsx. Hah! only the Mac idiot could open their files for them. They wouldn't upgrade, or even have an IT contractor on hand. Even when MS brought out a patch, they still floundered around. Needless to say that Company is now closed. Its motley collection of misfits cast before the winds.

People buy MS products because its what they know, they don't question. At first sight it is the easy way, but as always short term expediency always fails in the long term.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

If only MS had thought ahead

and provided a means for OEMs to indicate to prospective purchasers what level of performance they could expect a given computer to deliver when running its software.

Perhaps this could take the form of some sort of sticker, and maybe an associated advertising campaign.

3
0
Silver badge

I'm just figuring out Office 2007......

which I got on my new PC. At work I use Office 2003.

Why the need for such big changes in old packages that still work?

1
0
Bronze badge
Stop

Re: I'm just figuring out Office 2007

Because the menu was getting unweildy, with a ton of commands that had been added on through the years. Clearly it needed simplifying.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Simplifying...

To the point where I have to interrupt my train of thought on the content I am writing (which is the main function I am paid for) to try and work out where in the simplified interface they have hidden the option I need. For instance, if I want to update a custom field, I used to click file/properties and make the change.

If I want to change a custom field in the doc properties I have to click the fscking stupid button, then select prepare (what has "prepare" to do with anything??) from the menu, then select properties, the click on document properties, then click on advanced properties, then select the custom tab. Then try and remember what I was going to change in there.

It used to be just file/properties, but that was way too complicated for people like you obviously.

There are numerous ways that 2007 and presumably 2010 interrupt the flow of work.

0
0

Still using office 2000

At home I'm still using my old crufty copy of Office 2000 pro... works fine. Even installs and works fine on Windows 7.

I don't completely understand the argument that we all have to go with the latest version of Office to be compatible with each other. Word 2007 (for instance) still allows one to save in Word 97 -- 2000 format. If someone cares enough that I be able to read their document, they'll save it in a format I can read. I've noticed that, unless people are working in a small enclosed office environment, the tendency is to save in .doc format anyway because it's the choice least likely to spawn emails saying "I can't open this stupid thing".

I also have a hard time believing that there is a significant number of users that actually need the new features, as opposed to wanting the latest shiny object. My company switched to Office 2007 last year. I don't like it very much, and don't need the new features to do my work.

The most annoying thing is switching from the search companion to Windows Search. The new tool is bloated, needs to run a new background process that can noticeably slow down the machine, and trades accuracy for speed. This piece of junk is required for Outlook 2007 else I'd uninstall it. The paradigm is broken -- if most of what you use is on a share, Windows Search is exactly what you don't need. As an administrator, you don't want a couple thousand PCs indexing a share.

2
0
Go

Office consists of more than Word and Excel

... don't forget. It will be interesting to see if they manage to make Outlook even slower than Outlook 2007 is compared to 2003.

1
0
Boffin

Re: Test Man

Yes, you should try reading the article and my post. Maybe take a class in English comprehension as well. There is no legitimate reason for these applications to require greater CPU or RAM than they did before as the move from Office 97, 2003, 2007, 2010. None. Any additional functionality should have been placed in dll's and if the coding was done properly, those dll's would not load unless needed. (e.g. Use of LoadLibrary or LoadLibraryEx ) But Microsoft is famous for sloppy/lazy programming and relying on dynamic loading at run time, thus forcing the bloating of RAM/CPU requirements.

2
0
Bronze badge

Re: Test Man (comment from Anonymous Coward)

I think you are the one who needs a lesson in English comprehension, as well as grammar. Like I said, Office 2010 has the same system requirements as the one before it. At the end of the day though, newer versions of applications will end up having higher requirements than a particular previous version though (2007 and 2010 has slightly higher requirements than 2003), there's only so much you can do with not loading functions until needed (after all, by doing it that way, you'll actually be slowing down the use of said functions). But then again I don't think you actually know how Microsoft arrive at certain decisions so you're hardly qualified to comment on what they should do.

Try reading the article properly before posting. It might educate you.

0
0
Thumb Down

Here at Microsoft....

The bloat goes in before the name goes on!

I'll pass on this piece of sludge-ware.

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

I wouldn't mind actually

If there is an easy way to actually select a "truly basic" installation for each app, I'm all for it. Going through a custom Office install and deselecting all the default crap that gets shoved in really sucks. Oddly enough, I don't do desktop publishing and I don't even know what half of the current features in Word 2003 are but I appreciate most of the ones in Excel. I'm certain there are folks with similar and even opposite requirements but unfortunately we mostly get stuck with two options, "woefully inadequate" and "WTF is all this shite!"

0
0
Paris Hilton

Were in 2010

Are you seriously saying you can't spend 4-5gbs on a full install without running out of hard disk space. Were in 2010, 4-5gbs here or there as opposed to a few hundred megs makes no difference. They should just force a full install and be done with it. When I used to do minimal installs I'd always be looking for the cd.

People should stop worrying. Also, albeit slowly, I have got word 2010 to run on a Celery 400mhz / 512mb ram / 20gb hdd running XP pro, so it's not too badly bloated.

Our company largely runs amd semprons @ 1.7ghz, 486mb, 80gb, which 2007 runs fine on. Taking a PC life cycle of 4 years, all PC's sold within the last four years should run it ergo there is no problem with it, and people don't mind if it doesn't run on 10-15 year old hardware.

Resources will always increase, it's called progress. Now if you'll excuse me I'm leaving before the flame wars start. Paris because I'm sure she'd now how to use other peoples resources.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Will I need to follow the old adage...

...of spending the first half hour of using this new version of Office, as with every other new version, trying to turn all the latest, supposedly good, supposedly helpful features off? Then wondering why it was that I was upgraded in the first place?

Probably.

3
0

Oh gods...

Never in my life have I been closer simply to write "This" and leave it at that. You've been there. I want a word processor that has a big red button that says "Keep your sodding mitts off what I write." I've learnt to type on a real typewriter. I know what I'm doing.

Don't: Replace my double quotes with stupid quotes that show up as ?'s on compliant browsers.

Don't: Try to improve my writing for me by capitalising the names of the Unix commands EVEN if they are at the start of a sentence, you morons. Some OSes DO know the difference between A and a.

Don't: Introduce errors into my document by changing things when I run the cursor past them. And *especially* don't re-introduce the same fucking error after I correct it.

Also... REALLY, REALLY don't assume that I am a Damnyankee and therefore want my output on letter size paper. 1:sqrt(2). It's that size for a reason, you idiot.

It's things like this that make me write anything important in flat text files with an editor that I have used for twenty years.

6
0
Silver badge

Not MS fault

If your PC defaults to Letter instead of A4 and US spelling, it's because it's been set up incorrectly. If the OS has been installed with the correct region options Word will default to the appropriate setting - which for the UK includes metric measurements, even though I find Imperial easier to use in document preparation :(

1
0
Alien

'twas ever thus

When I went to the launch of VB4 the MS suit did say, "Yes, we are actually in cahoots with the hard drive manufacturers". Software bloats because it can and it has to. It has to support what went before so it isn't going to get smaller. Marketing needs new features to sell (whether we want them or not) which means more code and a bigger footprint. And then there's those pesky hard drive manufacturers making bigger and cheaper hard drives ...

I sometimes get nostalgic for when we had to count clock cycles and shrink our data structures and object code because we had to and it ws considered inelegant (read: too expensive) to throw processor and storage at the problem, but those days are long gone.

Oh, FWIW, I could probably still get by with Word 6 and Excel 5 if push came to shove, but then I used to write user guides with vi so I'm used to pain.

1
0
FAIL

Meh, 2007

Word 2007 can't scan an image directly into the document. You must use the document scanner, save it as a file, then insert it into your document. 'nuf said.

Of course, I do use 2007 for work, simply because I need to know how to show other people how to use the Ribbon. Have I found any features the old version couldn't do? No. But I'm probably not in that 1% of people who actually use them.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.