It was Verity Stob who identified the key challenge for Microsoft Office upgrades: "Name just ONE feature introduced into Word in the 21st century that the weak-willed upgrader regularly uses," asked the antiquarian. Fourteen revisions since the first Office that it may not be easy, because spell checking, grammar checking, …
Re: Let me correct that for you
Not to mention the sheer size of the OOXML standard makes it impossible to determine that it's internally correct throughout:
* Part 1 (Fundamentals and Markup Language Reference) This part has 5560 pages. (No, that's not a typo.)
* Part 2 (Open Packaging Conventions) This part has 129 pages.
* Part 3 (Markup Compatibility and Extensibility) This part has 40 pages.
* Part 4 (Transitional Migration Features) This part has 1464 pages.
For a grand total of 7,193 pages! And you thought War and Peace was long! lol
By contrast, the OpenDocument format is about a tenth of that. That is much closer to being in line with a typical ISO standard.
Re: Let me correct that for you
And lets not forget they didn't implement it anyway:
Inventing the oxymoron of normative variations - so you can either conform to the standard or have interoperability with MS but not both.
"With Office 2013 now officially available, is there anything in it actually worth upgrading for?"
Let's look at a complete list of reasons to upgrade shall we:
1. To guarantee compatibly with Microsoft proprietary formats into the future as and when they are changed arbitrarily.
2. Because you hate having money, you could give it to charity, but it turns out you hate charity as well, so you give it to Microsoft
Content before Chrome
"Why is it so washed-out in appearance? The reason, we conjecture, is that the Office team got the “Content before Chrome” memo, which is meant to show off your content by having the application controls recede into the background."
Sounds good, until you realise that it means ignoring the end-users system preferences. When Windows was first finding its legs, MS told us that by sticking to system colours and styling we would make our apps more usable. There was even research to back this up. Chances are, it's actually true.
Then, around the mid-90s, both Office and Visual Studio seemed to decide that guidelines were for little people and they would re-invent the GUI with each new release because usability was less important than branding. Third party vendors then wanted to play catch-up and attempted, with varying degrees of success, to clone "whatever version of Office or Visual Studio *they* bought most recently" and we've ended up with almost everyone using differently styled (and differently broken) controls.
A plague on all their houses.
Re: Content before Chrome
Ironically, X applications in the 90's suffered from the problem if inconsistent chrome and tool kits and everyone complained (quite rightly in my opinion) that it was hard to use. Now a days my KDE desktop is blissfully consistent - even non-KDE applications - and Windows apps are all over the place!
..but I actually like Office 2013. It's clean-cut layouts and file storage accessibility features are great for me. I have 3 separate online storage accounts and it just adds them on, links with Sharepoint, etc.
I suppose it works better for me because I subscribed into the whole shebang, getting myself an Office 365 account with Sharepoint storage, email, etc - and it all just works for me.
As a network admin, I can see the big question of 'why?' when compared to other products, but considering the place I'm currently at is all using Office 2007 I can easily answer that question - 'because 2013 isn't a floppy, crappy, flaky piece of crap'.
Re: Minority here...
lol you shouldnt have to buy your own software for work though. I would find a better job.
Re: Minority here...
I got to "test" MS Office 2007 - and it was released with defective menus, and missing functions AND the fucking RIBBON.
In the bin, this piece of shit goes.....
That was the LAST ever version of MS office that I ever used.......
I still have 2003 / 2000 though.
They are quite all right.
Except for Microsofts never ending upgrade cycles, and the special "backward compatability" to do with their rigged ISO standards, which amounts to nothing more than requiring MORE software / patches, to enable me to use XML documents,
Most of the "latest versions" are nothing but bullying and intimidation, and other pressuring, to remain on their otherwise generally worthless "CASH COW" upgrade cycle.
Smiley - laughs at Microsoft.
What is the common feature of W8 and Office 2013?
was the first version I've noticed in 15 years that has had any improvements. I prefer to use a flip chart myself. Or Keynote.
Other changes in Office 2003.
No such thing as retail box and PKC now. You can only get the medialess edition and they have increased the price. £309.99 + VAT for Pro compared to £215 + VAT for 2010 pro PKC
As they are medialess they are supplied under the same terms as PKC, in other words you cannot reinstall them on another system.
To squeeze extra money out of people, obviously. They want a steadier, more reliable revenue stream so they are heavily pushing their subscription model. In the process, they are willfully crippling their desktop offerings to 'entice' people towards the subscription version.
For example Home & Student, besides being more expensive than before, can't be installed on 3 machines anymore and doesn't include outlook.
The single worst change is that retail copies of Office are NO LONGER TRANSFERABLE between computers! So if you upgrade to a new computer, you have to buy a fresh copy of office because you're not allowed to move your license from your old machine.
These new licensing changes are just begging for a legal challenge.
Re: The purpose?
"These new licensing changes are just begging for a legal challenge"
Why bother throwing good money after bad?
Just don't buy the bloody thing.
Use LibreOffice instead
Re: The purpose?
I been looking into LibreOffice and it appears to be missing an email client, am I right? I guess thunderbird may be an option although last time I tried thunderbird I couldnt get on with it.
For the most part I do agree with most complaints here.
Ribbon is an abnomiation (spelt wrong I know sorry), I am using office 2007 which at least keeps ribbon away from outlook, I was using office 2003 but that had some bad performance issues with outlook soI upgraded. I do have office 2010 licenses but didnt use it due to outlook ribbon and some bugs (such as the junk email filter staying on when turned off, although granted that may be fixed now as that was from the beta days).
Office 2013 with the apparent licences locked to hardware is a big fail, in fact activation is the evil in modern software which different developers seem to be attracted to by droves, but combining it with forbidden transfer is just horrible.
From a security point of view
Office 2003 / 2007 and 2010 all shared issues with RCEs
2013 proved the same...
Memory Corruption exploits are in the wild for Publisher and Excel 2013 already (have been online since November '12)
>"What's the POINT of Microsoft Office 2013?"
Vendor lockin. They want to hold all your documents hostage in the cloud in order to make you keep on paying over and over and over again.
Ah, sequels... ‘Transformers of the Caribbean’ anyone?
Office updates and windows for that matter are like ugly movie sequels. The Simpons said it best I think with ‘Transformers of the Caribbean’..
If there ever was such a thing as an expert, then I was one once for US trading desks. I probably knew just about everything there was to know about Excel. Trading Desks are one of the few areas where the quants know the product better than 99% of MS employees. We had a hot-line into the MS development team too, and we were often more correct about the actual inner workings of Office ‘features’. It was so, because we actually USED the product more everyday! So what do I use now?
Office 2000 with the 2007 compatibility pack!
Why? Because as many have said the product peaked in 2003. For us the RTD (real-time data) feature was key. Whilst Millions of rows were for us, er-- any idea how unmanageably large traders linked spreadsheets were before?! But version 2000 was the last version that forwent activation hassles and it can run on Win7 after a one minute install!
Word now includes PDF formats? Great! But its taken so them long most people implemented alternate solutions years ago. For instance the free PDF995 tool. Some of the developer features may be useful in the future, but its taken MS so long to catch up to user needs that other solutions were implemented using earlier Office versions with macros or 3rd party tweaks. Why upgrade now and break what already works?! 'There is also a bit more cloud in Office 2013, which hooks into SkyDrive'. Rather late to game as many use DropBox. Moreover, at places where I work one can get fired for putting documents in the cloud i.e. proprietary info / sensitive data etc!
Whether its films or software only big-biz can keep kicking out the same old sh*te and expect us to buy in. MS truly stifled innovation. To finish on a movie note. MS’ lack of imagination reminds me of Clint Eastwood’s: The Outlaw Josey Wales, 1976:
“Don’t keep pissing down my back and tell me its raining.”
Re: Ah, sequels... ‘Transformers of the Caribbean’ anyone?
For me, Office 2007 (with SP3) was the last 'best' Office that I have been using (been using all editions since 97). Office 2010 added nothing tangible, and I'm not particularly keen on subscription-based option and Microsoft's social/cloud features embedded into Office 2013.
Office 2007 does everything I throw at it.
Ergo, I won't be upgrading for a long, long, long time.
Granted, I may be biased because I am not vehemently against the Ribbon, but I found it to be okay and not annoying for daily usage.
Re: Ah, sequels... ‘Transformers of the Caribbean’ anyone?
What was missing from Office 2003 that Office 2007 brought for you?
Can you list some things? It would be interesting to know how these extra features were worth the price of the Ribbon...
Re: Ah, sequels... ‘Transformers of the Caribbean’ anyone?
creation of .docx files?
A few improvements security wise?
Libre / Google
I know we're all techies of some level here, give or take, but I think it does a dis-service to our skill set, knowledge and experience to suggest Google and Libre are viable alternatives.
I know there are cases where they can be great and very useful, but they are edge cases - bubbles, islands, intra-company tools. And just not viable for supporting business and commerce on any scale.
Re: Libre / Google
The only reason that they are not more widely used is interoperability. Microsoft is so pervasive now and has ring fenced the market with proprietary (secret, for most of that time) formats for so long, people have stopped thinking that there could be an alternative.
Microsft are slowly being drowned by competition, a situation which they are not best equipped to handle.
The focus on skydrive and the cloud in Office 2013 is interesting, given previous comments made by people working for Microsoft.
In terms of liability versus benefit where does the cloud really stand?
Are we sleeping walking to a privacy time bomb of untold proportions?
After 20 years of working in the US my experience has been the good ol’ USA is the big bully in the playground and does whatever the hell it wants…
Office 2013 is useless.
This is 20th century technology, polished up so Microsoft can make a few more billions selling it again and again to the same stupid people who think that software is only worthwhile if you pay a lot of money for it.
The ribbon are the only UI that's actually brought me to tears.
Is it actually possible to turn them off?
What's the point? Money!
Office is one of the main sources of income for Microsoft. Therefore they need to bring out new versions to satisfy the upgrade market and to appear to be still "in touch".
Features and efficiency are irrelevant in that market. People who want that have long moved on to other solutions. Office software, no matter what brand or vendor, is inherently inefficient. It was meant to provide people who didn't want to learn about computers with the ability to turn their computers into glorified typewriters.
Office formats also were never meant to be document exchange formats. Take a look at 1990s Microsoft Office formats for example. They supported OLE. So you could embed a Corel Draw image into your Microsoft Word file. Unless you have the same software on the other computer, you simply won't be able to open that word file correctly. Same goes for different fonts. It's hard to properly open a file on another computer.
Across all devices - OFFICE FAIL
From the article - "The advantage is that documents will be available across all devices"
What use is that? Most devices are running Android, Linux, iOS or OSX. Windows? Who uses that? Maybe OSX might have MS Office on it, possibly. Linux may have LibreOffice, but most devices won't open MS's crap.
Why does anyone really use Office?
I use it because my rather large employer (hint: it's an agency of a large nation primarily known --- the nation, that is, not the agency --- for eliminating individuals it doesn't like with drones) insists on it. Full stop. Everyone knows there are better alternatives, or at least ones that represent better value for money (money here including any effort involved in using "free" software).
I believe Microsoft is actually clever enough to have figured this "motivation" applies to many, if not most of its users, and so is trying to foist the office-suite-as-subscription model (say 365) on us workers of the world. It's certainly a more certain cash flow than trying to predict the intervals at which total overhauls of the suite, including such (*cough*) useful features as the ribbon, are rolled out. Is this the last cloud-less release of Office?
" What's the POINT of Microsoft Office 2013?"
Perhaps it lies at the top of the 1 in 2013.
The point of Office 2013
is to introduce new levels of incompatibility between versions of WORD and between WORD and libre office, so that people have to buy it if they want to talk to anyone who actually has it.
So we still get a floppy disk symbol for Save?
Something nobody under 16 can remember.
Good old Microsoft.
"So we still get a floppy disk symbol for Save?"
Why not? People are familiar with that icon, whether they've seen a real floppy or not. LO has it too, though I saw this morning that the Win version doesn't. Granted, dunno whether my KDE icon set is affecting it, but LO's page does have this :
Screenshot tells all.
Look at the screen shot on page 2. When you have to look at that much crap to edit text, you know you're screwed.
Re: Screenshot tells all.
This screen-shot says to me that MS don't actually use their own products in their everyday jobs!
The sheer amount of bloated side windows and Ribbon wasted screen space would completely obscure most real-world spreadsheets. I can tell you the inflexibility in the Ribbon interface meant that many trading desks including mine stopped upgrading after Office 2003 or used 3rd party products to kill the ribbon and revert the interface to 2003.
The point of Office 2013?
Simple; making sure that the resellers won't have to send back as many unsold boxes or licenses of course. Heck, I quickly grabbed a copy of 2010 Professional for the license just to be sure (should it remain unused my company can always sell it later).
But Office 2013? Not for me, I've become quite an Office 2010 fan and simply see no compelling reason what so ever to upgrade.
In my opinion MS shouldn't be focussing on trying to make the desktop look more like the cloud, they should work the other way around instead!
"SharePoint, on the other hand, continues to look like a strategic product, both for internal deployment and in the form of Office 365."
Amen to that. However; don't forget about the freely available and usable SharePoint Foundation 2010. And in case you're wondering about the differences (apart from the price) between the versions then check out this comparison chart.
(both are links to SharePoint related & Microsoft hosted website).
I've got a favorite reason to upgrade to Office 2010 at least
Format Painter arrived in Outlook.
Back then I had a job that required me to send a lot of emails of the form: "Press the ! key. Now type in fmt -w 72 foo bar"
Being able to quickly apply gobs of (in this case) Courier New, 10pt, black formatting was a godsend.
Perhaps I'm just easily pleased.
Re: I've got a favorite reason to upgrade to Office 2010 at least
Have they fixed it so you that formatting no longer randomly changes, fails to take effect, or just completely and utterly breaks your e-mail yet?
Massive bugbear with OL2003: Trying to reply in-line on an HTML-formatted email is a bit like nailing your penis to the ceiling: Basically impossible without a lot of screaming and bloodshed.
Only recently changed from 2003 to 2010 and can only find one feature that's worthwhile - the ability to combine shapes in PowerPoint using shape union and shape subtract. The rest is garbage and I've discovered several bugs already, particularly in Excel.
Office 2013, Meh!
I have used Office 2013 for a few months now, especially Outlook. Hated it.
It's ironic that I "upgraded" to Office 2010 on the release date for Office 2013!
The real reason to use LibreOffice and not MS 20xxxx
It may seem like a small point... until you need your documents to work... a hundred years from now.
It is why the ISO was originally involved to set the real world standard, that both OpenOffice and the forked necessity of LibreOffice came to be.
It why MS will always be second rate at document integrity. Its the longevity of the world standard to be open is the reason.
Ultimately and if you read the EULA it is Microsoft that owns the format and hence the documents themselves... and not you, the creator of a MS word .doc. or .docx (poison) With LibreOffice you own it.
I own a company and all of our documents use the ISO world standard .ODF and or .ODT using libreOffice as the creation tool. I will be able to open them or any one of about 18 other formats of documents with LibreOffice. MS can make no such claim.
Many of our documents that need to be e-mailed are in .pdf created with LibreOffice.
They read anywhere on any platform as they look when created with our Linux computers. Don't be fooled by Microsoft... you do not need them for anything, they need you. They bought votes and lied and tricked the ISO to get any standard with their name on it and the ISO made fools of themselves being gullible enough to capitulate to a second rate dual standard that was not needed.
Lets get real truthful MS is no friend to the user.
Re: The real reason to use LibreOffice and not MS 20xxxx
"Ultimately and if you read the EULA it is Microsoft that owns the format and hence the documents themselves... and not you, the creator of a MS word .doc. or .docx (poison) With LibreOffice you own it."
Can someone lawyery verify the bit about document ownership, or point me to something that clarifies that?
I refuse to upgrade my Office from 2003. The ribbon is just utterly useless because I can never find what I'm looking for or it takes 10 times longer to figure out where the option is hidden. I have Office 2010 Starter on the same system just for those times that I get docx files sent to me.
If 2003 stops working on whatever version of Windows I'm using, I'll set up a VM just for Office!
Re: >2003 FAIL
"If 2003 stops working on whatever version of Windows I'm using, I'll set up a VM just for Office!"
Crossover Linux works very well too - and perhaps consumes fewer resources. Although it does cost a little bit.
I really love Microsoft Office 2004 running on my Mac Mini PowerPC. It lets me write stuff. Simple. End of.
What is the point of Microsoft. Fullstop.
The title of this News item could well have been "What is the point of Microsoft. Fullstop?"
The vast majority of new and existing computer/phone/tablet consumers just don't need anything at all from Microsoft. Nobody seems to be shedding tears either.
Microsoft used to dominate the technology news and a new Windows OS version was huge new for months before and after the event. Those days are long gone. Also the days when Microsoft would make a decision that was well received are also well gone. Shame on Microsoft.
Re: What is the point of Microsoft. Fullstop.
I dislike MS too, but you are failing to appreciating that entire industries like financial services are locked-in to MS FOREVER! It would be so nice to switch to Open Office / Libre Office alternatives, but as someone already pointed out there are always Formatting incompatibles and that' s just the tip of the iceberg...
Its 2013 and yet there's no Office alternative with FUNCTIONALITY that's competes with Office head on! Business customisations in Excel have been around for 20+ years, and VBA in its current form for at least 15 years. So what's taken the competitors so long to do little next to nothing regarding two key areas? Its like they deliberately chose not to compete with MS head-on, even Google!!! The Reg had an article on Lotus again this week. Its such a shame there's no longstanding competitors to Office around any longer.
Why are even discussing alternatives like Open-Office / Libre - Office if they don't fully support business customisations and VBA etc? The entire financial industry in built on these bloody things! We will never get away from MS as long as this is the case...
Cloud storage....right on cue
(sorry if others beat me to it, too many posts here now for my attention span)
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