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 …


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  1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Jobs Horns


    microoft own shares in RAM chips makers or hard drive makers ?

    How about the m$ engineers making 2010 so it runs faster than 2007 or 2003 instead of going 'ohh we've only loaded the 4ghz quad core CPU to 50%... chuck some more useless eye candy and background tasks in"

    PS the first person to mention open office gets what he/she rightly deserves

  2. Llanfair

    Office 2003 miles better than 2007

    I have used both Office 2003 and 2007. Frankly, Office 2007 is just very confusing and I spend ages searching for features. Even the search and replace was so much easier in Office 2003. I spent 5 minutes in 2007 searching for it.

    That is why I am going to stick with 2003.

  3. IT specialist

    Bloated to astonishing levels

    It's truly astounding how Microsoft Office keeps getting more and more bloated, to extraordinary levels, making everyone purchase more powerful PCs just to run the thing.

    Remember, this is only a word processor / office app. It's not calculating weather simulations or 3D renderings. It's only doing simple office tasks. Yet still it keeps getting bigger, for nothing!

  4. N2 Silver badge


    it looks like you're performing an upgrade...

    Would you like me to:

    1 Make a mess of it

    2 Re-format your hard disk

    3 Stick with the previous version,

    4. No thanks, Ive been fucked over before

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      It does not need to

      It does not need to. Look at the definition of symbiosis on Wikipedia.

      By adding visual candy and raising the hardware requirements regularly they give the punter a perception that their machine is slow. For about 98% of the users this means buying a more powerful machine which includes a _NEW_ license to the same Microsoft products he has been using with the old one (possibly slightly newer versions for some of them, but overall same products none the less).

      So Microsoft is happy as a result, vendors are happy as a result. And the remaining 2% of users are also happy as a result as well while typing this on a circa 2003 1.4MHz P3 (in a new quiet case with a proper video card) running Linux. Everyone except the main 98% of consumers will be happy laughing all the way to the bank.

      This is something the DOJ noticed with the first anti-trust lawsuit against MSFT. However it failed to address it correctly at the time and that failure has been fundamental to Microsoft becoming unmovable in its dominant position in the IT ecosystem. It suits everyone.

      It will also stop the moment licenses become transferrable via an approved scrappage scheme and Microsoft starts getting money only for goods it has really delivered on each real upgrade cycle. Similarly in this case Microsoft monopoly will naturally disappear unless they really innovate.

      However neither the DOJ, nor the EU have the guts to do that.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Ok lets clear a few things up.

        1. it is not law that you have to upgrade, no one forces you to do it. I'm still running XP and office 2003. i have no intention of upgrading and they are running happily on pc's not much newer than yours (but I haven't had to by a new case or graphcs card so I guess mine is older)

        2. Licenses can be transferable (so get your facts right). However it depends if it is a retail copy or a OEM. OEM's are not, but that because they are discounted for sale only with that bit of hardware.

        3. How do you quantify what has been added to a product? Do you allow for hardware, features, or addons?

        Finally, as you have pointed out, it is, as far as I can see, not a legal requirement for you to actually buy MS software. So if you don't want to use it, then don't. It's really that simple, no it is.

        So stop being a troll and go enjoy yourself.

        1. Mark 65


          For the record, your statement that "no one forces you to do it" is somewhat wide of the mark. The people this affects - mainly corporates - are forced to upgrade as office 2003 has only security fixes from pretty much now until some time in 2013/14.

          Bugs and general support are yours for vastly increased fees "unless you'd like to upgrade to office 2007 or even 2010 whereby support calls will be included in your license scheme sir".

        2. Mark 65

          and there's more

          "Finally, as you have pointed out, it is, as far as I can see, not a legal requirement for you to actually buy MS software. So if you don't want to use it, then don't. It's really that simple, no it is."

          Try taking that approach if you're in business. Word 2007 documents not come out properly in open office etc? Open office documents look like sh*t in Word? You'd be considered a joke if you weren't using office. Sad, but true.

          The point is the comments and whinges are based around those that get shafted by this every time and that's business. Mom and pop couldn't give a rat's arse about office.

          1. Equitas
            Thumb Down


            "Try taking that approach if you're in business. Word 2007 documents not come out properly in open office etc? Open office documents look like sh*t in Word? You'd be considered a joke if you weren't using office. Sad, but true."

            Circulating documents in Word is madness if they're anything other than simple text. And probably if they are. Just had a mag editor who insists on sending docs out in Word for review complain to me that his particular version of Word can't read by comments except by devious means and certainly can't display them on screen. And MS certainly haven't got the numbering and bullet point system in Word sorted out. It's not the tool for collaborative work at all. Whether it's the best tool for anything is a moot point. I certainly don't use it to originate documents myself and avoid editing Word documents completely. I'm afraid Open Office doesn't suit my way of working either. I'm a WordPerfect guy. Not a WordPerfect fanatic, but a WordPerfect guy because it has the features I need, does the job I need it to in a straightforward way and doesn't get tied up in knots when a document is extensively edited.What's more, the ability to read in any pdf file into an editable document at the mere click of a button is a genuinely useful trick.

    2. Bilgepipe
      Gates Horns

      There, I said it

      Open Office has smaller requirements and is free. You mentioned it first.

      I supposed with Windows 7 not bumping up the minimum specs too much from Vista, they needed a way of forcing people to buy new hardware - Office is it.

      How can they can keep shipping bloated software like this - an extra 1.5Gb in a single release, ffs - when the likes of OpenOffice (there, I said it again) with it's 120Mb download, or even iWork (I bet that'll really make you spit, judging by the Jobs icon) can provide a great office system with a vastly smaller footprint? Ballmer must have shares in hard disk and RAM manufacturers as well can pie companies.

    3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      This could start a recursion

      If you have difficulties searching for the search function, why not introduce a search function for search functions? Once they become difficult to find, add another layer of search: searching for search functions to find search functions.

      <stop this sketch, it's getting silly>

    4. Anonymous Coward

      5 mins....

      ... to press Ctrl+F?

      Surely it can't be that hard to find the Ctrl and the F keys. ;)

      And even if you didn't know the keyboard shortcut, Find and Replace are on the right of the Home tab of the Ribbon, the first one displayed when you start Word. Shouldn't take 5 minutes to find it.

    5. Andrew Baines Silver badge


      errm - CTL-F hasn't moved

    6. Dale Richards


      These articles always remind me of the "bloatware all the way" song that was doing the rounds in the 90s:

      The hypothetical MS Word 15 requires unimaginably vast system resources for comic effect - in this case, they've gone for a whopping 60 MB of RAM and an incredible 900 MB of disk space. It's funny now because even given these ridiculous comic exaggerations, Office 14 is still managing to exceed all expectations in terms of system requirements.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'll just mention Office 2000 then.

      Perfectly happy with it for the forseeabel future.

  5. The Original Steve


    If your using a PC from 2003 in a business environment then you should be upgrading your hardware anyway...!

    Wish my hardware supplier gave me a 7 year support deal...

    No news hear other than "Office 2010 has same system requirements as Office 2007 - Shocker!"

    1. Cameron Colley

      Erm... why?

      As someone who works in a firm still using Office 2003 I have to ask: How will it save money for IT to upgrade the PC and Laptop estate? How, as a CIO, would you convince an already recession-hit firm to spend a few million on new kit?

      Oh, and since Office 2007 was the version after Office 2003 -- the PCs only have to be about 5 years old. Oddly enough, you can still get hard drives, RAM and peripherals which work with such ancient kit and it tends to be cheaper than a new PC.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        It does im afraid...

        It saves you money because all your *clients* use later versions of office. And regardless of open office, filters, conversion programs you will always find a super mangled 2010 word table that will not play ball. Then you need to get them to send a pdf, get it over to the one machine licenced with arobat, export to 2003 and hope the fonts and formatting is still intact.

        I have office as much as the next man but I need to deal with clients that use it unfortunately.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
          Thumb Down

          It does?

          First up, the converters aren't as bad as you make out. Secondly, you usually only have to read the document, not modify it and send it back, which is a much easier problem. Non-typically, if you have to make changes, then your clients can tick the "Use 2003 formats" box when they save the file. Not only does nearly everything work, some things (like OLE support) actually don't work in the new formats so perhaps they ought to be using the old formats anyway. If they have you so far over a barrel that you can't even persuade them to do that, then you've got more problems than Office.

          If your requirements haven't changed, your solution shouldn't change either. As noted in the article, the only real change in Office 2007 for most people was the ribbon, which is as good as reason as was ever invented not to upgrade.

          Next you'll be telling me that the only way to secure your important historical documents is to open them all and re-save in the latest format each time Microsoft decide to create a new international standard.

        2. Ocular Sinister

          Clients on Office 2007?

          Clients on Office 2007? Not that I've noticed... and if you do decide to export to PDF, just download one of the many free PDF virtual printers and get on with it, no need to dick around with 'one machine licensed with acrobat'.

          1. Equitas

            Clients on pdf

            "f you do decide to export to PDF, just download one of the many free PDF virtual printers and get on with it, no need to dick around with 'one machine licensed with acrobat'."

            I think the point that was being made in the post you were addressing was that the clients might SEND a PDF file which would then need to be read.

            The inability of Word to read in pdf files directly is a real failing -- WordPerfect has been able for some time to read in pdf files. The current version will automatically apply OCR where the text has been printed as a graphic or the file is locked.

            Writing to pdf is indeed simple, as you indicate. For myself I think the pittance that is asked for pdfFactory PRO is well worth it -- although I have the full Acrobat program and of course WordPerfect publishes to PDF.

      2. eugene

        old computers die

        You can only upgrade so much. The older a computer gets, the less reliable it becomes. Hard disks can die suddenly, power supplies can blow, motherboard capacitors can bloat up, etc. All that leads to downtime. If that happens in the middle of a crucial project, the business will lose money.

        There's a good reason why some things are done pre-emptively. Why don't most people drive the same car for 20 years? Because once it gets over a certain age, things start breaking down. It eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns - the cost of downtime and the hassle of fixing old PCs negates the cost of a new PC. Having worked in an IT company that provides support for business customers, I have seen many occasions when the cost of our services to get an old PC working again, or working fast, approaches or exceeds the cost of a new PC.

        5 years old in computer terms is ancient. Office 2007 was released in November 2006. A computer that's unable to run Office 2007 would be WAY overdue for a replacement anyway.

        Shame on the reg for the biased, sensationalist title.

        I've deployed OO to clients before and none of them liked it. Literally none of them. Why? Mainly because the interface was unfamiliar - the same reason why so many people bitch about Office 2007. Humans don't like change. If you started using word processors for the first time in your life, I bet the Office 2007 interface would be easier to use compared to 2003, as it's more intuitive for the most common tasks.

        1. Andus McCoatover

          Hard disks fail suddenly?

          Yep, but in 10 years they'll be as obsolete as a Morris-minor Traveller. (Using my 10-megabyte unreadable RL01 on RT/11. Where's DEC when I want my data back?)

          Two kinds of people in the world:

          1) Those who haven't lost data.

          2) Those who haven't lost data. YET.

          Go for the quill pen, ink and parchment. It's proven the test of time. It'll see all of us out, luddites like me included. Dead Sea Scrolls, anyone?

          jeez, you could stand on a DEC RL01, and it wouldn't lose its data. 'Course, it only held 10 megabytes, but being about 12" diameter, you could probably read the data with a magnetised knitting needle.

          Try popping that into a floppy drive (similarly obsolete) and get your docs. back..

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Chances are

      If youve been supporting a business thats been around for a few years, chances are the business model along with its supporting software requirements may not have changed that much.

      And windows XP with office 2000/3 running Word, Excel, Access etc apps, along with the odd death by powerpoint for sales reps that dont hit target does a reasonable job without having to re-invent that circular thing all over again.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    To be expected, really.

    The peecee industry wants a boost.

    Me, I'm still writing my letters in troff, requiring a small fraction of the resources and making the end result look better to boot. But then I admitted to myself that I don't actually use all those handy dandy resource hogging features and know enough about typography to come up with the occasional decent design. For everything else there's antiword and if needs must, openoffice.

    Mine's the one with the galley proof in the pocket, thanks.

  7. Graham Dresch


    Every version since Office 2000 has been a pointless, expensive, resource - hogging disaster. There is nothing in the new version that makes it even a desirable upgrade, certainly not a 'must have'

    1. Steven H Taylor

      Late adopter?

      Exactly. I don't consider myself a luddite but I happily continue tuse Office 2000 (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and I think I hardly use any of the extra features it added over the previous version ('97? '98?).

      Just a pity they never upgrade bonus applications like MS Photo Editor.

    2. Tzael

      Re: Pointless

      I would almost agree with your sentiment, I personally felt the need to stop at Office 2003 for my own personal and business computers.

      As a developer though there is one feature that Office 2007 introduced and Office 2010 extends - that is notably the support for Office development within Visual Studio. VBA is still supported for backwards compatibility.

      Shame they didn't make this improvement for Access though, would be great when working with clients who have legacy Access solutions but who aren't willing to invest in a complete rewrite of those solutions. Mind you, I don't mind if this is an attempt to kill off a legacy database solution, anyone who is comfortable using Access should have no problem enhancing their skill base and moving on to a decent SQL-compatible database platform.

    3. Equitas

      Pointless -- but maybe a good thing in another sense

      Another pointless new version -- and perhaps a little more resistance to automatic upgrading. The worm will turn eventually, as even MS almost discovered with Vista.

  8. Tom Cook

    So how about something informative in the article... what the minimum specs are?

    If we were interested enough to look up the specs on the M$ website, we wouldn't be reading the article, would we?

    Mine's the one with the... oh, hang it, I can't be bothered.

  9. Test Man


    I think some of you (including the author) have fallen for the usual "bloated" speil that people always seem to when confronted with the latest software. If you actually read what Microsoft have said, they have said that the system requirements haven't changed from 2007 EXCEPT the disc space requirements. So seeing as 2007 has been around since... 2007, none of you should be surprised at the requirements. The disc space requirements is trivial and of course will fluctuate depending on what exactly you install. Suffice to say, if you are having trouble fitting Office onto your stuffed HDD, then you already have problems nothing to do with Office 2010 taking up a few MB more than 2007.

    In short, for most people, this won't make the blindest bit of difference, even if you are already currently working with the 2003 version of Office.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Upgrade to Open office

    Still totally free, broadly compatible. I love it and there's nothing I need Microsoft Office to do that I can't do just as well on OO

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ow my axels

      OO.Org is the definition of Bloat, I still use it though because I'm cheap.

      1. Andy Jones

        Maybe so may be bloated but it doesn't take up 1.5Gb of disc space. If is bloated, then Microsoft Office is just plan obese.

        Just checking my machine and here is what I find:

        Microsoft Office XP Pro - 477Mb

        Open 3.1 - 354Mb

        So, a newer version of takes up less disc space than an 8-year old version of Microsoft office. Please stop with the is bloated crap.

        1. Peter Kay

          Who gives a crap if OO uses less disk space?

          It's still lacking in functionality, buggy and not terribly integrated into whichever OS you use.

          I did use it to write a few pages for business a while back and it coped with that. However, over the summer I used it for the /highly/ technical task of printing single page A4 sheets using large fonts.

          It crashed. Repeatedly. When a product is asked to perform a very simple task at the one time I need it doing in a comparative hurry and it fails, it's not worth using.

          It's impressive that it exists at all, but until they've got at least the next release out and fixed a load of bugs.. It should be more solid than this at v3.

          1. Andus McCoatover

            When I was doing training for Nokia..

            I told my colleagues to have a copy of on their machines. I was glad I had

            Went to deliver a training course, and halfway through MS Powerpoint barfed for some reason. Wouldn't go to the next slide. Panic attack.

            Gave students a coffee break, opened it in OoO, and - all that was missing was a trivial picture (had a red "X" over it) . Rest of the presentation went fine.

            When you're at a customers' premises, far away from home - Israelis get a bit shirty with failure - it's the last thing you want. (Yep, I had a backup with me)

    2. Linbox

      thanks for the memory

      The bloat has nothing to do with the disk space, which as you say, is trivially cheap. The problem is that a 3 page business letter in Word2k7 needs a staggering 40Mb of RAM. As soon as you have a few of those, Outlook running in background and maybe a couple of Excel spreadsheets open (ie, what most people have running 98% of the day) , your "minimum hardware requirements" PC is running like a total dog.

      1. Test Man

        Re: thanks for the memory

        Yes Linbox, however, if you were running that much, chances are you wouldn't be running a "minimum spec" PC/Mac anyway. 40MB per winword.exe process is hardly a big deal with PCs regularly coming with 1GB or more. Not only that, with memory being relatively cheap these days, it's trivial to upgrade your PC/Mac to cope, after all, that's one of the reasons why PCs/Macs are so versatile (because you can upgrade certain parts to extend the life without having to go and buy a whole new one).

        So again, this bit of "news" is not news at all, especially as once again the specs are the same as Office 2007 so have effectlvely been out there for all of use to see for the last 3 years.

        In short, if you can run 2007 fine, you can run 2010 fine. If you can run 2003 fine, then check your system specs - in most cases it'll run 2010 fine too, although if not, simply upgrade with more memory.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Duncan Hothersall
        Thumb Down

        Truly bizarre piece of FUD

        You are either being honest but haven't used Oo.o in a few years and even then gave up after hitting what was probably a readily fixable problem, or you're a wind-up merchant.

        Like a huge number of people, I don't have MS Office and use Oo.o exclusively, and the *only* time I run into problems is when I get the odd document from Word which comes across badly. Importing CSV files into a spreadsheet happens to be something I have done on a regular basis in Oo.o for years, and I have *never* had a problem with it. Nor have I ever had a problem with any other general use of the suite.

        I'm not sure why you should think you would constantly have to "port" your documents, but I think this is why you have ended up with such a distorted view of Oo.o. You're using it stupidly. It isn't a system to fit into a MS office ecosystem - it is a system to replace MS Office with.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Bumpy Cat

        How recent is your experience?

        I'm not knocking what you're saying, because OO is a bit slow at times (and sometimes hangs with large documents) but I've done all of the things you mention* and never had any problems. I've successfully opened recent MS Office documents that Office 2003 barfed on, and I've done plenty of importing and exporting to CSV.

        So, when did you last use OO? In my experience it's a lot better than what you've experienced.

        * well, except for the stamp collection

      3. Gulfie

        When did you last use Open Office?

        I will start by agreeing that complex business documents/spreadsheets from Word/Excel frequently end up mangled in OO. However the other 90% of files work very well indeed. And 90% of business users would still do just fine with Office '97, let alone 2003.

        I used OO for Mac for about a year and found it to be great except for the occasional printing problem - before I decided to move on to iWorks which again is not 100% perfect on Office conversion but is more reliable than OO - particularly on the printing front.

        The fact that MS has modified their licence terms over the years so that a home user can get Word and Excel for < £100 is proof enough that Open Office is a lot more than empty rhetoric. If it didn't work we'd all still be paying > £300 for any copy of office.

      4. Andus McCoatover


        Another Beta tester.

    4. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      I'll bite

      Word / Outline View?

      Annoyingly OO afaik still does not have one that works as well (as much as I hate to say this) as M$

      In anycase both are extremely good examples of bloatware.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Pointless Bloat

    "...most standalone application disk-space requirements have gone up by 0.5 GB and the suites have increased by 1.0 or 1.5 GB"

    I'm sorry? Half a GB for (say) a word processor?

    At what point will MS look at these numbers and decide that they are actually utterly stupid?

    I'd like to say something like "try Open Office" but unfortuanely this seems to be going the same way - very very large and (on my Mac) extremely slow to launch.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      I agree

      Indeed. OO is built on a crumbling tower though.

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. N2 Silver badge


      For several clients,

      one with Vista, just said get rid of this dung & give me back my Windows XP please

    2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      Treat yourself

      Put in an SSD if you haven't already, and then watch things REALLY fly :P

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    But it *has* to bloat

    Otherwise you don't need a new PC to run it. And MS's friends won't liek them anymore.

  14. abigsmurf
    Thumb Down

    Spin much?

    I know The Register hates MS but the amount of spin in this article is approaching Daily Mail levels.

    The jist of the story : Office 2010 has the same hardware requirements as 2007 but uses a bit more disk space.

    The Register article : Office 2010 is so full of bloat that anything other than the latest machines will struggle! Microsoft just keep making Office slower and slower!

    Yes it uses a bit more disc space but office computers are hardly going to burst into flames because they need to use 500mb more space.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    A fine spectator sport

    Wow, people still use MS office? I don't miss supporting Windows/Office at all.

    UNIX bigot, happily free of all the doze for about the last 10 years or so. Smug? Possibly. Calmer than someone who has do deal with MS Office? Serpently.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tired of overly-cynical Microsoft bashing

    I think I'll start to give theregister a miss.

    Critical comment based on real analysis, or opposite opinion that doesn't pretend to be fast is fine, but this forum seems to be full of embittered losers who backed OS2, thought Novell was great, or can't get over the fact that desktop Linux has gone nowhere.

    The system requirements for Office 2010 aren't over the top, and from what I've seen deliver some great functionality that benefit real users.

    I wonder if the naysayers have actually *looked* at it? Didn't think so - too busy waiting for the bloat that is Open Office to load.

    Microsoft mightn't be perfect, and they have made plenty of mistakes, but it doesn't mean they are capable of making useful software - Office 2010 fits into that category.


  17. eJ2095


    Speaking of bloatware.. Norton Antivirus or 360 what ever the hell its cuased.. they do a crap job most pcs i get for repair ahve this bloatware installed... uninstall wack on avg or something similar and the system has a speed increase of 50%!!

  18. BenDwire
    Thumb Up

    @ Pointless bloat

    Apparently you need to tell OO.o not to use a java runtime environment (Tools->Options->Java). That seems to be the root cause of slow starting, but of course if you need java for macros etc then you're still stuffed.

    I'm afraid I'm still using Office 2000 when I have to and OO.o for the rest of the time. Oh, and I've still got a typewriter if I really want to get retro - it's got a ribbon interface too!

    1. Pirate Dave

      I agree

      "Microsoft mightn't be perfect, and they have made plenty of mistakes, but it doesn't mean they are capable of making useful software"

      You are right, it doesn't mean they are capable of making useful software. And they haven't been capable of such for over 10 years now. In fact, the last "useful" software they put out was MS SQL Server 2000 and Windows 2000.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      re: "Tired of overly-cynical Microsoft bashing"

      "I think I'll start to give theregister a miss."

      Cool, don't let the door hit your ass. Maybe you could try The Inquirer, and enjoy the sub-tabloid excretia of Nick Farrell, or the food-stained tinfoil-hatted obsessions of Charlie Dinnerjacket.

      It makes this lot look like a combination of the technical smarts of Linus Torvalds and the witty urbanity of Oscar Wilde. Enjoy!

  19. Neur0mancer

    I don't like Office 2007

    It has a horrid ribbon and I don't know where the options button is. I have had to install a third party 2003 style menu bar. Backwards looking? So?

  20. Dave 142


    How on Earth can a word processor or a spreadsheet program need so much power? Are they just solving pi in enormous detail in the background just for a laugh at the same time?

    1. Michael C

      They don't

      The processor requirement is for the OS mostly, the bulk is RAM requirements. Also, it;s not about making a doc, its about collaborating on a Doc and providing rights management. This is not MS Works or Oper Office, this is an app designed to meet complex business requirements as an integrated suite, and doing that is a GOOD thing. Just launching word does not mean that's all that's running.

      Think about it. You';ve got a several hundred thousand word disctionary, checking words in real time, a complete grammar engine doing the same, real time mouse-over response systems, a desktop publishing engine hiding behind it managing layers, a graphic subsystem managing 3D text, shadows, and other "beyond text" objects, and entire code development engine, a macro system, PDF support, Flash support, Java support, XML support, full integration to address boox resources, table generation and chart systems, and that's just the surface aspects of the WORD PROCESSOR (it goes much deeper). Asking 1GB of RAM to run the entire suite, assuming some fairly complex documents and keeping e-mial running at all times, is nominal these days. CPU requirements are not much more than office 2003 (unless you're working in real time data or lots of charts and images). Keep in mind, the sys reqs for the suite are also the reqs to run the heavist app in the suite, which Word or Excel alone may not be...

    2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      Actually they might well be

      Not looking at the code I cannot say for sure.

      But take windows today.. In GDI+ you can NOW have a floating point coordinate system.... get that... floating put stuff... simple stuff, on the screen...


      Want to know where all your cycles are going? Probably 'features' like this and the endless cascade of OOP latebinding/calls perhaps, oh wait.. is it written in that .NET bullshit?

      Even worse...

      I have hear rumours going about that M$ are deemphasizing win32 with the eventual aim of removing it completely. with the rise of this bulbous bloated ctulhu like .NET shite (actually to liken it to Ctulhu would be insulting Ctulhu, .NET is just plain fucking bloated and stupid).

      ... So I am promising you now, M$, if you EVER remove access to win32 or do not provide an acceptable win32 substitute, I will NEVER EVER write a windows program EVER again...

      Some of us DO NOT LIKE BLOAT.

      Don't fuck with win32, Don't fuck with us old farts, or we'll just go back to our *nix boxen and stay there.

      1. Andus McCoatover

        @ Michael C

        "...You';ve got a several hundred thousand word disctionary, checking words in real time..."

        You didn't use it apparently...

        EPIC FAIL!

  21. Dale 3

    CPU and RAM requirements approximately doubled

    What, to write a letter?

  22. Peter 39

    good luck with Office 2003

    Good luck staying with Office 2003. Microsoft's announced policy is to no longer support file formats that are more than two revs old. So your Office 2010 friends will be able to open docs you send them. But when the following version comes you'll be out of luck.

    It's not that they can't, just that they won't.

    1. markp 1

      what, really?

      That's a new thing then, I take it? Given that my ol' copy of 2000 supported revs all the way back to Word 2.0, and after looking in 2007 with the admin-applied default setup it happily takes stuff from v6 - and Write, too! (I bet 2.0 compatibility is an install option they just didn't tick)

      Is their olympic-sized swimming pool full of large-denomination currency running low enough that they fancy gambling on locking all their customers into an inescapable sub-7-year upgrade (and mass file conversion!) cycle?

      What happens to those of us who have plenty of documents hanging around on the HDD from times past and haven't the time or inclination to go through upconverting all of them to Office '07 (possibly with a borrowed copy, so we don't have to buy that AND whatever comes after 2010?) just so we don't lose access to them? Or things held in website archives?

      I genuinely still have some things knocking around in Word 6 / Excel 5 and Office 97 format... though I don't edit them any more they get an occasional look in, if only for nostalgia's sake. Never bothered re-saving them in newer formats once they were "baked" because it limited the cross-compatibility, and TBH 99% of documents I've seen printed from Word / Excel 2007 appear pretty much identical to what you could have made in the Win 3.1 versions 12 years ago. (Hell, 50% of the .DOCs could probably be easily replicated in Works v3, or Write...)

      I call BS, they wouldn't be that daft. Including an import converter filter - or updating an existing one for your new software - doesn't seem to be all that difficult, particularly for simplistic older formats. Certainly whilst they still (at last check) support ancient graphics formats like WPG, CGM, TGA, PCX and all that. And if MS don't do it officially, you can bet your arse there'll be some kind of online service or downloadable tool to do it. Open Office almost certainly will. Don't believe the hype, it's there to make you fritter away your cash.

    2. david bates

      Theres a fix for that...

      Office 2007 has already made such a pigs ear of a document from an older Office version that I had to download OpenOffice in oder to fix it, and resave it in a format that 2007 DID'NT have hysterics about.

      As for that damn ribbon....

    3. Steve Coffman

      @good luck with Office 2003

      Well unless they change the current XML-based document formats they are using for Office 2007 & 2010 with the NEXT version, Office 2003 should continue to work fine with the free Office Compatibility pack for Word, Excel & PowerPoint. In my organization we're using all versions of Office from 2000 on and they all work fine opening and editing Office 2007 documents. There are some features used in the new version of PowerPoint that aren't backwards compatible but we really haven't run into any issues with it.

  23. Ketlan
    Thumb Down

    ME, Vista and 2007...

    Sorry, but I get the same shudders when I see Office 2007 as I used to get when confronted by ME or (gulp) Vista. They're all as bloated as a washed-up corpse, rubbish to (try to) use and they don't appear to be improving in any way as the newer versions come along despite the numerous complaints of customers. I'll happily stick to XP Pro and Office 2003, thanks.

    As for Open Office...words fail me.

  24. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Tired of overly-cynical Microsoft bashing

    Bye then.

  25. Anonymous Coward


    There is no legitimate reason for these applications to require greater CPU or RAM than they did before. 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.

    1. Test Man

      Re: inexcusable

      They don't - if you had actually read the article, Microsoft said the system requirements are the same as 2007, with the (understandable) exception of the "footprint". Please read again.

    2. Matt 5

      Very adult

      Nice to see moderation and free exchange of ideas being taken seriously here.

  26. ForthIsNotDead

    If Microsoft *really* want to make money

    Then they should say "Well, we thought Office was getting a bit large and a resource hog. So, Office 2010 will give you the same functionality as earlier versions, but, due to a ground-up re-write, we have reduced the resources required to run it by 50%"

    Then watch the upgrade licences come in....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    90% of People Could Get By With Word 6.0

    15 years ago you could open up Microsoft Word, create a document, and save/print it. So, how can you possibly justify 15 years of revisions. It's Office Productivity software. Its feature set peaked like 10 years ago. Honestly, just what does a word processor need to do?

  28. Anonymous Coward

    @Smug mode & OO not a serious app

    @Smug mode.... if i need something MS specific in the office suite I will either torrent or trial it - torrent for 2003 if i need it on an older machine..

    @OO not a serious office app.... maybe not but to look at / write the odd invoice and run a very basic spreadsheet its great. Besides on linux as with Mac, i can MS office via a VM if i really need to.

    There is much back and forth on here about the pros or not of MS Office and every iteration it seems to have.

    It seems to me that they have to keep releasing a new version for the same reason that washing powder keeps getting advertised. It cant be getting that much whiter all these years otherwise clothes in the 50s would have been all black all the time.

    Since i live in a linux world, i can see this as MS approach to business nothing more. If you want or need to buy into it then good (or bad) for you.

    I know i am calmer about everything MS because i feel i have a choice.

    1. markp 1
      Paris Hilton

      to be fair on them

      They have been incrementally adding useful features to all their office software as the years go on. I do like the SmartArt stuff, for one, though I've very rarely used it, it's nice to know it would be there if my line of work was more WP based than it currently is.

      Cyncial as I am about it, it's true ... although I do suspect a lot of stuff is being "held back" and only released piecemeal so there's a continuing reason to upgrade every few years. Stuff like allowing a free choice of text and background colour in Word, Excel and Publisher even though Powerpoint was doing it ages ago, and Paint did right from about 1990... That didn't come along til 2003 for some situations, and 2007 for others! No excuse other than forced obsolescence.

      You're totally right on the core features though. Take it back to Windows 3.1, I had that installed on a 1.1mb (yes, that's right), 12Mhz 286 with about 20mb of free disc space once all the software was installed. Cheap phones would laugh at it. Still not entirely sure how I convinced the hacked-in colour card (after the mono Herc died) to do 256 colour XGA when that represented almost as much VRAM as system memory... but it worked, and I was able to do schoolwork on that and an old dot matrix, until family castoffs allowed moving up to the heady world of a 486 and a knackered deskjet.

      In any case, 3.1 came bundled with Write. It did truetype fonts, including the bundled Arial, Times, Courier and Wingdings, in sizes from 4 through 120 points and a variety of styles and basic paragraph formats, and I believe you could also insert pictures from Paint (or indeed anything in suitable bitmap form... damn sure I shoved images into it from Encarta 94 back in the day), if the RAM allowed it. Can't remember if it allowed different text colours, but even if not that STILL covers a lot of the functionality that people use on a daily basis, as most stuff is black-on-white, often with a mono printer. I've got a letter on my desk which could have been made using it, letterhead and all. All we're missing is tables and non-retarded image wrapping. For which we can pick up an early version of Works, which will also give us basic Mail Merge. Everything since that from Word 6 on up has been refinement, rather than revolution.

      Oh yeah, and it didn't have the bloody Ribbon.

      Just like you can still happily get to the shops in a Morris Traveller, and not even be slowed down if you drive legally. It's just a bit more comfortable and less stressed in a brand new Mercedes, and you have more toys. But you do have to deal with some of it's idiocies like the electronically controlled indicators, endless bonging noises and whatever iDrive copy it employs.

      (Though there IS a limit to how far back you can go; you wouldn't want to be using a Model T to go to Asda, for example, and even Write was a hell of a lot better than the horrendous Lotus Symphony nonsense that the 286 had loaded on it when I took ownership)

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Bloody ribbons!

    I was recently in a desperate hurry to write up a document - let's just say that men with guns were waiting impatiently for the result. The laptop I was given turned out to have MS Office 2007, with the lovely ribbon interface - which I had never used before. Although hilarious in hindsight, the pressure of trying to learn such an un-intuitive, *changing* interface in those circumstances was rather trying.

    (Seriously, why on earth does it keep changing back to a different ribbon? I haven't gone back to check)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Works just fine...

    on my "nettop" style pc with a 1.33 GHz Atom processor and 2GB of RAM running Win7. Sorry, I don't have anything more antiquated to test the beta on. The hardest part of using Office on it? Hitting the right keys on the miniscule keyboard.

    Personally, I've found a couple of the new features from 2007 and 2010 to be quite a bit of help to me, even though they're not on the list of amazing new things Office can do.

    I suspect, how well it works for you just depends on how you use it. Some things could just as easily be done in WordPad. So, if that's all you need, great, but don't begrudge the rest of us a full featured office suite just because you don't need it.

  31. Gil Grissum

    "Improved customer experience"??

    Who's "customer experience" did Microsoft improve with Office 2010?? Bankers and stock brokers?? They sure as heck didn't improve my customer experience with Office 2007!! The entire interface of Office 2007 is annoying. I have to dig to find features I actually use, which were easily and readily available in Office 2003. And why all the extra bloat? What for? They keep adding junk that most people never use. And why would they think that any business in this economy will upgrade buy new computers just to be able to run the latest Office suite from Microsoft? That strategy sure as heck didn't work with Vista. I tell you, since Gates stepped down and Balmer took over, it's been one stupid MBA decision after another. This is why I run OpenOffice on my Ubuntu equipped laptop and am happy with it. It does what I want and doesn't give me extra junk I don't need.

  32. Al fazed


    what's the bad news ?


  33. Michael C

    Reasonable, completely reasonable

    What is unreasonable is ANYONE expecting that kit speced to run 7 year old software would be even capable of running the latest edition, especially if there were already considerations of why NOT to upgrade to a version released 3 years ago.

    PCs are designed to be upgraded. Especially RAM, usually disk size/performance, and in some cases. If you bought a PC 4 years ago and you;ve never upgraded it, that's YOUR problem, not the vendor's. Just updates to internet apps, plug-ins, antivirus and moure shoudl typically require a doubling of system ram every 2-3 years, if not faster.

    When I buily my gaming rig 1GB of RAM was standard so I installed 2, on a machine that could take 8GB of DDR2, and even ensured i had the option to upgrade to DDR3 (hybrid board).

    Businesses typically eaither lease machines, or have a 3-4 year replacement cycle. being forced to support the minor difference between a 7 year old suite and a 3 years old suite should not be an issue, as any PC bought 4 years ago should have all the power it needs, poissibly aside a RAM upgrade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not really

      "What is unreasonable is ANYONE expecting that kit speced to run 7 year old software would be even capable of running the latest edition, especially if there were already considerations of why NOT to upgrade to a version released 3 years ago."

      That is because you have bought into the fact that it is normal to have to upgrade every year. It isn't. The only reason you need to, apart from maybe gaming or high end graphics, is to run the ever more bloated and inefficient code. I mean "increased footprint by 1-1.5Gb". INCREASED by!

      When the first PCs came about, it took the best part of 5 mins to boot up the OS and start the word processor and to be at a point where you were ready to type.

      Now, despite 15 years of almost infinitely faster hardware, guess what, it takes about 5 mins to boot up and get to the point of typing in the word processor. There have been some additions to the code, but they have been coded so badly that they swallow up the performance gains of the hardware.


      1. markp 1
        Thumb Up


        >anon coward

        I much preferred my ST's way of

        * Insert floppy for chosen app

        * Hit power switch

        then either

        * wait <30 seconds for auto load, or

        * wait ~5 seconds for the desktop, double click disk icon (another 5 secs), double click app icon, wait ~15 for that to load.

        * file > new

        * start typing

        Why it takes my work desktop the best part of your stated 5 minutes to even give me a working GUI is beyond me. Yes, I've got bored enough at points that I've timed it; in fact the startup delayer I've installed to try and help the beleaguered HDD throw bytes at the RAM more quickly runs for a minute and 15 all by itself, and that's after all of a/ POST + initial windows boot, b/ connection to domain, c/ login, d/ initial GUI load and e/ delayer app itself loading .... have happened.

        The upgrades, zey are not working. My Core 2 desktop has something upwards of - and I talk in the most literal terms - TWO. THOUSAND. TIMES. the Atari's power in most measurable, meaningful aspects (CPU MIPS, RAM size and speed, VRAM size, hard storage capacity AND speed, with at least 20x faster access - or 2000x if t'were a top-end SSD). But it takes almost 10x longer to go from "power off" to "blank page displayed in word processor", and that sort of thing can geniunely eat into your productivity, to speak nothing of the time then wasted in these here threads ;)

        Is it REALLY having to chug through 20,000x as much work to do much the same job? If that's true, something horribly, badly, unimaginably wrong has happened with the state of our code monkeys' brains over the last 20 years.

        I mean, I can't in good faith describe TOS, First Word or Calamus as the tightest pieces of code ever. But they dragged themselves off floppy, out of ROM or up off a single-figure-megabit-connected 20mb hard disk well enough to get in a working mood (the latter app being a fair pinnacle of late 80s/early 90s home DTP) in under a minute. And when pushed, they squashed into less than a meg.

        I can't accept that Word 2010, even the 64 bit edition, needs to be a thousand times bigger. I hope most of that has gone on 32-bit colour, high rez icons...

    2. markp 1
      Thumb Up

      i think

      You've just hit the bloody nail on the head there, mate. things are hidden until you click through the blessed thing, aren't always in logical places (or where they "traditionally" were under the old text menus) and moreover what you can see adapts to the size of the display! it's also badly inefficent of screen space on today's typical widescreen aspect displays, or at least the small ones.

      (1440x900 is OK, as it gives the ribbon room to breathe but you can still see lots of your document; 1024x600 is hellish, and I'd hate to try using it on anything smaller like a tidgy Vaio or original EeePC. I think it was invented by someone who was using a 1920x1280 screen in portrait mode...)

      Hope is in sight, though. You can at least shove everything you want to use often - including a number of "lost" or generally-hidden commands - onto the "quick toolbar", set it to show BELOW the ribbon, and put the chunky mother into "auto hide" mode. Interface goes back to something more akin to what we're used to, just without the quick-access font/style dropdowns or double strip of buttons. Nor can you detach the bar and float it or put it at the left/right side or bottom of the screen. My layout on my XGA tablet has one horizontal and one vertical button strip that gives good working room and accessibility in either orientation... ribbon BS does not.

      It's one advantage is that you can hit up the page layout settings more easily, but really... when was the last time you needed urgent, 2-click access to the margins or page orientation? When it was only 3- or 4- click before anyway (File > Page Layout > do your thing in the popup dialogue > OK)?

      I think we might have been less hostile if it had been optional, though, and not suddenly landed like a fat, productivity-sapping, career-threatening albatross on the machines of anyone unavoidably lumped with the blessed thing. You could choose to switch it on to trial it and learn it, and then put it off again when needing to actually Get Sh*t Done with the already-quite-easy interface that's got so familiar over the last decade and a bit it's partially merged with your skin.

    3. Andus McCoatover

      Now I get it...

      You're a 'gamer'. You need fast speed,quick disks and lots of RAM. Might be an unemployed rich kid - well, plenty of time on your hands - even to write repetively here.

      Me? I'm unemployed*, broke, don't play games, and I also have plenty of time to repetitively write here.

      I use my 10-year-old machine to look for a job. Ooo lets me do that. Why, on God's Green and Pleasant do I want the latest shiny version of Windows? Will it help me get a job quicker?

      Er, nope.

      * Damn stupid Canon MP510 printer...If a colour ink cartridge dries out, I can't use the smegging thing even if the black cartridge is new, and I only wanna print in black. I had to wait for my dole to arrive to afford a new red cartridge, so I could print a bloody application. Using only the black carridge...

  34. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Some of the naysayers have a point.

    One could indeed ask why there is so much code in a word processor, spreadsheet, or presentation designer TO BEGIN WITH.

    Although I use Windows 7, I happen to use OO.o. Now, many have claimed it to be a load of horse manure, and it may have trouble talking with the latest versions of Office docs. Then again, (conspiracy theory) perhaps Microsoft is trying its darnedest to make the process as painful as possible. They're trying to keep their captive audience...well, captive. But having used OO.o for a number of months, I have to say that, despite a few minor teething troubles, I haven't regretted the decision.

    The hard part I think really is just getting used to it. If you start using any program on a consistent basis, even if it's for nothing more than internal documents, you pick up on its strengths and quirks. And right now, one thing I really appreciate about OO.o is its relative simplicity, compared to the latest Offices. If you're not in pursuit of overly complex spreadsheets and/or documents, then there's little need for all the bells and whistles, and I appreciate that.

    Granted, though, I cannot say that my experiences will be echoed everywhere. But it's something to try with someone whose contact with Office has been limited and therefore may be more open to trying out OO.o without preconceptions.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    SoftMaker Office for Windows and Linux

    Little known but IMHO a bloody good office suite, SoftMaker Office 2010 for both Windows and Linux, with commercial support, scriptable, multi language, a very decent professional interface, on old hardware very usable, and on new hardware so quick you'll find yourself wondering what to do with your new found free time:

    We use it in a commercial setting, and couldn't be happier with both the product and the company. Forget OOo let alone MS Office.

  36. Ocular Sinister

    Reverse snow ball effect

    To all those people saying that we'll all need Office 2k10 because everyone else has it... well, I feel there's an inverse snow ball effect here - there was a reluctance to upgrade to 2k7, and if anything a greater reluctance to upgrade to 2k10. And herein lies the problem: the snow ball effect that MS has relied on in previous years simply isn't gaining momentum. Indeed, it may end up being a case that those people with Office 2k10 need to keep their old 2k3 installation to be compatible with the 80% that have stepped off the upgrade tread mill.

  37. Michael Fremlins

    Who needs a 64 bit word processor?

    Really, please tell me who actually needs it.

    Are you going to have a 4GB word document open? And NEED to be able to switch to any part of it?

    64 bit has its place, and has done for years. But for flipping word processor documents, it's just bragging rights.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Office 2007

    I personally don't have a problem with Office 2007. I think the interface is far more logical, with tool buttons and commands grouped into logical task-based groups. The find button (clearly labelled Find on the Home tab in the ribbon), is much bigger, and dare I say it, easier to find than the tiny pair of binoculars that were tucked into a scroll bar of all places in O2003.

    I understand that it is a fundamentally different interface, and reading through the comments above, this is the primary reason I see stated above for the general dislike of O2007. This boils down the human condition of not liking change, which is fair enough. Some people embrace it, some people can't be bothered with it (or couldn't care less), and some people really dislike it.

    Office 2007 really does work, and it works well. Just because it doesn't work the way the old system did, doesn't make it a bad piece of software, and you never know, if you actually invested a small amount of time learning a newer better system (as I have done), you might actually benefit.

    MS Office has to be all things to all people and no piece of software can truely achieve this, but it makes a better fist of it than things like Open Office (although OO is most things to most people).

    I realise I'm probably enciting flames here so I'll stop, but seriously, commenters and the Reg alike need to stop with the bashing!

  39. Anonymous Coward


    did i miss something or is it the same problem to upgrade from 03 to 07 as it is from 03 to 10...this is not something new then.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      64 bit x86

      Actually, there is a bit of a performance boost going from 32 bits to 64 bits on x86-esque hardware. The register file is larger allowing (in theory, and usually some truth in practice) more efficient code. Calls are also likely to be generally faster as more stuff will be passed in registers than on the stack.

      If you're going for all out speed on an x86, it does make sense to recompile to 64 bits, by and large.

      (Note that this is actually the reverse case for some other architectures, 32 bit powerpc code is actually marginally faster than 64 bit... generally...)

      But you're probably right, it's bragging rights innit?

      1. markp 1

        yes, but...

        All the same, do you NEED the performance boost granted by 64-bit tech in order to push around some words and reasonably low-end graphics (ooh, maybe a 10 megapixel JPG if we're to push the boundaries)?

        Our survey said ..... X

        It's hardly Call of Duty, is it.

        Fair play on the big Access database, but that's something of a more specialised thing. Some people will need it, a lot won't. And it's still more about the media access speed (whether that be cross-network, on a local hard disk, or actually all in RAM) rather than what the CPU can do. I do believe the Pentium MMX was quite adept at dealing with 64-bit wide data, BTW --- I guess the new, chunkier code is so you can give it more nuanced instructions in one cycle instead of 2 (or more), rather than being able to deal with raw data more quickly?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      For that muppet who decided to attempt to directly edit a bloody huge Access company database, screw it up and then have to come grovelling to IT to restore it!

      1. Mark 65


        Perhaps they were just curious as to why a company would run their DB in Access?

    3. david bates

      WHY would I want to learn 2007?

      I've been using GUI word processors since Win3.1 and I can transition between pretty much any of the word processors I've ever come across with hardly any though at all for 90% of what I want to do. 2007 is the exception.

      Today trying to use 2007 reduced me to fits and starts. Why would I bother percevering (sp)? Abiword will do 80% of what I want, OO 98%. The last 2% I can do without to be honest.

    4. markp 1

      i'm afraid you lost me

      as soon as you mentioned clicking the find button. You never graduated to Ctrl+F, then? Forgive my prejudice but it puts me in mind of a rather inexperienced user, or one who never really got comfortable with the interface in its previous incarnations at least, for whatever reason. The kind of person one assumes MS had in mind when they made everything all Mickey Mouse and displayed in unavoidable Vision-Impaired Mode.

      Now, that's all fine if you didn't like the previous setup, and need a bit of a boost, or your mind is simply set up for a different (not, mind, "worse") way of working.

      But I and a lot of people were just fine with how it was, got comfortable with it, could use it, the layout and it's shortcuts just fine, and liked having things in a simpler single-"tab" toolbar plus menus format and the bounty of working space it thereby afforded. My eyes are still reasonably good, and god willing will be for another 10 years or so before I have to submit to reading specs or contacts.

      Yet this new thing was forced upon us with no "off" button. Thats the problem. It's stuck in "beginner" mode (or "alternative" mode, if you like). You wouldn't run the OS in High Contrast Large Fonts all day if you didn't have to. I have no problem with the idea, or the option of having it. It's the mandatory nature of it. It's like the idiot sysadmin at a previous job who forced all the screens to SVGA "for the disabled users" (who numbered about seven or eight, at least half of whom didn't have vision or hand-eye difficulties)...

      ....even though the monitors were SXGA LCDs, we had hundreds of fully-able users for whom "everything's too big!"/"I can't see all of the page any more" was a major problem itself, there were dedicated disabled facilities in one part of the room, and changing resolutions up and down in Windows is an insultingly trivial maneouvre. Enough so, thankfully, that it only took about five minutes at the start of the day to run round logging in all the workstations and boosting most of them back up to full spec (leaving a couple alone for those with a genuine need, and a few more at XGA as a compromise).

      In this case though the sysadmin (MS) has found the switch which totally locks out the resolution changing ability, and you're going to be at SVGA forever.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      But it was all logically laid out in menus

      The ribbon might be better than the toolbars for those who just used the toolbars as they came (and failed to invest in the time of learning how to change them to suit themselves) - but it was all logically laid out in previous version - in the menus.

      Menus have been the main stay of GUI for years - and those of us who need to switch between different systems/applications a well laid out menu that is similar to most makes it very easy to find things - but obviously MS knows better as usual

  40. John Ridley 1
    Thumb Down

    None for me thanks

    I got Office 2007 on a new PC they upgraded me to at work. Luckily they let me keep my old machine, because after a month 2007 was driving me so batty that I shelved the new PC and put the 6 year old machine back on my desk. It's slower, but it's a small price to pay to not have to run Office 2007. If they try to push Office 2010 onto me, I may have to get a gardening job.

  41. Piloti
    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........


  42. Mage 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.

  43. eJ2095

    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?)

  44. boltar


    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.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  46. Peter 52

    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."

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    Office Schmoffice.


    Pure heaven.

  48. Chris Miller

    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.)

    1. Anonymous Coward


      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    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!

  50. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    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!

  51. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


    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).

  52. Anonymous Coward


    ...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.

  53. Maty

    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.

  54. Andus McCoatover

    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...

  55. Anonymous Coward
    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?

    1. DaWolf

      Your opinion does not count

      You loved Vista = you cannot be trusted.

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

      1. Test Man

        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.

    2. Pigeon

      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.

    3. Pigeon

      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.

      1. Andus McCoatover

        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.


    4. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      A beautiful UI



    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      haha - Blatant troll of the year award

      Clearly you do not have "The Knowledge"

    6. Anonymous Coward

      "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 :-)

      1. Oz

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

        Are you sure your wife isn't a dude?

        1. Equitas

          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.

  56. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    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 ?"

  57. Jesthar

    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...

  58. Don Mitchell

    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:

    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.

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      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 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.

    2. Terry H
      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".

  59. Sim~

    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.

  60. Anonymous Coward


    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.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  62. Marketing Hack 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. Test Man

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        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.

  63. Ron Christian

    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.

  64. Alan Bourke

    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.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  66. Joe User
    Thumb Down

    Here at Microsoft....

    The bloat goes in before the name goes on!

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

    1. Test Man

      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.

  67. Eddy Ito 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!"

    1. Benjamin 4
      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.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    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?


    1. Mostor Astrakan

      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.

    2. Chris Miller

      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 :(

  69. Admiral Grace Hopper

    '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.

  70. Ammaross Danan

    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.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Why bother with Office?

    I used Office 2000 for 8 years at work & fairly recently bought a copy of Office 2007 (Ultimate?) for home use. It was ghastly to use - very difficult to use functions in Word that had been easily accessible in Word in Office 2000, and little advantage in Excel 2007 over the version i was used to.

    I downloaded Openoffice & have never looked back. It's simple to use, runs on older specification PCs, can load/save in the Office file formats that I previously used. Why do businesses continue to pay for Office licences when good alternatives are now available?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      no eye deer

      No idea, fellow AC- I don't allow MS Office on any of my machines, even in a VM. It's just stress. For the little document/spreadsheet work I need to do, OOooooooOOOooooo does the trick nicely.

  72. kain preacher Silver badge

    @2010 22:25 GMT

    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.

    the OEMs would shit them selfs if Microsoft did that. Then they would not be able to get away with selling a new machine with 1 gig of ram with 512megs dedicate to the VIdeo. Opps this piece of crap wont run Aero. Wait you want to play call of duty on this thing??? It wont even run tribes on this thing ..

  73. JaitcH
    Black Helicopters

    MS can stuff it's "Customer Experience"

    My company is more than satisfied with our copy (only $1) of Word 2003.

    We were given a copy of 2007 and found it to be so confusing most users through it out in favour of 2003 which remains more than sufficient for our purposes.

    Besides, just how many people know all the commands for Word?

    I still have a copy of Wordstar (DOS and Windows versions) and to my mind it was more than adequate except that Corel has forgotten that it bought out the company.

  74. Anonymous Coward

    Better quality documents

    We've been upgrading machines at work as they're replaced with O2K7 and Vista (more recently W7).

    Something that I've noticed happening with the move to O2K7 is a general improvement in the quality/look of documents that are coming from our Business, mine included. I put much of this down to the improvements in default styles that have been supplied in this version of Office. Having provided a dropdown list of 'Style sets' (I prefer 'Modern') and colour schemes combined with the much easier to see/apply style section of the home ribbon seems to have made a difference. The live preview of what these will look like in the document is also very nice.

    It also seems to me (anecdotally) that we're getting WP novices such as programmers using features which they wouldn't have done previously. I think the new interface is a great success and well worth the occasional trip to help for those times when you just can’t remember where they’ve moved the continuous section break to.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Office 2007 is great

    I've been using Office 2007 on Win7 since July last year and I have to say I love it - but then I'm a PA so using Word, Excel & PowerPoint extentively is my job! It did take quite a bit of getting used to initially though simply because I wasn't sure where things were on the ribbon. Now I know my way round it, can find everything and the online help is the best I've seen from MS (ie it actually helps). If you know the Office suite well, then you tend to use a mixture of menus and keyboard shortcuts anyway so the transition isn't as painful.

    What was a revelation wasn't some of the funky features (smartart is fab) but the integration between all the products in the suite including Outlook, Communicator, Sharepoint. If I change some of the options in Word it will ripple across the others, it now uses a common dictionary, outlook uses the word editing engine without writing emails in Word, I can drag & drop text between apps.

    Its also the most reliable version I've seen, but whether that's office or Win7 I'm not sure. Either way, I've yet to have the apps crash on me which Excel 2003 used to do repeatedly.

    As for bloat, well maybe it is and maybe it isn't. I do know that it seems to use less CPU and memory than Office 2003/WinXP did.

  76. Satan P Coolsborough

    Steve Ballmer

    I imagine Steve Ballmer to be the kind of person who hears music in his head all the time. And by "music" I mean grueling 20-minute banjo solos.

    When he's not awake, hearing the banjo music, he's asleep, having his recurring nightmare that he's a small boy trapped in a banjo shop and cowboys are trying to steal his dad's moonshine.

    Are you surprised Office 2007/10 turned out the way they did?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Music in his head?

      Like this?

      (Despite the alarming URL, not pr0n, does contain a lot of cartoon blood though, and is arguably funny in a slightly Roald Dahl way..)

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP all the way

    We're still using Office XP and yet to find something that it won't do that we give a rat's ass about*.

    *Apart from producing nice looking documents easily, of course. I seriously doubt any of the morons at MS have solved that problem though, or ever will. Any company that thinks Arial is a good idea is no likely to be strong on aesthetics.

  78. Paul 129

    I trust Microsoft

    They've been working on command line stuff for 30 years, and its still inconsistent crap. How could they get away with junctions for gods sake!

    So I trust microsoft to deliver systems that consume your time money, and return little benefit.

  79. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Neither dude nor dud

    NINE. By God.

    1. Andus McCoatover

      Only 9? Lightweights.

      Here in a district of Oulu (Oulunsalo), we've a Lutheran sect known as "Laestadianism".

      They seem to believe - as one of the creeds, that it's essential to have as big a family as possible. 14-15 kids isn't unusual.

      Birth control is a no-no.

      Funny thing awhile ago, on the approach to Oulu Airport (Oulunsalo, like Heathrow is to London), the city built a new roundabout (why beats me, there's sod-all traffic). However, on the roundabout, being within sight of the airport, it was decided to erect a 'work of art' - namely many flagpoles carrying windsocks. Problem is that Oulunsalo has the greatest concentration of Laestadians here. They strongly objected to the windsocks, complaining they looked like condoms.

      Link for your edification:

      They should've been pleased... all windsocks have a hole at both ends...

  80. James Pickett


    AC - agree about Softmaker Office (a.k.a. Ashampoo Office). I use it at home and it’s remarkably capable. Also fast (because it occupies MB, not GB), cheap (the 2006 version is now free) and best of all, portable, as it will run from a memory stick.

    If market forces worked properly, Ballmer would be polishing shoes...

  81. Anonymous Coward

    Bullets & Numbers

    Never work how you expect them to in every version of MS Office I've used.

    I mean, bullets & numbers. Is it really that F0okin hard? Is this why I have to upgrade, so the sodding basics actually might work?

  82. Dom 1
    Paris Hilton


    are so many people pi$$ed off at M$?

    Any company manufacturing a product will seek to develop it's product - it's called progress. I am using Office 2010 on a 6 year old Dull running Win7 - works perfectly. At work, I use a 2.6 dual core running Win7 x64 and x64 Office 2010. Again, works perfectly. And I love the multiple Exchange function of Outlook 2010. If the machine you are trying to run Office 2010 on is unable to run it, go buy a new one you cheapskate.

    Do people really think that M$ should NOT evolve their product? Try using that premise in the car industry. Oh my god, F0rd have had the gaul to actually make a new car! How DARE they do that to us? That's it - the sky is going to fall on our heads because our favourite car maker has stopped producing the trusty Escort and started making the Focus. Shocking (sic)!

    I work in IT as a support tech. So I see everything from Office 2000 to 2007. The people who made the switch from 97-2k3 to 2k7 soon get used to it (if they have some semblence of intelligence). If they are thick as 2 short planks then they will be the ones who winge and moan, then throw their toys out of the pram. One client that I upgraded (H/W & S/W) went from Win 2k/Office 2K to XP with Office 2k7. OK, it took them a while to get used to it, but they are now whizzing around, working a lot more efficently than before.

    If you don't like Office, then don't use it - simple. Go get open office/Star writer whatever, just don't start complaining if you aren't going to use the product in the first place (that's called CHOICE, by the way).

    And to those who are shocked (huh?) by Word using 100M of memory, does that really matter on an average PC that probably has at least 1G inside it? With prices of memory at an all time low, I'm building PC's with 8G of RAM - and you want to convince me that a program should be rejected because it uses a paultry 100M? Get a life (and more memory)!

    Paris? Because even she could use Office 2010!

  83. Eduard Coli


    Please, M$ make the requirements be an i7 with 8 GB of RAM so we can see "Clippy" in 3D.

    I'm sure OpenOffice will be happy to cater to anything less.

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