back to article Behold: First look at Office 2013, with screenshots

Microsoft announced the details of Office 2013 at noon on Monday, San Francisco time, so your humble Reg hacks have only had it their sweaty paws for a few hours, but it's not too soon to give some first impressions of the suite, and in particular its revamped UI. The first thing you notice when launching any of the Office …

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  1. Nigel Steward

    Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

    Why is it that public companies, large PLCs & Public Authorities insist on using Microsoft Office?

    Well informed individuals & organisations use either Open Office or LibreOffice and save themselves £££s.

    It's like the 1980's when "Nobody was fired for buying IBM".

    NJSS

    1. Brett Weaver
      Happy

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      While I appreciate your point.. MS Office is the standard and nobody wants to send a document and find the recipient has to do something weird to view it.. At least in main street business.

      But you are right - Like Win 8 .. Nothing makes me think - I need this!

      Happy to be convinced though..

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        Save it in MS Office format, and it will work in MS Office. Opening Office documents in LibreOffice might not work, but there is more chance of it working than there is of it working in a different version of MS Office.

      2. Kyoraki

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        Actually, MS office has taken the hint somewhat that their new file formats are an affront to common decency, and have added rather robust ODF support in Office 2010 onwards. (2007 got an update that added ODF support too)

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Because Office (well 2007/2010) are BETTER. I've tried using free versions and they're OK, but not as good.

      Cue about a zillion downvotes for daring to have an opinion people don't agree with.

    3. Phil Standen

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Because office workers generally come with Microsoft Office skills. Largely due to the more recent and shit IT education system.

      The cost of re-training is high, and unfortunately much much higher for power users of Excel. Power users of Excel are accountants, the ones with the purse strings. So it's not getting signed off, ever.

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        Office workers generally come with what they consider are Microsoft Office skills. That they appear to be aimlessly mashing the keyboard or randomly clicking the pretty pictures is neither here nor there.

        Put Open Office in front of them and they complain endlessly...

      2. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        Open office and libre office used to be great for me. I stress used to. Try rolling out LO to 1000 machines seamlessly, it used to be simple - use a GPO and copy the config file across to make them the same. Not anymore. Try and get help in the forums and generally you are met with a "corporates should use office, why should be subsidise you". Im not asking for a subsidy, im asking on what changed from <3 to >3 in order for me to copy the configs etc.

        Plus there is still no substitute for outlook and its shared-ness (calendars, tasks etc).

        I did find the answers eventually but the methods are clunky. This doesnt help when office have GPOs available to set common templates, remove features that annoy end users, bolt down bits I dont want them changing etc.

        LO has its place but so does office. I would love to get rid of office I really would but quite simply I cant as the alternatives dont suit large locked down/restricted environments. (God knows how schools cope with kiddies messing with it all the time, edugeek is littered with helpful souls trying to stop them)

        1. jockmcthingiemibobb
          WTF?

          Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

          >Plus there is still no substitute for outlook and its shared-ness (calendars, tasks etc).

          Really? We use a mixture of Thunderbird, lightning, Windows 7, OS-X, Chrome, Android, IE9 and gasp....Outlook. Yet our little business runs quite well with free Google Apps and it's share-ness (calendars, tasks etc).

      3. fishman

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        "The cost of re-training is high, "

        Of course, there are retraining costs with MS office - the new Metro interface might be a bigger change than switching to LO/OO, of Google Docs.

        I'll have to admit that sometimes I just don't understand the "retraining" issue - you just poke and prod around it for a little bit, and off you go.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        No. You get the downvote for moaning about being downvoted you moron.

      5. pwl
        WTF?

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        MS office skills? really?

        retraining? really?

        how much training actually happened when office 2007 came out & confused the hell out of everyone with its changed user interface? the swearing & cursing around the place went on for years, but no-one got trained. everyone's just expected to know.

        here's the rub: if you're not spending $$$ on the software, you *can* afford to train people and they might (gasp) become more productive!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Because both are really clunky compared with the real MS Office and crash a lot more often.

      If you were on the business end of IT support you'd understand.

      1. Avatar of They Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        I can't disagree more. While I use OO and LO I wouldn't reccommend them for the working world. But MS office is soo flaky and 2007 onwards is even worse. Horrendous piece of rubbish with errors in 2003 appearing in 2010, template locations, ribbon permissions and the outlook 7 deadly sins with reg settings changing randomly.

        As IT Support nearly all of my calls are office related because of failed saves, crashes, random "error" and spurious values appearing or disappearing because of shared resources.

    5. The BigYin

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Speaking as a LibreOffice user....the answer is simple; integration.

      If I already have an MS Office plug-in of some kind that integrates the documents with me ECM system and is working well; why would I pay more to have that ported over to Libre/OpenOffice? If all my documents are in the proprietary .doc/.docx formats; why would I run the risk of Libre/OpenOffice not being able to display/edit them properly? It's simple inertia; nothing more. Same reason why IE6 is still the default browser in many place across the globe.

      Now...if you look at smaller, more dynamic and innovative companies (or even government agencies) they may well be using Libre/OpenOffice and you might find that due to demand from them that in 10 years time some of the above problems have evaporated (e.g. software vendors will provide their plug-ins for MS Office and for Libre/OpenOffice).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        I don't personally use office packages, but let my secretaries use whichever one they like best.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @The BigYin

        Why, oh why, do you keep documents in proprietary formats?

        1. The BigYin

          Re: @The BigYin

          @AC - I never said *I* did. But here are the two big reasons:

          1) The document was originally in a proprietary format and an open format cannot guarantee identical rendering. The "identical" is important - similar is simply not good enough.

          2) The open format is not widely supported, the proprietary one is the defacto standard.

          Personally I use LibreOffice and hold my docs in ODF.

          Professionally I use MS Office that that is what I am required to use due to aforementioned integrations that are not supported/possible in Open/LibreOffice.

    6. Vince

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      ...one reason is that Office has functionality that the others don't even come close on.

      Yes a lot of people haven't got a clue the functionality exists, let alone use it, and so anything else would work just as well, but there is no way on this earth some of the really clever template and content control stuff we have in our documents is possible in any other product. The functionality we use only appeared in Office 2010 for a start...

      There is certainly an argument that office is not for everyone, but alternatives are also not for everyone.

      1. Paul Shirley

        ...one reason is that Office has functionality that the others don't even come close on.

        Yes. I vividly remember cut&pasting a carefully constructed diagram from 1 page to another and discovering the amazing 'Jumble' function. It made a better job of scattering the symbols randomly across the page while breaking most of the connections than I ever could.

        Word. Not even compatible with its own functions.

        1. csumpi
          Stop

          re: the amazing 'Jumble' function

          Awesome argument you make: user stupidity. Just because you didn't care to learn it, nobody else should use it.

          You actually don't even have to learn. A simple google search, or help search would've told you that after you paste a little icon appears (paste options) that lets you choose to keep the source formatting, match the destination formatting, merge it, link it or paste as text only.

          Now I wonder how using libre/openoffice solved this issue for you. Because those have similar functionality in paste special, but I doubt you would know about it without reading the help or searching for an answer. Which would've also solved your problem in word.

          But we love you anyway. You provide job security for a herd of help desk people.

      2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        I have recently had to edit some docx forms in both LibreOffice and OpenOffice. It almost made me scream! Actually, the almost in that sentence is wrong. Things kept changing position in unpredictable ways, bits of text in tables became invisible. I have had similar hassles with MS-Office for that matter. Exporting stuff to PDF is colourful as well (words stuck together, layout shot to pieces).

        Ultimately I just hacked together a LaTeX style file to generate the same forms (as they wanted PDF sent in). End of (my) problem.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

          "Ultimately I just hacked together a LaTeX style file to generate the same forms (as they wanted PDF sent in). End of (my) problem."

          Unfortunately me, you and a handful of others are probably the only ones that can still easily use LaTeX these days. One nice thing in Office 2013 is that it can edit PDF documents as a standard feature. Should go a lont way toward achieving the universality of appearance you wanted.

          1. commonsense

            Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

            That handful would be the tens (if not hundreds) upon thousands of other academics that routinely use LaTeX day in, day out?

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

              "That handful would be the tens (if not hundreds) upon thousands of other academics that routinely use LaTeX day in, day out?"

              Great though LaTeX is, all the maths students in all the world, only add up to a small proportion of people using office suites. But have you tried the equation editor in Word 2013, yet? Seems to have been improved. Just had a look and it works pretty well, imo. Was able to bash out some reasonably complicated equations by my standards.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        Most large companies have developed Office to fit their needs. Business users use Excel as a programming language, Word is customized to corporate standards and uses bespoke software, Access is a database front end tool.

        If you are pissing about writing a few letter it probably overkill, but in many companies Office is what users use day in and out, its mission critical.

    7. David 138
      Thumb Down

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Because open source is unreliable, slow to update and no one can open the files. Now Oracle raped sun will open office even exist? and what happens when they get bored and it doesnt get supported anymore. Open source is its own worst enemy. The best it ever does is under the wing of Google or similar big companies where someones pumping money into the project but you can tweak and modify it.

      1. nematoad Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        "Now Oracle raped sun will open office even exist?"

        It's obvious that you are not a FLOSS user or you would be aware of the fork called LibreOffice and the transfer from Oracle to Apache of OpenOffice.

        One of the plus points of FLOSS is that it is very hard to kill off a project. Just look at the fiasco that is Mandriva. Devs, and others decided that they did not have any confidence in the management at Mandriva so they started Mageia. Or closer to home look at what happened when Oracle tried to impose its will on the devs and users of Hudson, most people just upped sticks and started Jenkins. See, that's the point, there is generally a way out of FLOSS projects.

        "The best it ever does is under the wing of Google or similar big companies where someones pumping money into the project but you can tweak and modify it."

        Ever heard of Apache? just about the biggest thing connected with the internet; or how about Samba? Due to their win over Microsoft at the European Court Of Justice over the matter of interoperabilty we are now able to use Active Directory and all that goes with it through a competing project that has nothing to do with proprietary companies. Yes, big companies might support such efforts but usually because someone has the vision and intelligence to realise that doing so is in their best interest.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

          "most people just upped sticks and started Jenkins"

          This is one of the problems should I deploy and support a product that tomorrow someone gets upset and instead of quitting or being fired causing a fork in the code and I am left trying to figure out if I re-deploy or stick with what is left of the old dev team.

          I will happily point finger at MS but at least when I need office there is a company with its name behind it supporting it and moving the product forward. (don't get me started on the dropped or renamed functions in excel with every version) but at least I don't have to worry MS are going to EOL office tomorrow and create a fork of it under some new product name.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

            "at least I don't have to worry MS are going to EOL office tomorrow and create a fork of it under some new product name."

            Apart from Office 2003, which was EOL-ed in 2007. For power users, there were a number of incompatibilities that MS dealt with simply by publishing a KB article and saying "won't fix". You could start by having a quick look at the documented limitations of the file-formats-conversion package. Quite a number of things are simply "converted to static graphic" and abandoned, even where 2003 has the same feature.

            1. The Original Steve

              Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

              Sorry Ken but "Apart from Office 2003, which was EOL-ed in 2007" is in fact Bullshit:

              http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=2488

              Office 2003 mainstream support ended 2009. Extended support ends in 2014.

              I think 6 years support and updates to a product is fair when it's included in the price.

              Regarding the rest... please provide KB article numbers. I'd be very interested to read them.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Terrafirma

            How is that different from the current mess of MS and other companies? I've seen what the likes of Corel can do to software. :P

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Along with all the other reason posted here as someone that works for a company run by contracts and spends hours writing proposals and supporting others writing even larger ones I can tell you that all the automation and templating/collaboration is irreplaceable in big business.

      We have tried and tried to make Open Source office work and as of yet there is just far too many issues integrating it into a corporate.

    9. Bugs R Us

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Because MS Office kicks ass when it comes to integration with third party solutions. It's macro language is known to millions of freelance VBA and .Net for Office developers. It's a myth that most of the edvanced features of Office are never used, big companies DO use them. While many Reg readers will no doubt sigh at the thought of Excel being used as a database, that does not matter. If it gets the job done, that is all that matters to the users. And to many businesses, getting the job done is worth paying a price.

      1. fung0
        FAIL

        Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

        Bugs R Us said: "It's a myth that most of the edvanced features of Office are never used, big companies DO use them."

        I certainly DO use them myself. The question is, are there enough new ones in Office 2013? (Or Office 15; Microsoft can't seem to make up its mind about the name.)

        Most of the new stuff I've seen in this release falls into one of several categories: a) UI changes, mostly for the worse; b) formatting tools, aimed at creating more-beautiful documents; c) collaboration changes that may be great news to the enterprise, but don't help me at all; and, d) long-overdue fixes to ridiculously annoying problems. The latter category is the smallest, but includes things like an automatic bookmark in Word files, that returns the cursor to where it was when the file was last open. I wrote a macro to do that back in Office XP. It's taken Microsoft 10 extra years to figure it out.

        The category that's almost entirely missing is e) actual new working features, that allow users to be more efficient in performing the primary function. Outlook gets a few minor tweaks; Excel, as usual, gets some bigger ones. PowerPoint has a pointer mode. Nice. But kind of feeble, when you think this is a major update to the leading 'productivity' suite.

        Bottom line, I see nothing here that would tempt me to give up Office 2003. That version has a cleaner, more functional UI. It undoubtedly runs faster and takes up a fraction of the disk space. It doesn't try to log me in to Microsoft cloud services. In fact, it's easily installed anywhere, with a simple hack. (I do own it; I just don't take advantage of the DRM features...) And it's customized using a ton of macros that would probably break in Office 2013.

        I'd love a new version of Office that would help me with my main job of creating long, complex, structured documents. Word has always sucked at this task; it processes words, not paragraphs or sections. But it has sucked less than the alternatives, so I stick with it. I've long since given up hoping that Microsoft would actually improve it in ways that might be helpful to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

          Can EXCEL do time as a value yet?

          Can EXCEL correctly read any SQL SERVER TIME & DATE data types yet?

          Dweeb?

          1. The BigYin

            Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

            @AC Excel

            No. I have to repeatedly demonstrate to our department (using LO Calc) that the data is correct and it is Excel that is wrong.

            "Oh, but BigYin, how do we fix this?"

            "Speak to MS and get them to sort it"

            "Can't you just update the CSV/DB?"

            "Yes..."

            "Do that then! We need our spreadsheets to be correct!"

            "...and if I do that, your productions system will be jaxxied."

            Do not start me on how badly Excel's data handling sux balls.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

            "Can EXCEL do time as a value yet?

            Can EXCEL correctly read any SQL SERVER TIME & DATE data types yet?"

            Why did Dweeb get down voted for asking a simple question? Can it already do these things or is there something deep that I have misunderstood?

    10. A J Stiles
      Stop

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Inertia. Never underestimate inertia -- or the reasons that people will make up to avoid admitting that their real concerns are founded on nothing but inertia.

      I've seen Word documents laid out using spaces for centring. I've seen people using a calculator to add up the figures in Excel spreadsheets. And these are not exceptions -- they are the norm. People who can't even use the most basic features clearly don't need the super-advanced features in Microsoft Office.

      The "retraining costs" argument is also bunk. Firstly, the menu layouts and keyboard shortcuts in LO / OO are not too different from MS Office. The layout of the typing keys on the keyboard does not change! And secondly, Microsoft change things enough from one release of Office to the next to require some user retraining.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Because Microsoft office is like having a version of Open Office that someone else has compiled for you with the "disable sucking donkey dick" option turned on.

    12. MIc

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      When you look at the total cost of an employee over the 3 years they use a given version of Office the cost becomes peanuts. Fussing over a few bones for software is dumb.

    13. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Excel macros and VBA?

      Not to mention a huge legacy of documents that won't open 100% perfect in OO and LO.

      For some reason companies love to layout loads of documents in print form then never print any of it off.

    14. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      Jeez, this is a long chain of replies, but I'll shove my tuppence in anyway.

      Outlook.

      If you've got a corporate email system, shared calendars / address books anything else is woefully inadequate.

    15. ShelLuser

      @Nigel

      Others stated their opinion (matching mine) already but alas...

      There is one thing which hasn't been mentioned: sometimes "better" isn't always actually better. Sounds crazy?

      Its quite simple: there are things which I can do much faster in MS Office 2010 than I can do in Open or Libre Office. But it isn't always better. For example; tables in Word 2010 cannot be setup so that they keep their formatting. Example: I setup a table, I format several cells with a financial view but when I remove the tables contents then the view is also gone. Writer otoh. can keep its format intact.

      Although this makes Writer better for this particular job I can get quicker results with Word. For example because of its "auto text" or "quick parts" feature (insert whole (dynamic) blocks in your Word document).

      So IMO there isn't a tight "better" or "worse" line here. Both suites have their advantages and disadvantages.

      But just because OpenOffice is free doesn't automatically make it the best tool for the job. In the above example: what I save in purchasing costs can eventually "haunt" me in working hours; time costs money too if you're running a business.

    16. Alan Bourke

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      If ONLY THEY KNEW, THE FOOLS!

      Businesses are not stupid. If they could save money and directly substitute LibreOffice they would. However it isn't in the same league, especially when it comes to interoperability and programmability.

    17. Ian Johnston Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Why - Oh Why waste so much money when Open Office & LibreOffice are free?

      I use Open Office (Ubuntu 10.04) and Libre Office (Ubuntu 12.04) everywhere and find them very good indeed. I can't remember when either of them ever crashed, although Libre Office does not play happily with LXDE under Ubuntu 10.04.

      However, that's just for WP and spreadsheets. The integration of email, calendar and telephony (we have moved to Lync at work) make MS Office a heck of a lot better. And yes, there are other email, other calendar and other VOIP applications out there but (a) I work with 10,000 people who use MS office and (b) these other applications don't integrate with OO/LO.

  2. General Pance
    Trollface

    Can't go wrong with Microsoft. Consistently excellent products.

    No-one ever got fired for buying Microsoft.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I got a nice holiday for buying Microsoft.

      AC for obvious reasons

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Danny 14 Silver badge

      sarcasm

      I know the vein is sarcastic but sometimes the M$ option is cheaper. Schools pay roughly £30 per year per full time member of staff for windows 7, office 2010 and core CALS (inc exchange). For a typicaly 150 staff school of 1000 pupils and 500PCs thats a bargain. So just over 5k gets you a handful of 2008R2 servers, exchange, TMG, external connector and an SQL server. For another 1k you get SCCM and AV and all the trimmings if you so wished. All of this can be administered by a smaller number of staff and I dont need a linux guru (or their wages) to worry about.

      Sure you could hire a linux genius and get alternatives in there but you cannot beat the flexibility of an all microsoft "up to date" system. I.e. a full server 2008R2 with W7 and office 2010 is a dream to work on, a far cry from my old days of NT4 and 98 machines (I remember the day I got my first 2000 server and marvelled at the magnificence)

      MS does have its place and sometimes it does just work. Im not saying that there arent alternatives - I have looked at them but with my budget I would need more staff to administer and roll out. Perhaps if you had a blank slate then yes, a full on linux, LO, apache, tomcat, mysql, zimbra, thunderbird solution could be built but have fun locking that down to kids via logon scripts or mass updates.

      Ironically enough though, all my desktops are updated using the absolutely fantastic linux FOG server.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sarcasm

        Dear God no not Zimbra. Have you tried to deploy it in a corporate environment on terminal servers? Unless you can persuade the users to use the web ui (which nobody ever likes), you have to work in cached mode (zimbra client or Outlook connector). There is no online alternative. This caches the mailbox into a renamed PST. Worse, if you share other peoples mailboxes, it caches them as well. If you want a farm of terminal servers, you can try putting the cached ZDB files onto a network share (where they will break), or you can cache them for every user on every terminal server. Before long the amount of disk space you need more than outweighs the cost of the Exchange licensing! Zimbra just say there are no plans for an online mode. Until there is, it is a toy.

      2. Stuart 22
        FAIL

        MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

        Yes - but you wouldn't need a Linux genius to go the other way. Just someone with equal competence to Windows. Except they are rare because only Windows & MS Apps are taught in most schools. Microsoft gets back far more than it gives you in subsidising the training in its products for its profit. MS has a stranglehold on the education sector and that is fundamental for it keeping a stranglehold on corporations - at the taxpayer's expense.

        End educational subsidies and I think we wouuld find education taking a more realistic view of the products it licensed. The knock-on effect could be beneficial to society (MS shareholders excepted).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

          When my older son went to secondary school it was all MS Office (and most of "IT" seemed to be how to use Office) - however, 4 years later when my younger son went to the school last year they'd switched to google apps ... not sure if this is necessarily an improvement though!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

            When I reached Secondary School the IT was taught on Macs, Clarisworks giving us the grounding of office applications.

            Then Win95/Office95 replaced these.

            By the time I reached university, Red Hat with an early version of OpenOffice.org was installed in the labs. I recall it being quite unreliable: save often was the rule!

            1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
              Holmes

              Re: MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

              save often was the rule!

              Save often IS the rule regardless of platform. The first thing I do when I get an office equipped PC is to turn on autosave and set it to 5 minutes.

              1. My Alter Ego

                Re: MS Office is cheaper for schools ...

                All my keyboards have had the print rubbed off most of the keys. Ctrl and S are the first to go.

      3. AdamWill

        Re: sarcasm

        "I know the vein is sarcastic but sometimes the M$ option is cheaper. Schools pay roughly £30 per year per full time member of staff for windows 7, office 2010 and core CALS (inc exchange). For a typicaly 150 staff school of 1000 pupils and 500PCs thats a bargain. So just over 5k gets you a handful of 2008R2 servers, exchange, TMG, external connector and an SQL server. For another 1k you get SCCM and AV and all the trimmings if you so wished. All of this can be administered by a smaller number of staff and I dont need a linux guru (or their wages) to worry about."

        Of course, you know why Microsoft sells to schools at substantially below cost - to try and lock in the user base at an early age. Give me a child from the age of 5, etc...

    3. a cynic writes...

      Depressingly...

      My old boss actually said that to me with a straight face.

  3. JDX Gold badge

    W8 only? Skype?

    So is this only going to run on Windows8, that would be a bit unusual for MS?

    And where is the Skype integration we've heard so much about?

    1. Spearchucker Jones

      Re: W8 only? Skype?

      I imagine Skype is still coming, and will somehow be baked into Lync. The Lync and OneNote previews are just re-skinned 2010 versions, and are absolutely not the versions that will be released with Office 2013.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: W8 only? Skype?

      "So is this only going to run on Windows8, that would be a bit unusual for MS?"

      No. It works on Windows 7 as well (but not XP). Includes the same features as well as far as I know. Even the streaming Office works on Win 7 so you don't actually have to install it / spend a licence for it if you want to run it on someone else's machine temporarily.

  4. pklong
  5. WillbeIT
    Meh

    meh

    thats all

  6. QXL
    WTF?

    Think I'll be sticking with the 2010 versions ...

    Finally gotten used to all the UI changes with the ribbon etc then they do this. I opened the full screen preview of the new UI and it gave me a headache just looking at it for 30 seconds. God knows what'll be like after a full day of using it.

    So I'll be sticking with the 2010 versions of everything which still have some contrast between the content and the toolbars so your eyes know where they should be resting.

    Have they given the work experience kid the job of designing the new style? Looks like things have gone backwards 20 odd years.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Think I'll be sticking with the 2010 versions ...

      My MS Office 2000 installation CD still works and installs (on Win2KPro, XP and W7) with no need for online registration/activation. I don't understand all the fuss about newer versions.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. RAMChYLD
    Boffin

    Toolbars that SCREAM at you

    I'm sorry, but I'm not a fan of ALL CAPS. It feels like Office is SCREAMING at me. And I DON'T like it.

    Office 2013? Join Win8 in the rubbish queue, please.

    1. Andydude
      Pint

      Re: Toolbars that SCREAM at you

      Exactly - a UI shouldn't SHOUT at you, especially first thing in the morning when you're still feeling a bit delicate.

    2. RISC OS
      FAIL

      Re: Toolbars that SCREAM at you

      Using caps has nothing to do with shouting. I don't view an email or text written in caps a s shouting. If you do , that's your problem as a nerd. Maybe you have aspergers and created a rule for yourself, that you now can't break.... funny you can't accept change in an interface, but expect millions of office workers to accept change in a whole office suite.

  8. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    More UI Fail

    ...but that's what you get when you have a top down idiocracy such that MS operates.

    You'd have thought that the idiots would have at least taken into account some of the developers concerns with Visual Studio but no. After all, these are the people at the cutting edge of trying to make stuff on Windows and there are a lot of very talented UI designers in there.

    But no, mobile device touch screen focused, bland, ugly, barely usable, unfriendly and unwieldly user interfaces are what has been dictated from on high so that's what we're going to get.

  9. Mike Street
    FAIL

    That UI

    I thought Windows 7 looked quite nice. I used it for a few months, but was relieved to go back to Ubuntu, which always seemed to need one less click for any particular operation than Win 7. But, for looks, it was nice.

    But those screenshots of the new Office on Win 8 are just horrible. I have them full-screen, and I cannot imagine how awful it would be to look at that UI every day. What are they thinking?

    All you Windows users have my sympathy.

    1. Homer 1 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: That UI

      Is Vole having a laugh?

      No, but seriously, that may actually be the worst UI I've ever seen, and that's coming from a guy who still has very clear memories of early 8 and 16 bit home computers.

      They've completely lost the plot.

  10. Piro

    Metro aesthetic..

    .. Does anyone like it?

    It's bland, bland, bland, and all caps in the ribbon? Just foul.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Thumb Down

      Re: Metro aesthetic..

      All caps

      Change for the sake of change, probably what MickeySoft call a exciting new UI.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Metro aesthetic..

      It's not just bland, it's dumb.

      The whole point of sensible UI design is that buttons look like buttons. You intuitively know what you can click on and what you can't. This new "streamlined" UI has ripped out most of the visual cues which make the UI intuitive and so make it look both ugly _and_ unintuitive. That takes, um ... skill ...

      For a company that has built and empire on legacy inertia and tools that are so easy my mum (i.e. the average office drone who doesn't have any formal PC training at all) can use them, they certainly seem to be trying very hard to take their competitive advantage and drive the biggest stake they can find through it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Actually, I like it

    And I like the Win 8 Metro interface too. I've been using it for a while. Having just spent a week at the WPC last week, watching all the up and comming releases and changes, the amount of work Microsoft are doing this next year is staggering in its scale. Good luck to them I say.

    1. Ambivalous Crowboard
      Devil

      Re: Actually, I like it

      Successful troll is successful.

  12. Arctic fox
    Headmaster

    Actually the visual difference is in practice not that great.

    I downloaded the beta myself and installed it on our Win7 box in the front room. Using it as a keyboard/mouse package is to all practical intents and purposes little different from using 2010 (let us please not discuss the ribbon -:P). Unless you actually install it on a touch device you will not, in practice, notice any of the touch-UI optimisation. The package is no more/no less usable on a conventional pc than the previous version and the implication in the headline that it has been "metroed" is, to say it mildly, somewhat exaggerated. It has some new/extra features that the individual user may find useful but if you did not like 2010 you are not going to feel any friendlier towards this version.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More eye tests needed in future me thinks...

    I really don't get it. All that white blending the top bar, ribbon bar, document. Your eyes are going to be ultimately strained searching for what it wants on the screen. Okay, it looks clean but its clean M$'s UI designers have lost any sense in basic UI design.

    And the use of captials in the ribbon? Wow. Let me poke my eyes out before this crap gets to them.

  14. Silverburn
    Thumb Down

    Luddite alert!

    Ok, so I still prefer 2003, and the button bar simplicity of it all. Maybe it's because I'm a simpleton, and I do simple stuff, up to and including mail merges.

    This just looks like...a f*ing mess. Look at all that crap - buttons, pullsdowns, menus...total overload. ooh, so MS chose a simplier font...sorry guys but that doesn't disguise the barrage of buttonry on the screen, and the learning curve to make use/find everything.

    Still nothing here to tempt me to upgrade. So until Office starts writing my letters for me telepathically, I'll stick to 2003.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Luddite alert!

      My users don't want to upgrade past 2003, and I can't see the point in spending money (especially in the current economic climate!) to force them to use a product they don't want.

      I really do wonder why Microsoft is screwing themselves this way. They even advertised themselves as being "people ready" for goodness sake, they must realise that they are in very real danger of losing a significant proportion of their office customers because of it, I know that it's not just us.

  15. Paul Shirley

    Don't know why it's taken me so long to notice but *at first glance* those snapshots look like a typical Google web app. The same monochromatic colouring, the same bare straight lines, the same flat blocks of colour.

    Are Microsoft really that frightened of Google they'll copy an interface design I find cryptic, confusing and often pointlessly inefficient? While keeping all the worst offenders in their own toolkit like the ribbon - a game of 'Where's Wally' played with app functions!

    Are they all in a race to see who can simplify their UI the most, regardless of what that does to usability?

    ...and in case anyone wondered, I find Googles version slightly less fugly than Metro. So very fugly rather than extremely fugly...

    1. Magnus Ramage

      I had the same thought about Google web apps. Very similar style. What it looks like is if somebody tried to emulate Office 2010 in a browser. Dreadful (and I'm no ribbon-hater). But I suppose we'll all get it in time, those of us happy wage-slaves working for large organisations. Joy oh joy.

  16. regadpellagru
    Thumb Down

    UI freaking monster

    Geez, what a terrible thing. Worst UI since VT100, really, which incidentally, didn't shout at us ...

    So what next with you, crazy Dr. Microsoft, eh ? SMS-like menu maybe, in ALL-CAPS, with LOLZ ? I don't think this has been done and this would be truly awfull.

    I'll be anyway looking forward to see this, and be sure this will be through a MacBook, with a proper OS and LibreOffice, where we still have "Print" under the "File" menu.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: UI freaking monster

      As usual, MS are trying and totally failing to be Internetz-cool.

      Where are the lolcats? The advice animals? The Nyan cat theme? The rage faces?

      So much for understanding the needs of their audience. [rolls eyes]

    2. Mark .

      Re: UI freaking monster

      *snort* I have respect for people supporting open alternatives like Linux, but I've got to laugh when it turns out you're using a *Mac*. Sorry, you're not different - you're still supporting a big company, a closed source OS that is no more "proper", and a company that is pushing a dumbed down OS that's far more a UI disaster than anything shown here.

      If you're running Linux only on that Macbook, fair enough - but then I wonder why you felt the need to advertise what PC you'd be using. Oh, and I have Print under the File menu in Office under Windows (not that I'm sure why that makes sense, anyway).

      1. regadpellagru
        Facepalm

        Re: UI freaking monster

        Yes, i know Apple is a big company, yes I know their last problem was how to cope with a 100 bn USD of cash, yes they're pissing me off when they steal half the price of an Ipod Touch from me to replace it because of a broken screen.

        I'm not trying to be different, I just want to use a tool (dektop/laptop UI) which is consistent across its various evolutions. This fails with the current Balmer MS non-sense.

        Linux is good, but it's never coming for good to the desktop/laptop, unfortunately.

        Neither you or me will force the IT business into non-profit, so it's probably wiser to leave this Linux debate, the sole point being which tool to use or not use, in order to keep our sanity intact.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloatware

    Word is the most complicated, poorly laid out piece of software. It tries to do so much 'for you', wanting to do anything different from what it prescribes you just leads to you pulling your hair out.

    Using InDesign is a breeze compared to what Word has become.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bloatware

      InDesign -> £1200

      Word -> £60, less in volume

      Not _exactly_ comparing like with like are we ...

  18. jai

    facebook? twitter? required cloud integration?

    None of these things will get this past our approval board. There's no way we're going to be rolling that out here unless it's easy to lock it down to only work within our network.

    This, like Win8, seems to geared much more towards the small business or home user. MS doesn't seem to be at all interested in selling to the large enterprises any more, maybe they figure they don't need to because we'll all have to upgrade as soon as they pull support for XP and Office 2007 (which we only rolled out to everyone last year - we're not exactly what you'd call early adopters here).

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: facebook? twitter? required cloud integration?

      Facebook integration is just an option. Twitter is just an option. I have accounts on neither and work just fine on Office 2013 so far. Required cloud integration is both optional and you don't have to use Skydrive as your cloud. You can provide your own if you want the features but not to use MS's service.

      All of the above is easily checked by a quick search or reading of their information.

  19. LeeAlexander

    Oh Joy

    Hmm another reason to move on to OSX.

    1. Boris Winkle
      FAIL

      Re: Oh Joy

      dick

      1. Silverburn
        WTF?

        Re: Oh Joy @ Boris

        Wow. Typed that elegantly intelectual response in Office 2013 I see...

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Oh Joy @ Boris

          Hello! It looks like you're trying to troll on the internet...

          1. Anonymous Dutch Coward
            Happy

            @Tom 38 Re: Oh Joy @ Boris

            ROFLMAO... kudos to you sir for remembering Clippit *positively*!

            1. A J Stiles

              Re: @Tom 38 Oh Joy @ Boris

              And kudos to Anonymous Dutch Coward for remembering it was Clippit, not Clippy.

  20. Annihilator
    Meh

    Immediate response

    Really not buying that interface (or W8's) and worried that I'm just heading into the "I don't like change!" period of my life. But looking at it, I'm reminded of the Aero theme that was meant to gently focus your eyes on the action on the screen, namely the content (have a look at it, the inactive sections fade out of immediate view, usually with the glass effect). This was originally touted as deliberate by MS, so I'd ask what's changed? Looking at that screen shot, it appears too "busy" as nothing steals focus.

    Really concerned MS are killing the goose this time, though I recall similar responses to the Ribbon UI...

  21. E_Nigma
    Windows

    Ugly

    I'm sorry to make such a non-technical comment, but that's the word that went through my head as I saw the screenshots. All caps Arial captions and flattened white ribbon? It looks like something I (a person mostly devoid of design skills) would have made as the beta version to show off functionality, rather than a finished product. In other words, not so much of a new design as a lack of one, in my opinion.

    That makes me think... Maybe Steve and Stephen simply fired all the designers? I think that that's the most logical answer to how the new products ended up so underdesigned and so poorly visually integrated with what still exists in their products (Word is Metro, and Word's own Open dialog isn't).

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The UI is hideous and trying to proscribe cloud upon businesses is only going to end in tears... or do they think all their Office customers are individual users?

    It's all well and good only thinking of enterprise ever other OS release but not Office.

    My (Fortune 500) employer won't be rushing to adopt this, we're still gradually getting everyone on ribbed versions of Office, there's no fucking way we're going to do the whole cloud bollocks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and just to clarify, I'm no luddite, I fucking love the (current) ribbon.

  23. JaitcH
    FAIL

    Most Word users don't use many of the fearures

    In my experience, many Word users are happy with Word 2003 and 2008 - and even these have far too many unused features on them.

    However, if you are in the graphics presentation business they are most likely very useful.

    1. Roger Greenwood
      Facepalm

      Re: Most Word users don't use many of the fearures

      Many do rely too much on a spellchecker though.

  24. Another Justin

    Makes sense

    I think it was Microsoft themselves that stated that Office 2003 (and in particualr Word) already has all of the features that anyone would need - since then they have focussed on the ribbon and making those features more accessible and everyone upgraded as a result.

    10 years later and there still aren't really and significant features obviously missing from Office, what has changed however is that tablets and touchscreen devices are far more common. What are they going to do to persuade people to fork out money for an upgrade? Make it touch-screen friendly obviously!

    As for the UI itself, its really impossible to tell how usable its going to be without actually using it. Its clearly going to be a lot more touch-screen friendly, whether or not this impacts the usability for more traditional mouse and keyboard driven devices I don't know. I can however certainly see the advantages of having a consistent look and feel across both device types.

    1. fung0
      Thumb Down

      Re: Makes sense

      Another Justin said: "10 years later and there still aren't really and significant features obviously missing from Office"

      And you're NOT being sarcastic?? Well, that's okay... no reason any random poster on a forum like this one should be capable of designing an integrated office suite.

      But just for the record, about ten years ago I sent Microsoft's 'suggestion line' address (something they've since shrewdly done away with) a list of about 100 features that Office could have used. They've crossed off exactly one of them with their new Word bookmarks. That's about it... 99 still pending. And I'm not a software designer either, just a fairly heavy Office user.

      It is only in Microsoft's empty little minds that there are no new features to add. Just as cell phone manufacturers a few years ago were certain there were no new features to add to their butt-ugly products. Just as Microsoft was sure the tablet was a dead concept. Just as Detroit was certain thirty years ago that nobody wanted a Japanese car.

      When you start telling customers your product CANNOT be improved, it's time to seek another line of work.

  25. jason 7
    Mushroom

    MS Office?

    Software for Girls!

    Real men avoid spreadsheets and presentations.

    Its a known fact that if you get rid of Powerpoint in a large organisation you can get rid of 25% of your office/project/managerial staff due to them having nothing to do. Makes the other 75% more productive by not having to look at them.

    1. BrownishMonstr

      Re: MS Office?

      "Real men avoid spreadsheets and presentations"

      So....engineers don't use spreadsheets?

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: MS Office?

        No, the real programmers make their own in Assembly. Real engineers make their own out of individually arranged transistors!

        1. BrownishMonstr

          Re: MS Office?

          "Real engineers make their own out of individually arranged transistors!"

          I'm told, at university, engineers use Excel.

      2. Dave 62
        Trollface

        Re: MS Office?

        I avoided the obvious bait. Let's wait for him to tell us we're not proper engineers. Proper engineers no doubt use Matlab's stunning(ly bad) data table almost-editor, or should we do all our calculations on slide rules?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS Office?

        Presentations, yes. I made a point (no pun intended) of never even learning Powerpoint. I even pissed off a few salesmen by saying, no, they couldn't connect their laptops to our network (although that had almost as much to do with security as disliking powerpoint stuff).

        But Excel? The only decent thing MS ever produced (or ...didn't they buy it in? Not sure). Bloody useful for everyone, but I was in awe of some of the stuff that accounts people do with it.

  26. Mark Wilson
    FAIL

    Actually I quite like the new look

    Okay, I lied, sheesh that is ugly, haven't seen anything that ugly since... well, since Windows 8. Are MS actually trying to get people to use Apple?

  27. Irongut

    U G L Y! You ain't got not alibi!

    Without the gradients, highlights, etc in the chrome I struggle to tell the difference between the UI and the document in that Word screenshot. So much for emphasising the content you're working on.

  28. ColonelClaw
    Meh

    Hmmm

    There's an awful lot of white, little demarcation and not a great deal of contrast. I'm not sure that's such a good thing for two reasons - eye fatigue and having to hunt around areas of the interface that look the same to find your command.

  29. Magnus_Pym

    I don't understand

    For decades Office has been the de-facto standard almost solely because "Users don't like change". It was like the MS sales mantra in the nineties. Now all they have is change for changes sake. It's like they are asking people to try something else. In the end open standards have to win.

    1. jason 7
      FAIL

      Re: I don't understand

      It happens when you stop bringing staff up through the company to the higher management levels.

      You bring in others from outside the company (to inject 'new ideas and dynamics') to the decision making roles and it all goes to crap.

      The new guys go "Hey guys we are going to make them all red! It's going to be radical and new!"

      The guys under them that came up through the company just sit and roll their eyes thinking "Oh jeez we did that 20 years ago and it didn't work!"

      If you then put your hand up to say (with all due respect) that it won't work, you get branded 'negative' and thats your career put into the sinbin.

      Anyone see 'Undercover Boss' last night about Paddy Power? Classic example of an Executive Board that had never even been in a Betting Office let alone worked in one trying to run such a business. Hopeless.

    2. Peter Simpson 1
      Thumb Down

      Re: I don't understand

      - function has plateaued, so MS can only change form

      - market is almost saturated, so MS need to sell something "new" to maintain profit numbers

      - people won't upgrade voluntarily, so MS makes a new, incompatible file format the default and forces them to

      Three signs of a company whose time is running out.

  30. tempemeaty
    Big Brother

    Not merely installed on the local PC...THAT's a bit fun now isn't it....

    "Privacy zealots and general cloud skeptics will be incensed by how often Office 2013 asks users to login to their Microsoft accounts, not to mention how much the new suite insists its applications are integrated with online services and not merely installed on the local PC."

    It's a good thing all Internet connections never ever have issues. ^-^

    1. Bugs R Us

      Re: Not merely installed on the local PC...THAT's a bit fun now isn't it....

      You don't need to be online to use Office 2013, it works fine as a locally installed standalone too, just like the older versions. If you're till using an older version, then you don't need Office 2013

      Office 2013 is for the real power users of Office, those of us that have been crying out for more collaborative features and unified communications. And yes, even social networking. You can take the "social" away and you're left with what actually does happen in most businesses, "networking".

  31. Magani
    Linux

    Microsoft Office...

    ...Gilding the lily since 2003.

    1. Colin Brett
      Joke

      Re: Microsoft Office...

      "...Gilding the lily since 2003."

      Should be

      "...Gilding the stinging nettle since 2003."

      Fixed that for you :-)

      Colin

  32. undisclosedname
    Megaphone

    OpenDocument is the standard, not MS Office

    Nor any other office suite. In fact, office suites are coming to a point where they're nothing but browsers with editing capabilities that should be standard compliant. One should no longer fear being tied to specific software due to their ubiquitous presence of closed nature. If you wonder why your MS Office files won't open correctly in other software, it's because it's difficult to emulate their proprietary specifications, even though MS made them publicly available for free. Likewise, Microsoft should fully support OpenDocument, but they don't. Instead, we have a half-assed "promise" of OpenDocument adoption. So some misaligned objects, unformatted text and broken formulae are expected.

    Erik Kris put it succinctly: "It is an overriding imperative of the American democratic system that we cannot have our public documents locked up in some kind of proprietary format, perhaps unreadable in the future, or subject to a proprietary system license that restricts access."

    1. Bugs R Us
      Megaphone

      Re: OpenDocument is the standard, not MS Office

      That may as be, However, MS Office is the DE FACTO standard for business. And when the majority of he world's businesses choose MS Office, that dictates the standard for doing business.

  33. The New Turtle
    Thumb Up

    I rather like it.

    I like the plain colours, simple open text, the lack of fussy, mungy gradient fills that makes Office 2010 and W7 blur into a sea of vague pastel colors. I like the return to something a little more like windows classic and the feeling that the software is there to be used instead of trying to hide stuff.

    The downside? Sure it's trying to be as incompatible with OSS as possible and may attempt to tie me into the cloud/social networks, but it actually looks vastly better than anything I've seen since Office 2003. And I'll happily use it alongside Libre Office.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FINALLY Metro everywhere!!

    "So you say you want Metro everywhere, all the time?"

    Yes!!! That is exactly what I have been asking for all this time!! Why haven't you listened until now, Microsoft?

  35. Bugs R Us

    Microsoft in schools IS a GOOD thing

    TO all those moaning that Microsoft has a stranglehold on the education system should stop and think. So what if the kids leave school knowing MS Office rather than some Linux deriviative. We needs kids to be ready for the work environment, we don't want to waste time converting them from Libre/Open Office to what everyone else is already standardised on, MS Office. (Yes leanring Office is not learning IT or software engineering, but I'd rather kids left school with Windows and Office skills and learned IT/Software engineering in college or university or on the job).

    And yes, businesses would like to save on Office TCO, but every business accepts that there will always be some cost for business tools. For most successful businesses, the TCO of MS Office is insignificanct to the revenue generated by a more productive workforce using MS Office and it's integration features.

    1. /dev/me
      Headmaster

      Re: Microsoft in schools IS a GOOD thing

      Children should be taught concepts, not products.

      And what are 'Windows skills' anyway? regedit?

      1. LaeMing
        Thumb Down

        Re: Microsoft in schools IS a GOOD thing

        Gosh! Why oh why didn't they teach me more VAX at highschool?! Think of how much better suited for the modern workforce I would be!

    2. Circadian
      Mushroom

      Re: Microsoft in schools IS a GOOD thing

      @Bugs R Us

      Let's see. Student learns MSOffice. Then goes to 6th form,maybe even college. So say 5years between the learning and going into business. How relevant is knowledge of Office 2003 in 2008, or 2008 by 2013? Don't know if you have quite kept up with the changes that MS are making, but knowing only how to operate the specific version of an office suite is not going to help with the subsequent version released by MS let alone any other developer.

    3. RISC OS

      Re: Microsoft in schools IS a GOOD thing

      I agree...

      my computer leassons consisted of using bbc computers and then later riscos. A complete fuck!ng waste of t!me. What did everyone at my school learn after leaving school? That no fucker had ever heard of an archimedes or used one.

      It was completely pointless. As is forcing people to use "alternative" software just because some nerd runs the IT department. Maybe it's ok for the nerds to use OOo crap but in the real world people need to know how to use the software that everyone else is using (and actually communicate with real people). How many silicon valley nerds who make it big are into car customisation and go and build their own cars from scratch.... none, they all want an off the shelf sportscar or peoplecarrier. Yet they moan when normal people want the same with OSs and software.

      Everyone now knows MS, trainning new staff to use LO would talke ages, cost lots of money, and the fact that LO can do the same as MS office isn't an argument. PLus you have to explain everything again when the poeple writing the code can'T be bothered anymore. Or the code gets forked, a new name means completely different software to normal people.

      How many OS nerds would give up their cars and travel to work with public transport? A bus does everything a car does and it is open... anyone can get on it and your part of a community. Funny, I don't see many nerds going to work in a bus. And that's why yournever see people at work wanting to use LO or OOo.

      1. Magnus_Pym

        Re: Microsoft in schools IS a GOOD thing

        'Training' to use a word processor? How much training is required to be able to type a simple document save it and print it? Half an hour? Anything else is superfluous unless you are going into a career that requires it. My kids had lessons in adding word art to a document FFS!

  36. Joe Gurman

    Why the push to full screen?

    "The enhanced File menu... takes over the entire screen with a minimalistic, touch-friendly UI."

    I can understand that on a tablet, but on a 27-inch diagonal LED display? Confession: I come from the Mac side of the house, and have never understood Windows' assumption that the user wants the entire screen, regardless of pixel density or physical extent, covered with a single app. What if the user actually wants to cut from one app and paste into another, or simply view documents in one or more other apps while entering text or numbers or slide content into one of the Office apps? I mean, there is a reason some of us shell out for 36 Mpixel displays, and it's not presbyopia (well, not yet).

    Given the more, er, far-reaching design decisions here, this aspect of Microsoft's user interface design may not strike many Windows users as a big deal, but Mac users usually get a version of Office with a few nods to the Mac UI a year or so after its Windows counterpart is released (Office 2007 -> Office 2008, 2010 -> 2011, for examples). I hope we're not meant to cover our displays in Microsoft's idea of a fresh, clean GUI at the expense of actually getting work done.

    1. Robert Forsyth

      Re: Why the push to full screen?

      It is from Alan Cooper's 1995 book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Cooper#Bibliography

      1. Kev99 Bronze badge
        Happy

        Re: Why the push to full screen?

        Alan Cooper or Alice Cooper?

  37. yoinkster
    FAIL

    I'm probably in the minority here but I'm not overly fussed about the UI changes, having got used to the ribbon I now quite like it. So I'm upset about the screenshots (but the ALL CAPS does look annoying).

    I don't like it when things are designed for tablets and then forced on desktop users. Metro and the BBC homepage spring to mind. Fortunately here they seem to have paid attention to both sides so maybe credit where it's due there?

    But what absolutely kills it for me is this cloud rubbish and the privacy concerns. I might work with sensitive data (whether that's govt sensitive or industry sensitive is by the by) and as such the attempted social integration is a deal breaker. I work on my work, I save it, I print it, I file it. It's mine. I don't want to post to SharePoint or linkedin saying "Updated Production Schedule, last saved at 14.32". Just ... fuck off. Honestly. This social and cloud junk really grinds my gears. I hate what the business world has become because of it, makes me want to punch people in the face repeatedly (:

    1. Circadian
      Unhappy

      cloud security

      Something that doesn't seem well covered yet is document security within the cloud. What encryption is implemented by default? What guarantee that MS will not parse through your document for advertising (or worse)?

      Basically, what guarantees are there that the data uploaded is only readable by the people that are supposed to see it and no-one else. (I would expect that would be something that most British banks would like to know also!)

  38. zedee

    It's like the 80's are back, in HIGH RES.

  39. This post has been deleted by its author

  40. James 47

    1366x768

    How does it look with this max resolution? Looks from the screenshots that a lot of screen real estate is wasted

  41. Ross 12
    Thumb Down

    cluttering lines

    The problem I have with this, as I do with the google web apps, is that by flattening all the background colours to the same shade of white, everything has to be separated with straight lines. And all those lines and boxes actually make it look *more* cluttered despite the apparent clean-ness. It's much harder to instantly visually separate the areas of the window with that they've done. All it'd take is some different background colours for the UI areas to the document area and they could lose some of the separating lines and boxes and actually make it look cleaner and easier to comprehend.

  42. BoldMan

    Is there any chance that they might have FINALLY put UTF-8 support for CSV files into Excel? No? Thought not, back to Open Office it is then...

  43. William Hinshaw

    Holy Hell MS is commiting suicide

    While corporations have no issues with skipping OS version this looks like the first Office version skill we will see. Talk about chopping your own balls off. I have seen plenty of stupid moves by MS over the years but doing this Bob 2.0 crap to Office at the same time with as many people that hate Metro as it is..... Damn. I guess we will be skipping the new version of Office as well.

  44. Ilsa Loving
    FAIL

    Blah blah blah

    <my choice of office suite> is better and the rest of you are fools for not agreeing with me!

    Ok, now that that's over with, can we have some ACTUAL discussion on the merits of the suite itself? Like, will Outlook 2013 finally have decent IMAP support, not to mention caldav and carddav? As it stands, if you don't have an Exchange server then Outlook is crap. I use Thunderbird on Windows and Apple Mail on Mac because Microsoft still hasn't gotten their finger out and put some effort in supporting, you know, standards.

    1. A J Stiles
      Unhappy

      Re: Blah blah blah

      "will Outlook 2013 finally have decent IMAP support" -- It's very doubtful.

      Outlook is crippled on purpose, precisely so that you are forced to use an Exchange server. After all, if it supported actual standards, you could just use something like Exim and Dovecot to build your backend, and wouldn't therefore be forced to buy Exchange.

  45. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    FAIL

    I bet

    Its because BillG gives lots of money to charity instead of the senior execs, so they are taking revenge by putting out crap software to crash the company.

    More seriously, I have to work with a M$ fanboy, even he said WTF?

    Saving your data to the cloud as a default option.... that will work well when you are 30 seconds from sending a completed quote and delivery plan to a major customer and some bozo puts a JCB through a cable somewhere.

    Not to mention security when you find out your UK government contract details are now on an insecure server in Kazakstan.

    Buts its the relentless push to the simplified tablet market, where we give up our 3 25" LCD moniters and try and do everything on a 10" screen.

    Bet I'm going to love zooming in and out all the time to extract details from complex CAD models......

  46. Robert E A Harvey
    WTF?

    Lawyers ahoy!

    >which attempt to capture the look and feel of sites like Facebook and Twitter within local workgroups

    Is that OK now? copying other people's ideas? so will M$ stop blackmailing android phone makers?

  47. Zot

    The sparse 'Facebook' look, with pastel blue shades...

    ...it's all very bright and friendly, or boring if you like. Too much empty space though... .. .

  48. AdamWill

    Flummery?

    "There are some actual new functions as well as UI flummery"

    Someone else been reading Rex Stout lately?

  49. trialanderr0r
    Boffin

    word 2003 is decent

    2007 crud (2010 somewhat better), but no MS word processor has ever managed to beat good old WordPerfect 5.1. Now there was a product that respected its users...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: word 2003 is decent

      > WordPerfect 5.1. Now there was a product that respected its users...

      Never went to a WordPerfect sales pitch then - where they had the whole audience doing a Waca-Wave while squealing 'WordPerfect!' like a class of 5 year olds?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why didn't they go the whole hog and choose font DIN 1451 ?

    ...which would complete the "German road signs" look.

    Have they got town planners from the former Soviet Union doing their UI design?

    1. LaeMing
      Trollface

      In the former Soviet Union

      The UI hates you.

      1. Magnus_Pym

        Re: In the former Soviet Union

        In Soviet Union the Interface uses YOU.

        Sorry, I'll go now.

  51. MissingSecurity

    Honestly....

    I think you all are over blowing OO/LO,

    I don't doubt the headaches that arrive from user, but we force change all the time.

    I am not saying that OO/LO is the best choice, but I think people are looking at alternatives IE google docs and quite frankly MS is not really impressing me.

  52. ShelLuser
    FAIL

    Microsoft turned things around... again.

    Instead of making the (not too bad) Office webapps look more mature they chose to do things the other way around: make the desktop apps look more like the webapps. But by doing so I think they negatively impacted Office functionality big time.

  53. Kev99 Bronze badge
    Thumb Down

    Not worth the paper it's writ on

    I DL'd the 2013 preview. After waiting the better part of an hour on my DSL line, it finally finished doing whatever rubbish it felt it had to do although Excel did work, after a fashion. After playing around with a couple spreadsheets and docs I came to three conclusions.

    First, the Ribbon toolbar is almost tolerable and definitely easier for these tired eyes to see. I just wish some had mentioned the Office button was replaced with the returned File button.

    Second, for my purposes and probably 99% of other users, there are no compelling speed or accuracy improvements I could find over 2003 or 2007 (I use both).

    Lastly, why would anyone with an ounce of common sense want to put her/his data on "The Cloud", especially one controlled by the designers of some of the most hackable, crackable, hijackable software ever written?

  54. This post has been deleted by its author

  55. Fuzz

    Looks OK to me

    I had a quick play, doesn't look to be much of a change over 2010 other than the new GUI. My only problem with the new GUI IS THE USE OF THE CAPS IN THE MENU that's just wrong. People who are moaning about the lack of separation between buttons, take a close look at 2010 and you'll see that there are no buttons drawn there either until you hover over them.

    I haven't used it on a big enough screen to see if the full screen file menu is an issue but first impressions are that it's one to skip if you already have 2010 but worth upgrading to if you are on an earlier version and need some of the features. Mostly this will be people running Outlook 2003 against Exchange 2010.

  56. Neil Charles
    FAIL

    There really is nobody at Microsoft...

    ...Who thinks about ease of use for the UI, is there?

    Or maybe there's one guy - in a basement room - with a prototype copy of Office where the ribbon never happened and using keyboard shortcuts to draw a pivot table doesn't pop up the old 2003 menu, while clicking the ribbon buttons shows a different one.

    If that guy does exist he must be very, very depressed.

    In the grand scheme of things, capitalising the menu bar is a small change, but road sign designers have known since the 50s that mixed case text is easiest to read quickly. James May covered it on Top Gear. Wikipedia knows too en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FHWA_Series_fonts

    Microsoft desperately need to stop guessing, employ somebody aggressive who has studied how people process information and then give him authority over the people who design the Office UI.

  57. peterkin
    FAIL

    It's OfficeBook!

    Or OffItsFaceBook if you prefer.

  58. Gordon Stewart
    FAIL

    "Several of the applications offer a "touch mode" button above the menu bar"

    Why the f**k would anyone want to use b*stard Office apps with a bloody touchscreen?!

  59. scub
    Happy

    Chortle

    Office 97 works a f+cking treat.....

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