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(The Register)   Help us out here, what the hell is the point of Office 2013?   (theregister.co.uk) divider line 106
    More: Amusing, Microsoft Office, police officers, Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky, OLED, OpenOffice, .com, clippy  
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8632 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Jan 2013 at 11:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-30 10:01:54 AM  
OK, I read all that, and I am very happy for Microsoft and its strategic goals to do whatever it is that it is doing.

But, like 99.9999999% of Office users, I type memos, write letters, and maybe gin up the occasional form. I worry about creating bullets, indenting paragraphs, and formatting a title page. If I am having a really techy day, I might create a mail list or use the document markup to review a spec.

As near as I can tell, the main goal of Microsoft seems to be to make these things harder and more obscure.
 
2013-01-30 10:04:25 AM  

mr_a: OK, I read all that, and I am very happy for Microsoft and its strategic goals to do whatever it is that it is doing.

But, like 99.9999999% of Office users, I type memos, write letters, and maybe gin up the occasional form. I worry about creating bullets, indenting paragraphs, and formatting a title page. If I am having a really techy day, I might create a mail list or use the document markup to review a spec.

As near as I can tell, the main goal of Microsoft seems to be to make these things harder and more obscure.


This is why I switched to OpenOffice years ago

/also too cheap to pay $100 for a freaking word processor
 
2013-01-30 10:15:36 AM  
$$
 
2013-01-30 10:21:12 AM  
Ca$hgrab?
 
2013-01-30 10:31:52 AM  

somedude210: mr_a: OK, I read all that, and I am very happy for Microsoft and its strategic goals to do whatever it is that it is doing.

But, like 99.9999999% of Office users, I type memos, write letters, and maybe gin up the occasional form. I worry about creating bullets, indenting paragraphs, and formatting a title page. If I am having a really techy day, I might create a mail list or use the document markup to review a spec.

As near as I can tell, the main goal of Microsoft seems to be to make these things harder and more obscure.

This is why I switched to OpenOffice years ago

/also too cheap to pay $100 for a freaking word processor


I've been using Office 2003 on my home desktop since it came out. That disc has been through three computers, and whenever I get around to getting some new hardware, it's going on that too.

Openoffice is fine for my laptop, but it doesn't have some of the more advanced Find features that Office has that make ebook formatting possible. If not for the 1% of the time when I need those, Openoffice and Office are interchangeable.
 
2013-01-30 10:54:45 AM  
I get office for $10 for at home use because of my companies enterprise license. If you want office for the cheap then see if your company has that type of license. A lot of them are moving in that direction since so many people work from home or are trending in that direction.

With that said I rarely use anything in office. I don't give powerpoint presentations anymore because I hated that as a customer and it's a boring way to deliver information. Instead I use a whiteboard and talk about the customer and their environment. As Steve Jobs once said, "People who know what they're talking about don't need PowerPoint."

mr_a: As near as I can tell, the main goal of Microsoft seems to be to make these things harder and more obscure.


Also this. Took me forever to figure out how to sort in excel again and for the life of me and I can no longer find the farking outline toolbar.
 
2013-01-30 10:56:15 AM  
I been using OpenOffice for a while. The ability to save docs as PDFs makes it worthwhile for me. Otherwise I use Celtx (also free) for screenplays.
 
2013-01-30 11:01:32 AM  
Office 2013 > Office 2010 in a good number of ways. If you can get by with the free stuff, great, but I can't.

Then again, I seem to be one of the very few I work with that actually tries to make their docs & presentations not look like regurgitated dog shiat.
 
2013-01-30 11:28:20 AM  
An excuse to get you to buy your office suite all over again?

/DNRTFA
 
2013-01-30 11:49:56 AM  

ThatGuyGreg: Office 2013 > Office 2010 in a good number of ways. If you can get by with the free stuff, great, but I can't.

Then again, I seem to be one of the very few I work with that actually tries to make their docs & presentations not look like regurgitated dog shiat.


So you can't be bothered to tell us what is in 2013 that makes it better?
 
2013-01-30 11:53:11 AM  

DanZero: Ca$hgrab?


That's exactly it. One more way for them to suck money out of your wallet.

/LibreOffice FTW
 
2013-01-30 11:57:14 AM  
and yet when OS X gets a new revision that's nothing more then a glorified patch the apple users are tripping over themselves to hand out the credit card.
 
2013-01-30 12:02:30 PM  
Ribbon Bugaloo?
 
2013-01-30 12:04:46 PM  
OpenOffice is fine for certain uses, but a problem I ran into in grad school was that files made in Microsoft Office ended up with odd adjustments when opened in OpenOffice (and vice versa).  Formatting, fonts, settings, things like that.  Made life complicated if I was downloading lectures and suddenly the notes in the slides went haywire.
 
2013-01-30 12:07:14 PM  

MindStalker: ThatGuyGreg: Office 2013 > Office 2010 in a good number of ways. If you can get by with the free stuff, great, but I can't.

Then again, I seem to be one of the very few I work with that actually tries to make their docs & presentations not look like regurgitated dog shiat.

So you can't be bothered to tell us what is in 2013 that makes it better?


Built in PDF editing, proper support for strict OOXML and better support for ODF, tighter integration with Skydrive (if you use it)


That being said, most people can get away with the web versions of office (which are free) Google docs (also free) or LibreOffice (Still free)
 
2013-01-30 12:08:36 PM  
This is why I switched to OpenOffice years ago


I had a Linux machine that ran a windows virtual machine, so I had both OpenOffice and MSOffice. While OpenOffice can open MSOffice files, the formatting goes to hell and sometimes that is important. If you put together a good powerpoint2010 show, most of the animations will not work in the OpenOffice equivalent, and anything that was once lined up is now a mess. Often times things are no longer entirely on the page.

That said, I don't see any reason to update to Office 2013.

I don't give powerpoint presentations anymore because I hated that as a customer and it's a boring way to deliver information.

There are good ways to use PowerPoint and bad ways. If your slides are just words or numbers - that is a bad way. The slides should be used to support or illustrate what you are talking about, not put the script of your talk on the wall for your audience to read. A good powerpoint show can be amazing, a bad one is painful.
 
2013-01-30 12:08:41 PM  

simplicimus: I been using OpenOffice for a while. The ability to save docs as PDFs makes it worthwhile for me. Otherwise I use Celtx (also free) for screenplays.


You've been able to do that in Office for a while, there's a plugin for 2007 (might be built in too, I've only ever run Publisher from the 2007 suite) and it's native in 2010.
 
2013-01-30 12:10:02 PM  
If you are running 2007 or earlier then upgrade to 2013. If you are using 2010 it's probably not worth upgrading imho.
 
2013-01-30 12:22:03 PM  
The washed out look is really killing me. Looking at Outlook or Work is straining my eyes all to hell. Hopefully there'll be more themes, because the ones it came with are crap.
 
2013-01-30 12:22:13 PM  

xynix: I get office for $10 for at home use because of my companies enterprise license. If you want office for the cheap then see if your company has that type of license. A lot of them are moving in that direction since so many people work from home or are trending in that direction.

With that said I rarely use anything in office. I don't give powerpoint presentations anymore because I hated that as a customer and it's a boring way to deliver information. Instead I use a whiteboard and talk about the customer and their environment. As Steve Jobs once said, "People who know what they're talking about don't need PowerPoint."

mr_a: As near as I can tell, the main goal of Microsoft seems to be to make these things harder and more obscure.

Also this. Took me forever to figure out how to sort in excel again and for the life of me and I can no longer find the farking outline toolbar.


This. My company also offers it for $10 so for that price it's worth it. It is limited to 3 installations but I still have 2 left on the 2010 office I bought a coupleof years ago.
 
2013-01-30 12:22:19 PM  

pastorkius: simplicimus: I been using OpenOffice for a while. The ability to save docs as PDFs makes it worthwhile for me. Otherwise I use Celtx (also free) for screenplays.

You've been able to do that in Office for a while, there's a plugin for 2007 (might be built in too, I've only ever run Publisher from the 2007 suite) and it's native in 2010.


Didn't know. Last version of Office I used was 2003.
 
2013-01-30 12:26:34 PM  
I will gladly pay $100 per year for the inline threads in comments. Any other upgrades are merely icing on the cake.
 
2013-01-30 12:35:48 PM  
My guess is that very few people have every upgraded thier versions of office other than when they buy a new computer and toss thier old one. in that case they aren't really upgrading, they're just using what came with the new system. Of the few people that actually installed a newer version of MS Office on an old computer I'd wager that more than 50 % of them were people who could get the Student (super cheap) versions.

When I got a new computer at work and went from Office 2003 to 2007 I really hated the changes MS made. I'd go back if my IT Dept would let me.

I put Open Office on the home laptop because that's all my kids and wife need. I'll nevery buy another copy of MS Office again.
 
2013-01-30 12:37:22 PM  

simplicimus: pastorkius: simplicimus: I been using OpenOffice for a while. The ability to save docs as PDFs makes it worthwhile for me. Otherwise I use Celtx (also free) for screenplays.

You've been able to do that in Office for a while, there's a plugin for 2007 (might be built in too, I've only ever run Publisher from the 2007 suite) and it's native in 2010.

Didn't know. Last version of Office I used was 2003.


We used to run 2003 in my office until recently- lots of fun creating a PostScript and converting that to PDF with Ghostscript. Cheap nonprofits...
 
2013-01-30 12:41:04 PM  
Most folks forget the training aspect. Microsoft has thousands of partners that offer official MS training courses, and the new versions fuel this business.

We pay on average about $500/day for official MS training, and we're an underfunded university. Large corporations typically spend a *lot* of money on training.
 
2013-01-30 12:46:39 PM  
You know, if you just listened to Fark threads you would think companies should never ever ever ever release new versions of anything or change their products in anyway. But only after some arbitrary point that subby happens to like.
 
2013-01-30 12:47:24 PM  

xynix: With that said I rarely use anything in office. I don't give powerpoint presentations anymore because I hated that as a customer and it's a boring way to deliver information. Instead I use a whiteboard and talk about the customer and their environment. As Steve Jobs once said, "People who know what they're talking about don't need PowerPoint."


Only applies in certain fields. Sorry but if you are going to give a scientific or technical talk of any kind have fun trying to "chalk and talk" when you need to present actual data coherently.
 
2013-01-30 12:48:16 PM  
I'm hoping the next OS X release of Office will make Excel more usable. It's pretty annoying that if I filter rows, the more rows I hide the slower the damn thing scrolls. They realllly need to fix that.
 
2013-01-30 12:58:16 PM  
I suppose it's too much to hope that Excel 2013 would automatically create separate instances of Excel AND allow easy cut and paste between those two instances. (like Word)
 
2013-01-30 01:01:42 PM  
I hate that Outlook won't let me embed animated gif images in my e-mails.
 
2013-01-30 01:06:08 PM  

BumpInTheNight: and yet when OS X gets a new revision that's nothing more then a glorified patch the apple users are tripping over themselves to hand out the credit card.


So by all means, be like the Apple users then.

I think the MS apologists are more obnoxious than the Cult of Jobs has ever been, and that's saying something. You get all of their irritating qualities and get to add "lacks aesthetic taste" and "apparently jealous poser" to the list to boot.

/I bet Ballmer wears Jobs' exhumed underwear
 
2013-01-30 01:07:13 PM  
What I really want is an Excel (and other Office apps) that has the collaboration features of Google Docs. Having 50 people simultaneously edit a single spreadsheet is pure badass.
 
2013-01-30 01:09:24 PM  

entropic_existence: I'm hoping the next OS X release of Office will make Excel more usable. It's pretty annoying that if I filter rows, the more rows I hide the slower the damn thing scrolls. They realllly need to fix that.


Yeah, there's a lot of stuff in there that needs to be tightened up. I have some issues with Word that only present themselves when I'm in heavy reviewing mode (i.e., most of my day); documents that have 200+ changes and 20 or so comments start to act hinky. Sometimes I can fix the problem by switching from XML to binary or vice-versa; sometimes I lose work.
 
2013-01-30 01:20:14 PM  
i actually needed the additional rows and columns in excel that came with the 2007 upgrade.

/still using it
 
2013-01-30 01:21:41 PM  

flaminio: What I really want is an Excel (and other Office apps) that has the collaboration features of Google Docs. Having 50 people simultaneously edit a single spreadsheet is pure badass.


So, cell level locking? Or row or column locking? I have no experience with this.
 
2013-01-30 01:27:30 PM  

flaminio: What I really want is an Excel (and other Office apps) that has the collaboration features of Google Docs. Having 50 people simultaneously edit a single spreadsheet is pure badass.


They do. It's called Sharepoint. It's very expensive and has cost many people their jobs trying to implement it.

Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint can all be purchased as a service from Office 365, but the pricing can range from $4 per user per month up to $20+ per user per month (not counting any enterprise discounts that may apply, and add-ons such as Lync).
 
2013-01-30 01:29:48 PM  
I'd rather use Framemaker. Working with Word is like trying to write documents with Notepad by comparison.
 
2013-01-30 01:30:47 PM  

simplicimus: flaminio: What I really want is an Excel (and other Office apps) that has the collaboration features of Google Docs. Having 50 people simultaneously edit a single spreadsheet is pure badass.

So, cell level locking? Or row or column locking? I have no experience with this.


Cell-level. 50 people is probably excessive; but it is not unusual at my company to have five or so editing a single sheet. In Google apps everyone gets a different color cursor -- hovering over the cursor shows who it is -- and you can watch them dance about the screen making changes. If you've never seen it, it's magical. I wish Excel could do something like this.
 
2013-01-30 01:32:43 PM  

moos: i actually needed the additional rows and columns in excel that came with the 2007 upgrade.

/still using it


This is the only positive benefit I have found in moving from 2003 to 2007. Everything else about 2007 has been a huge pain in relearning things that didn't need relearning. That is the problem with Office. Every new generation makes hard things a little easier and easy things a little harder. For most people - they do easy things 99% of the time so it is a huge net loss for each upgrade. Increasing the rows/columns in Excel was the first real improvement.
 
2013-01-30 01:36:02 PM  

MightyPez: flaminio: What I really want is an Excel (and other Office apps) that has the collaboration features of Google Docs. Having 50 people simultaneously edit a single spreadsheet is pure badass.

They do. It's called Sharepoint. It's very expensive and has cost many people their jobs trying to implement it.


I've heard of Sharepoint, but never used it. Thoughts of it usually invoke night terrors and cold sweat.
 
2013-01-30 01:38:47 PM  

Jubeebee: somedude210: mr_a: OK, I read all that, and I am very happy for Microsoft and its strategic goals to do whatever it is that it is doing.

But, like 99.9999999% of Office users, I type memos, write letters, and maybe gin up the occasional form. I worry about creating bullets, indenting paragraphs, and formatting a title page. If I am having a really techy day, I might create a mail list or use the document markup to review a spec.

As near as I can tell, the main goal of Microsoft seems to be to make these things harder and more obscure.

This is why I switched to OpenOffice years ago

/also too cheap to pay $100 for a freaking word processor

I've been using Office 2003 on my home desktop since it came out. That disc has been through three computers, and whenever I get around to getting some new hardware, it's going on that too.

Openoffice is fine for my laptop, but it doesn't have some of the more advanced Find features that Office has that make ebook formatting possible. If not for the 1% of the time when I need those, Openoffice and Office are interchangeable.


All of this; OpenOffice is great for simple documents and formats. More complex documents and formats = Office 2003.
 
2013-01-30 01:42:45 PM  

flaminio: simplicimus: flaminio: What I really want is an Excel (and other Office apps) that has the collaboration features of Google Docs. Having 50 people simultaneously edit a single spreadsheet is pure badass.

So, cell level locking? Or row or column locking? I have no experience with this.

Cell-level. 50 people is probably excessive; but it is not unusual at my company to have five or so editing a single sheet. In Google apps everyone gets a different color cursor -- hovering over the cursor shows who it is -- and you can watch them dance about the screen making changes. If you've never seen it, it's magical. I wish Excel could do something like this.


I agree. I haven't seen any other software app do it as well.
 
2013-01-30 01:43:04 PM  
I would still use office 2003 if I could. At the very least, I wish I could have the same interface when I use 2010. I held off getting the new Office until my computer died and I had to upgrade. To be fair, I do like the 2010 version's ability to create a PDF file. That's pretty neat and incredibly useful.
 
2013-01-30 01:44:57 PM  
Enterprise support.

Compatibility with other MS and non-MS products.

Better consistency with the way the interface in the most recent version of the flagship OS works.

I'm sorry, but that's more than enough to justify a new version number. Like a lot of long-running product lines, versions are really just arbitrary cutoffs for when incremental product updates reach the point where it's easier to sell the patched product at the current modern status than to sell the package from 5 years ago and make people update for seven damned hours.

It's also fairly legit to tie your support to the assumption that people are using at least a moderately recent version of your software, so that you don't have to employ a farkton of legacy engineers just to manage your call centers.

Basically, complaining about this is stupid. If you don't care about whether your software's supported, and you don't care about the integration of compatibility upgrades, then just don't upgrade. Just because you don't need the new version of the product doesn't entitle you to biatch about it, just don't buy it, numbnuts.

//For reference, I use Office 2003 on my work PC and 2007 at home. So this isn't me defending a purchase/upgrade. This op/ed is just inherently stupid, it's like biatching that Tribes:Ascend is unnecessary because you've still got buddies that can boot up Tribes 2 on your virtual LAN.
//Actually have been enjoying Google Docs recently, though it's not really compatible with the level of spreadsheet work I do professionally.
 
2013-01-30 02:01:16 PM  
Powerview in Excel. That is all.
 
2013-01-30 02:29:37 PM  
img685.imageshack.us
 
2013-01-30 02:31:04 PM  
Ribbon menus and Windows 8. Can't wait to get started.
 
2013-01-30 02:34:03 PM  
<I>Microsoft's hope is that subscription pricing will create a predictable, fixed sales stream it can count on every year.</i>

From CNN, and it's dead on. It has nothing to do with the user, it has to do with the shareholders wanting reliable revenue instead of huge bursts every few years.
 
2013-01-30 02:37:54 PM  
you mean the version that now wants you to pay for, literally, a glorified Notepad? (Even has the "N" icon so it matches the other applications!)
 
2013-01-30 02:39:11 PM  

flaminio: simplicimus: flaminio: What I really want is an Excel (and other Office apps) that has the collaboration features of Google Docs. Having 50 people simultaneously edit a single spreadsheet is pure badass.

So, cell level locking? Or row or column locking? I have no experience with this.

Cell-level. 50 people is probably excessive; but it is not unusual at my company to have five or so editing a single sheet. In Google apps everyone gets a different color cursor -- hovering over the cursor shows who it is -- and you can watch them dance about the screen making changes. If you've never seen it, it's magical. I wish Excel could do something like this.


I imagine the thing Microsoft is working on if they can is bringing Skype into Office 365 (and maybe normal Office). Editing Google docs together is good, but if you could click a user currently editing the doc/sheet you are on to call them and discuss elements of the documents seamlessly it would really rock.
 
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