Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Microsoft Office 2007

Just got Office 2007 at work yesterday. I didn't realize they were going to change it so much. In a lot of ways, it's like learning a whole new set of programs. It is much better looking now. MS is trying to catch up with Apple in that sense. They did do a fine job choosing fonts, which is nice. Menus are animated well. Functions are not as buried in drop down menus that have to be drilled down through layer upon layer. Desktop search, especially in Outlook is awesome. The old search was terrible, and took forever.

So a lot of things were done well. That said, I'm still nervous about it, for a couple reasons. First, I don't know where anything is any more. Despite the bad layout before, at least over time you got to know it. That will come again in time with this layout, it's just frustrating for a while. More importantly is the second reason: questionable backward compatibility. First off, there is a new file format for Word docs, called ".docx". But everyone else still uses the old ".doc", so I have to save as the old format so I don't break things. It's also been changed enough that macros that I use extensively, and are used on shared files by people with Office 2K and 2K3, don't work in some cases. That is a major productivity loss that can't be remedied until everyone migrates to the new version and someone sucks it up to re-write the macros. That will be fun.

So, still undecided how I ultimately feel about it. Anyone else try it yet?


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