×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Visual Tour of Office 2007 Beta 2

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the hope-they-are-ready-for-the-support-calls dept.

495

feminazi writes "Computerworld has a review and visual tour of the newest installment of Office. No more toolbars & menus; those have been replace with 'ribbons.' Of the various products in the suite, Word is the most changed. Styles are easier to invoke, but no easier to create or understand. A couple of the redeeming characteristics is the ability to save as PDF and XPS and an improved Track Changes. Bigger spreadsheets are available in Excel -- over 1 million rows and over 16,000 columns per worksheet -- and new and better visualization abilities. Lots new in Outlook including multiple calendars and direct support for RSS feeds. And the apps all work together better than before. From the article: 'The major change in Beta 2 was the introduction of Office SharePoint Server.' This means that Sharepoint Server is required, but it also means more & better collaboration and advanced search abilities are supported."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Requires Sharepoint Server? (5, Insightful)

metasecure (946666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388865)

I believe the summary is misleading - Office 2007 will not require Sharepoint server (i.e. for an individual/independant user), though it will be needed to take advantage of it's collaborative features.

Re:Requires Sharepoint Server? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15388937)

Man, I can't wait to throw this fucking piece of crapware known as OpenOralOrg out and use a proper office-package again.

Re:Requires Sharepoint Server? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15389082)

Not exactly misleading. You just have to misread it. At any rate, you will need the SharePoint server (can anyone say point of failure?) in order to use some of the biggest features Microsoft is touting. I am not sure why people are so eager to spend money on this? Does anyone know?

Re:Requires Sharepoint Server? (3, Informative)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389136)

he major change in Beta 2 was the introduction of Office SharePoint Server.' This means that Sharepoint Server is required,

May be misleading but so far if you want to utilise all the features of this office package you will probably need:

Exchange
Share point
Rights Management
Active Directory

Plus the associated CALS, and OS licenses, the technical staff, the hardware and the training for your user base. Oh and there are NO alternatives for use with MS Office (correct me if I am wrong), Personally I'd rather build my own out of the bits that are available in OpenSource land, use the features that I (my company) needs and lump the rest, but thats not everyones cup of tea. All I really want in life is Visio for linux, or a decent clone, preferably with the network architect toolkit or similar.

I'll live in hope or maybe I should learn a real programming language and spend some time...

I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (2, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388866)

Here's a laundry list, but I don't think the stains will come out:

  • For example, the Home ribbon in Word offers shortcuts for the clipboard (cut, copy, paste) and font formatting (font and font size, underlines and superscripts and so on) -- the kind of everyday tasks most of us use in Word. If you click inside a table, Word presents a special ribbon with just table options. When you move away from the table, the ribbon disappears. It's a good example of providing help right when you need it and staying out of the way when you don't.

    This is an extension of the abstration of the chevron menus... alter the user's environment based on usage. It doesn't work. I've used environments like this and it takes getting used to. You think it was confusing trying to show people how to use Microsoft products when the pulldown menus changed seemingly randomly? Wait until their "ribbons" change based on cursor position.

  • For instance, the Heading 3 style icon shows a small, plain (that is, not bold) font. These style buttons work in tandem with a "what you see is what you get" feature. Select some text (or an entire document) and hover over the Heading 3 style icon, and Word immediately applies the Heading 3 style in a "preview" mode...

    Hover mode for tooltips, maybe. But this will confuse users. I think it's clever, but I don't need clever. Also: ..., The preview mode is also available with other icons in the ribbon, such as font and font size, but oddly not for the paragraph-control icons.... So, a potentially confusing behavior (feature) of the new WORD is inconsistent. So, for those who recognize and like the style "preview" can be confused by the styles not given preview stature for their icons.

  • Excel 2007 now supports over 1 million rows and over 16,000 columns per worksheet.

    WTF? If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database.

  • (From the Slashdot article): And the apps all work together better than before. From the article: 'The major change in Beta 2 was the introduction of Office SharePoint Server.' This means that Sharepoint Server is required, but it also means more & better collaboration and advanced search abilities are supported.".

    Microsoft trots this out every new release. It's never turned out to be true, it won't be true this time. Microsoft does however get the added benefit of requiring yet another additional piece of software (SharePoint Server) tying customers more tightly with the Microsoft leash.

    NOTE: do not confuse greater interaction functionality with work together better. This is an important distinction.

Go read the seven page article. It describes an ugly mess of a new suite of products. When customers ask for simpler, noone listens, at least not Microsoft. For example, you want simplicity? You now must choose from one of seven bundling options (sounds like the new Vista): Basic; Home and Student; Standard; Small Business; Professional; Professional Plus; and Enterprise.

The listed prices range from $149 (student) to $499 (Professional Plus) with no price listed for the required SharePoint Server (volume licensing only). Oh, subtract $170 or so for the upgrade version.

If you or your company considers this, get ready for more incompatiblities with previous generations, and retro installation of plugins. That's okay within a company (to some), but think carefully about the impedance mismatch with the rest of the world.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

bryan_is_a_kfo (976654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388897)

> WTF? If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database. It's not the people in IT you have to worry about, it's analysts with 1MM row datasets. At first my thought was "the horror of a 1MM row spreadsheet! blashpemy!... but now I'm thinking at least they wont be as tempted to us MS Access..

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388910)

WTF? If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database.

The problem isnt having 1 million rows available but that the current 65k row limit is not enough.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (2, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388926)

WTF? If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database.

But I REALLY need to let Nina in Corporate Accounts Payable be able to =SUM(A1:A1000000)...

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389076)

FWIW: =sum(A:A) is a little more "future proof."

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (2, Funny)

ahsile (187881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389128)

Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment.
Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment.
Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment.
Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment.
Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment.
Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment.
Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment. ...

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388927)

"WTF? If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database."

It's not the IT guys you have to worry about, it's the beancounters.

/recovering accountant here.

And yes, we had several databases that started as an useable Excel spreadsheet and blossomed into ridiculous rowcounts. And no, management wouldn't let us convert to a real database, Excel was the only approved file format in accounting.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (4, Interesting)

christopherfinke (608750) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389113)

It's not the IT guys you have to worry about, it's the beancounters.
Exactly. My wife just called me from work (she's an accountant) and asked if I knew how to get around this error: "Spreadsheet is full." I asked her how many rows it had: "About 100,000." Apparently this isn't that uncommon...

Spreadsheets != DBs AND DBs != Spreadsheets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15388936)

If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database.


So those guys in R&D doing basic signal analysis should be demoted because they're using excel to plot some quick-and-dirty graphs using the 1M data points they've collected? Interesting.

Re:Spreadsheets != DBs AND DBs != Spreadsheets (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15388985)

So those guys in R&D doing basic signal analysis should be demoted because they're using excel to plot some quick-and-dirty graphs using the 1M data points they've collected? Interesting.

Well, as OP said, anyone in IT, so the answer to your question is "No".

Re:Spreadsheets != DBs AND DBs != Spreadsheets (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389011)

Yes, probably. Right tool for the job.

If you're on a construction site and you always use your crowbar to drive nails, expect to get fired. It might work in a pinch, but it is deffinately NOT the right tool for the job.

Any sort of analyst plotting a million data points knows the right too for the job, and here's a hint: It's NOT a spreadsheet.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (5, Funny)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388960)

The listed prices range from $149 ... subtract $170 or so for the upgrade version

Sold!

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (0)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388967)

All that's missing from your rant is the line, "Just get OpenOffice 2.0. It's free".

Sheesh. A lot of those features look really awesome and could work great together if utilized with Sharepoint. I'm not a fan of having to buy a 2nd Microsoft product to produce the best productivity from the 1st one but it _is_ rather cool. I've seen several of the demos on Microsoft's website and, if utilized the way M$ advertises will help me immensely with several regular tasks.

And if anyone upgrades their enterprise to this new version without getting rid of the older version(s), well, they need a new IT director. You _always_ upgrade everyone / everything at once to the same version. Anomolies should be kept to a minimum.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15389029)

So, how much DOES Microsoft pay you astroturfers to post this sort of thing? Just wondering, as I'm looking for a new income stream.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389103)

Yeah, this new Office might be "improved" for you, but what about people who are not comfortable using computers? That's the majority of the population, last time I checked, by the way...

Many people who currently use Office have memorised what they need to click on to do a particular set of tasks rather than having learnt how to use a GUI to do any task. For these people, the new Office will be unusable without them being trained how to use a computer all over again.

The original poster is right. Microsoft don't seem to understand the needs of their users. It's absolutely incredible that they don't, but it seems to be the case. Big UI changes should be a no-no, but I suppose it is rather difficult to improve a program without changing the UI.

We're not arguing that the new Office isn't improved for people who can use it, but that it will be a distaster because lots of people won't know how to use it.

Monolithic cultures are vulnerable (1)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389121)

And if anyone upgrades their enterprise to this new version without getting rid of the older version(s), well, they need a new IT director. You _always_ upgrade everyone / everything at once to the same version. Anomolies should be kept to a minimum.

I work at a company with well over 25,000 employees. Way to plan for catastrophic failure and massive support problems. I think we will pass on this dictum of yours -- based as it is on the presumption of incompatibility, which we really ought not to be accepting.

Like any monoculture, IT monocultures are vulnerable to attack, as well. Not that someone using Windows would have any trouble with that...

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15388983)

WTF? If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database.

It is not so much about the million as increasing the limit of 64k. That said, even if the data is in a database, dumping them to Excel for flexible end user analysing/pivoting/reporting is not without merit.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

poster.poster (976298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388986)

Excel 2007 now supports over 1 million rows and over 16,000 columns per worksheet.

WTF? If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database.


This is what I've been waiting for. I write programs that deal with scientific data and this issue has come up again and again for pretty much everyone that uses our data. I try my best to force things to use databases, but sometimes it just doesn't work with the way the current environment is built...and when that happens, the current limits of Excel make the job completely suck. This reason alone is the reason that I'm excited for the next version to come out.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389189)

I wonder if there's a market for a spreadsheet that uses database-style storage and memory management. Sort of of half-way between Excel and a real db. It could include all the shiny mathematical, statistical, and financial functions of a spreadsheet, with a spreadsheet interface but take advantage of a database style backend. And of course there would be a shiny "Migrate" button that would convert your spreadsheet into a SQL db (or alternatively, have two interfaces the SQL style and the spreadsheet style to the same data.)

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (5, Insightful)

jxyama (821091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388998)

>WTF? If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database.

You are aware the previous limit in Excel was 65k rows. There's a lot of area between 65k and 1M which is handled better by a spreadsheet rather than a database.

MS expanding the limit (granted 10 years overdue) and offering the flexibility is a good thing no matter how you may want to spin it otherwise.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (5, Interesting)

mikesmind (689651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388999)

The listed prices range from $149 (student) to $499 (Professional Plus) with no price listed for the required SharePoint Server (volume licensing only). Oh, subtract $170 or so for the upgrade version.

While this may be slightly off-topic, hopefully it is interesting. Someone I know at work was looking to buy a used copy of MS Office. I suggested that he download OpenOffice.org. When I asked him about it a week later, he told me that he had downloaded it and was now using it. OpenOffice.org did everything he needed it to do and he really liked the price tag!

Now I will try to relate this back to the topic at hand. Now that Microsoft is radically changing Office, it is a great time to switch to OpenOffice.org. The interface is close enough to Office, that retraining is minimal. It is questionable how many companies will use the collaboration features. Generally features are used as justification for upgrading but often the additional features are not well-utilized.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389137)

You're right. The collaboration features will be too complicated for the majority of office workers. Imagine someone who isn't comfortable using computers trying to understand what CVS does and how the CVS system works. I'm sure Microsoft have tried to make the collaboration as simple as possible, but if it's too simple, it won't be powerful. If it's powerful, it won't be simple.

A collaboration tool that is both simple and powerful is extremely difficult to do, if not impossible. At best, companies might be able to train computer illiterates to make it work more or less by accident. More likely is that people will just use internal email, as they currently do for collaboration, though.

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

guitaristx (791223) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389022)

Yes, apparently Office products are tons more feature-rich [userfriendly.org] than their open-source equivalents....

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389101)

WTF? If I've got anyone in IT putting 1,000,000 rows in a spreadsheet, I'm seriously considering demoting them. If you're going to have a million rows, get a database.

If anyone spent that long to implement an upgrade to a paltry 1M x 16K spreadsheet size, I'd seriously consider demoting them to janitors.

One more version. (1)

hullabalucination (886901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389159)

Basic; Home and Student; Standard; Small Business; Professional; Professional Plus; and Enterprise

I've heard that there is also going to be an Iconoclastic Demagogue version for the folks who don't fit into any of the other catagories.

* * * * *

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.
--Groucho Marx

Re:I guess it HAS to be better to sell it (1)

thePig (964303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389171)

The listed prices range from $149 (student) to $499 (Professional Plus) with no price listed for the required SharePoint Server (volume licensing only). Oh, subtract $170 or so for the upgrade version.

Ooh!! Are they going to pay me then if I upgrade to a student version ??
Should I do a deal with the devil -- sell my soul for $21 ...
---What the heck!! Soul cant buy be 2 med sized pizzas...
YYo Vista ..

Re:There is a reason for this price (1)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389192)

You stated this suite is an ugly mess, but I must disagree. Microsoft's reasoning for making the Office product suite so large is to assist businesses. If you don't require anything beyond a basic spreadsheet and word processor, why did you purchase MS Office? Word Perfect and Quattro Pro work fine if you want to spend money, or download one of the free substitutes. The public confuses this product as something they need, instead of as a major business productivity enhancement. MS Wordpad is fine for the Junior High book report. The public is asking for simpler because nobody is learning the new features! By using SharePoint with office, you can implement a decent document library system in minutes. I guess just look at the rest of the features and see why they charge so much for this.

My point is, if it doesn't suit your needs, don't purchase it. But please don't dog on an otherwise decent product. I do have to agree on your comment about Excel spreadsheets though :-)

first post (-1, Offtopic)

sjhawtin (970024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388867)

first post

Re:first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15388964)

1st response for a lame post

No one cares. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15388876)

Really.

million-row spreadsheets (5, Insightful)

bryan_is_a_kfo (976654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388877)

if your data set is a million rows, you probably want to consider using something other than spreadsheets. I'm fond of the current limit on excel, it forces analysts to think about their tool selection sometimes.

Re:million-row spreadsheets (1)

poopie (35416) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388909)

I'm guessing that they plan to use sharepoint server with a database backend and ODBC on the users' spreadsheets to allow users to treat databases as spreadsheets. Spreadsheets really are an intuitive inteface for updating data. Distributed storage of critical data is the dumb thing.

But... we all know that what is going to end up happening is that .xls files will grow from 400mb to 45gb with embedded videos, dynamically updated rss tickers inside of cells, and a million rows of junk formatting with different background colors, fonts, outlining, and custom ribbon menus.

Re:million-row spreadsheets (2, Funny)

bryan_is_a_kfo (976654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389030)

I think you just described a new circle of hell, I could hear faint shrieking in my head as I read that.

Do you have any kind of basis for the distributed data assumption? That doesn't seem like an easy feature to sell to consumers, let alone the MS developers who would have to implement it...

Re:million-row spreadsheets (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388931)

I am routinely foiled by 00s 32,000 limit and my version of excel's 64,000 row limit. In bioinformatics, I frequently see files that exceed 64,000 rows. For any real analysis, of course you use other tools but you need spreadsheets if you want to quickly look at a large tab delimited text file to see what's what. I look forward to the increase and hope the OO people will at least go to 128K.

Re:million-row spreadsheets (1)

bryan_is_a_kfo (976654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389004)

no matter what arbitrary limit is set, someone is going to hit the boundry and be upset because they could use "just a little more". I hate recommending the use of something like Microsoft Access, but it's hard for me to imagine Excels interface actually help you accomplish much with tens of thousands of rows of data - that couldn't be accomplished much easier with a query tool. Of course if the tool works for you, then keep on rockin' it. Inspecting big delimited text files is ridiculously easy in a tool like Access if you've never tried it, just fyi.

Re:million-row spreadsheets (1)

Biff Stu (654099) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389023)

How about data analysis software geared for scientists such as Matlab or my favorite, Igor Pro [wavemetrics.com] ?

Re:million-row spreadsheets (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15389071)

I guess you've never used a spreadsheet, know what it's used for, or understand that it's far more flexible and easier to put together than a custom app with SQL.

People who don't use Excel in real-life situations love to parrot these brainless "if you need that many rows get a DB" responses.

Re:million-row spreadsheets (1)

bryan_is_a_kfo (976654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389117)

I work with both databases and spreadsheets to pay the bills. They serve very different purposes, I dont have much to say other than what a friend once told me in the early days of my developer when all I knew was perl on Linux

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

If you're dealing with sizeable datasets on a regular basis, it helps to know the tools that were designed to handle them.

Re:million-row spreadsheets (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389162)

I guess you've never used a spreadsheet, know what it's used for, or understand that it's far more flexible and easier to put together than a custom app with SQL.

If you're using Excel, chances are the first thing you think of when you hear "database" is not "make a custom app with SQL".

I use Access and Excel everyday at work, and I couldn't imagine working with the huge tables we have in Access in just Excel. The data is just too much to comprehend all at once, but with Access you can chop down the data with queries and other tools to see exactly what you want (and then export that to Excel, to show everyone else). While you can do some of the same things in Excel, it's much faster and simplier just to do it in Access.

People who don't use Excel in real-life situations love to parrot these brainless "if you need that many rows get a DB" responses.

Maybe you don't use a DB in real-life situations and so you don't know how powerful it can be?

All You Need To Know: (3, Interesting)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388887)

"Ribbons" = "Tabs"

Re:All You Need To Know: (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389033)

No, they aren't actually, making them potentially more problematic since there is a now proven likelihood that people will confuse the two.

try it for yourself... (4, Informative)

theheff (894014) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388888)

The public beta 2 is actually availableto the public today. [microsoft.com]

Re:try it for yourself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15389057)

Looks like their server is having problems (site responds alright, however the download page times out), must be running on Windows...

Re:try it for yourself... (4, Funny)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389066)

The public beta 2 is actually availableto the public today.

Well, it was available, until you told slashdot...

Re:try it for yourself... (2, Funny)

wbren (682133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389096)

I downloaded my preview weeks ago from this website [thepiratebay.org] .

Ribbons! (0, Flamebait)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388889)

They sound revolutionary:
For example, the Home ribbon in Word offers shortcuts for the clipboard (cut, copy, paste) and font formatting (font and font size, underlines and superscripts and so on) -- the kind of everyday tasks most of us use in Word.
*snort*

Seriously - MS, openoffice is carving away the "Office 97 provides all our needs" segment & the collaboration market you're so eagerly chasing is... well lets say I don't think its got the potential you think it does.

I have a request tho' - I'd like the click+scrolly wheel zooms in a different direction for word & ie bug fixed. Please?

Re:Ribbons! (2, Funny)

CyberSlugGump (609485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388957)


Ctrl+scrollUp in Internet Explorer 7 beta now matches the behavior in Office 2003 (zoom in). Let's just hope that someone didn't "fix" Office 2007 to match IE 6....

article is.... (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388891)

spread out over seven pages. Why don't we get a warning for that in the summary, like we do with sites that require registration? like "SITE.COM[in desperate need of increased pageviews]"

Re:article is.... (1)

frostfreek (647009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389148)

No kidding.
Every page is 90% ads and crap, with the text in a teeny little column.
The animated ads were too distracting to bother reading past 2 or 3 pages.

Argh... (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388894)

This is going to confuse every single non-technical user on the planet, while benefiting pretty much no one. I can hear the questions now: "Where did they put the File menu?"

1 million row spreadsheets? (1, Flamebait)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388898)

Bigger spreadsheets are available in Excel -- over 1 million rows and over 16,000 columns per worksheet

what kind of a jackass ....? use a fucking relational database! I don't want to think how blazingly slow that big of a spreadsheet would be, not to mention any dataset that large is going to almost certainly be something that is supposed to be used by more than one person at a time

Re:1 million row spreadsheets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15388945)

Uhh..no. Get a clue. I've been waiting for a larger spreadsheet for a while. I don't want to have to teach my collegues to use a db when all they want to do is =A1*B1 down a column. We have datasets closing in on 100k rows but all we do with it is reduce it down to a report friendly format. So basically once and done with it. I don't want to use a db for that. Don't be close minded on the tools availiable to you.

Re:1 million row spreadsheets? (2, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389084)

That's fine, as long as you realize you're using a hack...you are absolutely NOT using the 'correct' tool for the job here.

It may work, and it may be done a lot, but there are actual tools for doing this sort of thing.

Part of the problem though is that a lot of people believe that every tool available for use on a computer is to be found in MS Office, somewhere. It's not.

To prove this, here's a thought excercise for you: Given the raw data you're crunching in excel briefly...describe how you would come to the same end result WITHOUT A COMPUTER. Would you pull out a ledger? Didn't think so. It's the wrong tool for the job.

Now, what people should keep in mind though, is it isn't _always_ wrong to use the wrong tool for the job. Sometimes the wrong tool works good enough or the right tool is too expensive or complicated or limited in it's availability for use. It's just usually wise to know when this is the case however and not start believing you are using the 'right' tool when you aren't.

The problem is, MS knows this very VERY well. Thus, MS Office products are chock full of every conceivable 'feature', hoping that you'll find a way to do what you need to do somewhere in there without going to someone elses software...damned if it's the right tool or not.

Re:1 million row spreadsheets? (3, Informative)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388975)

I'm one of those J-A's Thank You Kindly. Data analysis in memory and the ability to chart interactively is the reason for this feature. If I have the GHZ, cpu's, and the RAM, I do not want no stinkin' SQL crawler to beat my hard drives to sift through relational cruft if I can have my data right there in memory where I need it. Tables are for payroll records - my statistics (probed network data and FFT sensor inputs) are simple but numerous and the old limits meant having to right C++ code to crunch and graph/chart this in real time.

Clippy! (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389055)

> Bigger spreadsheets are available in Excel -- over 1 million rows and over 16,000 columns per worksheet
>
> what kind of a jackass ....? use a fucking relational database! I don't want to think how blazingly slow that big of a spreadsheet would be, not to mention any dataset that large is going to almost certainly be something that is supposed to be used by more than one person at a time

It looks like you are trying to implement a relational database in Excel!

Would you like to...

  • Add another 100,000 rows to the worksheet? (You're my kind of jackass!)
  • Use a fucking relational database? (but not MySQL or Oracle!)
  • Suck it, Ellison! [forbes.com] , and don't show me this tip again or I'll throw a chair at you. (I'm still bitter about the year you beat me.)

Actually, it is useful. (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389104)

what kind of a jackass ....? use a fucking relational database! I don't want to think how blazingly slow that big of a spreadsheet would be, not to mention any dataset that large is going to almost certainly be something that is supposed to be used by more than one person at a time

Actually, this is kind of handy despite what you are thinking. I once had to chart a large amound of data that was just x and y values. I needed to dump that data into some statistical program just to seperate it into useable values. A specialized program designed for processing data couldn't handle all of that data. Then again this was a special occasion.

Re:1 million row spreadsheets? (1)

cyngus (753668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389151)

You'd be surprised what Excel is used for. I know for a fact that a certain very large insurance company relies on Excel sheets and macros for some of its policy price calculation tools. I'm not saying its right, I was shocked as well, but the fact is that almost everyone knows how to use Excel and the knowledge required to move a macro-based Excel application to even use Access is large (and Access is nearly useless on 1M rows).
One point that is missed here is that the previous limit (65K rows) was ludicriously small for a dataset by today's standards.

Re:1 million row spreadsheets? (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389152)

Office workers don't know about databases, and I very much doubt any of them want to know about databases.

Re:1 million row spreadsheets? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389165)

There's a lot of people on /. getting off and feeling high and mighty by recommending the use of databases for damn near anything involving numbers. I have the (mis)fortune of working with large datasets sometimes for financial analysis. Hundreds of Excel tabs...hundreds of small companies under one umbrella. The fact of the matter is that despite the great quantity of data, I don't always need the complexities of a database app. The data is going to be swirled around and looked at from many different angles. If anything needs to be aggregated or searched, there are incredibly simple formulas that can be used.

Re:1 million row spreadsheets? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389204)

I had a customer that used Excel to create a timeline for a major construction project. Nothing but dates and timelines. I told that was what MS Project was for, but he was happy with Excel. All 64,000 rows of it.

yuck! (2, Insightful)

Garabito (720521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388900)

UI looks like MSN Messenger!

Developers on Suicide Watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15388930)

I heard that the level of depression on the Office team is so bad that many have had to seek professional counciling. There are been a number of attempted suicides and most of the team just wants to leave.

Look and Feel (3, Insightful)

charleste (537078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388923)

Is it just me, or do these new "ribbons" look alot like Apple Works? I RTFA, and it didn't seem to justify upgrading for the average user - which although a geek, I include myself (I still prefer my text editor!). Office 2007 appears to be Office 2000 (98 too) with a tighter leash to M$, with a few bells and whistles most people won't use.

Re:Look and Feel (1)

icensnow (932196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389080)

Is it just me, or do these new "ribbons" look alot like Apple Works?
Agreed, except that Apple Works begat iWork, and these ribbons look like the Inspector to me.

Re:Look and Feel (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389188)

Meh. I still use Word 5.1a. Is going to suck when I switch to an Intel Mac.

more than a desktop app (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388939)


People are going to think of ms office as much more than a set of standalone desktop applications, and more of an end to end system.

This makes sense in this day, and is a very effective way for MS to retain traction. The fact is that while the diversity of non-MS and particularly open source solutions is great, it's also a huge detraction since many people may choose an almost as good, almost as open solution over a confusing array of alternatives.

The last time I dabbled in the MS world, it wasn't particularly cohesive, but I have to wonder if MS is making strides with everything less "hack-y" under the covers. I notice more cohesion in the open source world as well, and am looking forward to what the future may bring in terms of rich content editing and collaboration, which will surely be exciting as long as the milieu remains open and competitive.

Non-standard UI (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388953)

On the one hand, people complain about how Swing "looks funny" on Windows. Meanwhile, every damn release of Office has Microsoft deviating further and further from their stock UI...

The appearance is rarely the complaint. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15389051)

Having developed a number of Swing-based applications used internally at an insurance company (by people in various departments), the main complaint was not about the look or feel of Swing. Instead, most users complained how long it took to start up the apps, and how slow unresponsive the GUIs would be.

In short, most of the complains were those that are leveled against Java in general. I'm well aware that a decent Java VM with a JIT compiler can outperform C++ in some cases, and that fairly fast Swing interfaces can be created with much care and effort. However, in the real world we don't have weeks to fine-tune and optimize our Swing UIs.

It is good that Microsoft is willing to experiment with this new UI approach. They do have the resources to do so. If it turns out to be beneficial, then similar work can be done on OpenOffice. If it turns out to be a major hassle for most people, then OpenOffice is already ahead. Either way, it will be a useful experiment, for both Microsoft and the open source community.

There hasn't been GUI hegemony within the Windows community for ages. At least with Windows 3.1 it was mostly the Common Controls and OWL. But since Windows 95 we have had some GTK+ apps, Java-based apps, WinForms apps, iTunes, WinAmp, RealPlayer, and a host of others with their own GUIs. There hasn't been a consistent GUI on Windows for over a decade.

..fairly fast Swing interfaces can be created (1)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389100)

HOHOHOHOHOHOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHEEHEE...Snort.. Sniff, whew! Stop it. Your killing me.

Re:The appearance is rarely the complaint. (3, Informative)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389186)

However, in the real world we don't have weeks to fine-tune and optimize our Swing UIs.

And you really don't need to. I find it astonishing the way that criticisms of Swing that were fair 4-5 years ago are still being repeated. Swing has been fast since the later releases of Java 1.4. Swing has no performance issues on Java 1.5, and Java 1.5 apps start fast (I have just opened JEdit on my laptop PC. It started up faster than IE or Acrobat on the same machine. The menus and controls are instantly responsive).

If you have any issues with performance, get an up-to-date Java. Java 1.5 has been around for 18 months - there is no excuse!

Re:Non-standard UI (1)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389098)

It seems the MS Office team are the only group within Microsoft that provide any meaningful UI and usability innovation, and it's the type of innovation that is sorely lacking on Windows.

The whole MDI thing with its bunch of tiny, rearrangeable menu bars with tiny little buttons was a bad idea in 1991, and it's bad today. And the menu bar only makes sense when it's attached to the top of the screen. If it's attached to the window then there's absolutely no reason to constrain it to a single like of text.

I am by no means a big Microsoft fan, but I really like what they've done with the Office UI. It should have happened a long, long time ago.

WTF (interface changes)? (4, Interesting)

linguae (763922) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388973)

Right from the start, you'll notice the most significant change to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and many screens in Outlook 2007. Gone are the familiar toolbars and menus; they've been replaced by "ribbons" that house a variety of buttons, icons and graphics (see Figure 1). The ribbons have a dual purpose: to highlight features that users are likely to use most often or want most (but have trouble finding), and to promote features at the point they're most useful.

WTF? But I like my menu bars and toolbars, thank you very much. Menu bars has been a part of Windows since 1985 (and the Mac since 1983 thanks to the Lisa). I think most users would have a hard time understanding "ribbons"; I don't like it when programs try to be "smart" and hide features away from me. There must be an option to use the old menus and toolbars in Office 2007; if not, then I'm not buying it.

I find that Vista and Office 2007 seems to change menus around and get rid of long-standing GUI features for no apparent usability reason. What's wrong with the old Windows interface? To me, the Windows 2000 interface was the perfect user interface; I still use Classic on my Windows XP partition, and even my KDE desktop on FreeBSD is reminiscent of Windows 2000. I used Vista for a while; I'm not too impressed. Microsoft can take my copy of Office 2000 (I'd still happily be using Office 97 if somebody didn't give me his upgrade disks) and Windows XP when it pries it from my cold, dead fingers. When XP and Office 2000 become obsolete, I would have long switched to FreeBSD and OS X with OpenOffice by then (I'm already a FreeBSD user, too; I just need to buy a Mac to make the switch complete).

Why must they change the interface when the old one worked so well?

Re:WTF (interface changes)? (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389090)

Why must they change the interface when the old one worked so well?
To differentiate their product from Openoffice.org.

Hiding unused features: Catch-22 (1)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389164)

I don't like it when programs try to be "smart" and hide features away from me.

Me too. I've never run into anyone who wants the menu items they don't regularly use to "vanish" or be available only when you choose to manually expand them. We all hate this feature. It doesn't simplify things, it complicates them by making us guess where everything is. Duh. Hint to MS and anyone else: When it's a feature we rarely use, we want to be able to find it on the occasions for which we do need it.

Another hint: people don't honestly need a "cut" and "paste" icon on your ribbon or toolbar or whatever. Even the people who use those wouldn't miss them much. Heck, Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V and so on are among the only UI elements that are relatively consistent across windows apps.

Now we've got "ribbons" and right-click menus and so on all changing according to contexts that we can't always guess at. Do I have a set of "paragraph" options for this text in my table, or will this border be for the table cell? Ack. Pfft.

Re:WTF (interface changes)? (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389179)

Imagine trying to sell a new version of Windows/Office that looks exactly the same as the previous version of Windows/Office. They have to do something to make them look different.

Re:WTF (interface changes)? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15389209)

Why? Because you are not the target audience. You are a furry toothed hairy little man who can't live outside his comfort zone and doesn't like anyting "newfangled". This is designed for the average cube-drone to be able to use. The new interface is about making the software discoverable and making easy things fast, hard things easy and WTF stuff possible. Something FOSS has yet to grasp as an important feature.

Having actually used the product, unlike the rest of the fudraisers in this thread, it does all that very well.

TAP User (2, Informative)

pkcs11 (529230) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388980)

My company is a TAP and early adoption program member.
Been using Office 12 for about 2 months and so far I've got mixed feelings. The GUI is, well, pretty....people see it and immediately want to beta test it but then get all pissy when Outlook tasks won't synch up with their PDA.
Its nice, but is far from stable.

XPS? (3, Insightful)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15388990)

So Word 2007 introduces yeat another obscure acronym?

What the hell is XPS?

Google says X-Ray Photoemission Spectroscopy [google.com] . That is it's ony result, and it is taken from the place I would have gone next: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XPS [wikipedia.org] .

Wow... (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389010)

This new set of MS software (Vista, New Office) that they've been working hard on for the last 5 years looks really impressive! It can even beat.. I dunno.. Intel Itanium CPU in adoption speed and popularity! Good luck to them!

(Long sound of ship-horn. Bubbles) /me goes to Apple store to salivate a bit more over higher-end MacBooks

why bother? (3, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389012)

I mean, there's nothing there that OpenOffice hasn't had for like -3 years.

Re:why bother? (1)

RangerRick98 (817838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389131)

I mean, there's nothing there that OpenOffice hasn't had for like -3 years.


OpenOffice.org! So advanced the software has features from 2009!

Given all the rant about new features... (4, Insightful)

jxyama (821091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389016)

I assume OO.o won't be "copying" any of them, correct?

Re:Given all the rant about new features... (1)

jxyama (821091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389043)

Obviously, I'm being a flamebait. However, at least in the UI aspect, I haven't seen anything new in OO.o and it is the most significant change in this version of Office.

If it's well received - my experience is that it definitely improves feature discoverability - will OO.o copy the UI or invent something new?

Re:Given all the rant about new features... (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389194)

What's the obvious thing to do?

If MS's new approach works better, then it only makes sense that OOo -- KOffice, and Lotus -- will follow suit. These projects need to be useful to ma and pa kettle, and if they expect an MS clone, they'd better get one.

Difficult Styles (1)

outZider (165286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389019)

If there is one thing Apple Pages got right (and trust me, there is only one or two things), it's the implementation of styles. I don't think I ever touched them in Word until Pages made the whole thing a lot clearer.

The scary thing is that the concept isn't exactly foreign to me -- anyone who has used CSS knows the principle. I just can't believe I ignored it for so long.

Compatability and support (1)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389028)

Like many consumers, the only reason I'd buy this is I wouldn't want to risk compatability issues in the arms race of upgrading to the latest technology. Similarly, the only reason I'd buy SharePoint is to use this software. I'm not going to buy it because I think it will make me so much more productive to justify the cost.

I think when a company has this kind of leverage over consumers, it should be considered anticompetitive and illegal. What's the downside to tightening the threshold of the definition of monopoly?

It's all about the target audience... (3, Insightful)

ndykman (659315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389063)

I'm sure there will be lots of interesting commentary here on Office 2007, and I'm sure a lot of it will be along the lines of "New interface is goofy/sucks/bad for users/too different/etc." and/or "OpenOffice rules, why go MS?" and so on.

Which is all fine and good. Really. But the changes in Office aren't targeted at power users. In fact, it probably is true that the new UI will frustrate power users. So, why did MS bother?

Because for every power user, there are 100s of regular users. They want to do more with Word, Excel, etc, but have a hard time finding the features they want. So, this is the first step in this direction. It won't be perfect, but what does do is break from tradition in some interesting ways.

Believe me that MS has been sticking this in front of users and doing usability studies. And I'm willing to bet that enough regular users think that the new UI isn't so bad, that it's pretty cool after you get used to it, and it's easier to find features and play around with them.

All the live preview featues and ribbon bars and so on are to make it easier to regular users to goof around with changes without making them permanent. Also, remember that this is Beta2, so it isn't clear that all the live preview features are in yet, so it could very well be that paragrpah sytle previews will be in the final product.

Finally, I think it is important to note something about the ribbons. The ribbons don't change. This is not the custom menu idea, where menus "adapted to users" whihc just translated to stuff moved on the menus, and you don't know why. You choose a ribbon, you get the tools for that ribbon period. They don't move around.

Will it work? Hard to say. But I like the idea that the idea of Office applications is being looked at in a fresh way.

Re:It's all about the target audience... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389170)

Put down the bong pipe and walk away.

Apperantly you have not read the comments about newbies using the new UI. This is in no way for them. It will be harder for them to use. Why...

BECAUSE THEY CHANGED THE LAYOUT!!!

People expect things to be a certain way in Word. Now Microsoft changed that. Who exactly is this suppose to be easy for? Someone who has used Office 2003-2000-'97? Anybody who has used a previous Office product will be at a lost. Hell anyone who has used ANY Windows program won't know what to do because the UI has changed!

Now you may pick up your bong.

Longstanding problems fixed? (4, Informative)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389064)

McCullough and Wilson wrote a paper about Office back in 1997 which ripped Excel to shreds on its statistical accuracy and random number generation. They reissued the paper in 2002 [acm.org] , and Excel still had the same problems in Office2000 and OfficeXP. Many of the worst problems were still there in Office2003 [informs-cs.org] . Have they actually fixed the horrible errors?

Some interesting new changes in word (4, Informative)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389073)

1) Word's default font is now Calibri, not Arial. Calibri is a highly readable font.

2)The File menu is gone; now you have to somehow guess that the big icon in the upper left corner is its replacement.

3)The "most recently used" list is no longer limited to the last nine files

4)Track Changes now won't flag as "different" text that is simply moved, which is smart.

5) Ability to export documents to PDF and to their own pdf-like format, whatever that is.

Ribbons sound like Office for the Mac (1)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389085)

These "Ribbons" sound like the changing palettes in Office 2004 for the Mac. I hate them. Because the palettes change, you have different functions in the same place depending on what you're doing. This makes it very difficult to get used to where you need to put your mouse. It's for that reason that programs are supposed to grey out menu items rather than change the menu - you get used to locations for a specific item and can quickly navigate there. Menus have the advantage of being out of the way, displaying the keyboard equivalent, etc. Palettes are great for tools that need to display visual feedback (such as a color picker), not as replacements for menu items. Look at Photoshop - practically no menu items are duplicated in palettes. Yet again, Microsoft shows a lack of understanding of basic human interface elements.

Training costs = One Platform (2, Insightful)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389106)

me: "Why can't we use Macs or other word processors at least?"
IT: "training costs. Costs too much to show people how to use different software. that's why we're all Office and all microsoft."

"training costs" excuse.... we hardly knew thee...

Outlook requiring Exchange? (2, Interesting)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389127)

From 2007 Microsoft Office Release System Requirements [microsoft.com] :
"Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 or later required for Outlook 2007 users."


So they are still trying to lock everyone into Exchange?

I predict this will not work. If the email in Outlook 2007 doesn't get much better IMAP support, I will push harder in my network to abandon it and replace it with Thunderbird or something else. And if the Outlook calendar doesn't fully support iCalendar for import, export AND remote WebDAV/CalDAV calendars, then it will not be hard to convince users that the limitations of Outlook are much worse than the bugs in Sunbird or Google Calendar.

Re:Outlook requiring Exchange? (1)

whichpaul (733708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389178)

Yeah, I'm hardly holding my breath to see improved IMAP support! :-P

Makes my documents LOOK GREAT! (2, Funny)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389155)

Wow! I can't wait for all these great new features that Office will let me do to make my documents look great!

1. Change my fonts.
2. Change my font sizes.
3. Tell Word where a picture should sit on the page (c00l!)
4. Change my margins (I never new I could do that!)
5. 1 million rows in Excel so I can finally tell my database to kiss off.

All this and more with a great, sure-to-be-lagless preview as I mouse over EVERYTHING!

But don't take my Word (tehe) for it. This video [microsoft.com] tells me how my documents can LOOK GREAT!

OOo Delay? (1)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15389203)

Damn, we won't get the ribbons until 2017! I may as well go out and buy copies of Office 2007 for all my OpenOffice-using friends now!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?