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Microsoft Quietly Offering Ad-Funded Version of Works

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the nielsen-ratings-are-next dept.

Software 122

mikesd81 writes "News.com reports Microsoft has finally started offering an ad-funded version of Microsoft Works in some countries. Users who run the software see a small ad as they are writing their document or editing their spreadsheet. Although the program has the ability to update its set of ads online, today it runs mostly ads for Microsoft and a few partners, all of which ship with the product itself. Microsoft remains cagey on the details of where you can find Works SE. The company has been testing Works SE in 5 countries: The United States, France, Canada, Poland and the United Kingdom. It is available only through select computer makers and Microsoft won't say which computer makers those are. However, it seems Sony is offering it in the US."

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first ad-funded trout! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23128986)

This post brought to you by Microsoft Corporation. I am a fish!

Works? (5, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23128990)

It still exists?

Re:Works? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129046)

Seriously! The last time I saw someone use Works was 1997. Pretty much everyone is just using Office these days.

Re:Works? (3, Funny)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129114)

Wrong question.

The right one is "It works?"

Disclaimer: this is not a flamebait. I just spent half a day fighting to convert a document produced with this oxymoron into something that could be read.

Re:Works? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129142)

OOo couldn't read it?

Re:Works? (0, Troll)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129326)

Pfft, have you ever tried opening a complex Office or Word document in OO.o? As awesome a product as it is, it's downright lousy for handling things like image filters and pixel-perfect positioning on Word documents. It tries, yes, and sometimes it does OK, but it's far from perfect.

Re:Works? (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130226)

Pfft, have you ever tried opening a complex Office or Word document in Microsoft Office? As awesome a product as it is, it's downright lousy for handling things like image filters and pixel-perfect positioning on Word documents. It tries, yes, and sometimes it does OK, but it's far from perfect. That's because Word actually lays out the page according to the printer driver that happens to be default on that particular PC today. So Word is, quite literally, not compatible with the same version of itself on the same operating system.

Re:Works? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130650)

So, how to get full consistency... LaTeX editors, maybe?

Re:Works? (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130864)

ODF does in fact aim to get format consistent between different ODF implementations - so if your document uses ODF that works in both OOo and KWord (which are completely independent implementations), your document should be identical between the two, and if it isn't there's a bug in one or both.

Re:Works? (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23133046)

Nope. In fact none of the Microsoft Office apps can open it without a special converter which is buggy and fails on a lot of the formatting.

Re:Works? (2, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129154)

That's a well known PC oxymoron -- "Microsoft Works"

Re:Works? (1)

xOneca (1271886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130096)

Microsoft Works
I would say Microsoft doesn't work a lot. M$ does a lot of copy/paste, but that isn't "to work".

Re:Works? (4, Funny)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130188)

Speaking of oxymorons and innuendo and such: did anyone notice the rackspace ads running on the top bar here on slashdot?

..its going that extra mile, reaching a little deeper

If you need a partner, it's Rackspace!
No comment.

Re:Works? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130436)

You think that's odd? I've seen ads for Microsoft products on Slashdot.

Re:Works? (1)

ilikepi314 (1217898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129198)

Not only that, but amazingly people still use it!

We had a secretary just a year ago or so that got a new laptop that only came with Works, so she would email out documents as Works files, which no one could open (even Office complains about it!).

Finally a few of us confronted her, saying we couldn't open her Works files, and we tried to get her OpenOffice to make it easier.

Her response was "Well, Works came with the computer, it's good enough and I don't want to go messing with it." As far as I know, she still uses it. UGH! At least she isn't secretary anymore.

Re:Works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129726)

Her response was "Well, Works came with the computer, it's good enough and I don't want to go messing with it." As far as I know, she still uses it. UGH! At least she isn't secretary anymore.
So she's your boss, now?

Re:Works? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130476)

A valid counter-response: WildTanget used to come preinstalled on a lot of PCs as well. Is that also good enough to "[not] want to go messing with it"?

Re:Works? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23131026)

Her response was "Well, Works came with the computer, it's good enough and I don't want to go messing with it." As far as I know, she still uses it. UGH! At least she isn't secretary anymore.

Indeed, I can't imagine any sane manager who would listen to IT opinions from his secretary. "Either you use what I tell you to use, or you are free to go and work for someone else. It's not just the matter of me being evil, it's mostly the fact that I can't read what you write. Makes you kind of useless here, eh?

Of course it does (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129924)

It still does more then what 95% of the public needs. Its cheap, and does the job.

Though i saw the latest version the other day and it looks pretty hokey with all the wizards..

Re:Works? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130102)

It's up to version 9, even.

Microsoft Works (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23128998)

Is that like "military intelligence" or "jumbo shrimp".

worst for portability (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129018)

MS Works is currently the #1 trouble child for us to do data migration from older systems.

Re:worst for portability (5, Insightful)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129260)

To be honest I'd never suggest it with OpenOffice available in this day and age it just makes no sense. The value of Microsoft products in compatibility and when you can get a more compatible product for less money Works has no reason to exist except for widespread ignorance of the existence of OpenOffice.

Re:worst for portability (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129864)

What's funny about that is that I've used OpenOffice to convert Works documents to Office documents.

Re:worst for portability (1)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23132554)

Which in my experience is a royal pain to try to do with Office when everyone who's not a geek loses their disks.

Microsoft Word supports Works (0)

osssmkatz (734824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129972)

umm.. you are aware word supports it, right?

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HP011881161033.aspx [microsoft.com]

also, sun's converter tool may help.. keep in mind that you can convert anything to pdf and then from pdf to almost anything if you really need to. I read about it.. but did not bookmark it.

Is it perfect? No. Adequate for most things? Yes.

Huh? (2, Interesting)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130510)

I've heard about converting document formats to PDF, but how do you convert to a document format from PDF?

Re:Huh? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130794)

Acrobat Pro lets you edit PDF documents, and from there you can export to a different format.

Re:Huh? (1)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 6 years ago | (#23132664)

Umm... KWord can do that...

What about already existing alternatives? (5, Informative)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129030)

In other news, Open Office is being offered WITHOUT ANY ADS for all platforms :-)
http://download.openoffice.org/index.html [openoffice.org]

Re:What about already existing alternatives? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129074)

Other alternatives don't make MS money. And it may be leaner than OOo. Not that I would touch it with even a virtual machine.

Re:What about already existing alternatives? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129296)

In other news, Open Office is being offered WITHOUT ANY ADS for all platforms :-)
And unlike Microsoft Works, it can actually read Microsoft Office documents.

Re:What about already existing alternatives? (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23132946)

In other news, Open Office is being offered WITHOUT ANY ADS for all platforms :-)
And unlike Microsoft Works, it can actually read Microsoft Office documents.
I'm confused. Have you (and the moderators) used Works recently? I haven't (recently), but an easy-to-find "How to" article on Microsoft's support site says Works does read Office documents (Word and Excel, at least).

From the article "File formats that are supported in Works 9" [microsoft.com] :

  • Works 9 Word Processor
    You can open the following file formats in the Works 9 Word Processor:
    • Works Documents (*.wps)
    • Works Templates (*.wpt)
    • [snip]
    • Word (Asian Versions) 6.0/95 (*.doc, *.dot)
    • Word 2.x for Windows
    • Word 2007 Document (*.docx)
    • Word 2007 Macro-enabled Document (*.docm)
    • Word 6.0/95 for Windows & Macintosh (*.doc)
    • Word 97-2002 (*.doc)
    • Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)
    • [snip]
    You can save files in the following formats in the Works 9 Word Processor:
    • [snip]
    • Word 2.x for Windows
    • Word 2007 Document (*.docx)
    • Word 6.0/95 (*.doc, *.dot)
    • Word 97-2002 (*.doc)
    • Word 97-2002 & 6.0/95 - RTF (*.doc)
    • Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc)
    • [snip]

    Works 9 Spreadsheet
    You can open the following file formats in the Works 9 Spreadsheet:

    • [snip]
    • Excel 97-2007 (*.xl*)
    • [snip]
    You can save files in the following formats in the Works 9 Spreadsheet:
    • [snip]
    • Excel 2007 Workbook (*.xlsx)
    • Excel 2007 Binary Workbook (*.xlsb)
    • Excel 97-2003 (*.xls)

Re:What about already existing alternatives? (5, Funny)

dacut (243842) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129584)

Anyone want to help fund an ad for OpenOffice on MS Works?

Re:What about already existing alternatives? (1)

Dash Hash (955484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130638)

Even though the parent has been modded as "Funny" it is actually a pretty decent idea...

But... There is a minor conundrum with it...
On the one hand, purchasing ad space on MS Works will be giving money directly to Microsoft.
On the other hand, it would be a potential loss of money for Microsoft over the long-term, if people start using OO.o as opposed to MS Works (losing out on the advertisement revenue).

I think I'll have to do a bit of digging to see if doing something like this is actually feasible, and how much it costs...

Re:What about already existing alternatives? (1)

matthewslf (1276110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23131300)

I'm in if you can find a way.

Re:What about already existing alternatives? (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23131724)

I find it unlikely they'd accept your ad.

Re:What about already existing alternatives? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130118)

In other news, Open Office is being offered WITHOUT ANY ADS for all platforms :-)

In other news an entire office suite Open Office not only is without advertisements, it opens many more formats, saves in a open standard format, is multi-platform, and free. There, Fixed it.

Re:What about already existing alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23132990)

You irritate me. I'm sure that you've contributed very little if anything to the OSS community, yet you're one of the people who feels the need to troll posts like this with "oh but I can get it for free" posts. Microsoft - a commercial organisation - is not going to release open source or free versions of its software unless its got a good (commercial) reason. We all know this, we all use Open Office. Shut up. Feel free to espouse the values of OSS when you're actually helping the model work.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129040)

It's a $40 piece of software. I would rather them release an ad-ridden version of Microsoft Office 2003 Pro. THEN it would be worth it to deal with the advertisements.

"This resume brought to you in part by: Neutrogena. Neutrogena: We don't know what this stuff does, but women keep buying it!"

Re:Seriously? (1)

SirMeliot (864836) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129086)

Does anyone actually pay for it? I've only ever seen it as part of the shovelware you have to remove from a new computer.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Dash Hash (955484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130654)

You pay for it with the computer, just like you pay for Windows with the computer.

It's a pity we, as consumers, don't have access to a line-item list of everything we get nickel-and-dimed for; it would be truly shocking, I think, if we did.

Re:Seriously? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23131918)

Actually, I'd love for that to happen just so all the whiners could see how much of their new Dell or HP is subsidized by the shovelware.

Maybe then, they'd shut up and format their system upon receipt like a good customer should. They might also give independent builders like myself, just a little more respect.

If I had the option of getting paid to install crapware, I'd offer it to my clients and pass along the savings with a smile, or maybe I'd use it as punishment for the few jackasses that try to haggle me on the cheapest piece of shit system I begrudgingly sell.

Here's a hint: when you get Windows preinstalled on a big-name computer, the cost of that license is under $40. Microsoft isn't in it for the money, they're in it for market share. With some suppliers, the cost is even lower. Microsoft would rather lose money on Windows, than lose a seat to Linux/Apple, because that "free" OS will generate sales for big ticket items such as Office, Visual Studio and maybe a few games. That's why they fought to get it on the Asus EEE.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129370)

"I would rather them release an ad-ridden version of Microsoft Office 2003 Pro. THEN I'll install the ad-blocker patch that turns up on Teh Internets a few days later"

FTFY

Re:Seriously? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130134)

It's a $40 piece of software. I would rather them release an ad-ridden version of Microsoft Office 2003 Pro. THEN it would be worth it to deal with the advertisements.

It's a $40 piece of software. I would rather them release an ad-ridden version of Microsoft Office 2003 Pro. THEN it would be worth it to some people to deal with the advertisements.

There, fixed it.

Old News (2, Informative)

Paiev (1233954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129070)

See http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=615 [zdnet.com]
This has been going on for a while. My Sony laptop from December '07 came with this. It should be noted that the ad-funded version is available only to OEMs.

In other news... (4, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129072)

The COBOL-Standard Committee is said to have released an advertisement supported version of COBOL.

Placement??? (2, Funny)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129092)

I bet the ad floats RIGHT over the cursor. Gently bobbing around as you type.
(Don't worry, it'll be mostly transparent, so you can sorta see what your typing.)

Re:Placement??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129144)

Actually, I thought the new idea was that the ads get embedded in whatever you're working on, and refreshed when you load the file, 10 minutes have passed, and when you print your work..

Re:Placement??? (1)

Paiev (1233954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129218)

The ads are in fact in things like sidebars, clogging up your interface but not your actual document.

It's okay, Microsoft... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129096)

We already have a free version of Office here:
http://thepiratebay.org/tor/3895091/Microsoft_Office_2007_Complete_Version___CD_Key [thepiratebay.org]

Re:It's okay, Microsoft... (1, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129588)

Please do not post links to pirated versions of Office 2007 in full view of the community. In future, please direct them to Office 2003 as it's much simpler to use.

Re:It's okay, Microsoft... (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130540)

We already have a free version of Office here:
http://openoffice.org/ [openoffice.org]
Fixed.

Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (3, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129098)

Is there anyone else besides me whom Microsoft Office 2007 drives completely bonkers? I have never had the gross misfortune of using such an unfriendly POS of an office suite, in my life. The only reason I did use it, was because I had to include some Powerpoint slides into a .ppt file prepared by my boss - so I HAD TO use the company-wide office suite - MS Office 2007 - even though otherwise we are quite free to use whatever we prefer. So I use OO.o usually and just publish my works in .pdf.

Anyhow, it was a traumatic experience. "Where the eff is "Save as"? And how do I insert a slide? OK, how do I center-align this text? No, I don't want to insert Wordard or multimedia clips, thank you. Just a slide. And then save the file under a new name."

For me, the value of an office program, like for example Powerpoint or Impress, is in the speed I can create the presentation (for example) and how good it will look in the end. OO.o Impress is more than adequate in that sense - Powerpoint 2007, well, it failed me. Same with OO.o Write vs Word 2007 - plus the added argument that OO.o creates standstds compliant documents which I will be able to open with a reader of my choice or own creation in 40 years from now. But yeah, the fact that I can create it quickly and without logic-killing brain-damaging consequences is the greatest value.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (2, Interesting)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129158)

Personally I use Office 2008 (for mac) where the GUI is very similar to 2007 and I do find the GUI counter-intuitive at times.

However that's far from my main beef about it.
Office 2008 (not sure about 07) has a HUGE memory leak problem.

If I use it for a long time (including putting my computer to sleep, so like 24 hours), it sometimes uses 2GB of virtual memory. Yeah, that's right, 2GB for a 50kb document. Of course, under such conditions you have to expect the occasional crash.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129314)

Office 2008 does have a menu bar with things mostly where you would expect them to be (on a mac).

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130242)

Actually, I used Office 2008 for Mac, and the interface is considerably more sane. It's different enough from Office 2007/Windows, that I didn't have any problems finding the various stuff and edit a fairly complex scientific document. The only (big) problem was that once I converted it to .pdf, the formulas looked like ass. Later I was told that it's a known bug and that when it does that, I should close Word and restart it, and do another conversion and then it usually the formulas look OK.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (2, Informative)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129186)

Coming from somebody who uses Office daily, whether I like it or not, I was in agreement with you for a while. Until I got used to the new interface. It is really greatly improved. Sometimes I hunt for a function still but on the whole it's now much more intuitive and easier to get to features without having to scroll through an endless series of drawdowns / pop-outs / more drawdowns.

Anyway it's about time they did something new with Office. For the longest number of years I was hard-pressed to see any advantage in upgrading between Office 97 - 2003, except for some useful things in Outlook.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129714)

Fat, Fatter, Fattest. How much hardware do you need to type a letter? MS Office Has gotten just to bloated to work well. sluggish overly complex and easily broken by

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130626)

So, how do you manage to make charts without the chart wizard? The chart wizard was (and is) the most appealing thing in Excel for me, and consequently its removal was the most frustrating thing that I experienced in the short time I used Office 2007. In the 97-2003 days I could make a chart in about 2 minutes or less thanks to the wizard and some minor post-processing. In 2007 it took me at least 15-20, assuming I didn't just give up and try on another office suite.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23132988)

It shouldn't take 15 or 20 minutes to make a chart in Excel 2007.

Highlight your data. As I'm guessing you're aware of, all the different chart types have their own button under the "Insert" tab of the ribbon. Want a bar graph? Highlight your data and click the "Bar" button. You're done! 2 minutes => 1 mouse click.

Need more nitpicking stuff? It already brought you over to the "design" tab. Pick out colors, choose what kind of legend and axis labeling you need, add error bars... They're all hidden behind one or two mouse clicks.

I'm curious... Was there something in the chart wizard that you simply can't do now? I hated it because 9 times out of 10 I really didn't care about all the screens it made you answer to, "like minor X and Y axis labels."

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23131966)

Agreed. My initial reaction was shock and frustration, but it quickly subsided once I got the hang of the Ribbon. Now I like it, and 2007 has brought a few tweaks and improvements to common tasks like charting and sorting, that make me life much easier.

More importantly, most new users find 2007 very friendly and quick to learn. It's us veterans that are afraid of change. It's far from perfect, but for a dramatic shift in UI design, they got it pretty good for a first iteration. The next version will hopefully address the power-user woes and make it even better for everyone.

Worst case, if there's something you absolutely hate about the new version, install both 2003 and 2007 on the same machine and switch where needed until you figure out a new workflow.

Since you asked... (2, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129436)

Outlook 2007 has some rather interesting features. Typing in the middle of a paragraph - when the cursor crosses the line wrap the cursor is sometimes moved to a semi-random place in the text. That took a little getting used to. The last editor I used that had that problem -- well, I wrote it myself. :-(

The "invisible text" in HTML emails bug is still present too. It's a holdover from O97. You would think they would fix that. Some people feel that having some of the text of their emails randomly deleted or rendered invisible somewhat hampers their productivity.

And, like Microsoft Works, Office2007 cannot be completely uninstalled. If you get the trial version or ad supported version as crudware you're stuck with it forever.

It's shocking that quality like this became the market standard.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129446)

Anyone else see this post as a way to bash Microsoft? slightly off-topic?? BS. Completely off topic, adds nothing to the thread. I bet you're the type that can't find his socks unless they are in the same drawer.. top one.. you know.. the dresser your Mom got you when you were eight..

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23131976)

You must be new here.

We bash Microsoft every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Sundays we bash Apple, and Wednesday is OSS-recognition day. Mondays and Fridays we just beat off to SuicideGirls while Zonk posts a bunch of dupes.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23132596)

Comon, somebody pod parent funny. Although, I usually beat off to SuicideGirls while reading /.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (0, Flamebait)

HillBilly (120575) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129752)

The learning curve from previous versions of MS office to MS office 07 isn't that steep, if after a little while you are still having trouble its probably a sign of mild retardation. Sorry.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129886)

Interesting then, that all three of us are mildly retarded, and yet we are all young researchers. Kinda hard to survive in nanotech research while being retarded.

Could it be that Microsoft just fscked up? I submit to you as a possibility that Microsoft has just shuffled around the interface in order to justify the publication of a new office suite, when there was nothing to "improve on" anymore.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129932)

Anyhow, it was a traumatic experience. "Where the eff is "Save as"? And how do I insert a slide? OK, how do I center-align this text? No, I don't want to insert Wordard or multimedia clips, thank you. Just a slide. And then save the file under a new name."
Really? You're joking, right? Maybe I'm special or something because it took me all of 5 minutes to go through all the programs and figure it out.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (3, Informative)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130674)

Office 2007 (with the "ribbon") is the biggest thing to happen to the Office suite since Windows 95. Quit whining that they moved the buttons around just that tiny little bit - I found features and said "Oh, wow! I wish that was in other versions of Office, too!" only to realize that it was - I just couldn't find it until now.

When you start Powerpoint (or any part of Office 2007) for the first time, the little round Office logo in the top left will glow and a pop up will tell you "Here is where the Save As button is!"

Couldn't find the "new slide" button? When you start PowerPoint, the ribbon will be on the "home" tab. There's a giant button that says "new slide."

Same thing for center-aligning text. Even with the ribbon, it's the same icon, in the same spot, as every other version of Office since they went to a GUI.

Save as? Big round button. Center align? Hasn't moved. New slide? Big button labeled "new slide." Hardly "logic-killing" or "brain-damaging." And, you can always have PowerPoint or Office save things as PDFs or JPEGs or bitmaps or what have you, and Microsoft Word has supported RTF at least since Windows 3.11.

And, if it's what your employer expects you to use, and gives it to you freely, suck it up. The learning curve really isn't that steep.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23131988)

I found features and said "Oh, wow! I wish that was in other versions of Office, too!" only to realize that it was - I just couldn't find it until now.

Examples?

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23132944)

I never knew about "PivotTables" in Excel until it was the first button under the "insert" tab. Turns out they're kinda the biggest reason to use Excel. (Granted, I don't use it much.

Ditto for automatically captioning pictures with "Figure x" in Word - I never knew it was there until it popped up in a context menu one day as I was preparing a lab report.

I also knew Word had some kind of revision control - "That's when you double-click the wrong button and all the text shows up red, right?" - but I didn't know you could do nifty things like accept/reject changes until they had their own buttons under the "review" tab.

There are a few more things that I forget. But, I don't do much word processing, and never did know much about the features Word has (had) - until they were so helpfully arranged that I might see them. I'm sure other people feel the same way - Heyyyy, didja know they added pivot tables in the new Excel?

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23130886)

Whu... wha???

"Where the eff is "Save as"?

Click the biggest, most obnoxious button on the screen. You can't possibly miss it.

After that, look for the iconic image of a piece of removable storage that doesn't exist anymore... just like every other office suite.

And how do I insert a slide?

You're kidding right? New Slide.

OK, how do I center-align this text?

Hit the button with the lines that look like centered text, just like in OO.o.

No, I don't want to insert Wordard or multimedia clips, thank you.

Then don't click that.

What is this, some kind of joke? I could almost understand some of the Excel stuff... but c'mon.

Re:Slightly OT: Microsoft Office 2007 (1)

a.ameri (665846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23132570)

Office 2007's ribbon interface has a very steep learning curve. I completely understand how someone moving from Office 2003/OOo.org can initially get lost in it. It looks overwhelming, and so different to what we are used to.

Give it some time, however and you'll soon be won over. After a week of using it, there was no way I could go back to previous versions of office. How many times have you looked at a menu item in Office 2003/OOo and not know exactly what it's supposed to do until you click on it? Well, that would never happen with ribbon. The interface is so intuitive, so easy to comprehend.... it's a major advancement in productivity suite UI design in my opinion.

My main qualm with Office 2007 (and Office for Mac 2008) is that they are not 100% compatible with previous versions of office even in compatibility mode. Even when you try your best not to use any of the newer features that can not be saved using the old formats, the resulting file always has some minor incompatibility when it is opened in Office 2003 (and Office for Mac 2004). I was working with a group on a presentation last week, and we were using these 4 different versions of office, and we had a hard time interchanging the documents...

Related News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129136)

In a related story, people are still using Microsoft Works.

Awakening From a Haze (1)

LEMONedIScream (1111839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129140)

Oh wow. What exactly is Microsoft Works?

I can already feel the effects of this raw food diet I've just begun; my mind has already started to feel much clearer!

Oh the questions that arise,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129152)

Does it require/use an internet connection? Are the ads served up in relation to a keyword search? Does it embed ads in output? How long before it is cracked and made to serve up porno ads etc? When are they going to start including technology from this experiment into other MS products?,,,

The list of questions goes on of possible/probable issues with this. The public needs to be better educated on their options in the software arena as they have already proven time and again that they will accept adware/spyware without much apparent concern to its effects on their privacy, security or computer health.

Re:Oh the questions that arise,,, (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129196)

The list of questions goes on of possible/probable issues with this.
No, there is only one question:
How fast does it uninstall?

Re:Oh the questions that arise,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129390)

The list of questions goes on of possible/probable issues with this.
No, there is only one question:
How fast does it uninstall?
The time could be quite excessive particularly if you have to edit the registry etc or remove auto-reinstallers. It would be amusing if it flat refused to be uninstalled because you haven't viewed enough ads yet, which would stop Joe Sixpack from uninstalling it himself generally. If you read the rest of that paragraph perhaps you would thought more along the lines it suggests, "how do we get the public to reject such nonsense to not only not install it themselves but pressure OEMs into not installing such annoyances?"The list of questions goes on of possible/probable issues with this. The public needs to be better educated on their options in the software arena as they have already proven time and again that they will accept adware/spyware without much apparent concern to its effects on their privacy, security or computer health.

Re:Oh the questions that arise,,, (2, Funny)

Dash Hash (955484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130756)

Does it require/use an internet connection?
Not only that, but to protect your children from those horrible, horrible online office suites, we use 95% of your bandwidth at all times!

Are the ads served up in relation to a keyword search?
Yes, but don't worry, we've made deals with companies who use bogus adwords to ensure that you never see something you would care about spending money on (unless it is our product!)

Does it embed ads in output?
Of course! This is just to help you get some income from the documents you create, so you can buy the /real/ version of Works (disclaimer: there is a 100.1% tax of all income earned by you immediately upon later viewing of our ads).

How long before it is cracked and made to serve up porno ads etc?
This unreleased product (yeah, yeah, I know) is the most secure product we have to offer! There are only 23,987 known bugs!

When are they going to start including technology from this experiment into other MS products?
Well, if the EU would just LEAVE US ALONE (HINT! HINT! GO AWAY!) WGA and OGA would be giving you a perfect demonstration right now!

The list of questions goes on of possible/probable issues with this.
No issues exist! As we said, this is our greatest offering ever!

The public needs to be better educated
NOW WAIT JUST A GOSH-DARN MINUTE! What is this "education" you are talking about?! How DARE you attempt to make our shee-, er, customers aware of ANYTHING but what we tell them!

The rest of your post deserves to be ignored! Propaganda! FUD! Slander! Libel! SUE SUE SUE! DON'T MAKE ME PICK UP THAT CHAIR YOU'RE SITTING ON!!!

Hi! I'm clippy! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129162)

You might remember me from informational presentations such as "Hi there, are you writing a letter?" and "Are you sure you want a comma there?" and I'm here to talk to you about a wonderful new kitchen product!

Re:Hi! I'm clippy! (1)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129226)

best... ac... post... evar

Re:Hi! I'm clippy! (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129362)

so funny. Mod post funny! (AC or not)

Why bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129208)

Why would anyone bother with Works? Seriously?

The things you miss out on... (1)

insanechemist (323218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129236)

when you wipe the hard drive and reinstall the OS right after receiving a new computer.

Oxymoron (1)

malanoche (1275088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129248)

Come on... "Microsoft Works" ? I wouldnt say so...

Other ads too? (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129264)

Nice! I would like to set OpenOffice.org or GNU/Linux ads there, who I need to take contact on Microsoft and how much I would need to pay about that, approximation?

why? (1)

Republican Gun (1174953) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129276)

Why? Open office is much better than works, word, word 2003, word 2007....

YuO FaIl It (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129282)

his clash with of OpenBSD versus show that FreeBSD our chances private sex party slings are limited,

Desperation? (3, Interesting)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129344)

Seemingly OpenOffice.org makes good inroads in OEMs, so Microsoft have to do something to compete. But ad based Microsoft product is rather stretching. I mean, no offense, but it is very hard and annoying to use Microsoft products _sometimes_. Ads means additional annoyance.

Anyway, it is interesting step to watch and smells like testing waters before rolling out full ad-based Microsoft Office out.

Re:Desperation? (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130390)

it is very hard and annoying to use Microsoft products _sometimes_. Ads means additional annoyance.
"I see you're trying to write a letter, press this advert to continue so you lose your train of thought."

Sounds Interesting but.. (1)

tylerni7 (944579) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129448)

Does anyone know what the ads are based off of? Are they random ads paid for by large companies, or are they based on what you're typing? Also, does this mean you have to be connected to the internet every time you want to write something, or will it download ads onto your computer? I suppose either way there are negative sides to this, but it is free, so for those that haven't heard of Open Office and don't want to shell out $40, this will be a good alternative.

Weather it WORKS or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23129750)

it is still a pile of shit.

Microsoft has been trying to strangle Works (2, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129778)

... for a looooong time, but someone always screwed up the strangulation by reminding everyone just how much money it brings in. This looks like yet another strangulation attempt.

Ick (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129920)

Need i say more?

Old news (2, Informative)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23129958)

My Packard Bell machine came with ad-supported Works bundled. I bought it on New Year's Eve, so the fact it's taken four months for this to appear on the front page of /. astounds me.
And yes, it sucks far more than previous versions of Works.

Works sucks without ads (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130104)

Works can't compete against Open Office without ads. I can't believe anyone would be happy to have an ad based version.

And why would a company want to risk alienating customers with placing ads in a computer they just bought?

Having said that, the amount of BS pre-built computers have on them anyway and the fact consumers seem to enjoy getting half of the performance out of their machine they should get because of that leads me to believe customers won't care and would enjoy taking it up the back side from MS.

Hi, there! (4, Insightful)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23130162)

"Hello, I am calling you to see if you wanted to advertise on our exciting new advertising medium targetted at skinflints who will use crap rather than fork out any money! Hello? Hello?"

Works adware NOT eligible for Ms office upgrade (1)

dugndog (617883) | more than 6 years ago | (#23132720)

Not mentioned anywhere is the fact that regular Works is eligible for MS office upgrade BUT adware works is NOT. Which could be a potentially significant cost difference if you need MS office. And yes, our Sony Viao came with the adware version of works, not the regular version.
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