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Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the roses-or-the-ribbons dept.

Microsoft 291

CWmike notes a review by Preston Gralla of the soon-to-be-released Microsoft Office 2010. "I review plenty of software packages throughout the course of a year, and it's rare that I come across one that I believe will truly make a difference in the way that I work or use my computer. With Office 2010, which recently hit RTM status, it is one of those times. The main attraction, as far as I'm concerned, is the Outlook makeover that makes it far easier to cut through e-mail overload and keep up with your ever-expanding group of contacts on social networking sites. There's also an improved Ribbon that now works across all Office applications, and some very useful new PowerPoint tools for giving Internet-based presentations and handling video. Question is: Is Office 2010 good enough to stop the defection to Google Apps? Some large enterprises are seriously considering jumping from Exchange to Gmail, or already have, reports Robert Mitchell. The final version of Microsoft Office Web Apps, the Web-based version of Office, isn't yet available but is expected before summer."

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first! (-1, Offtopic)

pyster (670298) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096372)

:P

Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected (3, Funny)

MancunianMaskMan (701642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096378)

yes but is it dead yet... Otherwise that would be too cruel, even considering it's only a MS product and not some sentient GNU software

With Apologies to Bill Hicks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096432)

With Office 2010, which recently hit RTM status

Please, PLEASE tell me this stands for "Read The Manual"? Then again, imagine what would happen to the computer repair industry if users started doing that. Why, it'd fuck up the economy!

Re:Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096476)

Otherwise that would be too cruel

Don't worry.

Any "dissection" of Microsoft products by Preston Gralla will be so gentle it'll seem like a product endorsement.

Strange that...

Re:Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected (4, Interesting)

mantis2009 (1557343) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096494)

I've been using the Office 2010 beta for a while now. If you're using Office 2003, it's worth it to upgrade. If you're using Office 2007, don't bother.

Re:Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096780)

I am using '07, care to elaborate? (Visual Studio 2010 is a very nice step from VS 2008, so my irrational mind assumes Office 2010 will also be decent improvement from Office 2007)

Re:Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected (5, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096806)

Am I the only one left that hasn't been eaten by the "If we force it and make them look at it often enough they'll eventually like it, no matter how bad" syndrome that seems to be affecting everyone with regards to that stupid ribbon?

Re:Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096878)

It's true, but you've mis-named it. It is the "If people actually use it instead of simply whining about something they don't know anything about, they actually *like* it" syndrome.

Ya know, it's the same one that affects fanboy's of all products... Those folks who complain about drivers in Linux? About how "hard" it is to use a Mac... or complain that the ribbon is unusable. ;)

Re:Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected (1)

dtmos (447842) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097104)

No. [slashdot.org]

Re:Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096828)

What does office 2010 do for the AVERAGE user that office 2003 (or hell, 2000) doesn't do? I can't even name one person in my company that needs anything more than office 2000.

Well... (5, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096560)

as long as Outlook continues to encourage top-posting and HTML formatted content, and discourage quoted reply trimming, it will still suck.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096658)

I used to agree with this...but now that I have spent more time in a business setting, I can say that there are very real reasons why top posting and html email make sense.

Hell, while I usually leave it in the default html mode, there are times when I switch it to RTF mode so I can control things like where attachments show up in the email (like you can do on internal network emails in lotus notes). Sure, I know not to send formatted stuff like that to unknown email clients outside the company, but 95% of my emails never leave our exchange server so I know for a fact that every feature is supported.

\

Re:Well... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097078)

I think HTML is sometimes useful (although I don't like how Outlook does it -- too often it 'forgets' that I'm trying to type in blue and reverts to black, or messes up indenting).

But what benefit does top-posting give?

I can say that there are very real reasons why top posting and html email make sense.

Re:Well... (0, Troll)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097150)

"I used to agree with this...but now that I have spent more time in a business setting, I can say that there are very real reasons why top posting and html email make sense."

Then fail to provide any reasons why top posting would make sense.

Re:Well... (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096794)

Agree, I don't think that the people designing these email apps even read email or understand the basic UI concepts of reading electronic systems.

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096898)

as long as Outlook continues to encourage top-posting and HTML formatted content, and discourage quoted reply trimming, it will still suck.

Jesus Christ. 10 years later, and we're still having this argument?

Give it up, dude. Usenet is dead, top-posting is the norm, and everything supports HTML. Only a select few chose to trim their bottom-posts, which usually just meant lots of scrolling.

(In any event, threaded conversations a la GMail are clearly the way forward)

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096900)

Top posting makes sense. The history is there, but the most recent message is automatically displayed first. You know, the bit you want to read.

I know scrolling to the end of an email is hardly difficult or arduous, but it's one less thing for the Computer Users, None Technical to think about.

Re:Well... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097088)

The history is there, but the most recent message is automatically displayed first.

The mail client could easily do that for bottom-posted stuff.

Re:Well... (1)

cc1984_ (1096355) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096970)

Really? I don't mind it so much.

as long as Outlook continues to encourage top-posting and HTML formatted content, and discourage quoted reply trimming, it will still suck.

'Shill' (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096666)

I notice this story already has the 'shill' tag, its funny how Linux geeks love to call everyone else 'sheep', but are bound by group-think more than anyone else on Slashdot.

google apps doesn't have BI on demand (1, Offtopic)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096386)

the new trend in business intelligence is using Excel to manipulate data in a cube so the users don't bug the BI developers for new cubes

Re:google apps doesn't have BI on demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096544)

Aren't hetro or homo developers up to the task of creating new cubes?

Re:google apps doesn't have BI on demand (3, Funny)

Riskable (19437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096550)

I don't know what you're talking about... people have been sitting in cubes manipulating data in spreadsheets for decades now.

Is there a classic mode? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096388)

"There's also an improved Ribbon that now works across all Office applications"

I don't care, unless there's a "classic" menu mode I'll stay with OpenOffice or older MS Office versions. I know some people like the ribbon, but I really, really hate it.

Re:Is there a classic mode? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096420)

Speaking of OpenOffice, I find that MS Office is really bad at being consistent with the visual formatting of documents. I can create a document in OpenOffice and when I open it in MS Office, the formatting is wrong. Hell, even documents created in MS Word display differently in different versions of the same product!

Until MS can create a word processor that can consistently render a page *as it's meant to be displayed*, then I don't think it's ready for prime-time...

Tom...

Re:Is there a classic mode? (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096562)

Exactly, the only thing that would make me even consider a new microsoft application is if they provided a way to show normal menu's and hide that obnoxious ribbon. I can not even stand the new paintbrush, it is horrible.

Re:Is there a classic mode? (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096674)

Use OpenOffice then.

Re:Is there a classic mode? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096978)

I know some people like the ribbon, but I really, really hate it.

I have never liked the ribbon for Excel or *cough* Access as I was always trying to hunt down under which context sensitive section I could find what I needed. But late last year I was using a 3rd party graphics drawing program that used a ribbon. And to my surprise I actually like how it was done. So now I am of the opinion that a ribbon interface *can* be a good idea, but that not all programs can benefit from it.

Re:Is there a classic mode? (0, Offtopic)

genghisjahn (1344927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097020)

Dad?

Re:Is there a classic mode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32097116)

Who?! Who doesn't like they ribbon?!

Cooking analogy 101 - Outlook (-1, Troll)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096406)

You can take a turd, slice it, dice it, spice it, mince it, chop it, fry it, "dissect" it, etc... you still have a turd! I prefer to sit back and watch it get beaten around to see what critical errors arise, but in the end I'm always glad I chose another operating system that at least gives me a command line instead of a blue screen.

Re:Cooking analogy 101 - Outlook (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096458)

I don't know. Microsoft finally has some serious competition now, and they have to take care of the quality of their products. I like the ribbon in Office 2007: if it's even better in Office 2010 I will buy that software package for sure. OpenOffice is not all good, you know.

Re:Cooking analogy 101 - Outlook (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096604)

- Microsoft finally has some serious competition now, and they have to take care of the quality of their products.

Well, it would have been nice if they had had that philosophy all along, Hopefully competition will bring out the best. I got burned out on Microsoft long ago. Open Office has it's challenges too, at least I can get involved in it's improvement.

Re:Cooking analogy 101 - Outlook (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096686)

It is their cash cow. We know that their Office monopoly is on decline, it is just a matter of time.

Re:Cooking analogy 101 - Outlook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096574)

Chef AC says, "Mix 1 cup of office, a dash of social networking, bake for 30 minutes, and every manager runs to the bathroom with diarrhea." Office? Social Networking? WTF is this? Teenage office temp girls gone wild?

I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a CTO (5, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096408)

...I can simply relate what things I believe and the things I hear from other CTO/CIOs regarding Google Apps and using Google Mail in a corporate environment. Everyone I know is adamantly against the idea. It isn't because there are technical shortcomings, it's simply because of liability and privacy. That's it, plain and simple.

The idea that our company would place our mail and documents, and the mail and documents of people communicating with us into the hands of another company who are not tightly bound by laws regarding retention and usage? Makes my skin crawl.

I wonder who the first company to be bought by Google will be using Google mail and apps while negotiations are ongoing? ;)

Thanks, but I'd rather only have to worry about the ISP, not the ISP and the Cloud. It's unfortunate because I have no interest in running mail servers, exchange servers, file servers, I just want to make software.

What A Fucking Moron (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096448)

"other CTO/CIOs"

LOL! You're nothing but some random fucking idiot.

He's not just some random idiot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096528)

he's the Ass Masher!

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096514)

"As a CTO?" I am curious. If you don't mind me prying, what company's CTO selects a Slashdot username of "Assmasher"?

Actually, now that I think of in a broader sense of what internet industry you may belong to, I withdraw my question.

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (0)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096572)

I hear from other CTO/CIOs that the clubhouse at the Belfrey does a particularly good cognac, and if you're a lifetime member they let you smoke indoors, regardless of the law.

In other words, there's a distinct stench of red snapper around here.

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (2, Informative)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096738)

LOL. Sorry, I'm CTO, Software Architect, and the lead developer for a company of less than 50 people. No rounds at Pebble Beach for me, I like beer (Warsteiner or Sam Adams Honey Wheat lately) and I drive a car that cost less than $30,000. CTO is my position because I was hired and report directly to the board, not the President, although I work with him closely. I get the work of both worlds, and the pay of only one ;).

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (1)

Knyterage (1365183) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096606)

My company has switched us over to Gmail from our exchange server. The client we used for our email, Pegasus, was a bear when it came to large files, and by large I mean 512kb plus. It would halt our computers till the file finished downloading. Due to the nature of my job in particular I receive larger files 3mb + on a fairly regular basis, for me using Pegasus was quite frustrating. The move over to gmail and google docs has been a delight. If I have a large file, I don't have to email it, just send a share request for others who need access to it. Over all I think it's a nice idea, but as mentioned, what happens when google sells out...

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (2, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096618)

Until we can use Google Apps on an Airplane, we'll be sticking with Office for Mac for the foreseeable future. There are things I like about Google Apps, especially when you need to share a document for editing during a conference call. But the privacy problem renders that to anything you don't mind your competitors seeing. And with the advent of better screen sharing tools, it renders those needs fulfilled for us.

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096670)

Don't Google also need to improve their reliability and guarantee data integrity? People have lost their email in the past due to Gmail disasters, with no backups to recover it from.

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096814)

Oh, I hadn't heard that Google had lost people's email. When was that?

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096890)

The first hit I found in Google was 2006: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/29/1558211 [slashdot.org]

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097098)

Ah, I see it, 60 users lost emails in December 2006.

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096920)

Don't Google also need to improve their reliability and guarantee data integrity? People have lost their email in the past due to Gmail disasters, with no backups to recover it from.

Yeah, this would be a pretty big news story. I'm not saying that I'm 100% sure that Google has never lost an e-mail, but I'm inclined to think that as someone who keeps pretty good tabs on the tech industry, that would have made my radar. And the simple truth is that I remember absolutely nothing about this.

Without some kind of citation or proof, I'm going to assume that this claim is totally bogus. But by all means, please do prove me wrong.

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096734)

Until we can use Google Apps on an Airplane, we'll be sticking with Office for Mac for the foreseeable future.

I thought that if you installed Google Gears [google.com] then you could use things like Docs in an airplane. They've dropped support for it currently [venturebeat.com] but I think that it was designed to store your documents and mail locally and then when you were "working offline" in the browser Gears would kick in and provide you the same experience and then sync up once you were back online.

I also personally believe that airlines will soon begin to offer in flight wi-fi but right now it's just a few where I live.

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097082)

Not only are you correct, but HTML5's offline functionality is supposed to let them do the same thing without gears, which is why gears is being permitted to die.

No different than other third parties (5, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096712)

I work in the IT group of a Fortune 100 company, and to be honest, I see little difference between using Gmail and other third-party companies. For example, we use Symantec as our mail filtering/virus scanning company. Every e-mail that comes to and goes from our company goes through servers located physically on their premises, and as far as we're concerned, it's a "black box" of a scanner--we don't know all the nitty-gritty details of what all they do when they're scanning our mail, we just know the end result. And it's a lot of mail--just the other day, our gateway crashed for a couple of hours, and they held over 14,000 e-mails for us while we worked on getting it back up.

Granted, I don't know what legal agreements we have in place with Symantec, but if you want to be paranoid, you could imagine all sorts of evil things they could be doing with all of that e-mail, and there are no telling what kind of sensitive information is being misclassified by the users and sent completely free and clear through their system.

At some point, though, unless you want to literally do everything in-house and never take advantage of the value-added services that third parties can provide, you have to suck it up and trust them not to screw you over. If nothing else, Google should know that all it would take is one major data loss or one gross breach of corporate privacy, and their Gmail service would pretty much be dead. Just as if we find out that Symantec has done something evil with our e-mail--even something that is legally allowed in the contracts--that their business would suffer a nasty hit.

At some point, the benefits of using a service like Gmail outweigh the risks that Google, a company with an excellent reputation, suddenly turns evil. As a CTO, your job isn't to sit around and dream up reasons why you'll never trust a third party; it is to assess those risks, reasonably compare them with the benefits, and decide whether it's worth it or not.

As a side note, I'm actually part of a large team of people who were recently outsourced by my former employer to a third-party IT services provider to handle all of the IT services for that former employer. So now, I'm on the direct opposite side of the coin that you're mentioning here. It's pretty well understood that if we do something to screw over my former employer--now our client--that it would not only cost us our careers, but likely cost all of our friends and coworkers their careers, too. We still have and require root access to almost every server and network device across the world. If you start dreaming up things that could happen in that situation without considering what you're getting in exchange for that risk, it seems on the surface a pretty stupid thing to do, but it's actually working really well.

And when you really think about it, just about anything you could dream up a third-party provider doing to you, I could dream up much, much worse your own internal people, with even less motivation, doing to you.

Re:No different than other third parties (2, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096892)

Your mail may go through a third-party server (which every single mail does that does not get sent to a local recipient - when I send out an e-mail it first goes to my ISP's server for starters), they are not responsible for storage/retention of your mails. I assume in your case Symantec basically acts as a relay for your network, storing mails only long enough to check for viruses/spam/other filtering and delivering it to your own mail server (from your mail I understand that you are still running your own local mail server).

If you think that this is comparable with using Gmail, you don't know what you are talking about.

Gmail stores your mails for you: no need to run your own mail server and store/retain your own mails. Granted you can (using POP/IMAP or so), the whole idea behind using Gmail is that you don't have to. If Gmail were to suddenly crash and burn, most of the people using it would lose all their mails. This includes many (mostly small) companies that do not wish to run their own servers - I do but that's mainly because it's my hobby.

Secondly, Gmail stores your e-mails and can be subpoenaed by the US government (to me a foreign government) to reveal those mails, and as I understand under laws like the patriot act do not even have to inform you that your mails have been disclosed. There you have a major privacy issue. The government may be able to wiretap Symantec or your ISP to listen in to your mails, they can never get your old mails from Symantec simply because they are not stored there but only filtered.

And thirdly, like all webmail providers (think Sarah Palin) there is the risk of other people hacking into your account. Either by brute force, bugs in the system allowing one logged in user to see mails of other users (something like that has been reported on this site before) or by guessing the correct answers to your "security" questions to get to your password. Having to log in to your own server is harder.

For me Gmail is a no-go for anything sensitive - actually even for personal mail - simply because it's storing your mails on servers in a country which government has a total lack of respect for privacy, especially privacy of non-nationals. Not that I think the government under which I live is that great, at least when it comes to privacy they still do have the upper hand.

Re:No different than other third parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32097024)

For the average company, I would say that internal malfeasance is more likely than some random employee at Google (or Google itself) discovering a reason that that company's emails, out of the millions on its servers, are worth a potentially disastrous breach of trust.

Re:No different than other third parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32097074)

e don't know all the nitty-gritty details of what all they do when they're scanning our mail, we just know the end result. And it's a lot of mail--just the other day, our gateway crashed for a couple of hours, and they held over 14,000 e-mails for us while we worked on getting it back up.

They did not "store" the email for you. Mail servers maintain a send buffer when they try to send mail to the next server, and Symantec's system is not any different. They handle so much email that 14k emails is a drop in the bucket, so you never came close to using up their available caching space. But you can bet your ass if they started running short they'd just drop all that mail (or bounce it back to the sending server)... they aren't going to stop taking mail from all their other customers just because one company is down & their mail clogging up the que.

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096798)

Sounds a lot like the CTO who "only wants to know about technology, not marketing".

The fact is, that you don't understand either liability nor privacy. After all, it's not your area of expertise, as you admit yourself.

Because if you did understand them, you'd balance the risks and make your choice that way.

But since you know next to nothing about them, you simply say "I'm not going there", and that's the end of the discussion.

I'll give you points, though, for the fact that unlike most officers, you stay away from things you don't know. Even if learning those things is the ideal response, jumping in head first and then blaming everybody else is the typical - but worst - executive response to every new fad.

As soon as faster, nimbler competitors employ multidisciplinary CTO/Lawyer hybrids, you're toast.

I don't quite agree (3, Informative)

FallLine (12211) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097100)

As a former CIO, I disagree with your diagnosis of the issues. Many companies, both large and small, outsource services to companies with access to all manner of sensitive materials (e.g., documentation destruction, electronic reading rooms, business continuity services, AR, etc). The difference is how those services are implemented and the trust in the organizations, not so much the laws that specifically regulate their offerings or even the ability to sue them.

In my opinion, the problem with Google Apps is that they:

1) don't make many important explicit commitments (e.g., availability, security, retention policies, restoration times, etc)
2) provide very little visibility into their implementation
3) their low cost service model provides little room for day-to-day customer service (e.g., mailbox restore) and the confidence to know that you can rapidly escalate a problem should one arise (not to mention offline backup)

I say this because this implies the issue is not inherent to outsourcing email in principle. The outsource service model is the future for generally commoditized services like email. There are several offerings today that I believe are generally superior to in-house for most SMBs that want Exchange functionality and need good availability. I have recommended Rackspace's Hosted Exchange to a $60M (revenues) client of mine and a few others. I am generally quite pleased with it, though there are a few shortcomings that will prevent others from adopting it today (especially larger organizations).

The biggest issues with the various Hosted Exchange offerings (those I'm familiar with at least):

#1: Authentication cannot be readily shared with other services, i.e., the employees need to juggle yet one more set of credentials.
#2: Limited ability to use 3rd party software (e.g., VM, Fax, two-factor authentication systems, etc) unless it exclusively uses exposed interfaces (RPC/HTTP, IMAP, etc).
#3: Won't scale well with large companies (with multiple subsidiaries/operating companies) that need/want to use more advanced AD features.

That said, these companies will figure most of this stuff out gradually until all but the most conservative big companies concede that they are better off outsourcing it, i.e., that an outside company has the scale and expertise to do a better job at less cost and in a more capital friendly way. When real customization is required then in-house makes sense, but the reality is that many of these issues are fairly widely felt and can be addressed with more generalized solutions.

Re:I'm neither for or against Microsoft, but as a (1)

AntiDragon (930097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097124)

Don't Google offer an appliance for in-house use? Basically a rack mount server - plug in, config and away you go. Get the benefit of a web-based office suite with none of the security and legal concerns.

Of course that implies that you have full control over the server - I've never worked with one so I can't say if that's so.

Outlook Web (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096410)

That's all well and good, but they should be focusing on Outlook Web. Until Outlook Web works equally well on Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer (on Windows, Linux, or Mac) I'm not really interested in their "upgrades."

Re:Outlook Web (2, Informative)

rcoxdav (648172) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096446)

I guess you have not used OWA on Exchange 2007 then. It works just peachy on Chrome and Firefox. Gives all the context menus and looks the same.

Re:Outlook Web (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096692)

I believe you mean Exchange 2010; 2007 still has a minimal interface for non-IE browsers.

Re:Outlook Web (1)

rcoxdav (648172) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096934)

You are correct, not quite awake yet!

Window management (3, Insightful)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096414)

Does Excel still have the WTF-like window management? (2 items show on the taskbar, 1 main window)

Re:Window management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096542)

Quick spin round the Beta just now says, "Yes". Pain when you're working across multiple monitors unless you open multiple copies of Excel.

I believe it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096436)

I come across one that I believe will truly make a difference in the way that I work or use my computer. With Office 2010, which recently hit RTM status, it is one of those times.

It has been a while since I've used Office so maybe 2010 will be the first time I didn't have to install OpenOffice instead. However I'm willing to bet that if I had to use Office 2010 it would be one of those times that truly makes a difference in the way I use my computer, I've never used one for a door stop yet.

Push your web version! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096454)

So everything new is either stuff that the last version was supposed to have, or stuff that nobody really needs or wants?

Here's what they should have spent the last year doing: doing NO new work on compiled versions of Office, and thrown all of their considerable manpower behind the online version. They shouldn't even release this version, except to market their online version.

Because if they don't get their online version promoted as "the next version of Office", by the time they release the next version of office, they won't have any customers left.

They could have had their customers locked up into a subscription model already if they took advantage of their once-ubiquitous Office brand. But so many people at so many levels are defecting so fast, that they could seriously lose enough people over the next twelve months that their brand will all but disappear. Think about that: it'll be twelve months before they get another chance to really push Office (online or offline) for any price other than free.

And they'd better pray that no showstopper exploits are found for at least the next twelve months...

Google Apps (5, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096478)

>some large enterprises are seriously considering jumping from Exchange to Gmail, or already have

We use Google Apps and we are thinking about moving away from it. First off, their customer service sucks, two you get occasional outages and extremely poor performance quite often and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Google Apps (spreadsheets, documents, etc) are usable only for non-professional things. Like documents shared within a work groups. Don't even think of using them for professional needs that will be used outside the company.

The contacts / calendar is nice. Especially if you have a Android phone where it syncs directly to it without having to hooking it up to your computer. (providing you aren't also trying to sync a normal (read personal) Gmail account. Gmail doesn't let you connect both a normal Gmail account and a Google Apps domain account at the same time (which REALLY SUCKS)

I've used Exchange and if managed properly, you can minimize your pain. Though we've also been looking into OpenXchange. It seems to have many pluses and some minuses also. (clunky interface)

Re:Google Apps (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096526)

I would be interested to hear what you guys/gals use Google Apps for and what specific you don't use it for.

We had, of course (since money is involved), discussed what the ramifications of using Google Apps was and felt it might make (as you mentioned) an good intra/inter team communication media for sharing things (instead of using something akin to Sharepoint), but we were concerned about confining the types of sharing that could be involved due to concerns about the medium. For example, although we use source control, we still get the occasional inter-office tar ball from one dev to another if the receiver has set up a lab environment that doesn't (yet) have access to the source control server...

If we had a little bit smaller team, maybe we'd manage it. I'd probably use it at a start up for a while.

Re:Google Apps (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096762)

Google Apps will now let you upload other types of files (including tarballs) though you have a maximum of 1GB of space.

We currently use a xWiki for heavily updated stuff like documentation and Google Apps for other things like spreadsheets and project planning / development that require signing off before becoming actual projects.

We have to watch capital expenditures also as we are a start up. For stuff Google Apps isn't good for, we use Open Office or Microsoft Office. Most of the guys that use MS Office are the ones that have DDE based spreadsheets that communicate with other applications that just do not function in Open Office. Outside of those spreadsheets, we use Open Office almost exclusively. (including when dealing with people outside of the company) This is where I think OpenXchange can help us as it has it's own Sharepoint type file sharing service. Especially since it scales way better than MS Exchange and is much cheaper.

Re:Google Apps (3, Interesting)

matang (731781) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096570)

blindfolded moderating. parent shouldn't be modded troll. i've had the same experience and i'll add that i don't like the idea that when i delete a document it's up to some other company to determine how long it continues to exist.

Re:Google Apps (0, Troll)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096698)

The problem is that Google Apps is good enough for many of us and it just works.

Re:Google Apps (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096612)

i've managed Exchange before. what exactly is so hard about it? configure your I/O properly by not dumping everything on the same RAID5 volume and you should be OK.

Re:Google Apps (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096788)

I still think that whether Exchange is adopted or not is kind of a moot point, since a smart company/users will probably set up an email client for IMAP or POP3 on Gmail. Heck, even though I made the switch a long time ago I'd probably be using Outlook if I didn't enjoy Thunderbird so much.

It's nice (5, Interesting)

chebucto (992517) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096488)

I've been using the beta for awhile and I can say without a doubt that it's far better than Office 2003. The ribbon menus, in Word especially, are actually easier to use than the menus of 2003. And some of the other features, like auto-print preview, automatically showing what new formatting will look like, and the navigation sidebar, are actually useful. There are still some bugs, and the interface in Excel isn't as easy to get used to, but in general I'd say 2010 looks like it will be worth the price of the upgrade. I say this as someone who never got used to or liked 2007.

frost piPst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096490)

Massive innovation; return of 'file' menu option (5, Interesting)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096498)

FTA: "The File button, by the way, replaces the Office orb button from Office 2007, which Microsoft says thoroughly confused people -- many thought it was a piece of branding eye candy rather than a functional button."

Indeed. Now how much do their UI people get paid?

Re:Massive innovation; return of 'file' menu optio (5, Insightful)

ngrier (142494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096608)

And you'll notice that they've also reverted to letting you customize the ribbon [computerworld.com] . So really we're largely back where we were in 2003 except that they've cleaned up a few things and made 'big icons' so that folks who don't get menus have a better idea of what they're doing (not that half the icons make any sense or that their organization helps anything - have you tried working with tables, for example, where half the tools are on one menu and the other are on the next?!)

Here's hoping they've also fixed some of the inconsistencies in the ribbon as well - it's incredibly frustrating that you can adjust some formatting in one application but not in another - you'd think they share the same codebase. Are they just trying to protect us from having too much control over our documents?!

Re:Massive innovation; return of 'file' menu optio (1, Insightful)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096624)

FTA: "The File button, by the way, replaces the Office orb button from Office 2007, which Microsoft says thoroughly confused people -- many thought it was a piece of branding eye candy rather than a functional button."

Indeed. Now how much do their UI people get paid?

I hope they get paid well as Office 2007 was an overwhelmingly positive change. There's always the fact that many of Office's users are the kind of users that get confused by everything. There's a remedy for the button: "Guys and gals, that candy button is the File menu". There, damage done. There's no harm to make it more obvious in ver. 2010 either. Means they listen to feedback.

Re:Massive innovation; return of 'file' menu optio (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096802)

Yes, the candy button is the file menu! Stupid people, how could you not get that without me telling you? What the fuck did you expect me to do, label it "File?"

Re:Massive innovation; return of 'file' menu optio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096736)

FTA: "The File button, by the way, replaces the Office orb button from Office 2007, which Microsoft says thoroughly confused people -- many thought it was a piece of branding eye candy rather than a functional button."

Indeed. Now how much do their UI people get paid?

What do you mean? Microsoft Bob works for free.

Re:Massive innovation; return of 'file' menu optio (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096990)

Hmm, how many years to bring the rest of the menu buttons back? Fortunately there are free plugins that bring the old style menus back already. MS will go out of business without the support of other little companies fixing the bugs in their software on their behalf.

Threaded message views are exciting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096502)

A threaded message view for email is an exciting new feature? Especially when it's threaded based on the subject line, rather than the MessageID header field. A bad implementation of a basic feature that has been around for a very long time in other mail clients.

Outlook 2010 is certainly better than previous iterations, but it's not that exciting. One of the better features (completely missed by the review), is the improved handling of interaction with processes using the Office Object Model.

And his favourite new feature is... (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096504)

Okay, it's 2010, He's going on about how everyone promises productivity enhancement and Outlook finally does it... this is going to be good. The new feature, that we've waited over a decade for, this will change everything... is.....

Thread-view for messages. Flat, by subject-line and date.

Did previous versions of Office really not have this?

Meanwhile: after months of people saying they couldn't switch to Thunderbird because they couldn't import their filters, and they NEEDED their filters, it turns out (after reviewing all the actual needs of everyone using Outlook) that the best solution for "email overload" was to unsubscribe them from a few feeds they NEEDED their filters to ignore for them.

cancel this article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096548)

since when do we care about M$ software?

What's wrong with slashdot?

PS: I'm not new here.

And will MSO2010 support their own OOXML standard? (5, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096582)

Of course not [msdn.com] .

My favorite Office 2010 feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096642)

is that PowerPoint will now let me have separate presentations open in separate windows. It's about time.

Ribbon on all apps? No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096668)

No option to turn the ribbon off? Paying for addons to go back to menus doesn't count. As long as the ribbon is there, so I have to relearn the basic UI paradigm I've been using for years and which every other app uses, I'm not buying another version of office. 2003 is what I use and it's the last version I buy until this UI abomination is history.

Re:Ribbon on all apps? No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096786)

How long could it take to learn the ribbon? I didn't like it at first either. After a few days of light usage, I was pretty much back to where I was before. It really isn't all that different. For new users, I think it's easier.

Re:Ribbon on all apps? No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096906)

Did you get back your vertical sceen real estate after a few days? Cuz with a wide aspect ratio monitor, it seemed to make more sense to put toolbars on the right side than to take up more room on the top? You'll note the Visual Studio team said thanks but no thanks to the ribbon.

improved ribbon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32096710)

so.... they removed it completely? I jumped to open office when i spent months trying to use the ribbon. I was also tierd of people asking me in the Company "how do i save a file?" I still have no clue how to use ribbon.

Holy last week, Batman! (3, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096714)

Some large enterprises are seriously considering jumping from Exchange to Gmail, or already have, reports Robert Mitchell.

The last place I moved off Exchange to Gmail would probably not want to go back. You can still keep Outlook, if you think the email organizing tools are worth it, but most people just used the Gmail interface.

The real question is if the Office 2010 upgrade is compelling enough and cost effective enough to keep current users from jumping ship? My experience suggests it would have to be a near software miracle to make that happen. The cost savings of switching to Gmail are pretty significant.

Unfortunately MS doesn't have to worry about much of a threat from OpenOffice. I find their product gets more difficult to use with time instead of better. GoogleDocs is good enough for a lot of things but formatting options are limited. If OO was a home run product, then Office 2010 would be yesterday's news.

My Favorite Office 07 Feature - Outlook Broken (1)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096716)

Yeah, every time I've ever tried to load my perfectly legitimate copy of Microsoft Office 2007 the Microsoft Outlook would never ever load up. Go to the Microsoft site, to all the forums and it's 'a known problem' - which never got fixed. I'm looking forward to the same degree of outstanding service with this next iteration of Microsoft Office! Something that loads up and takes up a lot of memory and still manages to provide less of a product than Open Office. Thanks Microsoft. More of the same please.

Fawning reviews (2, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096758)

"rare that I come across one that I believe will truly make a difference in the way that I work or use my computer."

Yeah, that was said about 2007 and it DID make a difference. It made a number of people i know finally dump MS and move to OO.

I'll take Oxymorons for $200 Alex. (2, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096792)

very useful new PowerPoint tools

What are two words that cannot be used together?

Re:I'll take Oxymorons for $200 Alex. (1)

rolando2424 (1096299) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097140)

Well, they're not actually together... I mean there a "new" in there, that's got to count for something.

Right?

Malware (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096846)

The malware community is wringing their collective hands waiting to find vulnerabilities to exploit in a new Office release...

Don't care about the ribbon (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096858)

Unlike others I could probably live with the ribbon and I appreciate that MS do make bold UI changes in the name of usability. My main issue with MS Office is that it is filled with functionality that is completely superfluous for most people.

I don't see why most medium or small orgs need the headache of buying MS Office, being subject to software audits, being subject to semi-annual updates for features and new functionality they don't even use. It's money down the drain. Open Office is more than adequate for individuals, businesses and government in most circumstances and it's free. If necessary slap Thunderbird + Sunbird in with it. That's not to say OO is perfect by any stretch (some aspects of the UI are woeful) but it does get the job done and has it's own useful little built-in features such as being able to print straight to PDF.

Word, Excel & Outlook 2010 (1, Informative)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32096992)

That covers 99% of what anyone will ever use.

Have to say, Office 2010 does what it says on the tin, not perfectly, but better than anything else, with certain provisos...

Open Office is great, it does everything, until you start regularly exchanging data with companies that are based on MS Office.

Where MS Office has always excelled is in the actual office environment, multiples users working on the same files in collaboration, think lawyers offices, that sort of thing.

Outlook 2010 wins the prize for "best e-mail client on windows" by default, Outlook kept evolving, and while 3 year old versions of Eudora or Pegasus are again fine for the single / home user, as soon as you get anywhere near that real world office environment, Outlook 2010 kills everything else stone dead.

Outlook 2010 is Mail / Calendar / Contacts / Tasks, all integrated, someone send you a Word.doc attachment, dude, previewed live and correctly within the Outlook application, all seamless productivity.

Took me all of 15 second to configure it to send text only emails and all the other usual conventions.

ABC Amber also do an excellent little app to export just about any mail or data format that you can imagine to Outlook format, well worth the 19 bucks to migrate a decades worth of Eudora mail archives in 30 minutes, complete with folder structures etc.

Summary.

MS Office 2010 is strictly optional if you're a home user.

MS Office 2010 is the only game in town in a commercial office environment, or for regular communication with one, such as you are going to get a divorce and spend lots of time sending stuff back and forth to your lawyer.

HTH etc

I still don't get the ribbon (3, Interesting)

initialE (758110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097044)

When I need a feature I'm still pecking around for it. The ribbon is supposed to identify features that I need and categorize it in a sane manner, but it just isn't the case. Just try in outlook: importing or exporting mail, adding additional exchange account views, finding actual email headers - you're in for a shock. Instead of a ribbon, why not a contextual search for features? Isn't that more in line with the new windows concept?

News for nerds, stuff that matters ? (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 4 years ago | (#32097146)

Quite puzzled...

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