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But only to a select few

Whether you love it or hate it, the majority of the world's corporations depend on Microsoft's Office software suite. Whether it is typing something up on Word or compiling data in Excel, many of us use a version of Office every day.

Microsoft's latest version, Office 2010, is supposed to be released in June. There are six different editions, all of which will come in 64-bit versions for the first time. There will also be a limited free edition that will be supported by ads. Retail pricing will be similar to that of older versions of Office.

Office 2010 hit the Open Beta stage in November, with thousands of eager users downloading the 684MB software package. Microsoft has now moved on to the Release Candidate stage, but is deploying this initial version to a select few.

DailyTech received confirmation via Microsoft's PR agency: "Microsoft made a release candidate available to members in the Technology Adoption Program (TAP). This is one of Microsoft's planned milestones in the engineering process; however they do not have plans to make this new code set available broadly".

It appears likely that there may be another Release Candidate version for the public at a later time. Corporate adoption of Office 2010 is expected to be slow as Microsoft becomes a victim of its own success. Many users are happy with Office 2007, and mass deployments of Office 2010 are likely to be 64-bit editions rolling out with 64-bit editions of Windows 7 at the same time.



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Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By reader1 on 2/3/2010 9:07:58 AM , Rating: -1
Ribbons are a great example of Microsoft's inability to innovate and lead. Microsoft owns the patent on them but allows any Windows developer to use them free of charge. Still, nobody is using them because they offer no significant benefits. In fact, they're slower than using toolbars.

The taskbar in Windows 7 is just as poorly designed as ribbons. Both technologies will be gone soon.




RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By bluemanta on 2/3/2010 9:21:07 AM , Rating: 5
I have to disagree with you. I think the ribbons are actually an excellent concept in terms of usability and demonstrate plenty of innovation when it comes to user interface.

Although it does require a learning curve and adaptation due to the relocation of the buttons, once you get used to it you will discover that it actually improve your productivity significantly. It did for me.


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By bug77 on 2/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By krotchy on 2/3/2010 9:53:05 AM , Rating: 2
For you maybe, but I know at least 10 people that use a PC all day never seem to remember that CTRL-C is Copy and CTRL-V is paste; they do use a big button paste button on the top of the screen all the time.


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By bug77 on 2/3/2010 10:40:40 AM , Rating: 2
For everybody.

Not using shortcuts is one thing, but you can press Ctrl+C about 10 times by the time somebody else interrupts their typing to reach for the mouse, point at one button (assuming it's not hidden in a menu somewhere) and actually click it.

Yes, some people don't even know what Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V is, but catering to the dumb does not make a better interface.


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By killerb255 on 2/3/2010 3:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
...but catering to the ignorant makes money.

Why do you think computing is so popular now versus that of the 80's? It sure as hell ain't because of DOS or UNIX shells!

The computer exists to serve the human, not vice versa. If you know how to get it to do what you want it to do via keyboard shortcuts and/or terminal commands, more power to ya! Should the world have to? Not if there's a way around it.


By Smilin on 2/3/2010 5:06:25 PM , Rating: 2
You guys in this particular fork of the thread might find this kind of interesting. Forward to the ~30min mark here:

http://videos.visitmix.com/MIX08/UX09

MS decided to stop guessing as to how users do this stuff.


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By RjBass on 2/3/2010 11:29:58 AM , Rating: 2
But have you upgraded? I hate to think of all the security holes you have open by using that older outdated software.


By phattyboombatty on 2/3/2010 11:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
At some point, the outdated software becomes very secure again because it is so old that nobody is targeting it anymore.


By RjBass on 2/3/2010 3:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
True, but then again, when you get to that point is the computer even still really good for anything anymore?

In this case though I don't think that is the issue. I think here we have a user who is using a more modern computer but has not felt the need to upgrade the office software, which is something that I see in my business all the time.

That presents a pretty serious security risk, one that I would not take myself. I am still personally using Office 03 on most of my computers with the exception of two that I have OpenOffice loaded onto. My wife has Office 07 and loves it, but I havn't made that jump yet.


By bug77 on 2/3/2010 4:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
Think again, cause office 97 wasn't full of this online crap. Therefore, nothing to exploit.


By Mitch101 on 2/3/2010 3:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No matter how good a UI is, keyboard shortcuts will always do the job faster. It's also one of the reasons I haven't felt a need to upgrade since like Office 97.


Not sure why you got rated down. 97 might not have all the bell's, whistles, improvements, and integration of the current versions but its a perfectly good version of Office for the majority of users. I need the newer versions because of Sharepoint Integration but otherwise we could get away with just about any previous version. Excluding Outlook since I do messaging administration.


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By Motoman on 2/3/2010 10:55:09 AM , Rating: 2
I actually have to agree with reader1, which is horrific in and of itself - but yes, the ribbon is horrible.

I gave Office 2007 an honest year, and at the end of the year still wasted vastly too much time dicking around trying to find stuff.

Went back to 2003. I don't know of anyone who likes the ribbon interface - including anyone at the companies I've worked for since it came out (all of which are software companies).

For the record, I am lost as to what the point of upgrading Office is anyway. There hasn't been anything added to any of those products in a decade that made any difference to what the vast majority of people in the world need them to do.

WordPad does what 99% of the market needs to do from a word processing standpoint.


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By mlZr on 2/3/2010 11:32:15 AM , Rating: 3
Um, Office is a lot more than a word processor. The jumps made in excel and outlook have been phenomonal. Especially excel, they upped the row limit from 65k to 1m. This ALONE was worth it. And all the keyboard shortcuts from the old drop down menus still work (alt, d, e = delimit text - alt, e, f = find, alt, w, h = hide). Running long complicated processes have also been optimized for multicore processors (finally). Anyone who was productive in office before can be more productive now. Anyone who had no idea how to use office before has an easier time learning. People who thought they knew what they were doing before but never really got it (and are unwilling to learn) are struggling.


By phattyboombatty on 2/3/2010 11:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Especially excel, they upped the row limit from 65k to 1m. This ALONE was worth it.

As the previous poster mentioned, I bet that 99% of the users of excel never exceed 65k rows.


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By Motoman on 2/3/2010 1:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
You miss the point - the WordPad bit was simply an example.

If you look at the entirety of the install base of Excel, I would bet very large amounts of money that virtually none of them need more than 64k rows. Probably 90% never need more than a couple hundred.

The point I was making there is that if everyone in the world had, let's say, Office 2000, only a handful (percentage-wise) would be yearning for anything more. Stability and security notwithstanding. Realistically, you could go back a lot farther than that...


By Lord 666 on 2/3/2010 11:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree with you about questioning the benefit of the ribbons, Office 2010 adds stability to the software suite over previous generations.

My Outlook 2003 used to freeze up quite frequently when going through emails, Outlook 2010 never does. What is annoying about Outlook 2010 is the sorting of email by categories; don't use it and would love to permanently turn it off.


By Spuke on 2/3/2010 2:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Especially excel, they upped the row limit from 65k to 1m. This ALONE was worth it.
This was a huge deal for me and a welcome feature.


By really on 2/4/2010 12:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
You Sir are a smart person. Everyone at work initially complained about the ribbon in office. They would ask where old tools they used where. They were trying to do it the old way where you had to hunt through obscure menus trying to find the feature they needed; not realizing that the Office ribbon was putting all the features they needed right then, right in front of their face. They all now love the ribbon.


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By funkyd99 on 2/3/2010 10:44:59 AM , Rating: 2
AutoCAD uses ribbons, but I guess that's irrelevant to you as you can't run it on a Mac.


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By Suntan on 2/3/2010 12:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
People using Macs is not the reason why AutoCAD is irrelevant...

-Suntan


By killerb255 on 2/3/2010 3:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
...then what is?


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By Smilin on 2/3/2010 5:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
AutoCAD is irrelevant because it was used in the design of a Mac?


RE: Ribbons are a another flop from Microsoft.
By Silver2k7 on 2/4/2010 12:09:57 PM , Rating: 2
hmm so what do you use instead of Autocad, Siemens I-Deas ??


By Smilin on 2/5/2010 11:15:01 AM , Rating: 2
I don't use either nor do I think AutoCad is irrelevant.


By sapiens74 on 2/3/2010 12:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
Another reason Apple is pushing Adobe out and MS should too!


By KTLA on 2/3/2010 12:40:11 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Lazy devs. Full stop.
Heck, still no flash for ie8 x64


Who, exactly, do you think should be creating the 64-bit version of Flash?


By Bateluer on 2/3/2010 2:33:42 PM , Rating: 1
Also disagree with you. I love the ribbons in Office 2007 and cringe having to use 2003 at work.


By Smilin on 2/3/2010 4:25:52 PM , Rating: 1
ReaderB you're full of sh1t.

The ribbon was VERY innovative.
They are FASTER than toolbars (experimentally proven at MS, not just an opinion)

http://videos.visitmix.com/MIX08/UX09


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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