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June 27, 2012

Will the Disaster Continue with Office?

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

I’ve done a lot of griping recently about Windows 8 and how it makes me want to gouge out my eyes with a searing hot needle. While I could go on and on about all the appalling things I’ve discovered with Windows 8, I thought I’d divert my attention to another, potentially more devastating matter: The next incarnation of Microsoft Office.

What’s Known

The next version of Microsoft Office — which includes the popular productivity programs Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others — is being called Office 15 in the press. It’s not really the fifteenth version of Office, because Microsoft jumped numbers from 2 to 6 back in the 1990s to keep pace with competitors’ numbering.

Yes, once upon a time, Microsoft Office had competition. Hard to believe.

What’s Being Guessed

They’re going to call it Office 2013. That doesn’t have a smooth ring to it, and it features the ominous number “13.”

It’s going to use the Metro interface, or at least try to. My guess is that the program icons will fit in on the Metro Start screen, but otherwise the programs will run similar to the way they do now.

Apparently the Ribbon interface is staying, though the tabs will be minimized. Say, isn’t that how the old menus used to look? Whatever.

There will be more integration with online document storage, the Microsoft “SkyDrive,” which is similar to Google Docs.

There will be an online version of Office called Office 365, which Microsoft eventually intends to replace the standalone Office software. Yes, that means a subscription service instead of paying outright for a license. (Folks, I’ve guessed that’s what Bill Gates has wanted for years.)

What I Fear

Office will be designed with the Tablet in mind.

(Sorry — I had to run outside and vomit.)

Tablets are not productivity devices. I’m sure some dipwad somewhere wants to type his company reports on his iPad instead of using a full-screen computer and keyboard. Damn him. Only 20-somethings using Mommy and Daddy’s money can afford to live the myth of the iPad lifestyle you see in the ads.

Honestly, most 20-somethings I know work their butts off and they use a laptop — not an iPad — when they write their killer screenplay at Starbucks.

If Microsoft recajiggers Office to be “Tablet-friendly” then Office is as doomed as Windows 8. No one will upgrade. Bootleg copies of Office 2010 will go for big bucks on eBay. Or maybe people will finally adopt OpenOffice as an alternative?

Naaa.

I just hope that they leave Office alone, especially Word and Excel. Office’s producitivy apps have become established paradigms for an entire generation of our workforce. To change them now would just be the second stupidest decision in corporate History . . . right after Windows 8.

4 Comments

  1. Dan- Have you ever tried Latex? I would really love to see Latex become the default international document type (pdf was originally derived from Postscript which is also a document language). Although technically its a programming language, it actually uses very easy to remember markup tags. I strongly recommend you give it a try, you would be great for writing a Latex for Dummies book (I checked Amazon, there is a LaTeX for Dummies book, but only in the German language). In Windows just install MikTex (the LaTeX libraries) and the WinShell (free) editor which is specialized for editing and compiling LaTex. OK, here is your hello world program:
    http://pastebin.com/G27ZrHNd
    copy and paste that into WinShell and click the LaTeX icon, then click PDFView icon.

    Comment by BradC — June 27, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  2. If I had the time . . . 🙂

    Thanks anyway!

    Comment by admin — June 27, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  3. Sorry to hear that Dan, I thought you might accel at Latex with your experience with old word processors. Also you havent blogged about OSX Lion, Im curious what your opinion of it is. Im thinking of getting a Mac Mini but Im wondering if I should downgrade to Snow Leopard.

    I did screw up pasting the code, so for anyone who wants to see how Latex renders, here is the correct code:
    http://pastebin.com/BzTWKnvM

    Comment by BradC — June 27, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

  4. Oh, I think you’re correct: I think I’d *love* it! But right now I just have too many irons in the fire to take on something new.

    Comment by admin — June 27, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

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