Microsoft Office 12 Reinvents the Office Productivity Suite

Discussion in 'News and Article Comments' started by syngod, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. syngod

    syngod Moderator

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    It's a classic strategy: When a competitor is gaining on you, simply change the rules of the game. It's the reason so many automobile makers claim their products are "best in class," all the while maintaining that they are also, not coincidentally, in a class by themselves. But with Microsoft Office 12, due in late 2006 alongside Windows Vista, Microsoft isn't just changing the rules of the game. In this case, the software giant is doing something it hasn't done with Office in over a decade: It's innovating on a grand scale.

    Those who haven't yet played with Office 12 can be forgiven for thinking that Microsoft is simply moving icons and toolbars around in the user interface. But that's not the case at all. As the company noted last week at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2005, its Office products have matured dramatically since the first Office product, Excel, was released over 20 years ago. The first version of Microsoft Word, for example, supported about 100 commands in just a few simple menus and toolbars. But Microsoft Word 2003, the latest version, supports over 1500 commands and sports over 30 toolbars as a result.

    So Microsoft took the bold and unanticipated step of completely overhauling the Office user interface. What's astonishing, of course, is that no one saw it coming, not competitors, not analysts, and not users. Over the past few Office updates, Microsoft has made baby steps towards improving the Office interface, adding small features like task panes and smart tags that bubble up previously hidden functionality. But competitors such as and Sun Star Office were busy copying the last Office interface, Microsoft was busy hatching something new.

    Read the rest of the article at Windows IT Pro.
  2. Nic

    Nic Sleepy Head

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    Very nice. Bout time Microsoft did something different with office. Hope they keep the blue look they introduced in 2003 I like that
  3. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

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    If this is true, it's clear to me that the cause for this sudden change in strategy has got to be from increasing pressures from Microsoft office was losing ground on it's premier cash cow (Office) to the open source office suite pioneered by Sun, OOo. Seems they've been forced out of stagnation to actually start developing software rather than just putting a new marketing twist on the same old stuff.

    Slightly O/T, but along those lines I don't anticipate much innovation in Vista from what I've read and experienced of it. After all, it is merely NT 5 at it's core just like Windows XP and Windows 2000 before that. The fact that it offers few new features of substance over XP (or 2000 for that matter) and yet requires staggering system requirements to run properly are not encouraging for me. It looks like MS has still not grown out of its bloatware phase: "bigger is better, substance comes second to marketing". While others strive to eliminate bloat and make their OSes run faster on less powerful software, Vista aims for the highest-end hardware of the day just to function properly. Does this make sense to anyone else?

  4. pelvis_3

    pelvis_3 HWF Member For Life

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    I also read a quick review on it on Cnet but i could'nt find the link but check out Cnet and they have a little slideshow on it!
    It has a completely different GUI and looks just like Vista will :)

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