Microsoft’s latest Office suite a clunky combination of bad UI decisions and sluggish performance

Apple Store USA“Office 2010 is clunky — that’s the first word that comes to mind as I meander around the recently leaked official beta release (build 14.0.4514.1007, for those keeping score). The default color scheme is a ghastly gradient gray blur, while the new Outlook Scenic Ribbon toolbar is a disorganized mess,” Randall C. Kennedy reports for InfoWorld. “But most important, Office 2010 is slow.”

“Is Microsoft running out of ideas? Is it so desperate to keep the cash cow’s udders full that it’s resorted to simply reshuffling the Office bits every few years and calling it a new release? Based on my experiences with this and earlier builds of version 2010, I’m inclined to answer yes,” Kennedy reports.

Kennedy reports, “The idea well has finally run dry in Redmond. Maybe they can borrow a cup or two from their contemporaries down in Cupertino.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft’s done quite enough stealing from Apple already, thanks.

BTW, these are the people who want you to pay them way too much for their bloated, disorganized mess:

Not everyone wants a machine that’s been washed with unicorn tears. – David Webster, Microsoft’s general manager for brand marketing, commenting on Mac users, April 4, 2009.
Paying an extra $500 for a computer… $500 more to get a logo on it? – Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, insinuating that the only difference between a Mac and a Windows PC is the Apple logo – March 20, 2009

While the “You’re a Fscking Idiot, Now Buy My Software” is an interesting sales tactic, its efficacy may be suspect.

We have long been 100% Microsoft-free and shall remain so ad infinitum. Do you really need Microsoft Office? Give Apple’s free 30-day iWork ’09 trial a try and find out for yourself.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dev” for the heads up.]

45 Comments

  1. MS, here’s an idea…
    Make it work. So many things is Office, particularly Word, don’t work as expected/properly.
    – styles
    – auto numbering
    – auto formatting
    and that’s just the top 3 that bug me.
    Also, I’d like to be able to turn all that auto stuff off and have it stay off without having to search in 15 places to disable the same options.

  2. The IT guys let me make a new “This Refrigerator Will Be Cleaned Out Every Friday–NO EXCEPTIONS!” sign for the fridge in the breakroom on the PowerPoint beta. The screen bean is still there which is awesome. What isn’t awesome is Nancy in procurement brings in her cabbage soup once a week. It smells and the container leaks. Thing is Nancy’s cat died a month ago and noboby wants to upset her further by telling her to keep the cabbage soup at home. I bet she uses a MAC too.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  3. Same for Adobe. How about instead of a bunch of new wizz bang features, clean up what you have now. Make it all work better?

    Slow bloated sloppy code withoutmuch polish, crash ridden garbage with 40 new ‘features’ none related to increased stability and improved performance.

    The software industry needs a Snow Leapard type update.

  4. I dumped Word for LaTeX (which is free! and runs on anything, even Windoze) 15 years ago. TeX Live 2009 was just released and works so nicely. Little things like ligatures are automatic — try getting one in Word.

    Just how can M$ justify that 75%+ profit margin on Office? And why in the world does anyone buy into that? It continually boggles the mind…

  5. Office has always been clunky an unintuitive. Sure, people have gotten used to it through years and years of being subjected to it. But it sucks even if it has powerful features. The thing could have gotten rewritten in a much better way. How come I can do what I need in iWorks with out looking at a manual or help file of Goggling etc.

  6. It pains me to say this. But, I think the promotion of iWorks on a daily basis by Mac Daily News does a disservice to a lot of folks who may go out and buy a copy in hopes it will exceed MS Office. For some, maybe it will. But, the reviews on this site and others would not lead one to believe it. Personally, if you are in business, I do not see an escape route from MS Office. Some programs, like NeoOffice, come close. But, nothing really compares 100% with Excel and Word. I say that after extensively using NeoOffice for at least a year. I find that documents sent to me by folks who use Office on both Windows and Mac platforms are not formatted properly in 100% of the cases. Outlining is off slightly, formatting in Headers and Footers is off slightly. Sure, I can fix most of them. But, outline numbering in NeoOffice is simply not up to par and fixing the formatting is not a simple task. When I open the document in question in Word, the formatting issues are either easy to fix or they do not exist. If you dabble in spreadsheets on occasion and do not have a need to send files to others on the Windows platform (90% of the world), NeoOffice is great and it’s free. But, it is not 100% compatible with MS Office and the nuances will become apparent after you start using it. The one glaring area that may affect some people is in macro handling. But, I do not use macros. So, this has not been an issue for me. I am not even sure where the status of the macro issues is at this moment. I am sure I will get an earful abotuo it. But, it is not a factor for me.

    iWorks is not even in the same ballpark as Excel. Nearly every spreadsheet I open In iWorks that was done in NeoOffice or Excel — no matter how simple — result in errors. Sure, the files open. But, formulas are converted to fixed numbers when there is an error. If I only used iWorks and lived in a vacuum where everyone else I knew used iWorks, life would be great. I like the product look and feel. But, compatibility…not even close.

    I have also tried Mariner Calc…not ready for prime time. Takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r- to open files and is not 100% compatibiel. Open Office…NeoOffice is the same thing only better from a Mac perspective.

    So, until NeoOffice operates at 100% or there is something else that pops up, I do not see Office going away. It’s all about compatibility and nothing else compares 100% with MS Office.

    FYI, I have been a Mac user since 1984 and personally own a 2008 iMac and MBP. I do not own a PC and never will. So, I am not a shill for MS. Far from it.

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