Pros None (and I'm a pro user)
Cons No menus (WT???), horrid interface, unnecessary file format change
Summary What the heck was Microsoft thinking when they upgraded the Office suite? They were probably thinking they wanted to be recognized for their UI "design" expertise, so they could be cool like Apple. But the Ribbon is incredibly difficult to navigate around, making task a free-for-all for UI making it an unequivocal design flop. It take about 5 steps to get to "save as" a file to a previously version of Office--while adding no useful features by changing the file format. They were probably thinking this upgrade would revolutionize how people use their Office applications. But instead it's revolting! It will take most users days--if not weeks--to relearn how to do the most basic tasks. Where do I want to go today? To do my work efficiently....today!
Pros Pretty and colorful
Cons User interface, thick icon bar adds a third toolbar row when two was sufficient before...waste of valueable screen real estate.
Summary All of my resident micrsoft office knowledge has been wasted. It is taking forever to complete simple tasks because it is not intuitive where to find things. The sum total of wasted productivity worldwide must be the basis of a class action lawsuit.
If there is a good alternative to Office 2007, I have no reason to not to try it out since Microsoft has removed my only switching cost...familiarity.
Pros Great new formatting features. Prettier document options
Cons Cumbersome, steep learning curve, slower than 2003
Summary My MBA class all recieved laptops with Office 2007 installed. I use 2003 at work and didn't want to switch back and forth so after a few days of complete frustration trying to find where Microsoft hid everything, I removed 2007 and installed 2003. I can work so much faster than my counterparts as they click and click and click to find stuff that used to be just a drop menu away. Although Office 2007 may be more intuitive for first time users, it is always slower even when you know where to look for stuff. The deal killer for me was during a class we all opened up an identical excel file which had an iterative macro imbeded. It was simulating a sampling process and would run through about 100 iterations. We all opened the same file, we all have the same computer, but the Excel 2003 I was running could get through the iterations on average 30% faster than everyone else. Why is microsoft determined to make computers slower and slower. In my opinion Office 2007 is bloatware. I want programs to increase my efficiency not decrease it.
Pros If there are any, they're buried somewhere in the user interface
Cons So different that anyone upgrading WILL get frustrated; does not automatically read old docs, xls, etc.
Summary I suppose that it is possible that there are features that someone might want. However, as a veteran Office user, the new Office 2007 has thrown me for a loop. Frankly, I do not want to have to relearn everything about an application when I upgrade. If my whole computer experience revolved around MS Office, that would be one thing. However, I use lots of different software packages and most of them have a similar look and feel, are intuitive enough that you can work your way through it without referring to help file, etc.
One could almost guess that the only possible explanations for Microsoft's reinventing Office is that either: 1) They felt that if they did not totally change the look, users would not upgrade and stick with 2003; 2) they hired some user interface "gurus" that needed to show their stuff.
I wish I could be more substantive about features, however it is so confusing that I must get rid of it and go back to the previous version. Today, when I tried to open some spreadsheets attached to an email and nothing showed up in Excel, I decided enough is enough.
"Don't do it!"on by Lorus ipsum
Pros Outlook has some more functionality...maybe?
Cons Everything you ever learned about Word is lost
Summary The concept behind this is what Works should have always been about. It plays like the thing my mom needs to type up recipes ...occasionally.
Take everything you ever learned about Word and throw it out. The entire layout of the toolbars is task-oriented. If you want to do mailings (mail merge, envelopes, and labels) you can. If you need to handle page layout, there's a menu for that.
Oh, and you can’t customize the toolbars. If INSERT doesn’t give you enough options, too bad. Nothing you can do about it.
But if you want to print! Well, good luck finding that! Save? That'll take a while.
Personally, I never had a problem with the menu layout in other versions of Word. I always found what I wanted and after 10 years in the publishing business, I had a layout template (Normal.dot) that I carried with me from computer to computer. Now all the tools I need as an editor are gone. All my desktop shortcuts are gone. I don’t like Arial as a default font and who ever heard of Franklin Gothic Book as a heading font?
Oh, and by the way, in publishing we don't use all the web-based, newsletter layout, fancy font stuff. That's what page layout programs like Quark are for!
If you use Word occasionally, or are very new to Office, then this is probably okay. However, if you have a lot of experience with older versions of Word and are comfortable with 2000, XP, or 2003, then don’t upgrade and pray Microsoft doesn’t retire Office 2003 before you do!
I think all the reviewers in the tech/trade magazines who are swearing this is the best thing since sliced silicon are being paid off or something. Read any two or three reviews and they sound practically identical. It’s as if Microsoft provided the advert verbiage for the reviewers.
(Perhaps the rumors ARE true: Every time Microsoft creates and sells another version of Office a kitten dies.)
Regardless, this is a product that requires the actual users’ recommendations, not that of the magazine eds. They’re just looking for their next paycheck or kickback.