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Ninjahedge
04-12-2011, 12:47 PM
Any way to get rid of the annoying "ribbons" and toolbars and get some menus back?

Saboteur
04-12-2011, 01:24 PM
You can minimize the ribbon (right-click in the menu bar), but the old menus are gone, leaving Office programs far less productive (to me at least). The other thing you can do is to add specific commands to the "quick access toolbar".

Alt-key combinations still work but you have to go through a lot longer chain of keys to get to what you want.

All-in-all an abortion of an interface.

Ninjahedge
04-12-2011, 03:11 PM
All to make the damn thing look less threatening.

Now you have BIG ICONS!!!!!! WOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Thanks Sab.

shifty
04-12-2011, 07:27 PM
As with most of the employees I've spoken with, the new graphical section is actually well-laid-out, you just need to give it some time and work with it. There is a logic flow to the graphical layout - the start bubble is the old "File" menu. Then you have all of your tabs that replace the other menus, and rather than a list of words, you get a list of functional pictures with the most commonly used items/categories. It's all still there...

Like I said, just takes some getting used to and a somewhat open mind. I still get frustrated from time to time trying to find a really obscure item, but when I do I'm like, "aha! that makes sense that it's there!"

I actually am starting to prefer the new layout. The same venom you seem to have is the venom I had when I was forced to transfer from Win98 -> WinXP. I didn't like the new graphical-heavy layout, or where they hid/renamed some stuff. Then I had issues again on going from WinXP->Win7. But, the more I look, the more it makes sense, the harder it is to F*** things up.

I will say this though .... I thought that MacOS was overdone and bloated ... I'm actually starting to like it more than Win7. Someone shoot me :)

Saboteur
04-12-2011, 11:19 PM
Shift - its the kind of venom you would expect from carpenters if all new screws were produced with the opposite thread, or from drivers if suddenly all cars in America had the gas pedal moved to the other side of the brake.

There may be reasons for the change, and some of them might be considered "good", but ultimately the reason for the change is one word: Marketing (which implies the ultimate factor: Profit)

MS needed to differentiate its products from the competition (such as Open Office) and since they couldn't really do that in terms of features, all they have left to change to set their products apart from the competition (and their own previous versions) is the interface. The change is about selling more of their thing. Period

Ninjahedge
04-13-2011, 08:01 AM
What would have been very simple would have been a few things:

1. Option to minimize the size of some of these icons. I am not blind (yet) and I do not need a square icon 4X the size of the old ones to tell me where the Chart Wizard is.

2. Siimply keeping the old text menu (with customization options) on top of the "new and improved" menu. I agree that they may have optomized some of the work flow, but when you have your own toolbars already made and are used to finding certain things in certain places, "optimization" can be more than just a little ironic.

The key is to integrate, not alienate. XL 2K7/2010 should not be a different operational animal than 2K3. we are not going from the old WP5 to a genuine GUI here.....

ganesha
04-13-2011, 09:31 AM
Stay tuned, they're already working on integrating the ribbon into Windows 8.

http://windows8center.com/news/windows-8-ribbon-ui-screenshots-uncovered/

shifty
04-13-2011, 09:34 AM
@Sab, I don't think it's as radical of a change as that. Perhaps they changed the screw to remove half the threads, or do two rows of threads, one shallow and one deep (like a TapCon) and put a hex head on top of them. It's not as offensive to me, however, as Apple's habit of planned obsolesence, and swapping connector shapes, sizes, interfaces every 2-3 years so you need to go buy new stuff.

I've been the first one to ***** at the old MyU forum about Microsoft's penchant for training people one way to do things for a couple of versions, then totally changing it on them. It's like pulling a rug out. But the reality is, the changes are centered solidly in usability and productivity - a company can sit in the dark and accept they "always get it right the first time" or "it's good enough"; Microsoft doesn't do that.

At some point you need to realize that everything is moving away from text-only and needs to be designed in a way that it can be operated with a keyboard AND a touchscreen, for the sake of the future. Sometimes that requires a total wipe and redesign. Or did you guys not add future tech into the equation when bashing on the 2007/2010 versions of MSO?

In short, I'd rather have innovation than stale tech. Stale tech is what kept Linux in the closet for so long... and now, with teams like Ubuntu having come on the scene and start working on usability and productivity, it's actually something nearly anyone can install and use.

@Hedge, come talk to me when you spend the next decade of your life studying and working heavily in the usability/user experience realm. It's something I was forced into from 1999-2004, and something I still occasionally deal with to this day. Your suggestions are ideal for you, but they are not ideal for (potentially) 51% or more of the rest of the world.

When you do things like leave archaic text menus in place while including the new graphical UI, you only lend to clutter and confuse. The goal is to provide the user an opportunity to have an intuitive interface with minimal learning curve and limited clutter/confusion while still having multiple possible methods to accomplish the same goal (hotkeys, clicks and shortcuts, etc.)

Ninjahedge
04-13-2011, 12:51 PM
That's the thing shift. You do not leave them, you leave the option.

Just like with the classic start menu.


I do not think, for a minute, that their placement of items makes much sense, but the text menu is easier sometimes to go looking in than a bunch of differently shaped icons in an organic arrangement on the top bar.

So instead of a narrow two liner where I plunked my own icons, I get a 2 liner w/a third for tabs.

Instead of a top and bottom bar for useful functions (putting some where I would use them the most, etc) I get their choices, which usually do not go well with my own usage patterns.

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but the catch for me is not change. It is the absolute abandonment of previous standards. It is a forced hand for software that is used for buisness to change how it works. It costs time and money that takes a LONG time to recoup when the efficiency gain is marginal.

We have one project here that we have been forced to abandon about a days worth of productivity because a lot of the formwork/macros/styles are not 100% compatible. That is not even talking about the learning curve of the tech and admin staff.

All this to make you able to do things 5% faster in the long run is a wash.




LONG story short. Do what you want with the interface, but allow a few of the non-default settings to be able to imitate the old GUI. Leave them off the default, but able to be turned on if you want AND you know where to look in options/settings.

Wes
04-13-2011, 03:37 PM
Man!! I do Excel for a living. Don't even get me started...

shifty
04-13-2011, 03:45 PM
Then the option becomes bloat.

Just like the Classic Windows Theme no longer exists in Win7 either.

You can only leave the 'old' in there for so long.

I still disagree with your philosophy on it.

Ninjahedge
04-13-2011, 03:52 PM
Meh.

Since when is a meg of code bloat? :P

shifty
04-13-2011, 04:48 PM
When you consider all of the code for the entire suite, it's pracitcally a needle in a haystack.

To you it's a meg of code, a "simple feature".
To usability people, it's like wings on an elephant.
To programmers, it's more obsolete crap to maintain, something you risk breaking with every code check-in.
To QA people, it's one more thing to add to the thousands of things you need test with every release/patch/fix.

Yes, indeed. It is one meg of code, and that one meg of code lends to hours and hours of headaches for the manufacturer.

I understand you have a unique vision and/or perception of things as the end-user, but there is a whole other world you don't see when you're all "clickety-click" on stuff.

Dr. Death
04-14-2011, 03:57 AM
Uhhh..the end user's "unique" perception of things is that he's the ****ing customer--the whole reason the software was written in the first place. If you don't care to give him what he wants, what's the point?

Why put a stereo in a car? It's just one more thing to break under warranty. One more thing to distract the driver. More load on the alternator to kill our CAFE. Let the user hum to himself.

Ninjahedge
04-14-2011, 08:20 AM
I understand where you are coming from, but look how popular the Dvorak keyboard is.

PERFECT example of something that may be more efficient, but since most people are used to using the classic QWERTY it never really took hold.

Something like this is even easier to maintain in that it is optional, the commands are the same (98% of them are) and all of the graphic resources have already been defined/made. They are not re-inventing the wheel shift, merely giving you the option of doing it the way you have been the past 15 years (these menus were similar all the way back with Windows 95! Hell, 3.11 had similar menus! Some may use this as a reason for change, but when you are used to a gradual evolution of a system, you do NOT change it this drastically this quickly).

Ninjahedge
04-14-2011, 08:21 AM
PS

"clickety click"

Is that the term you use to describe all people you feel are..... special? :(

shifty
04-14-2011, 01:15 PM
An apples to apples comparison would be more like "why install a stereo with a cassette deck in it? That technology/format is obselete."

And the reason the software was written is not the customer, it is written to accomplish a task. If it is inadequate at accomplishing the task, the customer doesn't use it, and the software dies (or gets overhauled).

Ninjahedge
04-14-2011, 03:07 PM
Analogy wars?

It depends on how many people still have and use cassettes.

And I disagree, the reason software such as XL is written IS for the customer. this is not a monitoring proggie for ConEd, this is a program that is used to help create office documents.

They can, and have, done whatever they wanted with it. The key is not whether or not they can, but if it is a smart thing to do. Why has RIM stayed with a portrait QWERTY on their phones instead of a pop-out landscape? Both do the same thing, right?

The consumer, generally, likes the bigger landscape pop out KB, but for some reason RIM has been reluctant to adopt that form factor. An exact OPPOSITE situation from UI's on software.

Simply including the text bar on top is enough to make people have a back door to where they are used to finding the commands. They will then shift to the icons as they get used to them.

A GREAT example of this is AutoCAD. There are people that still feel the need to TYPE THE COMMANDS IN BY HAND at the prompt at the bottom rather than "simply clicking on an icon" that does the same thing.

Why? Because they are used to it and the time savings once you are used to typing in "dim" as compared to clicking the icon is minimal, at best.

So, AutoCAD, who has been around for as long, if not longer than Office, believe that keeping its customer base happy is more important than big icons, colorful schemes and rounded window corners.


Oh, and an animated "whooshy" start up graphic. That is the MOST important thing for new office software, splashy startup graphics!!!

:rolleyes:

shifty
04-14-2011, 03:55 PM
No software is ever written for the consumer. It's written to accomplish a task with the hopes that its features will attract the consumer to buying it.

Nearly all software is a solution to a problem, or a gateway to a convenience. Nobody ever sits down and writes a software title thinking, "Man, I am going to write an app targetted at XYZ people, because I like them!" They write an app because "There is currently no good solution to accomplish XYZ task, so I'm going to make it".

Dr. Death
04-14-2011, 04:01 PM
And the reason the software was written is not the customer, it is written to accomplish a task. If it is inadequate at accomplishing the task, the customer doesn't use it, and the software dies (or gets overhauled).

Who performs the task? The developer? No. The IT department? No (except for the specific case where IT is the customer.) It's the customer. He is performing the task, and using the software (as a tool) to do it.

Software can be inadequate for many reasons, only one of which is functionality. If the user can't or won't embrace the UI, for whatever reason, the software is inadequate, even though it may be functionally capable of being used to perform the task.

If the customer is not ready to embrace the change, then the software will sit on the shelf. Corporate America stuck with XP through the Vista life cycle, and we, as web designers, were stuck with 30% of the market using IE6 as a result. (See? I like change too. I would love to dump IE6 compatibility from my sites. But until I know it's no longer needed, I won't do it.)

FireFox, while changing their tab paradigm, still offered users the option of the original tab location. Still offer an "old fashioned" text menu. They knew that forced change with no options would drive users away.

You can't rush at users with change; you have to attract them to it. Only then will they embrace it fully.

shifty
04-14-2011, 04:08 PM
Who performs the task? The developer? No. The IT department? No (except for the specific case where IT is the customer.) It's the customer. He is performing the task, and using the software (as a tool) to do it.

This doesn't matter. I'm uncertain why you're hung up on this. Software is created to accomplish a task. The goal of software is not to write for a person that wants to accomplish a task, it is written as a conduit to allow the task to be accomplished.


FireFox, while changing their tab paradigm, still offered users the option of the original tab location. Still offer an "old fashioned" text menu. They knew that forced change with no options would drive users away.

And their team also refuses to implement MAPI in Thunderbird, which is basically making their product unusable in the corporate world when Exchange is used and calendaring/etc is required. This is the exact opposite - even when the user wants it, they refuse to implement it. They're literally one of the only major current mail clients out there which does not natively interface with Exchange using MAPI.


You can't rush at users with change; you have to attract them to it. Only then will they embrace it fully.

Maybe in your world. In my world, those who fail to change and evolve - quickly or otherwise - end up losing customers due to archaic design/features/etc.

Dr. Death
04-14-2011, 04:09 PM
No software is ever written for the consumer. It's written to accomplish a task with the hopes that its features will attract the consumer to buying it.

Nearly all software is a solution to a problem, or a gateway to a convenience. Nobody ever sits down and writes a software title thinking, "Man, I am going to write an app targetted at XYZ people, because I like them!" They write an app because "There is currently no good solution to accomplish XYZ task, so I'm going to make it".

Corporations will be thrilled to hear this. Now they can forget all the usability studies and fire the Marketing department. "As soon as Joe in R&D can show us the software does XYZ, we'll put it on the shelves."

Dr. Death
04-14-2011, 04:31 PM
If I was head of Thunderbird Development I wouldn't throw a lot of money at supporting MAPI either.

It looks like Microsoft designed the interface so there could only be ONE default email client. Many corporate applications, such as Outlook and Groupwise, will break if another email client is set as the default.

MAPI is only supported on Windows, not Mac or Linux. Also, it looks like Microsoft is migrating away from ExtendedMAPI in favor of EWS. Seems like supporting this is a waste of resources to me.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/MAPI_Support

Dr. Death
04-14-2011, 04:51 PM
This doesn't matter. I'm uncertain why you're hung up on this. Software is created to accomplish a task. The goal of software is not to write for a person that wants to accomplish a task, it is written as a conduit to allow the task to be accomplished.


I'm not hung up on it. I simply recognize the user as an integral part of the system that is used to accomplish a task, and as such I recognize the importance of the coupling (user interface) between the user and the software (two equally important parts of the system.) You apparently don't.

shifty
04-14-2011, 08:14 PM
I totally do, that's what I was arguing from the getgo with usability.

Thing is, above, everyone is touting usability and tradition as being a thousand times more important than the software itself. I have an issue with that.

shifty
04-14-2011, 08:20 PM
If I was head of Thunderbird Development I wouldn't throw a lot of money at supporting MAPI either.

MAPI is only supported on Windows, not Mac or Linux. Also, it looks like Microsoft is migrating away from ExtendedMAPI in favor of EWS. Seems like supporting this is a waste of resources to me.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/MAPI_Support

Sorry, I meant EWS support :(

All major mail clients support it (OE isn't major) support EWS, including Mail.App

And MAPI is actually supported in Evolution, via plugin, so you are incorrect in that Evolution is available for MacOS, Linux and even Unix - so MAPI is supported in all four major OS out there. I know - I used it.

Saboteur
04-14-2011, 09:06 PM
What it comes down to for me, again, is that a choice was made that I have to believe caused MASSIVE loss of productivity (between man-hours spent user re-training, user frustration, etc.). Shifty, I find your attempts at justification/explanation weak, frankly. Having a touch-screen (or other graphical) environment drive the UI when the incredibly vast majority of users of the product don't operate in such an environment doesn't hold a lot of water. Maybe someday, but we are several years away from that being a valid consideration.

It is about dollars, and nothing more. Giving people a reason to re-buy the product, to re-buy the training materials and books that MS Press sells, and differentiate the product from the competition so that its not a "choice that makes no difference".

It seriously is analogous to reversing "lefty loosey, righty tighty" because EVERY interaction with the tool now has to be re-thought and re-considered.

The fact that this is just the latest in the long, sordid line of Microsoft's offenses against their user community and good software practice in general just makes it that much more revolting. (It's amusing that one recent abortion of theirs is being dissed by another, with the revelation that IE10 won't run on Vista. Yet again, its all about pushing their base into re-buying what they already own.)

(Are we getting close to moving this to the Dark Alley yet?? :) )

shifty
04-14-2011, 09:15 PM
Not hardly.

I dunno. I have first-hand experience via our offices. I can provide real numbers for you. We upgrades to Office 2007 in late 2009. Ask any of the users relegated to using it, and the vast majority (17/20) will tell you they prefer the new version more. Those numbers drastically changed, at the start it was more like 17/20 were begging to have the old versions back.

I see people bashing it. That sucks for you. My viewpoint and statements revolve around my real-world environment, not the rantings of a couple of haters seeking solace in each others' frustration.

Let this topic sit for 6-12 months while continuing to use the new product.

I'm eager to hear your responses.

Saboteur
04-15-2011, 01:54 AM
Shift - I've had Win7 since last year and Office '07 far longer. Both have, IMO, inferior interfaces that waste screen real estate, cause needless eyestrain and visual confusion. That's just my opinion of course. I tried using the Win7 I/f for months but never found it remotely as efficient as CSM, and I gave up and installed the CSM add-on from SourceForge which at least gives me 60% of what I would like. Too much of the innane faults still are there (is it 'My Documents', 'Smanning's Documents' or just 'Documents'? Depends!)

But you still haven't addressed any of my points. How much did you company spend to roll out and train people in the new s/w? What are the new features that make that outlay worthwhile? Are the users more or less productive with the new version? I continue to maintain that most of what was delivered in the new stuff is 'sizzle' only.

]LoL[Harm
04-15-2011, 07:07 AM
The only thing I found of value in the new Office is that styling documents was made easier. Outside of that I could take it or leave it.

Ninjahedge
04-15-2011, 08:41 AM
And the only thing I am looking for is INTEGRATION, not abrupt change.

Many programs I have used (ETABS, a structural analysis software) had MUCH bigger problems than this 10 years ago when they swapped from a DOS shell to an actual windows proggie. They tried to keep it passingly similar as the graphic interface was improved TREMENDOUSLY.

But they still had the same text menus above the nice new graphic buttons.

After a while, I found that button X did "Edit, copy, multiple" rather than a three button menu click. SO I started using it. I TRANSFERED a use.

But I did not sit there for 10 minutes looking through help files to find out which icon, on what bar, did the less than obvious "copy/paste/open/save/print" kind of functions.

The thing that annoys me is not progress, but the lack of any real bridge building from the previous platform to the new one. There are very few that are able to make that jump w/o any hardship or impact with the next platform (or the ground, for that matter).

Calling this bloat is just plain silly, considering that it is mostly just a seperate toolbar set that takes up very little space and can be as simple as a single checkbox click on an options menu to see it.

Try AutoCAD for a bit and then we will talk about a definition for "bloat". The program is great, but when you have that many variables in a technical graphic program.... Well... you get a lot of options.

shifty
04-15-2011, 10:24 AM
How much did you company spend to roll out and train people in the new s/w?

None on training. Rollout cost us only as much as the time it took to install across all existing computers in my regional org (about 65ish), and the time it took to roll the install into the default images we generate for all make/model of laptops in our org. All licensing costs are covered by corporate as part of our volume licensing plan (worldwide)



What are the new features that make that outlay worthwhile?

Reduction of multi-click functions; Instead of multiple clicks through several menus, the most commonly used functions are immediately available via a single click. Function items are streamlined based on function, so when you're marking up references and other items after generating a doc, just click on the references tab, and all related functions are a single-click ordeal (etc). I haven't found a CTRL+ keystroke which doesn't still exist. These are just some of the items. It is generally unproductive to add graphics and various other markups in-line (as you go), by using their layout, myself and most of the users (I learned this from another user by word of mouth) find that just generating the content with simple formatting in the default function tab to do a rough-in, then following up with the other function tabs lends to getting the document completed much quicker.

These are just my personal observations and observations from our users, I'm sure Microsoft has more in-depth theory and training material available online that can help you better answer the question.



Are the users more or less productive with the new version? I continue to maintain that most of what was delivered in the new stuff is 'sizzle' only.

More productive. I have two guys here that are begging me to convert them to office 2010, especially for the 'sizzle'.

I also really love the drastic improvements from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007. The interface is a thousand times more logical and functional to me (albeit seems a tad slower). The main UI is fairly similar, but the real win comes when you open a fresh composition window.

Ninjahedge
04-15-2011, 12:04 PM
Question is Shift, what do your guys do that crave the "sizzle"?

Hell, I put a shadow on my pics/text box and I get "ooh"s and "ahhh"s. My profession is not presentation, quite frankly.

The key is just the method of integration and transmigration, you do not do this all of a sudden to people who have been using it another way, daily, since almost 1995.

shifty
04-15-2011, 02:01 PM
In my two regional offices, we have about 5 sales/marketing/logistics dudes, 3 operations/HR staff, and about 40 engineers (EE/CS) that do a wide gamut of tasks like programming, QA, software testing/validation, lab and signals work, embedded device bootloaders, middleware, etc.

Folks hardly ever do presentations, but it's not uncommon to need to write design specs, white papers, test plans, lab procedures, crap like that. But we also have a subset that designs automated test plan/status sheets that automatically calculate what tasks have been performed in runs and whatnot.

It's all over the map.

Powerpoint is good for presentations, not Excel or Word. But we have folks who are fluent in that as well. It's kinda mandatory to know those apps in this office for the senior- or mgmt-level staff.


The key is just the method of integration and transmigration, you do not do this all of a sudden to people who have been using it another way, daily, since almost 1995.

This is your opinion, and it may not even be based in fact, so much as your perception. I feel like they gradually moved forward from Office 97->2000->2003->2007->2010. What ended up happening that I believe confused and/or miffed you is everything you see in 2007 and 2010 was present in Office 2003, but you had to right-click the toolbar area to add the icon-ized settings.

You say it's a "drastic" "all of a sudden" change. Contrarily, it seems they 'cut the cord' so to speak and made the toolbar access the default, and removed the old school 1990 toolbars that've been around since DOS. Two small changes with little functional impact, but huge optical impact (for you). It's 1% or less of a feature you were using, and they removed it, but because you personally used it 90% of the time, you're having a **** fit.

Saboteur
04-15-2011, 05:56 PM
Please accuse us of having ODR (Office Derangement Syndrome) or MSDR. It would be priceless!

shifty
04-15-2011, 08:18 PM
Dude. You stole my punchline. You're such a jerk!

Ninjahedge
04-16-2011, 10:09 PM
Shifty, not all professions have the $$ to upgrade to the latest software every 2-3 years.

So, if you are not always relearning everything, it gets EXCEEDINGLY hard to take all the customizations, macros, personalizations and other quirks you have built up over the years and magically transfer them to a new UI.

It would have been EXCEEDINGLY simple to simply have the menu bar still available, but they wanted to be our pimp, not our servant.

Don't like it?Tough, use someone else... Oh I forgot, ALL your office stuff is on our proggies, so you would have to relearn everything ANYWAY!!!

"Ha-ha!" :p

shifty
04-16-2011, 11:05 PM
Sounds like an excuse to me.

I saw MS Office 2007 on sale for $30 at Woot a short while ago.

Ninjahedge
04-18-2011, 08:07 AM
How much is 2010 shift.

Stop playing games. It is bullsh!t the policy that they are making.

If the program was something different then you would have a basis to go on, but not as an "upgrade" of an existing system.

No excuses. Reasons.

What they did is poor business practice and the only thing saving them is little to no competition.

shifty
04-18-2011, 10:22 AM
You say you think it is bullsh!t - the policy they are making. I think it is bullsh!t - the demands and expectations you have.

There is plenty of competition - and it's free, from one of their largest competitors (Sun). It's called Open Office. You should try it sometime. They use archaic menus and layouts like MSO2k3 and prior. I think you'd like it. Stick it to the man, go download it now! ;)

Ninjahedge
04-18-2011, 01:02 PM
Again, it is relearning.

Also, competition?

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/060409-forrester-microsoft-office-in-no.html

http://www.dailytech.com/Office+2010+to+Launch+Today+Microsoft+Owns+94+Perc ent+of+the+Market/article18360.htm

The main problem comes down to what your office uses. What you are allowed to use, compatibility, and what your own library of spreadsheets you have used for everything from Concrete Column design (long term creep and deformation due to settlement) to vibration perception in floor slabs.

It is what you , as a customer, have been using and are comfortable with.

To throw you out with the bath water and say "tough noodles" is a sign of care-free banal that signals your dominance (80%-95% market share).

You do not CARE what your customers really think, and not all are EE's used to product obsolescence in 3 years or less.

So think whatever you like shift. You have never agreed with something once you have disagreed, so any further discussion on what several of us here have said irritates them is not going to get you to change your mind and will only work to aggravate at least one of us.

So you can think what you want. My thread, my rant. It pisses me off that M$ makes a decision like this that would have very little effect on them overall if they just left the option there, and pretty much forces most COMPANIES to follow suit for risk of incompatibility with their clients or existing database/resources.

Again. Dvorak may be better, but when you have been using qwerty for so long, "better" gets to be very subjective.

Dr. Death
04-18-2011, 04:29 PM
Open Office is great, as long as you don't do anything too fancy, like have a presentation of more than 12 slides or embed too many objects in your documents. It's "compatible" on the surface but not 100% compatible. The menus are similar, but not exactly the same as any version of Office.

Ninj, I'm not saying I agree with Shifty, but if you have invested that much time in developing engineering tools, it seems like it would be worth the extra effort to rework them, and your company, if it's forcing you to upgrade, should be willing to foot the bill for your time while you do it. And I'm willing to bet that Shifty has no idea of how much it really cost to upgrade his offices, since the lost productivity experienced was not measured.

I don't like that Windows 7 won't run my Windows-95-based accounting program, but I've accepted the fact that I'm relegated to keeping an XP machine around until I can migrate (which may never happen. It's easier to keep a handful of different boxes around than it is to invest in migrating financial data to a new program.)

I'm still using Office XP (which I guess is 2003) so I have no real opinion on the new stuff at this time. What I DO have an opinion of is my distaste for Shifty's (and probably many other IT people as well) towing of the Microsoft line of "Screw what the user wants. They'll have to fall in line; they have no choice. We're the only game in town."

Well now there is sort of a choice. A lot of corporations did it with Vista. They refused to buy it and stuck with XP. Finally Microsoft realized that Vista was a lemon (or more accurately, realized they weren't going to be able to foist that lemon on the corporate public) and did something about it.

That type of thing is probably not going to happen in your case, though. Most people will just resign themselves to redoing their documents.

Saboteur
04-18-2011, 06:14 PM
DD - how about throwing together a WinXP VM under VirtualBox or something, and then you can ditch the dedicated h/w. I did that this year for an XP machine for running TurboTax and other family financial stuff with the VM image on an external drive. That way I don't have to keep ancient, creaky hardware running and can fire this up on whatever host system I want.

(You probably already know this but maybe others don't.)

Dr. Death
04-18-2011, 06:47 PM
That's a possibility. However virtual machines have drawbacks, especially when older programs are not written to access the hardware abstraction layers. I had problems even getting my program to print under XP (using a network printer.) All it knows is LPTx and COMx.

PS. The hardware isn't ancient and creaky, just the OS. LOL. I still use the computer on a daily basis. I have 3 at my workstation: the XP box, a Mac, and a Win7 laptop. Usually all 3 are going at the same time.

Ninjahedge
04-19-2011, 08:01 AM
True enough DD.

The main problem is lag time. When a client is asking you "why don't I have this" and all you can tell them is "well, we just changed our software and..." you can stop right there. They don't care.

Nobody wants to pay for migration. Structural Engineering is a VERY tight fiscal animal in that the lsat 10 or so projects I have been on have all been less than 24 hours billed (or, at least, planned for that) and I have not charged a single hour of "development" since I have been here. (It is like a curse word. It is lost money, no matter how you look at it, and the company would rather you charge a few hours to this and that than actually absorb the cost itself).

So whatever. the bottom line is, yes, I know I will be forced to do what M$ says I need to do, but who the F has the right to insist I "like" it and "deal" with it? The IT department here knows that nobody is going to like it, the only reason they are doing it is because of increased incompatibility issues (other companies using and saving under the new formats).

The ultimate irony being, I have yet to see ONE spreadsheet saved as such that has needed the "extra features" provided by the new software.

Waste of time and waste of $$ all in the name of continuing product sale and production.

Why don't we just start renting the licenses like M$ wanted in the first place and finish all this BS.... >:|

Dr. Death
04-19-2011, 05:23 PM
True enough DD.

The main problem is lag time. When a client is asking you "why don't I have this" and all you can tell them is "well, we just changed our software and..." you can stop right there. They don't care.

No, that's not their problem.


Nobody wants to pay for migration. Structural Engineering is a VERY tight fiscal animal in that the lsat 10 or so projects I have been on have all been less than 24 hours billed (or, at least, planned for that) and I have not charged a single hour of "development" since I have been here. (It is like a curse word. It is lost money, no matter how you look at it, and the company would rather you charge a few hours to this and that than actually absorb the cost itself).

That's right, BUT because all the engineers are "afraid" to bill overhead hours, none of the real impacts of software migration (or any other change that affects productivity) is getting recognized. So next time, they won't see a problem with making random infrastructure changes, because they never get any negative feedback about what they do, in terms of a spike in overhead hours.


So whatever. the bottom line is, yes, I know I will be forced to do what M$ says I need to do, but who the F has the right to insist I "like" it and "deal" with it? The IT department here knows that nobody is going to like it, the only reason they are doing it is because of increased incompatibility issues (other companies using and saving under the new formats).

Yeah it's an image issue. Management can't have employees telling clients to send them files in older formats.


The ultimate irony being, I have yet to see ONE spreadsheet saved as such that has needed the "extra features" provided by the new software.

Waste of time and waste of $$ all in the name of continuing product sale and production.

Why don't we just start renting the licenses like M$ wanted in the first place and finish all this BS.... >:|

Until management and IT starts to realize the real impact of what they're doing, they will continue to make arbitrary changes. If you (as a group of users) are afraid to bill overhead hours to demonstrate the impacts, it will never happen. You control your own destiny.