Tuesday, July 24, 2007

MS Office 2007 Article Interest

Today I published an article in Christian Computing Magazine entitled Microsoft Office 2007 that included some of my previous comments from this blog and more. In the first four hours since the magazine hit the digital streets I have gotten more email than on any previous article. That's good! And it's not surprising!

Office: A Love / Hate Relationship
A lot of folks LOVE Microsoft and it's products! There are things about Office 2007 that I really like, I didn't detail them in the article. Some are:
  • XML files are smaller
  • Office 2007 has a better calendar
  • All the suite modules seem to integrate better
  • It's nice being able to pin an oft-used file to the office button
  • The Excel Function Library is a big help
  • PowerPoint's animations and transitions are better
  • Videos, graphics, and pictures are better in PowerPoint
  • and more!
The Highest Priority
When I look at computer technology-- both hardware and software-- I evaluate it from the primary perspective of whether it will help those using it to be more productive than they previously were. This priority is important because I consult with churches and ministries nationwide, and I believe their mission is the most important there is!

Any technology that slows them down translates to people in ministry being less effective at fulfilling their mission. I'm not opposed to learning curves... improvements always require an adjustment period. But there are things that, even though I've been using Office 2007 for more than four months, still take me longer such as designing a new PowerPoint file (unless I merely modify an old one, using its template), working with our family's website, or anything I can't find quickly in the Ribbon.

Yes, there are things I like less in this version of Office, and they definitely slow me down considerably. Overall, I like it and believe it'll become the standard. I just wish I could be more productive in the interim.


Nathan Ates said...

I do agree that the new format is difficult; especially for those of us that have grown up with the old pull-down menu options however, the improvements to PowerPoint are amazing. The biggest improvement is the support for multiple monitors. It actually supports two monitors and has a, wait for it, preview option. ABOUT TIME! I now have 2007 Professional on two of my laptops and the new format is growing on me.

smartkid_18 said...

One thing that I find annoying is that the even though the new WordArt looks great, and that it will convert, is that any effects done with it in 2007 will not convert to eariler versions of Office.

Slow said...

I've used Windows since, yes -- v1.03. And Office since v4. At times I've been really impressed by Microsoft and at other times, I've yawned. But hardly a day goes by that I don't find myself yelling at Office 2007 and Vista. I am so frustrated!! I can't find anything on that stupid ribbon that Microsoft is so proud of. And Excel no longer supports the HTMLproject interface, which I use heavily. And the features I can find are so simplified I can't determine how to use them: for example, try searching for the word Hewitt in *.TXT files on a network drive - it can be done, but takes about an hour to figure out how. Frankly, I think Microsoft has lost their way.

PS. I've used dual monitors and the 'Presenter View' in PowerPoint 2002 and found it adequate...

Matt said...

I read your article in Christian Computing Magazine and I was surprised to hear that churches would fire their IT people over Microsoft Office. Personally I prefer free software and Open Office is some of the best out there. I am still waiting for other companies to step up and offer a real alternative. I think Corel is better than Microsoft Office, but once people are hooked on Microsoft it's hard to get them to change companies.

Nick Nicholaou said...

Yes, it is surprising. And though MS' Excel and SQL may be 'best of breed', Word, PowerPoint, and Publisher definitely are not. But the suite wars made MS king over them all, and many of us have to live with them even though there are better solutions out there.