back to article Microsoft pops preview of 'biggest, most ambitious' Office yet

Microsoft has released the last preview of its latest build of Office – the first release of one of Redmond's biggest cash cows. "This is the first round of Office designed from the get-go for Office to be a service," said CEO Steve Ballmer at a press conference in San Francisco. "We've transformed Office to embrace design …

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  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

    Do businesses really want or need to upload everything to Redmond, have a social SharePoint, or have Skype built-in?

    Are MS copying Apple and have suddenly decided that they should be aiming for the consumer market instead of the business market? That would be commercial suicide.

    1. Daf L

      Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

      Agreed, but err... you have been reading about Windows 8/Metro, haven't you? There's your answer right there, screw over the business users and go after the consumer tablet market.

      I can't help feeling Ballmer is after Elop's crown as the worst CEO ever - destroy a company as quickly as possible.By getting paranoid and playing to your fears rather than your strengths.

      I think the whole Kodak thing has got these, once (/still) massive, companies running scared.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

        I wouldn't be surprised if he had a major investment in insurance policies for "credit default swaps" or "buy put".

      2. IT Hack
        Pirate

        Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

        Re - Elop...I'd say there was a good reason he was installed in that job...and it wasn't to benefit Nokia.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

      Papyrus and quill works for me, what is it about this new fangled paper business? Commercial suicide I tell you.

    3. Wibble
      Big Brother

      Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

      Have they just abandoned security or are they doing it to collect the world's secrets? For whom?

      In any commercial organisation one has to write a lot of Protect, Restricted, Confidential and Secret information. None of which is appropriate for storage on Ballmer's servers. That's the point of a thick client running standalone off the grid.

      Are they really that stupid?

      And WTF has Farsebook got to do with work? In every office I work in Farsebook is blocked on the firewall as it has a detrimental affect on productivity.

      1. boltar Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

        "And WTF has Farsebook got to do with work? In every office I work in Farsebook is blocked on the firewall as it has a detrimental affect on productivity."

        The designers at MS have obviously drunk the Apple kool aid and turned into cafe latte drinking beanbag hopping hipsters and now seem to be under the impression that every other office in the world is also full of cafe latter drinking hipsters rocking about on beanbags and doing 2 minutes of work an hour on a tablet while saying nothing much except "dude" and "yeah , totally going forward on that". In which case Win8 and this version of FaceOffice where they can catch with their groovy mates and find out what the best hairgel this morning will be perfect for them.

        Meanwhile back in the real world companies won't touch this dog with a sterilised 10 foot pole.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

          >Meanwhile back in the real world companies won't touch this dog with a sterilised 10 foot pole.

          I don't know.. I can already hear my gadget-happy CTO telling the board how much time & money it'll save the company.

          AC 'cause I know he reads el Reg..

    4. h4rm0ny

      Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

      "Do businesses really want or need to upload everything to Redmond, have a social SharePoint, or have Skype built-in?"

      Actually, I'm looking forward to this and I'll explain why. It's not because I want to share everything with Redmond or bring more external social networking into my business work (more the opposite on both, actually). But the same processes can be used in different ways. So instead of using SkyDrive as my "cloud" (hate the word really, but no-one listened when I said the word 'blog' was stupid so I doubt they'll listen now), I can use my companies own Server 2012 installation(s). Now that *is* useful to some of us. What you have with Office 2013 is basically complete roving profiles. Open it up on my laptop, a tablet, my phone, I'm back in the version of the document instantly. Similarly I can use the streaming version of Office even on someone else's machine and be straight back into my work. Custom shortcuts I set up are even copied across. And none of it is via Redmond if my company doesn't want to run it that way - SkyDrive is just the one that MS provide as the default. And if you combine it with the document / file permissions system in Server 2012, you get really flexible security on the documents too. An admin can set it up so that a document is only accessible by a particular user, particular departments, particular geographic locations or on specific VPNs and use the DRM on it to make sure that the document cannot be copied out of the permissions area. It's really worth reading about. So basically, the portability and controls in Office 2013 are really, really polished but that can be via your own network, not Redmond. And they're licencing all the software as an online service (incl. SharePoint) so if you want that set up, you don't have to deploy your own server infrastructure to do it. I'm honestly really impressed. I've been playing around with the new Office this afternoon and like it.

      Regarding the social networking, again, this doesn't have to mean Facebook or other things I loathe. I can set up a corporate version and control who is on it and it can tie into all the same controls for documents, etc. as before. Social networking can be great - so long as you can control who constitutes the social network.

      "Are MS copying Apple and have suddenly decided that they should be aiming for the consumer market instead of the business market? That would be commercial suicide."

      Definitely not this. Being able to rent all the Office packages as a service (incl. SharePoint and Project) is actually making it easier for small players, imo. Cloud-based computing is a big part of the new Office, it seems, but it does have a lot of other things in it as well. And you can own your own cloud quite cheaply just by renting the service (or getting a Server 2012 licence and running it yourself). Also, renting the software as a service may actually be a good thing for businesses as you don't have to budget around big roll-outs of the latest version - so long as you subscribe, I think the idea is that you will always be on the latest version.

      Skype I don't like much. It's pretty inadequate for business usage. But Lync is very good and I think Skype will get subsumed under that for business use in the end. This is probably going to allow you to easily drag contacts from Skype into Lync and maybe even share networks. (Not sure, haven't got that far yet).

      1. Wibble
        FAIL

        Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

        Oh, so you're saying that to get the most out of Office, I also need to install W8 and Server 2012 whilst simultaneously ditching all existing infrastructure. And buy new fondle-friendly clients.

        Bloody hell, that's. a BIG ask!

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: a BIG ask!

          You forgot the 82-inch screen.

          (Perhaps that's what he had in mind when he said that any ARM clients will need to be top-end spec.)

          1. henrydddd
            Thumb Down

            Re: a BIG ask!

            Maybe they need to include a cloudy version of Xbox 360 with their new office. You can have access to all Xbox 360 games. So by providing games, Facebook, and Skype, you will have a happy but slightly unproductive workforce. There will be a lot of atta boys to the IT department of major corporations for providing these nice benefits to their employees.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

          "Oh, so you're saying that to get the most out of Office, I also need to install W8 and Server 2012 whilst simultaneously ditching all existing infrastructure. And buy new fondle-friendly clients."

          Errr, not really what I said. Most of the new stuff doesn't require Server 2012 and it certainly doesn't require Win8 or touch interfaces at all. It will work fine with SkyDrive or even on your local computer. I was just explaining that if you want to use the Cloud aspects without using SkyDrive, you can do that very easily by running a Server 2012 instance. And you can even rent those as an online service if you want so it's pretty easy.

          I'm pretty sure you can do a lot of this with your existing architecture as well, you just wont be able to use some of the specifically Server 2012 stuff that I mentioned such as the neat new file permissions system that can lock down sensitive documents. You can even set up permissions based on regular expressions so that any document created containing certain keywords, SSNs, names, whatever are automatically restricted to whatever permissions you choose. Even the biggest curmudgeon has to admit that's pretty neat.

          Touch interface is useful for things like casual reading / work on a tablet, and diagraming things out in OneNote or Visio (does handwriting recognition as well - remember you can use a Stylus with some of these products), but you hardly need it to make good use of Office 2013. It's just one of the new features.

          Also, the new software as a licence model means smaller businesses like mine can just rent the services we need for as long as we need. It's nice, for example, to be able to give someone an Office licence for their laptop and know that if they leave the company the software I've paid for will just magically vanish from their machine and I can use it for their replacement.

          So no, I didn't say what you wrote. Having used a couple of the products so far, I find them improved in various small ways. But sure, if you combine it with Server 2012 you've got a killer package. But if you don't, it's still good, imo.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Not That Andrew

        Re: Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

        AFAIK its perfectly possible to create a roaming user profile with XP, Office 2003 and Server 2003 (and AFAIK '98 Office 2000 and 2000 Server). You don't need added Cloudy goodness in Office to support it, its just what a networked OS does.

      4. F0rdPrefect
        FAIL

        Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

        "Also, renting the software as a service may actually be a good thing for businesses as you don't have to budget around big roll-outs of the latest version - so long as you subscribe, I think the idea is that you will always be on the latest version."

        And so any applications that you have developed will fail on a regular basis and you will be continually having to re-train your staff in the new versions and repeatedly having to stop the applications being "helpful" (remember the paperclip?)

        And I bet that the rental licences will be more expensive than upgrading every 3 or 4 years.

        Oh, wait a moment, That is the whole idea.

        It may well be time to move my clients over to Linux and Open Office.

      5. blondie101
        FAIL

        Re: Why am I not finding any of this remotely interesting?

        So what you're describing is a 100% Microsoft lockin: sharepoint and O365 do not work on all devices (far from it) and it does not look like it's going to get better. Only if you buy in this Microsoft thingy for the full 100% it will work. And they trying to sell this in 2012??? They're still living a decade ago...(LOL)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    "This is also a very touchy-feely build, with pinch controls in all the Office applications. There are the usual expansion/contraction pinch controls, plus swiping between functions within Office and doing things such as selecting fonts and type styles using rotary controls. A stylus can be integrated as well, either to annotate documents or act as a pointer during presentations."

    Yeah, and what about the millions of us who have large flat panel monitors on our desks. How do "expansion/contraction pinch controls" and rotary controls work with a mouse? Or is it just a complete and utter mess?

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: So...

      Office 2003 still works and you can still use it.

      1. Oldfogey
        Holmes

        Re: So...

        as does Office 97. Does far more than I want, why would I need to change?

        1. Wensleydale Cheese

          Re: So...

          "Oldfogey

          "as does Office 97. Does far more than I want, why would I need to change?"

          There were times I would have gladly paid for an upgrade just to get rid of that damned paperclip. I know my boss would have authorised its purchase because the thing sent him bananas every time it popped up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So...

      If you don't want to use touch, continue with mouse and keyboard as before.

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: So...

      "Yeah, and what about the millions of us who have large flat panel monitors on our desks. How

      do "expansion/contraction pinch controls" and rotary controls work with a mouse? Or is it just a complete and utter mess?"

      The mouse and keyboard still work too. And there are a number of other features. I don't think any functionality has been taken out as far as I can see.

    4. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: So...

      I hope you are aware that the vast majority of computers sold over the past few years have been laptops, not desktops. The writing has been on the wall for the mouse for some time. Apple spotted that writing a while ago, hence all those multi-touch gestures in OS X Lion. Windows is moving in the same direction, hence the "Metro" UI.

      It does take a few days to get used to the trackpad, but it's worth it. Your RSI will certainly thank you for it as the mouse is by far the biggest cause of that category of health problems.

      For desktop users, the mouse will continue to be supported, but there are already multi-touch trackpads available for desktop PCs. I recommend Wacom's "Bamboo" range, which includes built-in multi-touch support in all but one of the models.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So...

        How is that related?

        A touchscreen is not the same as a trackpad, there is a clue in the name.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: So...

        I hope you are aware that the vast majority of computers sold over the past few years have been laptops, not desktops

        This is not true. For the last few years more notebooks than desktops have been sold but the split is close to 60:40, i.e. in no way "the vast majority".

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So...

        > It does take a few days to get used to the trackpad, but it's worth it. Your RSI will certainly thank you for it

        So will your PvP opponents.

      5. Ian Johnston Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: So...

        Apple (and therefore Apple fans) spent years telling us that mice with more than one button were impossibly complicated for users. Then they (and their fans) decided that it was absolutely fine to have touchpads which needed three fingers simultaneously to use them. Odd people, Apple (and Apple fans).

        Coming next: Why seven inch tablets are a perfect size, despite what Steve Jobs said for years. Oh, and Apple have always been in legal dispute with Eastasia.

  3. AJ MacLeod

    Might have known

    Only Microsoft could "improve" the UI like this; the ribbon is one of the most detestable, idiotic, illogical UI ideas of recent times (though quite impressively beaten by Win8/Metro desktop.)

    So, to make it even more logical and intuitive, they hide it by default?! Fantastic. That's one of the great things people are raving about with the controls in Windows 8 isn't it, all this retarded hide-and-seek of vital controls? No? Oh well.

    On another point... who on earth actually though that users wanted a more touchy-feely interface for working with Office documents? What kind of idiot thought that people are longing to move their hands away from their at least vaguely semi-natural position on the keyboard or mouse on the desk in front of them and start poking their greasy fingers, zombie-like, at their monitor?

    I AM glad nobody's forcing me to use this rubbish to get my own work done, but the sheer scale of disastrously bad design does make me despair. Microsoft - you have always, always produced substandard, lacklustre, often deliberately handicapped software, you have exhibited a disgusting lack of morals and honesty over the decades - but now, you're just flailing about making mind-numbingly stupid changes like you're in some kind of death throes. It's _almost_ sad to watch...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Might have known

      I logged on to say the same thing. The only thing they could do to make the Ribbon worse (other than poke out my eyes every time I see it) is hide it! I cannot use a autohide taskbar or menu system even if I want to. It looks nice, but my brain (anyone else?) cannot cope and tries to figure out where everything is. Oh, it's a has great visual memory, I just cannot cope with menus that change though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Might have known

      Ribbon hiding by default is only for 768p not modern displays, helps encourage users away from low definition. Hey but why let facts get in the way of a rant about something you haven't even tried.

      1. Captain Save-a-ho
        Mushroom

        Re: Might have known @ AC 23:39

        So, those who have small laptop or tablet screens will see the autohidden ribbon and magically want to run out to buy new kit? Facts work better when you have a noggin that you willingly use.

        And fuck the ribbon. I would rather eat canned haggis that was stored in the Sahara for 3 months.

    3. Doug Bostrom

      Re: Might have known

      "... but now, you're just flailing about making mind-numbingly stupid changes like you're in some kind of death throes. It's _almost_ sad to watch..."

      Like one of those infected ants that attaches itself to the underside of a leaf and dribbles fungal spores onto the other ants down below.

      We're the other ants. No matter how we protest, we always catch the stupidity and grow it.

  4. Vince

    Title is not required.

    Oh dear god.

    That pretty much sums it up.

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Well it looks like businesses will be skipping this version of office as well as Windows 8 as well unless they want to replace all their desktops with fondle slabs, Microsoft are really banking everything on Windows 8 tablets being what people want and im not sure that they do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The producers...

      ... seems to be on the watch list of Balmer's Zune?

      It seems there is more money to be made in loosing these days.

  6. BlueGreen

    "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

    They're lying but I hope they aren't. It just isn't possible to rewrite that much that fast...

    ... but just imagine if they had tried!

    One knotty charliefox of bugs in a train wreck wrapped in an earthquake.

    I hope I hope I hope ... screw popcorn, pass the whiskey. I am *so* going to enjoy this.

    (I just re-read this and realised how that sounded. If a professional dev gets to the point of wanting a company they depend on to go into catastrophic and terminal convusions... well, it does say something profound about how they feel they've been treated. So let me say it another way. Fuck you microsoft for making my job so unnecessarily miserable. Fuck you all the way. Die. Swallow poison and die. Fuck you for making me spend up to 50% of my time working around your shity code. Fuck you for bugging up my projects and making me work in my own time when I should be at home or in the pub having a life. Fuck you for forcing me to ask questions on newsgroups because you couldn't be fucked to document your shite to any decent level. Fuck you for having what offline docs you've do provide to be so shittishly indexed it's far quicker to find stuff with google. Fuck you for making me blow my cool).

    1. SilverWave
      Happy

      Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

      Yeah my first thought was *Did you Bollocks* :-)

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

        Just like Vista which was re-written from the ground up and had an exact replica of Windows 3.1's Add Font dialog box buried in it re-written from the ground up as a homage.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

      Ummm, raises the question of just how compatible with previous *documents* this steaming pile will be. Not that MS have shown any reluctance to short change users on legacy format support in previous

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

      @BlueGreen. What is it about the new office that caused that reaction? Personally, not looked in enough detail yet to have an opinion.

      Quiet drink in the pub, times theres a smelly old git in a corner talking to themselves muttering obscenities spoiling the atmosphere for those of us who have lives. You almost got me thinking I hope Office 2013 is dire if means its going to keep at least one of them working out of harms way.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

        Office 2013 isn't "dire." It's Office, it does the same thing. It has some actually quite nice cloud sync stuff. It has some irritating and intrusive Bing/Internet social media stuff.

        What is dire is the interface. That's partly an aesthetic thing, but it is also a pragmatic consideration for those of us who value screen real estate. I'd say "this is the office suite designed for a retina Mac," except that I can't use a retina Mac at it's native res because my eyes won't make out pixels that small from a reasonable distance.

        When Retina-class displays start becoming common in 24" and larger screens for less than $500, I will be the first person to jump up and down and say "goddamn, this new interface paradigm is kinda sexy, and that's awesome!"

        "Kinda sexy" however is of no use to me whatsoever in a 1920x1200-or-smaller world where I need every single pixel of real estate for multitasking.

        There are a whole bunch of extra features here that most of us (Register readers) will simply never care about, one that we might (cloud sync) a push towards Office 365 (which I promise you is more dire than Libre Office) and an interface that, while aesthetically appealing to a certain segment of the population, takes up far too much space on already too-small screens.

        The fact that we don’t all have 4K screens isn’t Microsoft’s fault, not at all. But they do have to design for the realities of the world. Not for a happy fairy unicorn future in which we all either only use one application at a time, or we have screens with enough resolution to handle that kind of massive interface bloat.

        I just want to type a damned document. I don’t care if the borders are white, grey, faded, or contain a social media update from twitter.

        It’s just a word document.

        1. Goat Jam
          Angel

          Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

          "rewritten from the ground up"

          aka "Click 'New project' in Visual Studio and proceed to copy-paste vast swathes of code from existing Office sourcecode as required"

          That's what they mean by "code reuse" innit?

          1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

            Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

            Maybe it was written using a new, unreleased version of Visual Studio with a resurrected assistant? You know, click "File", "New Project". Select the template "Office Suite for Windows", and an assistant pops up saying "It looks like you are writing a new office suite. Would you like me to help?". Then they click "Yes" and large swathes of the code from previous versions of office are pasted in.

        2. Steve Knox
          Facepalm

          Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

          ...except that I can't use a retina Mac at it's native res because my eyes won't make out pixels that small from a reasonable distance.

          Ummm... that's the point of a retina display -- if you could make out the pixels, it wouldn't be one. Same with larger screens. To make out the pixels on a 24" retina display, you'd have to sit closer than the recommended distance. What you want is not a retina display, but a high-resolution display.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

            Um...duh? But retina displays are the only high-res displays even close to affordable, and they can be operated in "maximum workspace" instead of "retina" mode. I was pretty clear about wanting WORKSPACE not RETINA MARKETING CRAP. The retina Macbooks can provide either...assuming you have telescopic glasses.

            What I *want* is a 50 inch display at 4k resolution for sub $1000 so that I can get as much utility out of a Windows-8/Office 2013 setup as I do today with a Windows 7/Office 2003 rig. That, or a suite of Microsoft software designed to MAXIMISE WORKSPACE by MINIMISING THE DAMNED INTERFACE while allowing me to use OVERLAPPING, RESIZEABLE WINDOWS.

            If Microsoft are going to subsidise the cost of replacing all my displays with higher resolution ones in order to accommodate their design aesthetic, I'll write a lovely article about how they understand the needs of customers and are combining marketplace product development and acceleration with great design.

            But if they expect me to have to pay more to get the same amount of work done, I am NOT going to be singing their praises.

            Office 2013/Win 8/etc may one day be a great product…if the hardware ever catches up. Right now, today, they have a product that seems to me less useable than one of its antecedents, and there is zero indication of a shift in consumer electronics pricing and availability required to regain what was lost.

            Let’s use a much-hated car analogy. Let’s say you’re the owner of a fleet of commercial vehicles. You’ve been using the Ford Taurus for 15 years, and it has served you well. Your entire business is build on this car, you know the ins and ours.

            Ford announces tomorrow that the new Taurus will have limited self-driving capabilities. Hurrah! An upgrade! Unfortunately, it will only run on jet fuel. Ford simultainiously cancels all of its Taurus-like vehicles (so there is nothing like the old Taurus available,) and halts production of spare parts for your existing fleet of vehicles.

            I think you’d be pretty pissed. Jet fuel is bloody expensive.

            Now, if Ford was also announcing simultainiously that they were opening 50 jet fuel refineries in an effort to increase global supply (and drive prices down to the point where they are near parity with petrol,) then you would be far more inclined to migrate your Taurus fleet to the new jet-fuel pseudo-self-driving ones, but I bet you’d still be irritated you can’t get spare parts for the old ones.

            This is Microsoft 2012. The difference is they aren’t out there building me the jet fuel refineries. They aren’t driving down the cost of the hardware to the point that throwing away 15 years of investment and buying newer, sleeker stuff to get the same functionality as before is even remotely palatable.

            Fortunately, I have the same option as the Ford Taurus guy would: simply tell Microsoft to go fuck themselves and buy from another vendor.

            Captialism!

        3. Bugs R Us

          Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

          "I just want to type a damned document."

          Then use Notepad.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

            Notepad ++, actually. It's brilliant.

    4. Luke McCarthy

      Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

      It's not Microsoft's fault if you make poor life decisions...

    5. Spoddyhalfwit
      Windows

      Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

      Have you considered getting another job, since you can't handle your present one?

  7. Charlie van Becelaere
    FAIL

    Good Lord

    Can anyone really want to work with a screen so fully crowded with all those little logos for each of the many applets and craplets that no particular one can be found in a reasonable time?

    If Ballmer et al want to use this horrid franken-interface for a few years as beta testers before foisting it on those of us who use our machines to actually produce something (rather than only consuming media), I say let them. However - I'll not be getting any of the crap anywhere near my machines until there are absolutely no remotely viable alternatives.

    Good grief, what a pack of morons.

    1. Oodles of Noodles

      Re: Good Lord

      I hope that my wife never reads this forum, but she has every square (oblong?) pixel of screen covered in Icons, applets and crapletts that are known to man - along with some that are probably known only to woman.

      I don't normally care, but when the soul destroying phrase of ' hold on, just let me show you this .. hmm, now where did I put .. oh here it ... oh no it's not that one.. oh, that click didn't work did it?' raises its head, I come to think of the screen shots that have been used to illustrate windows 8. Still, I am sure that its parents will always love it.

  8. bigphil9009
    WTF?

    No Graphics Driver

    I've installed the preview and have used it for a couple of hours and the overwhelming feeling is one of being transported back to the times of Windows 95 and the terrible 16 colour icons and desktop that we used to be presented with when Windows didn't have a driver for the graphics card. I cannot understand for the life of me why they have chosen such a stripped back, bare look for the suite - and the bright white has started to give me eye strain.

    They call this progress?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Graphics Driver

      On the other hand some people, myself included, prefer a more subdued look although agree to a degree they have gone a touch too far.

      Nothing like the Windows 95 unsubtle visuals to my eyes, for that time travel experience we need the (IMO) retro look of current Android and iOS releases.

  9. Sloppy Crapmonster
    Happy

    Looking forward to the shoops

    Oh the Photoshop potential of Balmer with a box on his head.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh...

    Cue a ton of people who've never used it complaining about Metro. (Also lots of people who've never used it, claiming that they have and a few who have used it for five minutes and binned it off...)

    Still, The Reg gets a load of F5 advert income, I suppose...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      @AC

      I'd believe that comment if it were only on El Reg but even on the MS fora themselves do you get /tons/ of negative comments. Even from people who are recognized as long term MVP's.

      As Elvis once said: 50.000.000 'fans' can't be wrong!

    2. Tom 35

      Re: Sigh...

      Way would you need more then 5 minutes to know Metro is shit?

      I spent longer trying to find a way to turn it off, or better if I could disable it in an active directory policy.

      I put Metro on the same list as Active Desktop, and the Office paperclip, except they were not as bad since they could be turned off.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Sigh...

        Well, Office 2013 is an interesting hybrid. It's not metro. It's actually a "classic destop application" that is Metro-styled.

        So it addresses one of the most important concerns: it allows for multi-windowed multitasking. But the interface still eats way more of the screen than Office 2003, and I can't make ubitmenu work properly on it. For what? Paste preview and cloud sync? (Pretty much the two features I feel it has over Office 2003.)

        Heck of a tradeoff...

  11. Ikoth
    FAIL

    Historical Precedent for Metro, etc?

    Yup - Emperor's New Clothes. Wonder how long it'll take em to realise their collective ass is showing?

  12. gaz 7
    Thumb Down

    Our desktop team will be busy

    buying and installing tocuh screen monitors for all the secretaries and accountants, and then the endless frigging calls cos a user has smeared tomato sauce or mayo (at least I hope it's mayo on a work screen) and now cannot see Excel properly.

    Skype. We ban skype cos it wastes bandwitdth and resources. If not all our overseas employees would be installing it and ringing the folks back home in where ever they are (people have tried to).

    Microsoft have seriously been on the weed. I think Nokia's been a bad influence!

    1. Goat Jam
      Windows

      Re: Our desktop team will be busy

      "frigging calls cos a user has smeared tomato sauce or mayo and now cannot see Excel properly."

      You have clearly never supported general users. Here, let me rephrase your sentence for accuracy;

      "frigging calls cos a user has fried their monitor after hosing it down with windex to clean off the tomato sauce or mayo that they had smeared on it earlier."

      Of course they will admit to none of this, they will just tell you "I didn't do anything, it just stopped working,"

    2. Ian Johnston Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Our desktop team will be busy

      We used to deprecate Skype because as a well connected university, anyone using it on campus tended to become a supernode and consume much more bandwidth than required for their calls. Now that Skype no uses P2P supernodes, that doesn't really mater. All our telephony is Lync now, so it doesn't really matter what VOIP is used.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Incomplete article

    Sorry El Reg but you're losing your touch IMO. For those of us who want to see a little more about this new Office then they can go to the official Office preview page which doesn't show extremely much but the introduction movie does give you a good impression of how its going to look and feel.

    Being an MS Office 2010 power user (and actually enjoying the environment) I can only say that after looking at that intro movie I'm convinced its going to suck. BIG time.

    Let me elaborate...

    As we all feared the whole kaboodle sits in Metro. If you look at the movie you'll notice around 0:28 a screenshot of OneNote. This is a program I actually use very often, almost on a daily basis. Honestly: you only get to see the notebook sections and only get to see the notebooks themselves when you move your mouse to make it scroll in ?

    Right now I have the notebooks sitting in the menu on my left, and the notebook sections on top. I get to chose what I want to see. More importantly: I can switch from my main notebook to my online (SkyDrive) notebook with 1 (one) click of the mouse. This is important to me because my online notebook holds info which is shared between all of my computers (main PC, laptop & WinPhone). Why would I want a sliding panel which only delays my movements?

    And really; a round 'dial' pop-up menu ?

    Outlook... (0:34); When I sit in Outlook right now I continue to have access to other information, even Messenger and for example, I dunno... A clock maybe? What good is a frickin' appointment calendar without so much as an actual clock visible on your screen ?

    What's that? I should get a watch? But like; isn't this Office suppose to make things /easier/ (see the intro movie) ? So how come it doesn't do stuff which the old "inferior" Office does RIGHT NOW ?

    Nice to have a 2D full screen Excel window but you know... Very often I add charts to some of my Word documents, and because Excel is quite a good program for that (IMO of course) I have it setup that I can start Excel with the click of a mouse button (sits in Words' quickstart panel).

    Guess what ?

    Win-RightMouse and it immediately moves to the right of my screen. When I'm in Word I can simply hit Win-LeftMouse and all of a sudden I have 2 programs on 1 1024x768 screen allowing me to work on my document as well as my charts.

    I can't do that within Metro because my screen resolution isn't high enough. But why would I want a higher resolution when all I'm doing with this PC is using it for administrative purposes?

    But here's the thing...

    If you go to that link I showed above you'll notice that as soon as it comes to business use MS is no longer touting their new "Wonderful" Office. No; then all of a sudden its Office 365 (ProPlus, Small Business Premium & Enterprise).

    With all due respect but those applications work quite nicely but are in /no way/ comparable to the stuff I can do with the common desktop apps. I tried 365 a month myself, I can see its potential but if you need a little more out of Office then get the desktop apps. For example: VBA scripting? Non existent in 365 because the webapps don't go that far.

    I think MS clearly shows in the preview movie itself where this is headed: look at 0:24 in the movie ;-)

    1. Shagbag

      Re: Incomplete article

      thx 4 the link. I checked it out and at 0:53 it subtitles "Screens Simulated". WTF is that???? The rest of the video is pretty uninspiring but that bit just took the biscuit. It seems that MS is eager to market its products before they're even in existence (eg. Surface).

    2. Oodles of Noodles

      Re: Incomplete article

      too long and far too boring

    3. PhilipN Silver badge

      Re: Incomplete article

      Bug Report?

      Is someone at MS taking the piss?

    4. h4rm0ny

      Re: Incomplete article

      "As we all feared the whole kaboodle sits in Metro"

      I am literally running the preview right now and the first thing it did when I launched it was open in the Desktop.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Incomplete article

        >And really; a round 'dial' pop-up menu ?

        AKA a Pie Menu... apparently they are only in OneNote at the moment, but may be in other Office applications in the future.

        In CAD software, Pie Menus can be very good, adding very quick access to eight tools without getting in the way of anything else. You still have a normal R-mouseclick context menu, the radial menu is hold R-mouse and drag.

        I'm not sure how much pie menus would add to Office (common tasks already have well-established keyboard short-cuts) but they can't do any harm, since they don't get in the way of other functions.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Incomplete article

        Two downvotes for a simple factual correction saying that Office 2013 runs on the Desktop, not in Metro. Says it all about some people's kneejerk bias. Operating Systems and software suites are not football teams.

  14. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Poking at the preview

    ...asdf...

  15. Captain DaFt
    FAIL

    Give us a name, Ballmer!

    I get the impression that you promoted a Fine Arts graduate to the head of the Design department after discovering him/her working in the the cafeteria pool.

    Please tell us who this person is so that the rest of the corporate world will know who to never, EVER place in such a position again!

  16. Kirstian K
    Flame

    Me Thinks :

    a LOT of people in this world have had PC's for a long time,

    and there is a change happening, one that scares and frightens those people who have all been used to being young and of the 'PC' eara. the fact is: they need to allow the new and brave through...!

    its better to risk and die, than to do nothing and fade away (eh MS?).

    office nees to work in the cloud and on tablets : fact

    people will continue to use desktops etc : fact

    its the private market MS is after, Apple have been grabbing that market (and google) in droves. and MS want a piece of that pie, at the end of the day metro is only a different menu and on by default when you log in.

    (ok i personally aint to keen, but on a tablet it would work well i could see it as an ipad replacement (maybe/ish), when it gets some apps on it etc..)

    there WILL be hacks making it more customisable, and it will settle down and people will cope, you will get used to it, but also statistically something stupid like > 50% of computers will be mobile/touch based by 2014

    (i forget the actual stats, but its something stupid like this)

    so in all real terms the desktop is suddenly a second place and mobile gets the extra effort.

    MS knows this and is betting big on this, i say good on them.

    last point

    you know, metro is not aimed at Buisiness right? Win7 is still the buisiness software of choice, people have only just moved to it, they aint gonna budge just yet, MS know this, so is this a window of opertunity to try and grab the personal tablet market. it makes so much sense. i would HATE to use Metro at work, in fact i just dont think i could. but this market place is static, and flat line, why would you move again now. tablets is where the money is at.

    if you were MS what would you have done? copy apple? stay the same? create a new menu for office, add a few tweeks, and say, look how dull we are? you would complain about that too.

    more positivity people come on pleeeaaase...

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Me Thinks :

      Why exactly should we be positive?

      Fact: Metro is ass.

      Fact: The goddamned ribbon bar is STILL ass, years later.

      Fact: The "cloud" offerings are also ass.

      Fact: Microsoft isn't paying the rest of us to astroturf.

      So why, exactly should we be positive? Have faith in your favourite company? Why? I don't have faith in a deity. Why would I have faith in a company that doesn't listen to me, actively discriminates against my customers and goes out of its way to prevent the kind of innovation I would like to implement with its products for my customers. (Multitennant Windows 7 service-provider based VDI, as one example.)

      Microsoft has some great technologies and great people. But the licensing department, Windows 8, Office post-2003 and Office 365 are not among them.

      1. Lemons
        WTF?

        Re: Me Thinks :

        Did you copy and paste this comment from your other ms bashing article?

        We get it, some of you think its going to be a disaster. It won't be the end of Ms like the foss preachers or people unable to cope with change are predicting.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Me Thinks :

          It isn't "bashing" to point out flaws. Especially not when you devote at least as much time to pointing out the things done right.

          As I have said before, Microsoft have some truly great stuff. Hyper-V for example, or System Center 2012. SMB 3.0 deserves a nod, as do Microsoft's efforts regarding NFS of late. I think SQL server is grand, and I am increasingly impressed by IIS. Microsoft Dynamics is a decent product that is coming along nicely and I think the xbox is finally coming into its own. (As an "own your whole living room" content delivery platform, complete with original/unique or first run content that Microsoft pays for.)

          I even think that Windows Phone was a decently designed platform, even if I happened to prefer Android's interface. (At least WP7 was tight to the hardware with decent battery life and stellar performance!)

          I have written articles to this effect. I give praise where it is due.

          But this Office cloudy 8 Metro fingerpaints edition?

          Lock that sideways.

      2. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Me Thinks :

        Uh huh.

        It's Office for people who never work in offices.

        Genius.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Kirstian K Re: Me Thinks :

      You wrote, "and there is a change happening, one that scares and frightens those people who have all been used to being young and of the 'PC' eara. the fact is: they need to allow the new and brave through...!"

      The first computer I worked on was a DEC PDP8/e with 4 KB of core memory, and punched paper tape for mass storage. I've seen a lot of change since then. I've learned:

      Not all change is good. And, change, simply for the sake of change (or marketing), is bad for the end-users.

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: @Kirstian K Me Thinks :

        ...and that change foisted on users purely and only to promote some other product they neither need or want is rarely good and never wanted.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      @Kirstian

      "you know, metro is not aimed at Buisiness right?"

      Then why do they also put in the upcoming Server 2012 ?

    4. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Me Thinks :

      You're mistaking foolishness for bravery. They're perhaps quite similar in appearance but when you grow up you'll learn the difference.

      Who knows,you may even learn how to use capital letters...

      (Posted from my phone. Which has an ordinary numeric telephone keypad and is still capable of such niceties)

  17. Edward Ashley
    Linux

    Was it coded with BRIC's?

    I think Microsoft are trying to please not only the emerging tablet / touch screen market, but also the simplicity needed in the high growth markets of BRIC. I say simplicity only because even though I find it more difficult to actually get work done with the silly ribbon, new buyers with fresh eyes might find the latest incarnation more pleasing.

    Microsoft have excelled at stealing ideas and software, so seeing them trying to keep up is actually quite amusing.

    I wish Google Docs released a downloadable app that I could install and use daily, that would be a killer app.

  18. Oodles of Noodles

    I will buy it!

    I mean, come on people. Anything that will make our cursor react more efficiently has got to be worth the asking price. So I for one will definitely upgrade to Lotus Ami pro (.. or whatever)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: I will buy it!

      I saw a copy of Office for Dos on 3 floppies in a second hand store (charity shop) back in 2009. It was going for £30 for some unknown reason.

      However, I'd consider it over the latest offers from MS. :D

  19. cosmogoblin
    Coat

    Is my screen broken ...

    ... or am I really the only one who noticed all the people in the video are smurfs?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is my screen broken ...

      I don't know, but my ears were bleeding to much from that annoying woman's voice, I kept expecting her to keep saying, like, you like, OMG, like, you know,OMG, like....

  20. IT Hack
    Pint

    So now the choice is between Open Office and LibreOffice...coz if MS Office is going to cost more than $10.00 its pointless.

    Oh ...and the entire store docs on MS servers thing...sorry...'Cloud'...I laughed. A lot. There's a good chance of a few giggles of disbelief tomorrow morning as well.

    MS -> Lost. The. Plot.

    Pint coz well fuck it.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is it..

    Why is it that when a new version of anything is made available in beta form for evaluation, the first people to comment have ready made opinions from minds unsullied by trying the beta or learning about it beyond reading some hack article or watching a short video?

    Office 2013 may be crap, mediocre or an improvement over 2010 I simply don't know yet. In theory making an interface that works well with mouse/keyboard as well as touch sounds like a worthwhile endeavour. What I do know is reading a bunch of reactionary comments from people clearly antagonistic to any kind of change has already warmed my heart a degree or two.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Why is it..

      Some changes are good. Others are bad.

      Cloud sync is awesome. The push for using the cloud-based crippled rental app however...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The little things

    Word 2013 seems fine after a couple of hours use, although my personal preference would be slightly more emphatic icons - I find it harder to find or react to icons with the Metro-pale look.

    What disappointed was finding features such as the font selection combo not designed properly - on ribbon or on context menu. Too narrow to display many font names.

    Its the little things that make for a great release and my first impression was lack of attention to detail.

  23. Barry Rueger

    But Can You Use It To Write Documents?

    Sometimes it feels like everything that MS does makes it harder to just create a paper document with words in it.

    If I'm using an Office suite, I'm writing for paper, not the web, not multimedia, not Skype.

    I don't want things hyperlinked - despite underlining and turning things blue, the links don't work when you click the printed output.

    I don't want MS auto-formatting things left, right and center.

    And when I paste a chunk of text into a document I want it to adopt the formatting for the desination, not carry over whatever lame-ass HTML formatting that some web page gave it.

    Even though I actually like The Ribbon, I find that MS Office is far from a useful tool for routine tasks.

    1. Tom 35

      Re: But Can You Use It To Write Documents?

      But they just have to add more stuff to list on the box to sell updates. Even the extra value stuff is crap, most of the fonts and almost all the clip art is unusable (I think I used one of the arrows on a wet paint sign once).

      When you find some website that was created in Word it's always good for a laugh.

      Acrobat is another program where I don't want sound and video crap, I want a file I can email to someone or post on a web site, and another person can print, and the print will look like my copy no mater what software / OS he is using.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But Can You Use It To Write Documents?

      As with earlier versions of office word, you can turn auto-formatting options on and off. My gripe is some of these features would be better done on a per document or per class of document than globally over all word editing and its unfortunate Microsoft haven't put more effort into some basic aspects of usability.

      Copy/paste deficiencies haven't been properly addressed for years, what we have now is virtually unchanged from 20 years ago, in some instances worse. Pretty pathetic the half hearted changes in 13.

      When I'm using Word I'm usually writing for electronic distribution not paper although that often means PDF so similar issues involved.

      I also prefer ribbon to the old menu style, puts me off LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: But Can You Use It To Write Documents?

        Fair play... Its not the ribbon per se, but that

        1, I can't find anything on it. There was no interim product with both menus and the ribbon, where selecting a menu item would show you where the same item was located on the ribbon. (just as how, in older versions, menus would teach you the keyboard short-cut.)

        2. It takes up space. In Solidworks, for example, it doesn't matter so much: the location of the Ribbon-like 'Command Manager' can be changed or turned off, along with with other toolbars- and for that sort of work your workspace doesn't necessarily have to be tall (like a text document does, 80% of the time). In CAD, having large pictograms can be useful.

        It is worth noting that Solidworks and its competitors don't force any command-selection method upon you- you are free to use a menus, context menus, pie-menus, a tabbed command manager, toolbars or even a command line, should you wish.

        It seems to me that Office was good, mature and fit for purpose at the turn of the century- around the same time CAD was coming down off the mainframe and onto the Windows-based workstation. So in the last ten years it is in the CAD sector that I've seen more development of User Interfaces, usually for the better.

        I have no point to make, other than to say that looking at how other software handles its UI can be instructive, but different UI elements work better for some tasks and in some circumstances than others.

  24. Brian
    Thumb Up

    Installed in less than 3 minutes..

    I chose to participate in the Office 365 ProPlus which includes a 'click to run' version of Office. It was downoaded, installed, and running in under 3 minutes on a cable internet connection over Wi-Fi. I've bought iPad app that took longer to download and install! I'm impressed with the install time and touch friendly interface. I don't see much in new functionality, but such a full-featured app being touch friendly is impressive!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Installed in less than 3 minutes..

      Same here but expect you'll be down voted many times by the 80s throwbacks.

  25. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. druck Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Office Hell

      "Metro everywhere" - sales nowhere!

  26. Martin 47

    Not tried it so not knocking it

    I understand (I think) that when a user presses 'save' it saves a local copy and when it has an internet connection uploads to the cloud.

    Quick question to those that have played with it, is it possible to stop the uploading happening?

    I don't mean just at the office etc but when the user has taken his/her laptop home or on a public wifi.

    If it is, how can you be sure?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not tried it so not knocking it

      Simple question, simple answer. Yes.

      Sure? Few certainties in life, we have to trust that Microsoft really don't want to be accused of snaffling docs. I do think the uploading behaviour should be far more manifest in order to avoid accidental uploading.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not tried it so not knocking it

        > Sure? Few certainties in life, we have to trust that Microsoft really don't want to be accused of snaffling docs.

        Why? They've snaffled everything else.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The logo is perfect.

    Exit door.

  28. Corinne
    Unhappy

    A few practical issues

    I'm not a techy, but I still see a couple of practical issues with this.

    Firstly, I don't WANT to be dependant on the "cloud" for my software or data, I want to be able to use them when the network falls over, or my ISP at home throws a wobbly, or some prat puts a digger through the cables to my house (as happened recently). Yes I can see the point in being able to upload stuff to somewhere accessible on any device, but not have that as the default for the applications and data.

    Secondly, with this mad rush for everyone to use mobile devices instead of "traditional" PCs etc there seems to be little consideration for the ergonomics. Everywhere I've worked where a laptop is the standard issue kit, large flat screens and separate keyboards & mice are supplied for very good reason - working on a laptop or tablet really isn't good for your posture, which leads to interesting conditions like RSI and neck/upper back strain. With a laptopon it's own either the screen is too low or if you use a stand then the keyboard is at a bad angle/height. With a tablet either again it's flat on the desk or you put strain on your arms by holding it up. Short term use of such devices is fine, but to assume they will replace the traditional set up of separate large screen/keyboard/mouse is storing up a load of (literal) pain for the future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A few practical issues

      I am a techy but agree its important the office software is solid over various levels of internet connectivity. With the focus on tablets, this must be a high priority for Microsoft, guess we'll see how well it is executed.

      Totally agree on the importance of ergonomics and the value of a good desktop setup for other than casual use. One aspiration of this new version of office seems to be to make it easier to support these different modes of working by making the same software adapt to be effective of tablets and desktops (and combinations), a good thing from an ergonomics perspective as we are spared the worst of the 'mad rush to mobile' by retaining an effective desktop usage model.

      Not convinced Office 13 will hit the spot going by the beta but remain open minded.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: A few practical issues

      Just about the erogonomics:

      Yep, using a separate keyboard and monitor is best for your back whilst writing a doc. But then being able to vary your posture (perhaps by proof-reading on a 'Surface' away from your desk in a different chair) is even better.

      For reviewing a document, who here hasn't printed out a hardcopy and sat back with a red pen?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It seems rather daft that the assumption is that Office users will be always connected to the Internet.

    While you can use a 3G dongle on a laptop, there will be many who are not on WIFI or 3G while on a train.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Would be daft if true. Any evidence of problems in the Beta when internet connectivity is off or unreliable?

  30. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    "We've transformed Office to embrace design concepts shown in Windows 8 and Phone 8 and in Metro. This wave of Office is the biggest and most ambitious we've ever done."

    or translated:

    "We've transformed Office to embrace the monumental design fuckups championed in Windows 8 and Phone 8 and in Metro. This wave of meaningless marketing driven Office user interface changes is the biggest and most ambitious cockup we've ever overseen."

    As for how the applications work, will have to try them soon enough to be sure. However the eye hurting caps on menus, lack of distinction between document and controls and general white-on-white glare isn't encouraging me to do this. The changes in powerpoint do look like a good thing, but we'll see how they work in practice.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Office were a soap character...

    ... it would be Kirsty from Corrie.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Iceberg dead ahead...

    "This is the first round of Office designed from the get-go for Office to be a service," said CEO Steve Ballmer at a press conference in San Francisco.

    -------------------------

    In other words why aren't you giving us your money every month? Well you will be from now on.

    Jeeze look at that picture of Windows 8 on that 82 inch display. It looks like a tacky webpage from the early 90s where it was just all massive animated gifs spewed on a page with no sense of aesthetics or design principles.

    Two years ago Microsoft ran a major advertising campaign with the punchline "What has Information overload done to us?" as a dig at Google. Now they are trying to regurgitate everything and anything onto the 'start screen' at once which is the very definition of information overload

  33. JDX Gold badge

    Alternative view: Great but not Office

    I'm left wondering if this new Office might actually be great as a web-oriented tool - but that's not what most of us use Office for.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Noooooo!

    With Microsoft's security record, I read as far as "Developers can also build third-party web applications and embed them in Office." and developed this sudden urge to go hide under the nearest desk...

  35. vic 4

    Homework made easy

    "Bing and other services to add in content"

    So, just select the question, right click and choose "Insert wikipedia search", job done and off to the pub we go.

  36. John Munyard

    Yeah... right....

    Despite what Ballmer says I can't see most corporates agreeing to put thier data in some poxy ananymous, potentially insecure and uncontrolled "cloud".

    Instead of focussing on pointless crap like that, perhaps Microsoft would add some more charts to Excel, or (God forbid) put styles back in the proper way instead of ruining the feature like they did.

  37. Hoodlum
    Facepalm

    Hooray

    Clippy is coming back - "In Excel, for example, the computer will suggest the best kind of charts and tables, and suggest automatic filling of cells based on past content."

    "It looks like you're creating a spreadsheet. Would you like help?"

    FUCK OFF CLIPPY.

  38. Spoonsinger
    Boffin

    Great, but...

    99.9% of the people I know just want to use office, (basically word), as a typewriter with spell check and save-as facility. I could be wrong- not really in the general new age tech hipster demographic - but surely Word 2000 provides the required functionality for what people what?

    (Going for the, in my experience, weird blue icon, because ICT is a straight con).

  39. pctechxp

    Re: Iceberg dead ahead...

    Couldn't agree more.

    Small businesses might take this up but I doubt corporates will.

  40. the-it-slayer
    Alert

    Has Balmer got Reality Distortion Field now?

    Doesn't he remember that the world is still going through a financial crisis? That equals no monies for big upgradies. To try and sell a whole package is not going to work with SMBs. You're just trying to screw them over.

    By the looks of Office 2013 by itself through the screenies; Balmer wants us to all go blind. Poke my eyes, poke my eyes!

  41. The Godfather
    Facepalm

    Pin-cushion

    I deduce the barbs show conclusively Microsoft is currently hated and slated...

  42. pikeybastard
    FAIL

    Empty what now?

    Anybody else found that emptying deleted items in Outlook 2013 wipes out your entire mailbox?

  43. Niri

    Forget it

    Apart from the very slow internet speeds here in good ol' NZ, if MS wants me to store anything online then Steve Ballmer can go fuck himself with Bill Gate's dessicated corpse.

    MS have no understanding of security - anyone using this system might as well just copy their stuff onto an open, virus-riddled, pus-filled server.

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