Anil thinks Office 2007 is ballsy

Yeah, Anil Dash, you're right. Office 2007 is ballsy. I love using it and feel unproductive when I go back to the old version.

He totally nails why it's so hard to do something really different at a big company. Convincing everyone that you should change something big is a lot harder than it looks. My hat is off to the Office team. Interviewing Julie Larson-Green about Office is still one of my favorite videos.

Comments

  1. Ballsy? There menu bar has been rejiggered, a new file format has been added and the background is blue instead of grey. It’s a neat update and all, but it’s hardly a “ballsy” move.

    I thought you didn’t work for Microsoft anymore. What’s with the free marketing?

  2. Ballsy? There menu bar has been rejiggered, a new file format has been added and the background is blue instead of grey. It’s a neat update and all, but it’s hardly a “ballsy” move.

    I thought you didn’t work for Microsoft anymore. What’s with the free marketing?

  3. the new version of office looks very good in its new clothes and additional buttons. but that did some courage on the part of microsoft to get to change the age old style of menus. microsoft should change more in its ways to change age old styles, that pleases the users eyes.

    But Robert have you not left Microsoft, or is this part of transition. On curiosity, whose replacing you.

    http://www.irin.co.uk

  4. the new version of office looks very good in its new clothes and additional buttons. but that did some courage on the part of microsoft to get to change the age old style of menus. microsoft should change more in its ways to change age old styles, that pleases the users eyes.

    But Robert have you not left Microsoft, or is this part of transition. On curiosity, whose replacing you.

    http://www.irin.co.uk

  5. Jean: Not sure I need replacing. There’s 3,000 employee bloggers at Microsoft. Channel 9 is being done by Charles Torre and Duncan MacKenzie, among others.

  6. Jean: Not sure I need replacing. There’s 3,000 employee bloggers at Microsoft. Channel 9 is being done by Charles Torre and Duncan MacKenzie, among others.

  7. I for one agree with Anil and Robert on this one. It’s clear that there is some interesting thought going on at Microsoft at least in the Office group.

    Now if we can only get them to re-think this “Genuine Advantage” nonsense we’d be getting someplace.. I went to download a video from MSDN TV and I had to go thru the whole Genuine Advantage nonsence. I mean just for a developer video.. how sad is that? And it’s pretty annoying if your using Firefox as a browser.

    I really don’t think that people who are running hacked copies of Windows are seriously intrested in learning the hardcore technical aspects that are offered on MSDN TV.

  8. I for one agree with Anil and Robert on this one. It’s clear that there is some interesting thought going on at Microsoft at least in the Office group.

    Now if we can only get them to re-think this “Genuine Advantage” nonsense we’d be getting someplace.. I went to download a video from MSDN TV and I had to go thru the whole Genuine Advantage nonsence. I mean just for a developer video.. how sad is that? And it’s pretty annoying if your using Firefox as a browser.

    I really don’t think that people who are running hacked copies of Windows are seriously intrested in learning the hardcore technical aspects that are offered on MSDN TV.

  9. I have been using Office 2007 beta alongside of Vista Beta 2 and they are fantastic… The information is all there and its just a question of getting used to the new layout… once you get past that point… you start to appreciate it.
    I do not feel unproductive when i use the old version… they are just different…

  10. I have been using Office 2007 beta alongside of Vista Beta 2 and they are fantastic… The information is all there and its just a question of getting used to the new layout… once you get past that point… you start to appreciate it.
    I do not feel unproductive when i use the old version… they are just different…

  11. Too bad the Office UI is so stupidly inconsistent. Sometimes you have the Ribbon. (Word Excel PPT), sometimes you don’t (Outlook Visio). Of course in Outlook, there are times you’ll get the Ribbon, when you want to set certain preferences.

    The implementation of it should have been consistent across the product line. This just feels half-baked

  12. Too bad the Office UI is so stupidly inconsistent. Sometimes you have the Ribbon. (Word Excel PPT), sometimes you don’t (Outlook Visio). Of course in Outlook, there are times you’ll get the Ribbon, when you want to set certain preferences.

    The implementation of it should have been consistent across the product line. This just feels half-baked

  13. Sure it’s ballsy. Changing anything major in Office, like the UI, will result in the Fortune 500′s not upgrading, as they will have to send legions of End Users in for new training, the geeks may consider such relearning trivial, but then they don’t live in the real world. That standardization is been both the Kingmaker, but it will be the slow death of them, stuck on backwards compat. forever, adding new features that most never need. It creates a problem, in that your worst competitor becomes yourself. Microsoft will try and move things, by cutting off support, but then companies will just hire own support teams or third parties. Natural cycle of a commodity market, fast growth at start, ramp up, and then a big long flatline, with an eventual downward tilt.

    The ironic thing tho, security issues, purposeful neglect, creates upgrading pressure. So past incompetence is actually a useful marketing tool.

    But, I agree fully with John, half-baked is def. the middle name, at least with this Office beta, it feels toss on wall, see what sticks, many product teams mish-mashed up.

  14. Sure it’s ballsy. Changing anything major in Office, like the UI, will result in the Fortune 500′s not upgrading, as they will have to send legions of End Users in for new training, the geeks may consider such relearning trivial, but then they don’t live in the real world. That standardization is been both the Kingmaker, but it will be the slow death of them, stuck on backwards compat. forever, adding new features that most never need. It creates a problem, in that your worst competitor becomes yourself. Microsoft will try and move things, by cutting off support, but then companies will just hire own support teams or third parties. Natural cycle of a commodity market, fast growth at start, ramp up, and then a big long flatline, with an eventual downward tilt.

    The ironic thing tho, security issues, purposeful neglect, creates upgrading pressure. So past incompetence is actually a useful marketing tool.

    But, I agree fully with John, half-baked is def. the middle name, at least with this Office beta, it feels toss on wall, see what sticks, many product teams mish-mashed up.

  15. PS – “has been”, is correct English yes, but I like “is been”, something that is, yet was. I think English is too limited in tenses. :) Past, yet Present, and still forever Future Perfect Continuous, we need more mix and matching of verb tenses, non-linear editing if you will. Oh I know, MLA would burn me at the stake. :)

  16. PS – “has been”, is correct English yes, but I like “is been”, something that is, yet was. I think English is too limited in tenses. :) Past, yet Present, and still forever Future Perfect Continuous, we need more mix and matching of verb tenses, non-linear editing if you will. Oh I know, MLA would burn me at the stake. :)

  17. I’ve been playing with Word, PPT & Excel 2007 Beta 2 since it’s release to the public and love the perceived boost in productivity. I simply feel more efficient & productive when using the Office 2007 UIRibbon interface.

    If the Ribbon concept in Office 2007 is a hit (like I hope and expect it to be), I wonder if we will see similar context sensitive ribbons make their way into Windows post-Vista.

    Imagine Windows Explorer showing the contents of a folder holding mixed content…when no files are highlited we get a generic File tab in an Explorer Ribbon containing the common tasks for all files…but when you click an MP3 file a new ribbon tab shows up with actions specific to MP3 files (like clicking a table in Word), or an image tab appears when selecting a JPG file (like clicking a chart in Excel)…

    I imagine a huge productivity boost for general users and infinite opportunities for 3rd party developers to extend the Ribbon experience if Microsoft made a Windows Explorer UI post-Vista in the image of the Office 2007 UIRibbon.

  18. I’ve been playing with Word, PPT & Excel 2007 Beta 2 since it’s release to the public and love the perceived boost in productivity. I simply feel more efficient & productive when using the Office 2007 UIRibbon interface.

    If the Ribbon concept in Office 2007 is a hit (like I hope and expect it to be), I wonder if we will see similar context sensitive ribbons make their way into Windows post-Vista.

    Imagine Windows Explorer showing the contents of a folder holding mixed content…when no files are highlited we get a generic File tab in an Explorer Ribbon containing the common tasks for all files…but when you click an MP3 file a new ribbon tab shows up with actions specific to MP3 files (like clicking a table in Word), or an image tab appears when selecting a JPG file (like clicking a chart in Excel)…

    I imagine a huge productivity boost for general users and infinite opportunities for 3rd party developers to extend the Ribbon experience if Microsoft made a Windows Explorer UI post-Vista in the image of the Office 2007 UIRibbon.

  19. I am initially impressed with the changes. As an educator who teaches both adults and teenagers, I think that user preference is important. When Microsoft grabbed the market away from Word Perfect, I eased the transition for those who loved the Word Perfect way of life by turning on Help for Word Perfect Users. I really think there should be a setting for those who liked the old methodology of Office rather than a “here you are you’ve got to use it this way” methodology that seems to happen with product upgrades now. Although teenagers seem to be very good at adapting to change, older adults who have been through numerous training classes on the prior versions of Office are going to have a heart attack. I’m not saying that we don’t need change, but unsuspecting businesses that buy the new Office will be shocked when it starts up. There should be a choice for people to choose to interact with office in the way they are most comfortable.

    I applaud the changes, but we also have to remember that older people are some of the fastest growing markets for Internet and computer use. I guess I’ll be doing some more training coming up soon since this is the most significant change since Office 97. I am considering how I am going to be teaching this in August if it is still in Beta. I have been unable to find an “official” release date.

    Thank you for a great blog!

  20. I am initially impressed with the changes. As an educator who teaches both adults and teenagers, I think that user preference is important. When Microsoft grabbed the market away from Word Perfect, I eased the transition for those who loved the Word Perfect way of life by turning on Help for Word Perfect Users. I really think there should be a setting for those who liked the old methodology of Office rather than a “here you are you’ve got to use it this way” methodology that seems to happen with product upgrades now. Although teenagers seem to be very good at adapting to change, older adults who have been through numerous training classes on the prior versions of Office are going to have a heart attack. I’m not saying that we don’t need change, but unsuspecting businesses that buy the new Office will be shocked when it starts up. There should be a choice for people to choose to interact with office in the way they are most comfortable.

    I applaud the changes, but we also have to remember that older people are some of the fastest growing markets for Internet and computer use. I guess I’ll be doing some more training coming up soon since this is the most significant change since Office 97. I am considering how I am going to be teaching this in August if it is still in Beta. I have been unable to find an “official” release date.

    Thank you for a great blog!

  21. I was using Office 2007 and sending problems until I realized that I would not not get a discount whne it was out for sale.

    I also at the same time, got an email, from a good friend telling me I could do everythintg from BSD, which is free.

    So I am here setting up a second computer, wondering about life now.

  22. I was using Office 2007 and sending problems until I realized that I would not not get a discount whne it was out for sale.

    I also at the same time, got an email, from a good friend telling me I could do everythintg from BSD, which is free.

    So I am here setting up a second computer, wondering about life now.