Customer Review

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All Flash -- No Substance, September 13, 2007
This review is from: Microsoft Word 2007 [Old Version] (Software)
The new version of office should be provided as part of a training seminar on what not to do when building a user interface. The new ribbon style of interface fails in all points, putting specialty features used in a fraction of documents, such as mail merge, reviews and citations, front and center while burying standard features amidst a bewildering array of outsized toolbar buttons. With no "classic view" option or equivalent, the end effect is to reduce professionals, who have become accustomed to a standard interface over many years, to spend several minutes hunting through an interface that makes little logical sense to accomplish what should be a five second task.

If that were not enough, the new version of office breaks backwards compatibility for a number of standard features when working with documents saved in older formats and with 3rd-party plug-ins. Indexes do not port over nicely between versions, nor do a number of other minor features, while the 3rd-party application Camtasia caused Power Point to crash to desktop repeatedly.

In return for these types of headaches, the new version offers almost nothing new in the way of features or fixes to longstanding bugs and quirks. Essentially we are offered the same word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications spruced up with an unintuitive user interface that may look "gee whiz" during a demo, but quickly fails to impress when it comes to actual usage.

As a professional who heads up a technical publications department for a software firm, I've watched productivity drop dramatically when it comes to using the new office for creating materials. I can only hope that Microsoft in the future spends less time worrying about how snazzy the gradient fill effects are and starts to again to look at the functionality that made its products great in the first place.
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1.6 out of 5 stars (82 customer reviews)
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