Damaged Goods …

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Microsoft Office for Dummies

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Microsoft Corporation
Attention: Steve Ballmer
1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Dear Mr. Balmer,

After much resistance on my part, the Director of I.T. at my workplace has finally forced me to adopt Office 2007. Consequently, I just wanted to drop a note to thank you forg making me much less efficient at my job. The fact that I just spent ten minutes searching for the Microsoft Excel Print command is going to make my boss really happy.

In reviewing your website for some insight into this dreadful new version of Office, I can’t help but notice that you seem to take a lot of pride in what you refer to as the “Office Fluent user interface”. To quote from your marketing materials …

“…the new Office Fluent user interface replaces menus, toolbars, and most of the task panes from earlier versions of Excel with a single mechanism that is simple and discoverable. The Office Fluent user interface is designed to help you be more productive in Excel, more easily find the right features for various tasks, discover new functionality, and be more efficient.”

I couldn’t disagree more. A better name for this nightmare might be the Office EFFLUENT user interface. My impression is that you took every one of the Commands and Functions in the well-established Microsoft Office menus, put them all in a giant hat, and then proceeded to implement your own sick version of 52-Pick-up as a huge practical joke on the millions of people who actually have to earn a living using your products.

There is one feature of the new Office that really stands out for its utter stupidity. Incredible as it seems, when your so-called software designers were finished wreaking their destruction on Office 2007, it appears that there were a handful of basic Commands left over ( Open, Save, Print, etc.) that couldn’t find a home within the train wreck of your new interface. Consequently, you decided to group these all together under the new Microsoft Office button. However, with its generic appearance and isolated location, the Office button doesn’t look like a button at all! To ordinary users it simply appears to be a product logo! Who would think to waggle their cursor over the product logo in order to figure out how to open a file?!? Good one!

Look, I appreciate that your whole business model is predicated upon making never-ending changes (note that I didn’t say “improvements”) to your software so that your customers will always be compelled to purchase the latest upgrade. But … sheesh? Can’t you be a little more subtle about it?

Written by mainecartoons

January 15, 2010 at 2:05 am

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