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Office Delayed, Too 463

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the not-quite-ready dept.
turnitover writes "And you thought calling it 'Office 2007' was just to make it seem all future-like -- but according to eWEEK.com's Mary Jo Foley, turns out calling it is truth in advertising: Office 2007 won't ship until 2007. What does this mean for Microsoft and its reputation as a company that can eventually ship software? What will this mean for office managers who have to plan upgrades and budgets? Will this make anyone look at OpenOffice.org?"
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Office Delayed, Too

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  • by alexhs (877055) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:45AM (#14986629) Homepage Journal
    Couldn't say admit once and for all that they're thinking MS-Windows and MS-Office are now mature products and that they won't release new versions anymore ? :)
    • Yes, that is true.

      So is the problem that they are diverting too many resources to other projects - obviously not just programmers, but real leaders in the company, people who get things done. Or are they simply having trouble coming up with enough changes to justify a launch.

      I can't imagine it being the second point, as if they only release it with a few changes people will stay buy it, surely?
    • It's a catch 22. Microsoft has been blasted in the past for releasing software "too early" in people's opinions. Now, they want to make sure it's completely ready before releasing, and people are complaining that it's "too late".

      What is it people want? I always thought that people were asking for robust applications that are fully ready for prime time. I actually commend Microsoft for taking this approach as opposed to their old "get it out there and we'll fixe it later" approach.
      • Microsoft has been blasted in the past for releasing software "too early" in people's opinions. Now, they want to make sure it's completely ready before releasing, and people are complaining that it's "too late".

        And there's no contradiction. A release can be both "too early" because it is full of bugs and "too late" because a release date has been advertised that wasn't met. Remember that "Longhorn" should've been released for 4th quarter 2005.
  • I looked.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ckwop (707653) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:46AM (#14986633) Homepage

    Will this make anyone look at OpenOffice.org?

    Microsoft Office was at it's best with Office 97. OpenOffice might not have all the features of Microsoft Office but I don't care because I'll never use them. Moreover, nobody is going to take away the download for OpenOffice 2 and decide we need a shiny new version. I also resent being called a dinosaur by Microsoft for using one of their old products that I found to be reliable.

    I looked, I made the switch and there is no going back.

    Simon.

    • Re:I looked.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jarlsberg (643324)
      Personally, I've always had a soft spot for the final Windows 3.1 release of Office. Not that I'd ever use either Windows 3.1 or Microsoft Office for Windows 3.1 ever again, but at the time, it felt like a stable, mature product. Today, when I use my Windows box, I use Office 2004. It's fast, does everything I need it to do (and probably thousands of things I dont' care about). Will I switch to 2007? Only if it comes preloaded (which Office 2004 did).

      On the issue of Microsoft releasing late. As a rule of

      • Personally, I've always had a soft spot for the final Windows 3.1 release of Office. Not that I'd ever use either Windows 3.1 or Microsoft Office for Windows 3.1 ever again, but at the time, it felt like a stable, mature product.

        Office 4.2 -- which was the first real integrated version of office, and the last before it "jumped the shark" and got loaded up with wizards and cartoon characters. The 32-bit version (Office/NT) was especially good.
      • Re:I looked.. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816)
        Personally, I'm still using Office '97 Pro. It freaks out on non-primary displays (pull-down menus pop up on the primary display no matter where the app is) but other than that it's still a champ, it's tiny compared to any successor, it works as well as Office ever has for the most part, and it's way way WAY faster than any version that came after. You don't notice until your system is loaded (because computers are so fast now) but when you're swapping and such, you can tell that O97 is faster than anything
    • > OpenOffice might not have all the features of Microsoft Office but I don't care because I'll never use them.

      But I am sure you enjoy that fact that Microsoft Office loads quite faster than Openoffice.org. This feature, I am sure, you appreciate. Right?

      • Actually - I tried OOo2.0 for Windows (that I got with Ubuntu CDs BTW) and I _was_ amazed how fast it is in both loading and processing. I'd say that it is faster than MSOffice2k3 (again - both in loading and processing times). But still I do have a problem with OO - after a while all my menus are gone (empty). I guess I will figure out how to turn them back on but as for recommending it to people around - this provokes a second thought for a while.

        But it _is_ speedy anyway - amazing what Java (right?) app
    • by jesterzog (189797) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:20AM (#14986876) Homepage Journal

      OpenOffice might not have all the features of Microsoft Office but I don't care because I'll never use them. Moreover, nobody is going to take away the download for OpenOffice 2 and decide we need a shiny new version.

      That said, what are the chances of OpenOffice.Org actually improving radically? As much as I admire the people who put effort into improving it, the project gives me the impression of something like Netscape 4, which was like the engine of Netscape 3 with lots of band-aid features stuck over its face that made it act slower, inconsistent with itself, unstable, and generally buggy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it feels like there's so much legacy code and design in OpenOffice that it's difficult to implement important changes. In essence, and I'd be happy to be proved wrong, it seems like a big ancient application built on legacy design that's only going downhill and will inevitably be overtaken by others if it hasn't been already.

      I've been put off OpenOffice for some time now because it won't (cleanly) compile as a native 64 bit application. I was looking forward to the 2.0 release because I'd been led to believe that the incompatibilities were being ironed out specifically for that release, and then it would compile as a 64 bit application, but on release that unfortunately wasn't the case. Searching further, I discovered that the OpenOffice code was apparently still so messy from the Sun days that it simply hadn't been feasible to port to a 64 bit app in any reliable way, and probably wouldn't be for a long time to come.

      If OpenOffice had nice and easy-to-maintain code, I would have thought that a 64-bit build would have been as easy as a recompile -- perhaps with a couple of unforseen bug-fixes here and there. The problem is that something as basic as native 64-bit compilation is yet another thing that was never in the original design brief, and trying to patch it in later is a horrible task. I'm not an OpenOffice.Org developer, so if someone knows otherwise about this I'm keen to know.

      OpenOffice is convenient to have right now because it provides an 80% replacement for a lot of what MS Office does. Many people looking to switch might be able to use it as a drop-in replacement if their requirements aren't too complex. It's still a mammoth and heavily complex system with considerably dead weight, though, and unfortunately it's not particularly bug free.

      Personally, I've found it much easier to go with the more light-weight open source office apps, which aren't trying to be mammoth applications. Lately I've been using the likes of AbiWord, KWord, Gnumeric, and so on, and I've found them to be much more responsive, integrated with my system, and generally more stable than either OpenOffice or MS Office would be. (Actually I can't test MS Office on my system because it's not Windows, so I'm comparing it with MS Office on a typical Windows system.)

      The lighter-weight open source apps don't do as much as OpenOffice or MS Office, but they do enough to keep me satisfied. Unfortunately this isn't an option for most people who are locked into Microsoft Office for things like specialised code and plugins and various desktop integration stuff, but then neither is OpenOffice. eg. Supporting something like OpenOffice at my current work is completely out of the question, simply because it won't integrate with our document management systems, despite ODMA (Open Document Management API) being an open API that's existed for ages and is supported by the bulk of DMS products. (MS Office doesn't cleanly support ODMA either, but it's popular enough that it gets special attention from the DMS vendors.)

      • by porkThreeWays (895269) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:51AM (#14987305)
        Open Office really isn't that great. It's a good transition piece of software that will hopefully get people away from Office's closed formats, but I can't see it being used for the long term. However, right now, it's the closest thing to office as far as support for their file formats. So it's playing a very important role. Trying to be an open source version of Microsoft's garbage.

        There is a much more fundamental problem that needs to be cured before we can evolve to the lightweight likes of abiword and kword. People using their office suite for things they shouldn't. It's that simple. It is almost like the whole business world learned one piece of software and decided they would do _everything_ with it. In college I had to take an Office class. The entire book was written in Word. It was possibly the most poorly published book I've ever seen. Square peg in a round hole. There are much better tools for that sort of thing. What about when people send you a single picture as a word file. Try to do their whole payroll on a spreadsheet. Create webpages in Word. Use their email as ftp. Don't even get me started on Powerpoint...

        To get back to the point... If people actually used their Office productivity suite for what it was meant for, then they wouldn't be tied so tightly to Office. But they are dumb, and their entire way of using computers are based on a house of cards. And they will be stuck with Office. Hopefully they will find a way out with Open Office and evolve to Abiword and Kword.

        If the "business" people I've dealt with are any indication, then that trend isn't going away. Their attitude is "but we've always done it this way". Just because you've always done it that way doesn't make it the right way...
        • It is almost like the whole business world learned one piece of software and decided they would do _everything_ with it.

          Emacs !!!

          I live in a world with a lot of people who think that Emacs is good for everything. Similar to your rant on Office.

          In the end most people use office for a lot of things it wasn't meant to do because of the costs associated with buying the likes of Photoshop, QuarkXpress, Matlab, etc. AND the time needed to learn to use those tools.

          It took me 4 months at my previous job to get my m
        • So you're saying that the reason Word has features that abiword, etc. don't is because people shouldn't WANT those features?

          I think it's precisely that attitude - TELLING people what they should use software for rather than ASKING them - that turns people off some open-source projects.

          I have a number of word-processing tasks I might want to do on my computer. Being able to write an essay, newsletter, book, or webpage in the SAME program would actually be a VERY nice feature. Why the heck should I have to do
    • Thos this one will be a big shift

      Plenty of it is going multi-threaded for dual core / HT

      I guess this is what is causing the delay, concurrency is hard.

      Multi-threaded Excel blog entry [msdn.com]
    • Though I might be one of the more unlikely people in the world to say this, as we have OpenOffice.org or NeoOffice (the Mac version) at home exclusively: What I have seen of the new version of MS Office looks like they are finally on the right track again. For one thing, they have cut down on the number of features and menus, and have reorganized stuff based on the steps of normal workflow (editing, reviewing, etc) instead of around, well, whatever the current chaos was supposed to do. The preview functions
    • Re:I looked.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Wordsmith (183749)
      Give me Word 5.1a for the Mac any day. It got words on a page in a neat and presentable format, and did pretty much nothing else. It was perfect.
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:46AM (#14986634)
    Always underpromise. It's not important to overdeliver, but it's very important to underpromise. And hedge. Always hedge.

    Always tell the truth. It doesn't have to be the whole truth, but it is important that what you say be 100% verifiable.
  • Answers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shish (588640) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:46AM (#14986637) Homepage
    What does this mean for Microsoft and its reputation as a company that can eventually ship software?

    Not much, they'll still have a reputation for eventually shipping, as they always have done

    What will this mean for office managers who have to plan upgrades and budgets?

    They'll get over it

    Will this make anyone look at OpenOffice.org?

    No; they don't trust any software they've not seen advertised (whereas if it's advertised, it shows the company is making lots of money, so it's products must be good)

    • Re:Answers (Score:5, Funny)

      by killjoe (766577) on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:08AM (#14986696)
      You forgot this one.

      No because no salesperson came by from open office and gave them a rolex/airplane tickets/golf clubs.
    • Re:Answers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by leuk_he (194174) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:04AM (#14986833) Homepage Journal
      What does this mean for Microsoft and its reputation as a company that can eventually ship software?

      Not much, they'll still have a reputation for eventually shipping, as they always have done


      However it will make them think over using software assurance(=subscription) or not since the value of software assurance decreases if MS does not release new versions. It might be cheaper just to buy a single version and upgrade every 2 or 3 new versions instead of having the latest one that is not in time for the current subsription.
    • Not much, they'll still have a reputation for eventually shipping, as they always have done

      Even if it means they have to remove many of the promised features, or if they just have to take the old version, slap a few new graphics in the interface, and change the version number.

  • At our office (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:48AM (#14986642) Journal
    Will this make anyone look at OpenOffice.org?

    Unfortunately, at our office we don't really look at that right now.

    BUT... We barely even look at Office 2003 either. The only useful part about that one is that I think Outlook 2003 has vastly improved design against worms and spam.

    I mean... Come on. What features do people need from Office 2007!?

    The new UI requiring massive relearning and costs for our middle aged crowd, means it has to have almost revolutionary new features as well, beyond the UI, for an upgrade to be worth the effort.
    • BUT... We barely even look at Office 2003 either. The only useful part about that one is that I think Outlook 2003 has vastly improved design against worms and spam.

      I mean... Come on. What features do people need from Office 2007!?

      Well, since you mentioned Outlook, I can think of at least two things from the point of view of someone who's had to write Outlook addins. (Even worse, in inheriting the maintenance of other people's Outlook addins.)

      I'd like Outlook to have a consistent API for writ

    • I just saw a demo of Excel 2007 recently, and there are two quite nifty features in the GUI I liked.
      - The drop down menus on top are gone, instead clicking one item in the menu bar switches the toolbar to the items of the former drop down menu. It surely needs to get used to, but it seems a better idea for the average user to get an overwiev about the contents of a drop down menu, and it speeds up the work if you are using several items of the same menu.
      - There is some kind of instant data analysis directly
      • For some good descriptions about what is new in Excel 12, see this blog [msdn.com]. Highly recommended.

        The new menu replacements are called ribbons, and the background coloring is a part of the conditional formatting. The latter seems very usable!

    • Re:At our office (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hangtime (19526) on Friday March 24, 2006 @08:43AM (#14987078) Homepage
      If your like me and a power user of Excel some of these should catch your eye and almost force an upgrade especially the new row and column limits.

      The total number of available columns in Excel
      Old Limit: 256 (2^8)
      New Limit: 16k (2^14)

      The total number of available rows in Excel
      Old Limit: 64k (2^16)
      New Limit: 1M (2^20)

      Number of levels of sorting on a range or table
      Old Limit: 3
      New Limit: 64

      The maximum length of formulas (in characters)
      Old Limit: 1k characters
      New Limit: 8k characters

      The number of levels of nesting that Excel allows in formulas
      Old Limit: 7
      New Limit: 64

      Number of rows allowed in a Pivot Table
      Old Limit: 64k
      New Limit: 1M

      Number of columns allowed in a Pivot Table
      Old Limit: 255
      New Limit: 16k
      • Re:At our office (Score:3, Insightful)

        by darkwhite (139802)
        You're using Excel for something best handled by a database solution.
      • by twitter (104583) on Friday March 24, 2006 @10:33AM (#14987535) Homepage Journal
        An example of how easy it is to change such limits can be found here [gnome.org]. It's just a constant and entirely arbitrary.

        Anyone who would want such a huge spreadsheet needs help. Typically, the problem is improper organization or lack of more appropriate tool. Better tools would be databases or batch processing of data streams. Help them early because the problem only gets worse with "advances" like this.

        I've seen worse abuse of spreadsheets. The most God awful sheet I ever saw had tons of macros. They each got data from different sources, one still used a modem to call a local high school's weather station, and the results of each had to be "checked" by hand. That spreadsheet was part of the process used to set the local price of electricity. It had grown, like a cancer, for years. This is what happens without proper IT support. Far from being enabled and helped, the victim was lead down a path of inappropriate tools to a giant cluster.

        Had the company used free software, they might not have had to fire their programmers. Someone convinced them that "computer programming was not a core business." That's true, but neither is accounting and the "off the shelf" solution they were sold instead will cost them many times more than their own staff. For all their money they could have had things that work right.

      • The number of levels of nesting that Excel allows in formulas
        Old Limit: 7
        New Limit: 64


        this could explain some frustration I have had as of late...!
  • Wait a sec! (Score:5, Informative)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:50AM (#14986649)
    > Will this make anyone look at OpenOffice.org?

    Not until there is reported improvement in load times. For God's sake, how can one be expected to wait for 47 seconds for OpenOffice.orgs's writer to load a 1.7Mb document with 23 pages and 6 images? It's insane! I will not say what the other application takes but I'm sure every slashdotter knows what I am talking about.

    • Re:Wait a sec! (Score:4, Informative)

      by glasen (926355) on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:23AM (#14986726)
      I don't know, what you are talking about.

      My OO.o2 loads a 10MB document with lots of images (~20) and 10 embedded tables, in under 10 seconds.

      Have you ever tried the version 2.0.2 of OpenOffice.org?

      Seems to me that you haven't
    • Re:Wait a sec! (Score:4, Informative)

      by The Lerneaen Hydra (885793) on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:30AM (#14986746)
      How about disabling java in the settings, my OO.org used to take a painfully long amount of time to load, but after disbaling the time went down to something mroe acceptable (probably 1/2 to 1/3 of the time). AFAIK java is only used for advanced things that most people dont use, like macros ,live content or other stuff.
      • by xtracto (837672)
        AFAIK java is only used for advanced things that most people dont use, like macros ,live content or other stuff.

        Wow, bloated software with things that "most people dont use"??

        OpenOffice has REALLY come a long way to catch up with Microsoft products features!
    • Re:Wait a sec! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@nOsPAm.hotmail.com> on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:47AM (#14986794) Journal
      Not until there is reported improvement in load times.

      Interesting astroturf attempt you have going there. Open Office Write 2.0 starts in about 3 seconds on my P/M 1.4Ghz laptop. MS Word is possibly a half a second faster.

      Opening a 1.6MB .doc file in Word took about 2 seconds, while OOo took about 7 seconds to import the same file. Once the file had been converted to Open Document, load times were indistinguishable.

  • What will this mean for office managers who have to plan upgrades and budgets?

    Since when do companies have a burning urge to upgrade to software that isn't even out yet when their current software meets all their needs? The short answer is that the budgets will be spent on other things and the IT departments will be happy they won't have to spend money and time upgrading.
  • Office? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Kortec (449574)
    What is this Office stuff everyone's always on about, anyway? Is that like some pre-school version of LaTeX and Emacs?
    • ? Is that like some pre-school version of LaTeX and Emacs?

      Hehe kiddie, pitty that you need all that user friendliness, after you finish playing you can try what I use to WORK cat + Tex
  • by mythz (857024) on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:26AM (#14986733)
    KOffice is looking pretty impressive aswell lately.
  • Collaboration (Score:5, Interesting)

    by batkiwi (137781) on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:30AM (#14986744)
    Where are OpenOffice's collaboration features which rival the office system?

    Now, this entire setup requires eating the dogfood, drinking the poison, going the full hog, whatever, BUT, with office 12 + sharepoint V3 + LCS:

    1. I am assigned a new project. I open our intranet, go to the projects site, and instantly create a new site with about 4 clicks.
    2. I add my fellow team members to said site.
    3. I write a design document and add it to a document library.
    4. "Jim" loads up said document and looks at it. He has a question. There, IN OFFICE, is a sidebar showing that I'm online, and that I wrote the document. He clicks on me to chat in realtime about the document.
    4a. Jim raises some good points, which I can't answer, so with 2 clicks he opens a discussion group about said document.
    4b. Through 10 versions (tracked), and many discussions, the team comes to a final decision. We close the document discussion site and merge our changes back into the base document on the project site.
    5. We start into the project. Frank now has to go onsite, with no internet access for 3 weeks. He takes his notes document off of sharepoint and saves it locally (this is what requires V3).
    5a. Frank comes back 3 weeks later, plugs in, and is asked if he wants to resync with the project site. He does, and we see his updates.
    6. 9 months later, the project finishes. Admins click it into read-only mode, so that we have our documents, chats, discussions, lists, etc, but cannot change them.
    7. 6 months later the site is backed up and purged off of live storage.

    Throughout this experience we can collaborate on documents through LCS + sharepoint + office12, take things offline, click-create project sites, etc.

    Tell me an opensource solution which matches this as seamlessly.

    I'm all for openoffice, and run linux at home, but office12 is something special. Is it worth the price? Possibly not. Are the entire front + back office system's features matched ANYWHERE? No.

    Yes, you can run *nuke + jabber + openoffice + openxcange +..... but do they work together? Can I set up a *nuke site which links into jabber and openexchange and openoffice, so that I can see inside a document whether the creator and other relevant people are online, and have versioned discussions with them?
    • Re:Collaboration (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aug24 (38229)
      Dumb question perhaps, but how many people do you think need/want/use that level of functionality?

      I'm a contractor. I've worked in literally dozens of teams in about a dozen companies. I have never, never, never seen anyone bother with this level of interactivity for documentation. We generally have breakout discussions with a nominated individual to take notes write up afterwards. Sometimes this is a techy, sometimes not. It's just not needed.

      For the remaining 99.5% of users, this is not an issue. I
      • Re:Collaboration (Score:5, Insightful)

        by melonman (608440) on Friday March 24, 2006 @08:02AM (#14986968) Journal

        Dumb question perhaps, but how many people do you think need/want/use that level of functionality?

        We really ought to automate these OO discussions. But, in the meantime...

        The short answer is "not most of the people who read /., who are not the intended market for high end office applications". If you want to type a college paper, bash out some technical doc and be able to open files other people send you, OO is fine. I used it to write a 20k word dissertation the other month and I really can't complain.

        But lots of corporations use various Office integration solutions, and OO just doesn't do that. Sharepoint is bundled with a lot of MS small office packages, and offers some quite useful functionality for building Intranets with no programming. (It's hideous under the bonnet, but the idea is not to look under the bonnet.) I've tried, say, changing the templates with emacs instead of FrontPage 2003, but when you scramble the page to the point where Sharepoint stops working, the recovery files live inside Frontpage 2003. The hooks to save shared documents with version tracking are inside Word and Excel. And so on. This technology is potentially attractive to any company that doesn't think everyone sharing everyone else's C drives and putting files wherever they feel like is a really neat idea.

        And, TBH, I'm not aware of any OSS that lets you throw together an intranet with shared documents, task lists, announcements and other dynamic elements as easily as Sharepoint.

    • by StrawberryFrog (67065) on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:56AM (#14986809) Homepage Journal
      Tell me an opensource solution which matches this as seamlessly.

      You could always use the "meeting" system, using the "talking" communications protocol. Suppliment this by the "go over and chat" concept using "voice over voice" chat.
      • I don't want to sound like an MS flunky, and it's not that I disagree with actually seeing people occasionally at the office, and it's not that I don't realize your post was tongue in cheek... but there's no "virtual" paper trail that way, nothing gets archived, people miss meetings... it's just not comparable.

        On the other hand, very few people need anything like this. This delay is pretty much meaningless... it's not going to make anyone switch to OO, or even consider it unless they were already consideri
      • You could always use the "meeting" system, using the "talking" communications protocol. Suppliment this by the "go over and chat" concept using "voice over voice" chat.

        There are also all sorts of telecommunications systems developed over the last couple of centuries. Many of which simply require everyone involved to understand the same langauge.
      • That works great if you're actually in the same room as all of the other people you want to talk to. I'm not, and it'll be increasingly be the case that most people aren't.

        In a few years time the idea of everyone going to centralised "offices" all the time to do whatever it is they do will seem as antiquated as moving memos around by paper does today.
      • Re:Collaboration (Score:3, Informative)

        by rbarreira (836272)
        I think you met voice-over-air.
    • Is it worth the price? Possibly not. Are the entire front + back office system's features matched ANYWHERE? No.

      The kind of setup makes sense if you're already wedded to the Office file formats. For most real-world uses, however, the best thing to do is likely to ditch the office suite entirely and go with in-browser WYSIWYG editing.

      Once you take the office suite out of the equation, any of a number of excellent systems give you all the functionality of your Office+Sharepoint+LCS setup at a fraction of the
    • I think this Web 2.0 application right here [writely.com], which was recently bought by Google, will probably be the best of what the competition has for a solution to your problem. Once again, we see that Microsoft no longer has a monopoly on such ideas. This is why I hope Google continues to improve Writely, and why I hope they'll eventually buy this web app [numsum.com], too. Mark my words, Google is gearing up for a direct assault on Microsoft's "cash cow!" And if Google works on ODF support in Writely, I am willing
    • 1 2 3 4 5 6 7...

      Sounds wonderful. What kind of "project" would have people who needed, and were capable of using, these tools? I've never met any bureaucrat who could understand, let alone use a single one of those features. People "collaborate" by printing out a document, writing on it, and faxing it back. Or, if they're slightly more sophisticated, interspersing their comments in CAPITAL LETTERS in the original and emailing it as an attachment. Then they let some flunky sort it all out an make it look n

    • Re:Collaboration (Score:2, Interesting)

      by asylumx (881307)
      You are absolutely right, the corporation I work for uses a similar approach and it works very well for us since we have roughly 30 locations worldwide and there are multiple projects that span more than one of those locations. You can't use the "voice over voice" mentioned in an earlier reply to walk up to somebody in australia and talk about an issue. Not only are they half a world away, but their work hours are exactly the opposite of yours.

      Having something that is extremely intuitive (like opening the
    • We should tell Linus and his team about this software. I'm sure it could help kernel development, which happens online all over the world. As they can't have a lot of face to face meetings, this Office 12 looks like a good solution for them.
    • Your hypothetical user scenario sure sounds spiffy. One problem with it, just a very barndoor_size_big_mofo problem.

      Where the heck do you find the users with this level of technical expertise in your normal everyday company? Here i am having trouble getting users to use anything not right infront of them on the desktop and then i will have to make them understand that kind of management? I have seen countless systems with the same level of functioning that nobody uses. Netware has Virtual Office that provid
    • Re:Collaboration (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tetrode (32267) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:58AM (#14986959) Homepage
      This sounds very very good.

      Some comments.

      Will ordinary secretaries be using this? No

      Will PHB-es be using this? No

      Will CxO's be able to comprehend this and use this - in theory yes, in practice, no.

      The only ones that will be using this are technical project managers and programmers. Thus about 0,1 % of the Office users and non-typical Office users that use non-typical Office functionality.

      Think again when upgrading.

      My wife is teaching MS Office to schoolkids. They get MS Office for 4 years. And they touch only 40% of what is in Office 97 - and not even deeply.

      So, Office will have raving reviews. See what Microsoft can do - ow, amazing technology. But will we all use it? Come on... Who'se ma, uncle, PHB, CxO, ... can use styles in Word, decent formulas in Excel, make a (technically) good PowerPoint, use Outlook to the max.

      I know you all can. But they are using their 10% - and they will keep on using their 10% no matter what Microsoft puts in...

      Mark
  • Software insurance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by treuf (99331) <treuf.users@sourceforge@net> on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:31AM (#14986749) Homepage
    I'm sure all the company which have MS Software Insurance (which includes all upgrades for 3 years - and which is now mandatory for volume licences AFAIK) will be happy to have that news.
    No included major update for them ...

    Last time I had a MS rep on phone the major argument for their licence price increase was that insurance - for now we could never use it for what we bought.
  • by Tim C (15259) on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:35AM (#14986762)
    It'll mean that they won't happen until it's out, and money will be saved that can be spent somewhere else.

    Businesses don't upgrade just so they can use the latest and greatest; my company (a large multi-national) is still perfectly happy with its Office 2000 site licence. It sees no reason to upgrade, and why would it? The licence is still valid, and the products do what is required of them. I'm sure we'll upgrade eventually, but we wouldn't go to OpenOffice (or a previous version of MS Office) just because Office 2007 was a bit late; we'd simply wait.
  • Who cares? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tim Ward (514198) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:01AM (#14986823) Homepage
    Not all the people still happily using Office 97, which still does everything that many people need.
  • by supersnail (106701) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:05AM (#14986837)
    Most well run companies base there IT planning around business cases,
    and business cases generally fall into three catagories:-
    1. Do this and the company will make more money.
    2. Do this and the company will spend less money.
    3. Do this because you have to.

    Upgrading to something like Office 2007 is definately a type "3"
    business case and most companies wont upgrade until either support
    is withdrawn or the current version wont work on the latest hardware
    or OS.

    My current client a well run, well known mega corp is still runnig
    a version of "Office 2000" which is "Copyright 1983-1999" according
    to the about box.

    I have never heard anyone gripe about running such an old version
    and the company is doing as well as ever.

  • by Andy_R (114137) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:35AM (#14986902) Homepage Journal
    From a business point of view, upgrades are a really bad thing. You have to pay again for something already bought, and you have to retrain. The only time my company has ever bought an Office upgrade has been when people send us documents we can't read in the old version.

    I believe Office (and windows XP for that matter) is in as 'finished' a state as it needs to be, there isn't anything major missing... or if there is its not anything most businesses would find a cost-effective buy.

    In the real world, upgrades are driven by Microsoft EOL-ing the previous version, not by desire for new features, which is why Open Office won't benefit.
  • by FridayBob (619244) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:52AM (#14986949) Homepage
    Not really. As far as I can remember, major releases from MS have always been delayed. In case you forgot, MS were one of the first companies that the term vaporware was invented for. This the from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing:

    vaporware
    /vay'pr-weir/ Products announced far in advance of any release (which may or may not actually take place). The term came from Atari users and was later applied by Infoworld to Microsoft's continuous lying about Microsoft Windows.

    When it finally arrives, the faithful will take to it like flies to shit while others like myself will simply ignore it. Many big corporations will take years to warm up to it, even though Dell will soon be selling Vista and an Office 2007 license with almost every other PC that people buy from them.
  • by tclark (140640) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:42AM (#14987267) Homepage
    Customers don't care if the release is delayed. Upgrades aren't for customers, upgrades are for vendors.
  • by MECC (8478) * on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:53AM (#14987321)
    MS will make you upgrade to this version of MSO the same way the did the last time around. One component or another of the office 'suite' (or not-so-suite) will save files in a format that the previous version of that component can't read, like they did with Visio. You won't be able to upgrade one component, or at least it will expensive and awkward enough that just a wholesale purchase of the new suite will be the only practical option. So, most businesses will just cough up the dough and rollout (or rollover as the case may be).

    Yeah I know there's a free visio03 viewer app before all the ms-shills pop their furry little heads up out of the prairie-msdog-village to defend poor flagging microsoft. But, I don't recall it coming out at the same time as office 2003, nor was it announced with the new version of office. That said, I don't think ms planned on the incompatibility, it was just the usual ms-incompetance(TM).

    Too bad openoffice really isn't quite up to offering a better alternative. It can't just be 'as good' or do a few things better that MSO does - it has to pull way ahead to give people a reason to break their addiction. I don't think OOo will beat MS at their own game - I think they need to find a new way to approach and streamline making documents and managing them, or something along those lines.
  • by analog_line (465182) on Friday March 24, 2006 @10:26AM (#14987497)
    What will this mean for office managers who have to plan upgrades and budgets? Will this make anyone look at OpenOffice.org?

    Since the vast majority of the features are exactly the same as the version of office they currently have, I can't imagine they'll bother looking at OpenOffice just because it got delayed a year. If you have Office these days, you've already drunk the KoolAid. There's no going back unless something major happens, and a mere delay in the next version is not a major thing. And if there's some spiffy new feature the person needs in 12, they need that feature and it's not likely to be replicated in OpenOffice.

    Some issue that causes a move to Linux on the desktop is the ONLY reason I can see for any corporate customer to throw their current Office licenses down the toilet in favor of OpenOffice. On OSX, OpenOffice is not a viable option for anyone other than a fairly tech-savvy individual. NeoOffice/J isn't an option (believe me, I've tried).

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