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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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  • 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:I looked.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jarlsberg (643324) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:54AM (#14986665) Journal
    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 thumb, Microsoft always releases stuff at least 12 months after they first gave a shipping date. This has been the case with their products ever since the early days of Windows. That Windows Vista is now being delayed into it's third year is rather dramatic, though, and also unusual for Microsoft.

  • by what about (730877) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:55AM (#14986666) Homepage

    I am a OpenOffice/StarOffice user, they are fine for me and the saved money are "invested" in something else I like.

    But, you may absolutely "need" the extra features, just do your research and check if the features you want are not available elsewhere.

    Unless, of course, one of your requirements is that it must be a product from Microsoft...

    On a side note, I am wondering if you are a Microsoft evangelist :-)

  • It's not likely that open office will be a success until they have a native os x port.

    Its well known that while Mac users do not have as large a market share as linux users, we set the direction of the industry.

    I'm afraid that open office just doesn't cut it. I'd much prefer to give Microsoft my money, then put up with the slow & ugly oo.org.
  • 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.
  • Re:Failures (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SpectreHiro (961765) on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:51AM (#14986803) Homepage
    In what world has the .NET platform been quietly dropped? From what I can tell, MS is still pushing it like crazy.
  • Re:Collaboration (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aug24 (38229) on Friday March 24, 2006 @06:53AM (#14986806) Homepage
    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. It's not even a consideration.

    Justin.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:04AM (#14986834)
    Excel is the linchpin of MS-Office. Corporate finance analysts around the world are deeply wedded to it with workbook templates that mesh with core financial planning, forecasting, and reporting systems. Why? Because predicting the future requires flexible models and what-ifs that mesh with detailed historical results.

    So when will adapter add-ins be available for Open Office from PeopleSoft, Hyperion, JDEdwards, Oracle financial apps, .... ?

    Open office stuff may work fine for casual emailers and memo writers, but it is the bean counting that runs the show.

    Back_2_tech
  • 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 Goldfinger7400 (630228) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:40AM (#14986915)
    I think they're referring to the fact that native applications run under Apple's Quartz windowing system and not X11's (good riddence IMHO). A seperate windowing system runs alongside for your X applicatons, but it is definately NOT part of the Mac OS, and the contrast makes X11 seem so mind-bogglingly bad that people are dying for Cocoa versions of UNIX apps when the apps are already running at full speed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:48AM (#14986934)
    Picking a release date, or even a date to gun for, is a bit of an art for a commercial software vendor. Basic tradeoffs are, of course, scope vs schedule vs quality. You can imagine that in commercial organisations with significant revenues to protect there a strong desire from the sales and marketing groups to release, early with lots of functions. Quality is often the first thing to go (not that anyone will ever *say* they want a low quality release).

    Given the scale of Microsoft's operations and the unique role these two packages play in their portfolio I would say that everybody should breath a sigh of relief with every small sign that the don't want a crap release - they are spending there money to make sure that they don't waste yours (or at least any more of yours than they've already planned on pocketing :)

    I write this after just upgrading to FC5 - which dumped my NVidia driver and caused a lost morning whilst I rebuilt the driver according to instructions sourced from an unwarrantied source on the net. Well perhaps I shouldn't compare, because Fedora isn't the stable, supported RedHat version ... ho hum, all my fault again I suppose.

  • Re:The Suites (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Goldfinger7400 (630228) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:56AM (#14986955)
    Apple doesn't have an office suite. They have a pretty decent presentation program and something for making newsletters and brochures. I've only played around with it (rarely do ANY office type work, and then it usually involves graphs) and it seemed only suitable for light usage. Office for Mac is buggy in my experience and less complete than Office for Windows, on the other hand I think Office for Windows is great (I like the OS integration there).
  • 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
  • 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 Imsdal (930595) on Friday March 24, 2006 @08:05AM (#14986977)
    Anyhow, the point shouldn't be which one is faster, but the features/price factor. OOo wins big on this one

    No, they don't. The key factor here isn't MS price/OOo price, which is infinite, but rather (productivity gains - TCO for MSO) compared to the same for OOo.

    In this race, MSO wins hands down. And 100% of that is attributed to Excel. The rest may be replaceable, but Excel is the rock solid foundation that almost all companies I have ever come across run on. ("Rock solid" in the meaning "fundamental to business", not in the meaning "developed spreadsheets are correct, stable, documented and bug free", obviously.)

    Excel, as it happens, is the best software ever written for the mass market. Don't belive me? Well, give counterexamples. There is no other software around with a large user base that offers as much functionality and power while still being so easy to use and learn and with so few bugs. (Not zero bugs, so don't bother with silly KB references about those that are there.)

    The problem I think with OOo adoption is more that it is competing with Office pirated edition more than it is competing with legal copies of Office.

    In a corporate environment in the western world? Nope. Are you suggesting that companies don't actually pay MS? Then what is the fuss all about?

  • Re:Collaboration (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 24, 2006 @08:19AM (#14987005)
    Sorry, i've never heard such CRAP before. If that's the way your company runs projects, you're playing with your nuts. Let's look at how the REAL world works,

    1. Document is produced. If need be, internal feedback from a few key players is obtained prior to release to a wider audience
    2. Each developer conducts an individual review to identify any concerns with the document prior to a "group meeting"
    3. A group meeting is called where all reviewers can simultaneously discuss any issues they raised during step 2
    4. A moderator (with appropriate domain skills) negotiates where conflicts can't be resolved easily
    5. An agreed set of outcomes are documented
    6. The document is updated by the author
    7. A final review is conducted to ensure all comments are incorporated

    Now, you MIGHT think that offering "chat" mixed with track changes in MS Word will compensate for good old face-to-face communication - but you are SADLY mistaken. If you can't have face-to-face chats (because the design team is spread out too far ... as our company has) then you teleconference the "group meeting" portion of the review. 99% of what we discuss with documents involves the need for white-boards and/or involved discussion ... not "mIRC on steroids".

    Some people take technology TOO far and insist on crap features that avoid people communicating using the most effective method(s). If I want to be a techno-w@nker, i'll use wizbang features like the one you've described. Otherwise, i'll stick to tried and true methods. An organised, controlled meeting is the best way to negotiate/compromise/discuss/resolve differences. There is NO SUBSTITUTION FOR VERBAL COMMUNICATION.
  • Re:Collaboration (Score:3, Insightful)

    by melonman (608440) on Friday March 24, 2006 @08:56AM (#14987111) Journal

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'overwhelming', but quite a lot of the legal copies of Office 2003 are used in settings where intranets are relevant.

    And it's not so much "tie in" as "integrated solution". It isn't a case that Microsoft makes you do this one way when OSS lets you do it 50 different ways. Microsoft lets you do it one way and OSS doesn't let you do it at all.

  • Re:Collaboration (Score:1, Insightful)

    by smithcl8 (738234) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:03AM (#14987127)

    And this beats collaboration via email how? I don't have to retrain users to collaborate through email, chat, or telephone conversations. Users are now expected to be webmasters, too, and be responsible for maintaining a collaboration site, along with all of the rest of their work? You tell a user that instead of saving a file to My Documents (or any other network-attached drive,) that they need to browse through the sites in the little "Save As" box until they find the right location.

    How does this help outside consultants and the collaboration done with them? Should I be expected to create a B2B site using Sharepoint Services so that our external vendors can access our files? What if the external vendors aren't on the newest version of Office? Should I buy it for them so they can work with us? Should I then create a VPN subsystem for them to use to get to this site? How does the collaboration occur during times away from the Internet? Sure, you say he can take it off of the site for 3 weeks, but the project must go on.

    Who will be the core administrator of this system? Does the IT department take responsibility for the content of every subsite? Do we train users to create their own sites at will? Who sets the limits as far as document retention policies? Who enforces these limits? How does the backup work for the system? For a decent-sized deployment, SQL Server is required, so who maintains that?

    I agree that the features are nice for a small, centrally-located workgroup, but it isn't worth a crap beyond that. Unfortunately, I've worked with Sharepoint Services since 1.0 and found it to be cumbersome and difficult to get people to adopt. I've upgraded Office 2 times and the software from version 1 to version 2 to attempt to get this working, yet the document management features that I've wanted are going to be in the next version, requiring upgrades for everything again!

    (You can tell that I did not pick this solution to start with. Yes, I'm slightly bitter.)

  • by miskatonic alumnus (668722) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:16AM (#14987165)
    How convenient that you used "large user base" in your implicit definition of "best". I'll have to call fanboy on that. There are, I'm sure, many examples of excellent, useful, easy to learn, full-featured, near bug-free software out in the wild. LaTeX comes to mind.
  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:20AM (#14987183)
    So why don't Apple help out in the porting effort? Linux companies like Novell help gnomify the program to behave better on the gnome desktop. OS X is a small proprietary technology and it's understandable it's hard to keep a port without funding.

    One reason might be Open Office's ties to Sun which AFAIK controls the project. This fact has scared a lot of companies out of either making a as great a contribution as they could have or even scared them out of making a contribution at all. Another reason might be Apple's desite not to piss of Microsoft whose Office suite is available for the Mac and is an important part of making the Mac an option alot of people who use Macs in corporate environments in a forest of Windows boxes. My own Mac would be pretty close to useless for use at work without Microsoft Office which is the only fully featured, native and mature Office Suite available for the Mac and it isn't (at least in my humble opinion) a bad product. True, there are alternatives but none of them really measures up in every way. The one that comes closest is probably Open Office which has been ported to the Mac but it isn't 100% native it runs on X11 which only makes it an option as a last resort. I would feel alot safer as a corporate Mac user if there was an 100% OS.X native Open Office port but that has been vaporware for years and is regarded as the Mac-users equivalent of Duke Nukem forever. Another thing I have been wondering about is what will happen when Microsoft decides to scrap MS Office for OS.X? What would Apple replace it with? It would have to have top notch Microsoft inter-operability or the usability factor of the Macintosh/OS.X package will take a considerable hit.
  • by DaFrogBoy (519141) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:23AM (#14987199) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:At our office (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cultrhetor (961872) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:34AM (#14987234) Journal

    I'm in usability testing, and I'll provide an adage for everyone to live by: "There is no such thing as an intuitive interface.". Intuitive interfaces are a pipe dream: they would require access to thought patterns by the computer which nobody would allow because they'd be screaming about privacy before the product hit the market. Interface is interface, it is a means of interaction, and even improved interface is going to cause a hell of a lot of difficulty in transition.

  • by xmodem_and_rommon (884879) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:38AM (#14987254)
    I too would prefer working software late to broken software early anyday. But why can't they do both? Heaps of other companies manage it.

    No, the problem, as multiple other posters have said, is that MS is spreading their resources too thin. Call me cynical, but i don't expect vista or office 2007 to be any less broken or flimsy than any other microsoft product on launch. Then again, i gave up expecting much at all from microsoft a long time ago.
  • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes AT xmsnet DOT nl> on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:40AM (#14987263)
    Will the delay make anyone look at OpenOffice? Probably not. I can't imagine anyone being so desperate to upgrade Office that they'll switch to OO instead [1]
    In fact, I haven't sen any compelling new features in the past few versions of Office, the only reason people upgrade is to keep up with the Joneses.

    1: I mean, there are valid reasons for moving to OO, but MS delaying Office 2007 isn't one of 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 Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:46AM (#14987283)

    While I'd agree with the general sentiment that Excel is the strongest of the MS Office applications, I don't think it can take 100% credit for MSO winning the race here. We had some discussion about this [slashdot.org] in another thread the other day, where I cited some serious usability concerns in OOo Writer as a major disadvantage against Word, for example.

  • by BitterAndDrunk (799378) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:51AM (#14987301) Homepage Journal
    I'll tell you some who don't:

    Oracle on the Applications side - anything that is a new release is so full of bugs and unworkable they end up paying the early adopters to implement (in free consultant hours after all is said and done) - it has patchsets galore.

    SAP - same thing. Patches and the like are a regular occurrence. TBH I don't know how bad their new releases are in comparison to Oracle, but I'd wager they're on about the same page.

    Almost every enterprise level, and every gaming company release buggy packages.

    Please name a couple that manage on-time bug-free releases. (or relatively bug free)

  • 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...
  • by JPriest (547211) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:52AM (#14987311) Homepage
    So by your rational there are all the companies using Office XP whish has been working fine and is paid for. They are looking to spend more money for additional features in Office 2007 but you are pretty sure that becasue it is pushed back a few months they are going to like, migrate to OO.o?

    I think now I understand why you predicted 2001-2005 was going to be the "Year Of The Linux Desktop". You are all facking idiots.

  • 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 GreggBz (777373) on Friday March 24, 2006 @09:56AM (#14987334) Homepage
    In my previous job as an IT accounts payable rep for a large tobacco company, I learned to love Excel. It's great at so many things. I was swarmed with all kinds of spreadsheets, asset management, quarterly forecasts, paper bill inventory, you name it. A small percentage of them had interlopy with the big bad accounting SAP database. Maybe such modules exist for OpenOffice, but I'm doubting it's plug and play.

    I see OpenOffice working just as well for about 95% of what I did. However, fighting with that remaining 5% would have wasted many of my hours.

    No fault of OpenOffice, it's just a shame that they have to play into M$'s hands because accounting land is *saturated* with Excel, Excel and more Excel.

  • by alexhs (877055) on Friday March 24, 2006 @10:12AM (#14987428) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • it seems funny.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Churla (936633) on Friday March 24, 2006 @10:23AM (#14987481)
    On the FireFox/IE debate one of the big arguments against MS is that they do not innovate and add new features until the open source community has beat them to it.

    On the Office/OpenOffice side of the debate a big argument against MS is that they innovate and add new features and the open source community says it's irrelevant because few people USE the innovative and new features.

    At least that is my simplistic "monkey on the outside throwing peanuts" view of things...

    As to the actual article, I will defer to the "delay until you can release something solid" approach. If the product really is in so little need of advancement in features as some of you guys say it is then this would be the best approach anyways if they want to combat the "Microsoft releases junk software" image they get painted with, wouldn't it?
  • 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).

  • by electroniceric (468976) on Friday March 24, 2006 @10:30AM (#14987514)
    I'd also add that Excel is objectively a rather good piece of software. It rarely gets the kind of data corruption you see all over the rest of Office, and is usable by just about anyone from a total novice to a hardcore scientist - I've done a decent amount of physics in Excel. And its notions of data connectivity (and PivotTables) were something Microsoft pretty much introduced to the market. OOCalc is a pale shadow of this. For Pete's sake, you can't even have different data series in different formats (line vs bar vs point), or if you can my hours of searching haven't yielded it. OODraw, on the other hand, is really rather good.

    Plenty of MS apps suck goats, but give Excel its due.
  • Re:At our office (Score:3, Insightful)

    by darkwhite (139802) on Friday March 24, 2006 @10:31AM (#14987520)
    You're using Excel for something best handled by a database solution.
  • by wysiwia (932559) on Friday March 24, 2006 @10:38AM (#14987566) Homepage

    So why don't Apple help out in the porting effort? ...

    Maybe because Apple is not much interested in an OpenOffice port for the Macs. See it would be quite easy for Apple to help creating a native port with wxWidgets (http://www.wxwidgets.org/ [wxwidgets.org]), even allowing to get a single source for all ports while being native on any port. I think there are other more political reasons why Apple doesn't delve into OpenOffice. Just think if Apple really would try, Microsoft definitely would get very upset and would immediately stop supporting MSOffice for the Mac. And that's something Apple definitely won't risk under no circumstances.

    So why doesn't the OpepSource community itself create a wxWidgets port? Maybe because there are very few OpenSource developers for the Mac and the few who are prefer to waste their time in the fruitless NeoOffice. It's obvious that the Mac would gain most of a wxWidgets port so the initiative should come from their side. But I'm sure if such an effort is started it will attract people from any platform. The gain might be not as obvious but there are already a few developers who see the advantages.

    O. Wyss

  • by netr00t (536256) on Friday March 24, 2006 @10:48AM (#14987623) Journal
    You know, I really didnt know that Office 2007 was going to be released at all (this is how much i pay attention to updated microsoft products) Wouldnt it be interesting to ponder if these delays are a FREE marketing ploy? Think about it, What better way than to tell the media that the largest Software company has delayed its latest greatest creation is to get it published into every newspaper, blog, and reach every single technical geek out there? Isn't it remotely possible that they arent even ready to release it and intentionally causing this disturbance for anticipation reasons? The video game market has been doing this for quite sometime by postponing release dates be it either due to other popular titles of the same genre being released and they dont want to compete, or creating more hype of anticipation for the game, but there is a threashold as to how long you can wait before something comes out to replace or exceed the hype. Think about the impact, traffic, free advertising that posting this to slashdot has already created, and its the perfect market for free advertising to geeks everywhere, its enough to make a company postpone their product releases on purpose, i know i would. There is a thin line between "enormous effective mass advertising through delays" and "im sick of hearing about it, and when it does come out i want nothing to do with it" or how about the "I've already got something better, why would i need it?".
  • by RogerWilco (99615) on Friday March 24, 2006 @10:58AM (#14987680) Homepage Journal
    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 manager to agree on buying Matlab, you don't know how much of a pain it is to analyse Gbyte datasets in Excel...
  • by Goldfinger7400 (630228) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:47PM (#14991082)
    It works differently than the standard Mac GUI, and on Mac that's a huge thing, since part of the appeal is that everything works together. For example, GTK uses modal dialog boxes, and on mac those are mostly replaced with the sheets that attach themselves to windows. Mac users are also accustomed to the things like drawers, a standard toolbar system that can be hidden with the big white button, Universal Access and all the other stuff you get automatically by building for Cocoa. It's a mistake to assume that just because an application is meant for expert users (the kind who would be using unix in the first place) that they don't want the OS X GUI. GTK is a great solution for minor applications where it wouldn't get ported at all without it, but for a major program it had better have the system UI, especially in a system where the UI is so much of the appeal. If the GUI didn't matter, would Photoshop still be owning the mac editor market from the GIMP?

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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