WASHINGTON -- Office 2007 changes the menu bar by deleting all but a tiny portion of it and putting actions in category tabs. That would be OK, if they would allow power users to add their own menu bars and buttons. Some I have designed and use all the time are: foreign character insert, format hanging indent, changing case, and font color. None of these can be accessed with one button click in the new ribbon. And, if you enlarge the new category tabs to readable size, you lose half your screen.
I e-mailed Microsoft and was referred to their Accessibility Advocate, who sympathized she wished her eyes would just work. My eyes are 20-20 with glasses, it is the program that doesn't work, not with laptop screens. Microsoft suggested I turn on the Narrator to read me the screens and wear earphones when in public. Not an adequate solution.
Office is moving closer to the Apple/Mac idea of making system changes difficult if not impossible and instead making the screen intuitive if less functional. If I wanted a "here's what we're selling, take it or leave it" instead of buying something I could tweak to my own preferences, I would have purchased a Mac in the first place.
Microsoft captured the PC market because they allowed users to modify their environment and build their own shortcuts. Now they are doing the opposite and finding more and more ways to restrict the user to only what Microsoft wants them to do. Where is CP/M when you need it?
When trying to order the MS Office 2007 Standard Upgrade online, I was continually booted out. I finally realized that Canadians cannot order the upgrade. When I tried going to the microsoft.ca site, the price for the Standard package was 35% higher in Canada than the US. Combine this with the fact that I can only order the entire package, not just the upgrade. I realized that I am paying a whopping 125% more for what I want than if I lived 100 miles south!
This is outrageous given the fact that our currencies have been at or near par for several years. And there are no extra duties or taxes, since this is covered under NAFTA. MS is just trying to gouge the Canadian consumer and I am furious!
REDMOND, WASHINGTON -- It boggles my mind that the designers of this program would miss some CRITICAL features. Here's a list of features that even the most unskilled computer user would have thought of.
1) An easy, effective way of backing up and transferring Outlook data (contact and calendar information). Even their online explanation for how to find their stupid .pst file is wrong. Telling you to go and find a file the is "hidden" by default. How dumb can you get. How easy to have a file command that for data backup that asks you what you want to back up and where you want to put it. Then, when you make that information available to a second or new computer, the computer finds it and asks if you want to add that data to the new Outlook. And they say they do excellent consumer testing.
2) Printing envelops. Another dumb system. It allows you to select your contact file, but then it automatically select all of your contacts and makes you go through one at a time to eliminate the ones you don't want. Either that, or make up a file for every situation. Again, how easy to have a "select all" toggle. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Additionally, it doesn't allow you to save your envelop settings and they have to be redone after every single printing. Don't they realize that you might want to address envelops differently from typing letters. Again, how easy have a "Save Settings" button in the envelop area. The Outlook designers should be given their "pink slips" immediately.
REDMOND, WASHINGTON -- Microsoft wants to 'hog' everything and control everything. It is the greediest corporation and least helpful of all that I know. It offers very little in the way of free help and makes it very difficult to contact anyone. At every turn they induce users to turn to something else like Linux. I have a refund owing to me of over $147 CAN. It was processed, I was told, on October 19th, 2007. It is yet to show up on my Visa statement as a credit or refund. I know of no other company that has taken that long. No wonder Bill Gates is a multi-billionaire! A pox on the whole organization. As far as Vista is concerned, the jury is still out on that one.
WILLIAMSPORT, PENNSYLVANIA -- Vista blows goats cheese. I downloaded a trial of Excel, since the overpriced PC didn't come with it, and it changed my Windows Mail to some Outlook crap and now I can't get my email. I hate Microsoft and their new crap. I don't have the time to learn something new every 3 years or whatever. I am not buying another PC, only ripoff rebuilds from here on out unless this company figures out how to treat me, the consumer.
Vista blows and so does Microsoft's "support". They should call me once and ask me how things are with the new PC. Yeah well, that won't happen. "Oh, we have support websites to help." Yeah, okay. Sorry, the kids need a bath and to fed this year. Thank you very much.
I just wanted to post a quick note about something I read in the news yesterday about Microsoft's auto-update service. Many folks like to allow Microsoft to update their computers whenever a new update patch is available from that little gold shield icon in the lower right corner. Well according to an eWeek story, Microsoft hid a trick IE 7 download in the latest patch. I guess if you just select the "standard auto update" instead of the "customized update" you would never notice that Microsoft just installed IE 7 over your previous version.
Now I have no problems with Microsoft offering this new product for download. But consumers should be the ones deciding if they want it to overwrite their existing browser, not you Microsoft. Plus, IE 7 has not been fully tested and secured. Along with the many published bugs and security holes, not all websites work in IE 7. So you are essentially disabling some computers without evening asking!
The gentleman in the article was an extreme case where the IE 7 caused his machine to crash every time he tried to launch the browser. He did not have the old version of IE, since it was overwritten unknowingly by Microsoft. Sorry for the rant... I just wanted to warn folks to be a bit more aware of what might actually happen when you run those "auto updates". Be sure to choose the "custom updates" option so you can review what exactly is being added to your machine, and de-select any options you don't want.
NAPLES, FLORIDA -- I purchased Win 8 three weeks ago, it worked OK. Thur night I tried to reset it then I had problems. It would not accept the key code. Today I spent two hours on the phone with techs that couldn't speak reasonable English. I lost $40.00 plus two hours. Then he tried to tell me I had a bad copy of Win 8, after two hours on the phone I lost it. Went back to Win 7 Pro. I'm done with their techs from India. Hire American, Microsoft.
SUEZ, EGYPT -- I am an American living in Egypt. I enjoy playing the game of Hearts in my spare time. I am very competitive with myself. I become very frustrated when the computer assigns points to me and causes me to lose the game. Just a game, yes. However, the game should run properly. I know Microsoft takes pride its games. Please look into this problem. I would hate to lose playing the game of hearts. It is quite entertaining when it operates correctly.