Office 2007

Given that Microsoft has formerly announced Office 2007 I guess I can start talking about it. I’ve been on the beta programme for a while, and have been using Word 2007 as my main word processor on a day-to-day basis since then. Virtually everything that I’ve written has been in Word – so I guess I’ve given it a fair go. Other than Outlook (which I didn’t really get into until recently as it didn’t initially support Outlook Connector) and OneNote (which rocks) it’s only one of the Office suite that I’ve really used.

Overall, I think it’s great. The new interface takes a little getting used to, but it makes finding features in Word that you don’t use regularly much easier. It’s also much easier to explore the application if you’re so inclined and find out more about it. It’s gone from being an application that frustrated to one that’s much more playful – which is great.

It’ll be interesting to see if the MacBU follows the same “ribbon” interface model as the Windows Office team. While it’s great, it would break Apple User Interface guidelines in, oh, about a hundred different ways. Office for Mac also has traditionally had a few interface tricks of its own – the formatting palette, for example – that have made it easier to use than the Windows version anyway. While I think this release leap-frogs over the Mac version in terms of ease of use, it will be a hard decision to take to change over to this interface.

  • Solveig Haugland


    I’ve been reading the blogs of beta testers like yourself and everyone generally has the same comment–takes some getting used to, the advanced features, are easier to get to, etc. Which I think is pretty much what one would expect.

    I’m wondering, though, about the 90% of users: the ones who just need to write up the meeting minutes and get the labels printed. I.e. the ones who aren’t as experienced in figuring out new software and aren’t as interested in doing so. How do you think they’ll do with the new interface?

  • Ian Betteridge

    Once they get past the sheer “oh my god” feeling that any new interface is likely to create, I think they’ll do well. I think there will be a lot of “Oh, I didn’t realise you could do that in Word”. So overall, better.