Anti-People Ready

We are a getting an awful lot of variations on People Ready software ads on TV from Microsoft.However they seem misdirected because the consensus among reviewers of Office 2007 is this is the one thing that cannot be said about the product. Ditto for Windows Vista where the consensus among reviewers on both products is that both present non-trivial learning curves to existing users of various editions of Windows and Office. Lets zoom in on how People Ready Office 2007 is.

I take the review by David Pogue of the New York Times but the same things are being said by any number of reviewers. Here is what David says about Office 2007:

“Over all, Office 2007 is much more pleasant to use than previous versions. It seems to be the work of the New Microsoft, a company far more concerned with elegance, beauty and simplicity than the Old Microsoft. … Still, switching will be a headache for Office veterans for weeks. You may gain productivity once you have made peace with the Ribbon, but until then, you will spend a lot of time stumbling through the new layout. Handy hint: Do not upgrade right before diving into an important project on deadline. In fact, for best results, don’t buy until you have spent some time at microsoftoffice.com watching the tutorials and downloading the free trial versions. “

Second, for all you Office Power users be forewarned – “You’re stuck with the tabs Microsoft gives you. You cant’ rearrange them or hide the ones you never use. Even if you never create form letters or write academic dissertations, the Mailings and References tabs will be there on the Ribbon forever, wasting space. Nor is that the only loss of customization. Microsoft has also removed the ability to create custom toolbars stocked with the features, fonts or style sheets you use most. In Office 2007, the only thing you can customize is something called the Quick Access Bar: a tiny row of unlabeled icons, awkwardly jammed in above or below the Ribbon. “

Finally just like Vista, David raises another important point about Office 2007 – pricing confusion. “Now then: If Office over all is simpler to use, its version matrix is not. There are eight versions. All include Word, Excel and PowerPoint; they differ only in the extras. The $150 Home and Student edition, for example, also includes OneNote (a note-taking program). The Ultimate package ($680 — ouch) includes Access (database), Accounting Express, InfoPath (electronic forms), Groove (collaboration “workspaces”), Outlook and Publisher (page layout). You can also buy programs