Saturday, April 12, 2008


OK, I have a little, minor, micro-retraction to make regarding my previous bash of the latest version of Microsoft Office. My previous post is all true, and I stand by everything I said there, but there is actually a little bit of redemption for Microsoft.
First, here's the back-story: I'm leaving Monday to go to the 2008 SAE World Congress in Detroit, where I will be presenting my first publication! In preparation for going, I have been making sure that I have all the appropriate cables, software, etc. for delivering my presentation. After a failed attempt to get a mini-DVI to VGA adapter on eBay (they sent a similar-looking but incompatible adapter, the mini-VGA to VGA) , I hoofed it over to the campus computer store to get the right thing. While I was there, I saw a Mac up and running a demo of the new Office 2008 for Mac. I thought, why don't I see whether the badness was perpetuated in the Mac version... Imagine my surprise to find all of the best features were preserved, and they actually managed to make it better: customizable toolbars, actually helpful help, etc. One big improvement was that it now correctly reads figures from Windows machines where it used to improperly rotate the text in figure axes; this was a point of constant consternation for me when I had to transfer files back and forth with my adviser. That was enough to convince me to buy it (at the academic price of $29, how could I go wrong?).
So I still have a gripe, which is not really relevant anymore, but could have an implication for my friend Sam, who is on the Mac-Windows fence: How could MS manage to get it so wrong for its Windows products and right for its Mac products? And also, what's up with the 350MB of updates I have to install?! They only published the software in February. That's a lot of things to fix already in April, IMHO.
(You may legitimately accuse me of making a mountain from a mole-hill, but it's the little things that matter sometimes. I realize I've staked my entire opinion of MS Office on the ability to customize the toolbars. That's just who I am... ;-)  )


Jenny said...

Hey, we all have our pet peeves. Well, except for me of course; I'm always cheerful and only focus on the positive in everything. Ha! ;)

Jenny said...

Oh, and I forgot to add...good luck on your presentation. How exciting!!