Close Encounters With Office 2007

Microsoft’s new Office suite has some alien features, which raise concerns about backward compatibility, user training and ROI.

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Microsoft claims that users could also become more productive by using features that were previously hidden and are now exposed, in the right context, in the Ribbon bar. Jaffe says that 80% of the features that users have asked for are in the version of Office they already own — “they just don’t know how to get there.” By exposing those functions, Microsoft hopes that users will discover and use them.

“Microsoft’s claim is that Office 2007 makes it easier for users to create better-looking documents faster, which is a laudable goal,” says Silver. “But for many IT departments I speak to, that’s not one of theirs.”

Source: Computerworld/'The Office Letter' Survey, October 2006

Source: Computerworld/"The Office Letter" Survey, October 2006

Source: Computerworld/'The Office Letter' Survey, October 2006

Source: Computerworld/"The Office Letter" Survey, October 2006

What might interest IT is tighter integration with Microsoft’s collaboration platform, SharePoint Server 2007. Silver says most of his corporate clients that plan to move quickly to Office 2007 cite SharePoint as the primary reason.

“I like the interfaces with SharePoint 2007,” such as synchronization between individual and team calendars, says PS/EMC’s Fink, who is evaluating the product.

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