Tuesday, 15 July 2008

A quick note about Microsoft Office 2007

I don't like it.

Few things have better illustrated the difference between skilled artists backed by talented user interface designers, and crude imitators of bling, than the interface to the new Office products.

I came in to work this morning and found that I had been upgraded. First of all this meant that my shortcut to Outlook was missing, which was a minor annoyance. Then I found out that on this brand new computer, Outlook runs appreciably slower than the old version. Don't even try and argue that this is not a bad thing.

Then I had to open a Word document.

Oh, my, god.

I feel like I'm drowning in bubblegum. It's even worse than the default look in Gnome. There's a button up in the top left which keeps flashing at me, and is going to give me a migraine or invoke screaming rage (possibly both) the first time I need to do a lot of work. Oh, hang on, it's just flashing at me until I press it once. For why do I need to press you??

It gets worse. I try the menus.

Oh dear. Everything's in a sort of a tab bar, which changes by menu item, and nothing lists the hotkey combination. Which is ironic, because few things can induce me to spend the time and effort memorising hotkey combinations than that new menu setup.

I have, many times, used new interfaces with loathing and grown to like them. I have also seen new interfaces, joyously jumped in and been proven correct. I don't believe I want to grow to like this one. I believe I want to vomit on it.

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