Windows 8

cwathen
Posts: 1133
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

i use office 2010 at work and we are starting to roll it out globally, upgrating office 2003. it's a nightmare. people who are 'data managers', and it literate have no problem with it. the old timers, the typist type people really struggle and despite the notion that the 'ribbon' was supposed to the functionality of the application more visible, it actually makes some things very difficult to find with users having to find themselves remembering what 100s of little icons do. i think icons are better than words when you have a small number of functions, but with something like office it's crazy.
I've actually tried Office 2007 on a couple of occasions in recent years. On both occasions I lasted the first time I ever tried to do anything more than the most simple actions in Word or Excel before moving back to 2003. Even 5 years after the dreaded Ribbon Interface made its appearance I still cannot fathom what some crank at Microsoft was smoking when he decided that this was the way forward.

At my work the plebs like me who merely manage stores still have Office 2003 on our office computers. The area managers have Office 2010 on their laptops. The other day my area manager was sitting next to me and asked for my help in Excel (for I am the IT geek). I couldn't help her. No amount of playing around with daft oversized icons could uncover what I was trying to find when it was so simple to locate in a menu in Excel 2003. Yet I don't doubt the functionality was in Excel 2010 for a second, it's just become such a mess to navigate and use. I am dreading the (sadly inevitable) day when Office 2003 is going to be taken away from me at work, my productivity will only plummet.
if it wasn't for the fact that so many critical business processes are powered by vba and macros, i'm sure we would have moved over to libreoffice ages ago. i much perfer the interface. personally though, i find myself using google docs more now.
Same with us. The company pays a fortune out on office licences when OpenOffice would happily accomplish most of what we do. But we have so many criticial reports and programs which utilise office files using vba, macros, and office-specific hacks that it would be a gargantuan task to change.
User avatar
Pete
Posts: 7195
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

cwathen wrote:The other day my area manager was sitting next to me and asked for my help in Excel (for I am the IT geek). I couldn't help her. No amount of playing around with daft oversized icons could uncover what I was trying to find when it was so simple to locate in a menu in Excel 2003.
IIRC can't you just use the old 2003 keyboard commands to get to the feature and therefore reveal its new location?

I prefer the ribbon myself. Being stuck on Office XP at my place of work I long for many of the simpler ways of doing things available in the newer editions.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
cwathen
Posts: 1133
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Pete wrote: IIRC can't you just use the old 2003 keyboard commands to get to the feature and therefore reveal its new location?
I didn't know that, but then I only know a relatively small number of the keyboard commands anyway. But accessing features by being required to remember combinations of keyboard commands which aren't properly documented unless you buy and read a very thick book as if you're using some mid-1980's DOS application is hardly progress. But it's great that option is there for people who want it - so why can't people who want to press <alt> and see a menu have that choice too?
I prefer the ribbon myself. Being stuck on Office XP at my place of work I long for many of the simpler ways of doing things available in the newer editions.
If the ribbon works for you then great, but it doesn't work for me, and it doesn't work for a lot of people. So being that the code for conventional toolbars and menus was (or knowing Microsoft, probably is still) there, why couldn't we just be given the choice?

Which brings this back to the topic of Windows 8 - why can't they just provide the option of not using metro if you don't want to?
User avatar
Pete
Posts: 7195
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

I suppose part of MS's thinking is that given the habit of corporate installs to avoid change they would automatically set it to "classic" mode and therefore all of MS's work would have been wasted.

Perhaps a better idea would have been to offer the choice in 2007 and then force in 2010.

The difference imo between the ribbon and metro is when the ribbon was introduced it was finished. Whatever your view on whether it is good or not, and whilst it was missed form some apps, in terms of it being functional in Word and Excel it was at 100% from launch.

Metro does not seem to be at this level. It is distinctly beta / late alpha at best and should not be at the forefront of desktop installs.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
Critique
Posts: 951
Joined: Mon 17 Aug, 2009 10.37
Location: Suffolk

cwathen wrote:
Pete wrote: IIRC can't you just use the old 2003 keyboard commands to get to the feature and therefore reveal its new location?
I didn't know that, but then I only know a relatively small number of the keyboard commands anyway. But accessing features by being required to remember combinations of keyboard commands which aren't properly documented unless you buy and read a very thick book as if you're using some mid-1980's DOS application is hardly progress. But it's great that option is there for people who want it - so why can't people who want to press <alt> and see a menu have that choice too?
I upgraded to Office 2007 early on, and the workplace are now on Office 2010. I don't find the ribbon that tiresome, although I will agree when talking about being unable to find a certain feature, when it used to be so easy to find!

What actually is the list of Keyboard commands? There's a thing for 'continue typing the Classic Office menu keys', but I only trigger it when I've hit some random letters by mistake.
User avatar
Pete
Posts: 7195
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

I think basically it's ALT, E, X to trigger cut. That sort of shortcut
"He has to be larger than bacon"
User avatar
cdd
Posts: 2539
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 14.05
Location: de Voitures
Contact:

lukey wrote:
eoin wrote:After a day spent working hard in desktop productivity apps, those who aren't completely set in their ways can launch the Start screen, download some Metro apps and enjoy them for what they are: a fluffy, more aesthetically pleasing way to read the news, check your personal email, IM, check train times etc. It's the best of both worlds really.
...I mean, this just doesn't sound like a thing that would happen. That sounds like a made up user story to justify something retrospectively.
That's because what will actually happen is:
After a day spent pretending to work hard in desktop productivity apps whilst actually browsing Facebook, those who aren't completely set in their ways can launch the Start screen, launch facebook and enjoy the news via facebook, check theirwall and personal messages via facebook, IM via facebook, check train times via a facebook app, etc while getting pissed off that their crap Flash Facebook games don't work.
Not that I have a low opinion of Metro UI's target audience or anything...

The truth is, as I said a while back, 90% of people could get by on any old OS that happens to have a browser installed. When was the last time you saw anyone under the age of 30 using an actual email client, or anyone under the age of 20 sending emails that they weren't forced to?

This is of course the real motivation behind MS's desperation with Windows 8.
User avatar
Ebeneezer Scrooge
Posts: 323
Joined: Tue 23 Sep, 2003 13.53
Location: Scrooge Towers

Initially, I was very sceptical about metro. I've not used it yet, I think I'd rather wait for the proper release that make my mind up on a pre-release version. However, the actual user experience doesn't seem to be a million miles from Unity.

I hated unity at first, but once I updated to the latest version I have to admit it got a lot better. I wouldn't dream of burrowing through application folders and categories to find a programme that I might need now, just click the button and start typing. It's even smart enough to give me suggestions when I can't remember the right name for a programme. So if I was sceptical at first for Unity and then have grown to use it to improve productivity, I can see the same happening with Metro.

I have mixed views on Metro in the one environment I have used it so far - xbox dash. For some things it does seem to improve the user experience, but I've been equally frustrated with it at times too. Much of that is probably down to the people writing these things getting used to how to use it most effectively.

I don't see the need, however, to run 'apps' on my desktop. It is well capable of doing much better than that.

For the record, I love the ribbon interface, it did take a little getting used to, but not much over a couple of weeks. Everything is now in a much more sensible place rather than burrowing through menus to find features that have been added on over years and years.
Snarky
User avatar
Pete
Posts: 7195
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

are we old denman?
"He has to be larger than bacon"
Jake
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue 27 Jun, 2006 13.00
Location: Derbyshire

I'm not a fan, all the Metro fluff seems to be stuff I'd normally do in my browser anyway, facebook, twitter and the like. I'd rather just switch windows between my serious apps and chrome.
I don't really use the start menu that much though, usually just Windows key then start typing.
User avatar
lukey
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu 25 May, 2006 01.11
Location: London
Contact:

Ebeneezer Scrooge wrote:Initially, I was very sceptical about metro. I've not used it yet, I think I'd rather wait for the proper release that make my mind up on a pre-release version. However, the actual user experience doesn't seem to be a million miles from Unity.

I hated unity at first, but once I updated to the latest version I have to admit it got a lot better. I wouldn't dream of burrowing through application folders and categories to find a programme that I might need now, just click the button and start typing. It's even smart enough to give me suggestions when I can't remember the right name for a programme. So if I was sceptical at first for Unity and then have grown to use it to improve productivity, I can see the same happening with Metro.
Oh I could dedicate a lot of energy to hating on Unity, but it's good to raise the parallels (at least in terms of the near-full-screen launcher) - have you played with 12.04 at all - I haven't, but desperately hoping it's better.

Certainly, in terms of hitting a key, typing, and hitting enter it's not a bad way of launching stuff, and in Metro, from what I can tell this is still maintained too, apart from the context switch. My biggest problem with Unity is the awful awful awful dock thing that just doesn't work how I assume most Ubuntu users actually work (ie. spending their time in a dozen bash tabs and a firefox window). But...I'll shut up about this here!
Please Respond