Monthly Archives: January 2009

OS News: Don’t Blame Windows and KDE for Your Own Aversion to Change

Thom Holwerda writes an excellent article about technical experts views on changes in technology specifically user interface paradigms in modern operating systems such as Windows 7 and Linux desktop environment KDE 4.x.

“With Windows 7 having made its grand debut, and with KDE4’s vision making leaps and bounds forward with every release, we have two major software projects that have decided to implement some fairly drastic interface changes. Such changes are bound to receive some harsh criticisms – but the funny thing is, these criticisms usually come from people you least expect it from.

I find it slightly amusing that the people who are the most stern advocates of normal users moving away from Windows, trying out alternatives, are the same people who are usually lost whenever they themselves have to change their way of doing things. Do as I say, but not as I do.”

Read the entire article here

I too find it strange that persons who normally advocate migrations to alternative to platforms such as Linux or OS X would describe enhancements to an OS such as Vista or 7 or an application suite such as Office 2007 too much for the average user to bare. I know folks who are not savvy when it comes to using products like Microsoft Word and I see them adjusting to Word 2007 in minutes. I often ask persons, how is your experience with Office 2007? They reply, its great, everything is there, I don’t need to search under drop down menus for it. And that’s the point of an upgrade like Office 2007, its not specifically new features, its about exposing what’s already there and making it even easier to use. That’s one of the key fundamentals of Windows 7’s Scenic user interface, better accessibility and more functional, features like Jump List and Taskbar grouping along with features from Vista such as Taskbar Thumbnails streamline the UI making it easier get more from it. So, I think a lot of this concern about, users won’t get it is just unfounded.

12 Comments

Filed under Windows 7

Office 14 – Finally! Anytime Upgrade, Portable Office?

Sorry, I haven’t started off the new year as quick as possible with blog post, but you probably have a good idea of why I am busy – and yes, its Windows 7 related. But I also have some Windows Live content I want to finish up. So stay tuned.

This blog post in particular is about one of Microsoft’s other important platforms, Microsoft Office. With the success of Office 2007 and great reception that the Office Fluent (Ribbon) has gotten since its release, folks have been wondering, what’s next?

Well, finally, someone has satisfied our curiosity, it seems there will be Office Fluent across the board, and more improvements to the user interfaces. There is one particular screenshot that caught my eye amongst the Office 14 modules. The About Page features some cross pollination from Windows along with new mobility improvements. Lets check it out:

Office 14 new ways of upgrading and carrying Microsoft Office with you?

Office Anytime Upgrade:

With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft offered an easy way for users to upgrade to higher or more feature rich SKU’s (editions) of Windows. For instance, licensed users of Windows Vista Home Basic can do an upgrade to Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate by using their existing Windows DVD and gain access to  new features such as MCE, Domain Join, BitLocker, (depending on the SKU), by simply purchasing a key online. Office 14 looks like it will be taking a page out of this book.

Create Mobile Office Device

Interesting, could Microsoft be making Office a portable piece of software? Sounds like it! Taking into account, the size of the Office disk around 500 MBs that’s miniscule for any thumb drive these days. What this probably guarantees is that any computer that can run Office 14 you can simply plug in your thumb drive and have access to the latest version with all the features you enjoy using in the suite. There is also the concern for rampant piracy. I assume, it will lock down Office 14 installed locally on your system when you take it with you. Personally, when I am on the go with documents I might want to access, its most likely for light editing, so the Office 14 web applications might be just enough for that. But its good to see Microsoft possibly making the suite more flexible with how you can use it.

Office 14 based on these screenshots still look like a work in progress, and the About Page which displays unrelated pictorial representations proves that there is still some polishing to go before you can buy this at the store or online. Its good to see programs in the suite getting the full treatment such as Publisher 14 and programs like Visio also adopting Office Fluent. I am definitely looking forward to run this update on Windows 7!

11 Comments

Filed under Office Productivity

ActiveWin: Windows 7 Ultimate BETA Build 7000 Preview

We have finally reached that critical mile stone in the development of Microsoft’s next major desktop release of Windows, BETA 1! Back in October 2008 we previewed the Pre-beta build 6801 of Windows 7 which was surprisingly quite stable for an alpha after running it as my main OS for the past couple of months. For many persons, the description that best describes a beta of an OS like Windows is, crude, incomplete, rough, buggy and just not ready for prime time. Well, Windows 7 BETA is quite the exception in this case. I recall my experience with Windows Vista BETA 1 which worked, but was buggy throughout, whether it was application compatibility or unfinished components just not working as intended. Windows 7 BETA feels and works like a finished product. One of the things users will immediately praise about the new OS is its improved performance, I have been running the x86 platform on my AMD Sempron 1.6 GHz machine with 512 MBs of RAM for a couple of weeks now and it’s just fast, no lag, got Aero Glass and my applications just feel really snappy on it. The Windows Team has listened; they have focused on the fundamentals, the things that users really care about, making Windows compatible, making it faster and making it just work!

Read the entire review here

44 Comments

Filed under 7 Journal