New feature for Word 2007: Blogging!

Here!

I’m waiting for the announcement that it interfaces with MySpace…

But seriously… who thinks this is a good idea, besides everyone responding to the comment. Who needed this? Who trusts Microsoft to make this work with standard HTML and with non-Microsoft products?

I’m looking forward to the new microsoft office suite where they get rid of menus in favor of scoped, contextual toolbars. I wanna see how well that works.

Yeah, I’ll be interested to see that… but I think it will confuse the hell out of the majority of office workers and home users. They claim that they actually have real usability data to back this UI revamp up, but the last major revamp they did (add the puppy! hide the menus!) didn’t work out so well.

I think I’m just bitter because I’ve been using too much Word, Powerpoint, and Visio recently, and really, really am starting to despise those applications.

Excel works pretty well though. I’ve got no complaints with that one.

Microsoft can’t imagine why anyone would want to upgrade to the next Office version, but they have to make their customers upgrade anyway.

The existing versions are good enough, they won’t address the real issues like self-destructing Word documents (would require rewrite of Word core) or restrictive proprietary XML format (would require actual effort and limit monopoly power) or multilingual spell-checkers (would lose profits from add-on sales), so they just dump a lot of extraneous crap on the products.

PS: I’ll probably upgrade anyway but that’s because their entry-level package is absurdly cheap now, less than $200 or so. Probably worth it just to get rid of the godawful interface in Office 2003.

I’m holding out for Microsoft Omni - the single program that attempts to emulate everything you might ever do on a computer (with a mandatory upgrade and a $999 price point).

Somebody open a window, it smells all slashdotty in here…

Heh. I just wish Microsoft would pick a few things to absolutely excel at rather than try to offer their own version of everything ever.

I would say to you that they are. Microsoft, Apple, and Google excel at being able to throw lots of money at things in an attempt to innovate and improve existing products. Some of it will stick, and we’ll be the better for it.

As for wishing, I wish someone would make a word processor whose emphasis was on content creation as opposed to content presentation. I’d like a WP that

  1. Allows me to save a workspace like Wordperfect. I click on the workspace, and whatever ten (or so) documents I was working on all open at once. And they open on the monitor they were last on. And they open with the cursor in the spot it last was.

  2. Allows me to write marginal notes like Word along with interlinear notes. These notes appear in the “draft” mode that wordwraps with the size of the window but can also be easily printed (or not). Of course, I’d be able to make these notes in a gazillion different colors.

  3. Allows me to keep a post-it style note on a document. This note would float above the window and would just be a place to jot a few things I want to remember while I write. It would open with the document. It would also be easy to print or not.

  4. Allows me to tag the documents such that when I go to the Open Document window, I can sort them based on user defined tags like Character, Location, Chronology, etc. Of course, I’d be able to print the contents of this window in whatever order I chose.

  5. Allows me to do basically everything I can do with a piece of paper plus sort and find/replace and all that good stuff a computer can do.

But I’ve been waiting for these things since around 1995, so I’m not holding my breath. Maybe for the next novel…

What I’ve seen so far of Office 12 (2007) I like a lot, and I hope beta 2 is more polished.

As for the blogging from Word: YES! It says “In Beta 2 we support MSN Spaces, SharePoint 2007 (of course), Blogger, and Community Server (which is used for blogs.msdn.com).” Hopefully they add plenty more by release.

If it doesn’t make garbage code (and it seems like they’re going pretty lean 'n mean), I think it’s a great feature. Blogging is hot, word is a good app to write things in with minimal art, sounds like a nice match.

One problem with the idea of blogging from Word is that MS tends to only update their products every ~3 years, with no interim feature releases and rarely even an interim bug fix.

That means they’ll have an OK blogging feature set (hopefully) on initial release, but a few annoying bugs that don’t get fixed, and they’ll likely add nothing new until ~2010, even though all the main blog sites and such will support many new features.

This was how it was with MS Frontpage - ok upon release date, but quickly dated, and much of the key functionality didn’t work unless your backend was using the latest and greatest MS server stuff.

So the blogging…will it talk directly to Wordpress or the like? If so, that’s kinda of interesting…but Phil brings up a good point.

Microsoft seems confused about what the difference between WP and DTP is,
or they’re trying to confuse customers. All these desktop publishing features they’ve
stuck into Word are nowhere near a real tool of its ilk, so it’s about time someone
stops adding features and just fix what’s there.

Kill the fucking animated assistants, and leave ythem for a children’s edition.

Oh man, does this mean a new version of MS Publisher as well? The last thing I want to do is to relearn how to get meaningful output from another version of that. We have clients send us ridiculous things at the printing company I work for, like business cards laid out in powerpoint, but it’s somehow more frustrating everytime I pick up a job and find Publisher files. I think it’s disheartening to think that the customer knew better than to use Word, but didn’t realize they were still using a crappy program.

I’m still waiting for a version of MS Word which does footnotes properly. It’s such a pain to see my footnotes run off to the following page instead of breaking the main text on the current page.

LaTeX handle footnotes quite intelligently. I know a lot of computer book authors who mark up everything in LaTeX before handing it off to their publishers.

LyX makes it easy to do LaTeX, too:
http://wiki.lyx.org/Windows/Windows

Not to threadcrap or anything, but I’ve dumped MS Office for OpenOffice.org (I decided Open Source was better than… umm… “torrent-source.”). OOo 2.x seems to do all the office tasks quite nicely, and isn’t anywhere near as bloated with extraneous options – like blogging! – like MS Office.

Plus, the price can’t be beat. I just don’t see the value proposition on a $400+ suite of office apps, when something almost as good is available for free.

semi-divert: When I read the title, I thought they were porting xbox360 blogging to MS Office. You know… ‘May 23, 2006: KaoFloppy fired up Word, but typed a grand total of 1 characters before quiting. He then took off without nary-a-goodbye!’

‘May 24, 2006: KaoFloppy used Excel to play around with the “myStore” file and the “hidden_books” file. He was using mainly the “Delete” function, followed by a tie between “Cut” and “Paste”. Hmmmm, he can’t decide between “Cut” and “Paste”?’