Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stupid Microsoft Issues

1) In the Vista Folders view the default attribute is by 'rating' and tag--you have to add 'modified date'. Modified date, and name, are my most obvious search terms. Who rates their files? This spreadsheet is a 2 out of 5!

2) Excel2007 takes about 15 seconds to pull up the 'add-ins' menu, as opposed to instantly in Excel2003. Why is this better?

3) Excel spends about 15 seconds telling me about an obvious circular reference caused by an errant keystroke, as if it is so proud of its logic. It did this in 2003 too, but you would think someone would tell them that they are not going to get the Fields Medal for telling me that a cell with sum(A1:A15) that includes A15 is circular with neat arrows. It was a mistake--just say #N/A and let me fix it!

4) The search in Vista is 100% more efficient than the old search in XP--if you know the when and where of the file you are searching for. The new 'expanded' search pane does not allow searches between two dates, or between two sizes, in the search pane. But, you have to 'index' all the areas you want searched, which is not obvious as I recently downloaded a file that went to C:\users\ericf\AppData\Local\bla bla, which was not indexed, so I could not find it even though I just downloaded it. If you do index your entire hard drive, your system is weighed down by indexing everything. Basically, the search is much more efficient if you know exactly what you want in the exact space you want. Indeed, you can click on a file in the folders view, and it gives you the option to index the file for searches. If I took the time to check on its properties, what are the odds I won't know where it is? This was designed by an idiot.

5) To get to 'Task Manager' you need to navigate an extra menu. To create a new Word or Excel document you need to navigate an extra menu. In Word, the option is blog post, in Excel, the option is their collection of stupid templates. More is not merely different in Vista/Office07, it is worse.

6) There's more functionality and more buttons for everything in Office 2007--but good luck finding it. If you are upgrading from 2003, spend an hour to create your own custom toolbar, because if you have been using Word or Excel since 1987 like me, their reorganization is like moving from English to Dutch--Dutch may be a more efficient language, but I really don't feel like learning it at this point. It may test well with newbie teenagers or grandmothers, but it sucks for an experienced 43 year old user. Best to avoid by bring your most favorite 40 tools onto the toolbar, then using Google for help in figuring out how to do what you can't find (Google Search is better for help that the application-specific built in help).

7) Graphics in Excel is now much more difficult. Try rotating a surface, the old one is a breeze, the new one much more complicated. Try re-ordering legend list. Try formating an axis label. It is 'rich', in the way that C++ is rich: it contains the solution to everything, you merely have to work it out from some obscure first principles.

If I did not have to upgrade from Office2003 or XP, I would not.


Berend de Boer said...

Eric: If I did not have to upgrade from Office2003 or XP, I would not.If millions like you didn't fork out their money for an even more crap version, it would not have been this bad.

Have you ever tried Gnumeric or OpenOffice spreadsheet?

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Anonymous said...

I agree with each of your complaints. I cannot remember a single invention for Word or Excel that has made the product better since misspelled words were underlined in red - and I think this was Word 95.

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Plamen said...

When you use Excel a lot, you use the mouse maybe once a minute... Excel 2007 makes that all but impossible, unless, maybe, who knows, if you learn Dutch...

I am sticking with 2003 for as long as I can, and I feel your pain.