I read Luis Villa’s post about why he’s not a big fan of OOo, but is a fan of Office 2007, with great interest. In a nutshell, Microsoft’s Ribbon UI widgets are a key reason that Luis is an Office 2007 fan. He writes:
“Three full years ago Microsoft shipped a beta build of Office that announced “the office suite’s menus have become so cluttered and badly structured that users find it impossible to locate certain functions.” Their solution, the Ribbon, does a really good job of grouping important functionality together in a discoverable manner, and made it very easy for me to go from zero (prior to this year, I had not really used Office since 1998, and was far from a power user at that time) to relative power user (which I’ve had to be for various school tasks this year) in a matter of weeks.”
Like Luis, I haven’t been able to get into using OOo for my work or personal purposes. I simply find myself more productive with Office 2003 than with OOo 3. But this is more about my 9 years of using Office than finding flaws with OOo 3 itself. I’ve resisted the upgrade to Office 2007, because the UI seemed so different than the Office 2003 UI that I’ve become so proficient with. I clearly fall into the “everyone initially” category in Luis’ comment:
“That is part of why I am so impressed by Office 2007, from an innovation point of view- it took serious institutional balls to say ‘we know they’ll hate it at first, but we really believe that this is the Right Thing To Do.’ That isn’t easy, though I suppose it is easier when you’ve got an ironclad lock on people’s data ;)”
After reading Luis’ review of Office 2007, and more importantly, this awesome presentation about the Ribbon UI, I’m putting in a request to upgrade to Office 2007 (on my work machine). At the other end of the spectrum, Sun’s Simon Phipps comments on Luis’ blog:
“…it’s worth noting that one of the differentiators that’s got some of the largest new enterprise users of OO.o on board has been the fact that they usually don’t have to budget to retrain Office users when they switch to OO.o. MSFT doesn’t have to worry so much as all their customers are locked in, but it’s been a significant growth factor for OO.o in the last year in my experience.”
What about you, are you an OOo or MS Office user? And why?