Tag Archives: microsoft-office

How Do You Define Bloatware?


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A caller the other night asked simply: “What is Bloatware?” That’s actually an easy one to answer! Bloatware is when you have a piece of software that should be a certain size. However, due to several unnecessary things being added in, the size of the software increases dramatically. Heck, sometimes companies add so much crap in that the original software ends up being buggy and laggy making it not work properly.

There are some types of software that you can turn off the unneeded services and installed applications. When installing a new piece of software, make sure you actually pay attention and read everything during installation. I recommend never just “clicking through” repeatedly. There are a lot of things that will get installed without your consent… all of which are enabled by default. For example, there are types of software that will automatically install various toolbars unless you tell it not to.

Some people claim that things such as Microsoft Office are bloatware due to the sheer number of features inside. You may want just a good text editor (Word), but instead you’re going to have to install a ton of other things just to get that.

My best advice is just to pay attention to what you’re installing. Make sure you are aware of what comes bundled with each piece of software when deciding what to buy, even. Choose something that works well for your needs and comes with the least amount of “extras.”

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Productivity on the iPad

You only have to wait a few more days, my impatient friends. Your iPad will soon arrive, and you’ll be able to play to your heart’s content. In order to help keep you occupied, I have found a few videos that showcase some of the features and apps built in to the device. Productivity is important, and many nay-sayers are adamant that the iPad won’t be usable for any type of work. How wrong they are.

Keynote is a very powerful presentation application, and was built from the ground up specifically for the iPad. You can create beautiful presentations from photos, charts and animations. You can use a template to create a new presentation, or bring in an existing document from your Mac or from PowerPoint. The large disply on the iPad will give you a good view of whatever you’re working on.

Pages is a word processor made for the mobile device. It can create newsletters, reports and other documents with a few flicks of a finger. When you rotate the iPad, your page fills the screen. Pages tracks what you type, so it can suggest words, correct your spelling, and insert punctuation automatically. It can even tell when you’re creating a list, and format it for you while you’re typing.

Numbers is the spreadsheet application from iWork that you’re already used to, and it’s powerful on the iPad. It’s easy to work with tables, charts and graphics on a canvas that you can use just by touching. You can again use one of the preset templates to get started, or import an Excel spreadsheet from Microsoft Office.

Who says you can’t be productive on an iPad? These built-in applications would suggest otherwise. While the iPad may not be suitable to be your “main” computer, I think it will do nicely when you’re on the go and need to get some work done.

Caption This Video of Dancing Microsoft Office Icons


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Don’t ask me why, but for some reason Microsoft Office icons were not allowed to use the restroom at Macworld. They were forced to “dance” it off. Unfortunately, this made quite a mess. The Microsoft Office for Windows icons could pee anytime they wanted, which leads me to believe that someone there is playing favorites.

Go ahead – caption this video! Remix it, add captions or other funny things to it, and upload it as a video response to the video (or here on the blog). Get creative and have fun! Just… remember to keep it clean!

Thanks to kevoc2008 for capturing this video for us!

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Word Document Compatibility


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – A word processing application allows you to write some text and save it. A question came in about compatibilities between different version of Microsoft Word, and other word processing programs in general.

Word to your mother! Excel to your father. Powerpoint for your sister! And uhm, Access to your brother? Yeah, anyway…

My first word processing ‘appliction’ was an electric typewriter. Yes, I remember those days well. Slow to start, slow to respond. Kind of gave a whole new meaning to the term “rough draft”. Do teachers still use that in school? No matter. On with the answer!

It’s actually easy to make old Microsoft Word documents compatible with the new version of Word 2007. The problem is in going in the opposite direction. It’s not always so simple to save a document in Word 2007 and then open it in an older version. There are many new features in Word 2007, and several plug-ins you can obtain to make the cross-compatibility easier on yourself. But to save a document in Word 2007 and then open it in another program altogether? Not so easy.

My recommendation is to save your documents in the .rtf (Rich Text Format) format. If you’re not doing much other than simple text, maybe some bold or underlining… this is the way to go. Saving a document this way assures you that you will be able open it using other programs, or older/newer versions of Microsoft Word easily. Of course, if you have a lot of formatting or design in your document, this option won’t work. Another good reason to save your documents in .rtf format is that they are much less likely to be hit by a virus.

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Microsoft Office for Mac 2008: Delayed

A neighbor (and new friend) Jason sent me the link to Microsoft to delay Office for Mac 2008. I started to compose a personal reply, but then decided to bring the discussion points here, instead.

Can’t say that I’m surprised by this move. Seems that many of these large companies have been experiencing setbacks with software development (as they can’t always “release early, release often”). I also can’t say that I’m really all that heartbroken about the delay of Mac Office, either. There are plenty of alternatives out there – plenty.

I’d just as soon use Keynote than PowerPoint, and most of my spreadsheet and document needs are handled well enough through Google. Just about the only time I ever open Word is when I want to view a complex document (rarely). There’s virtually no point to having Office around – other than to have it around. The only part of Office I really care about is Outlook.

However, I’ve already decided that we’ll be switching to a hosted Exchange environment, which virtually eliminates any degree of reliance on a desktop client. Knowing that anybody could run a Windows version of Office on the Mac and be equally (if not more) satisfied with the feature-set, and… this deadline pushback is a non-event for users.

Microsoft Office is losing ground, intentionally – and that’ll catch up with them, eventually. If and WHEN they move the suite online, platform will be even less of an issue. I’m trying my best to move my life and data to trusted Internet resources, but it’s still an incredible challenge. Too many hurdles stand in our way, with every vendor not wanting to play nicely with other vendors.

Gee, I wonder why they say that Open Source is going to win?

Does Microsoft Price Gouge Europe?

Lockergnome subscriber Anthony Down is of the opinion that Microsoft is gouging its European customers. I’m seeking clarification on his assertions, hoping that someone from Microsoft’s European division can clarify the situation – as I’d only assume this is a mathematical error:

I am and have been a subscriber to Lockergnome and Tech News Watch for several years, albeit here, over the “pond” in Europe. I enjoy the mags and have gained a great deal from them, thanks and keep up the good work.

My purpose in mailing you is to draw your attention to the fact, and ask why is it that Microsoft policy appears to be directly involved in gouging their European customers for more than 100% on product prices.

Microsoft advertise Office Professional for $412.00 (Download) in the US. The same product again downloaded (From the Microsoft catalogue, not a third party retailer) to European customers is Euro 615.00. When the exchange rate is calculated, this makes the price of the package $824.00. Whilst we are used to just seeing the currency sign changed ($412.00 becomes Euro 412.00), this blatant ripping off is the very thing that encourages individuals to commit acts of piracy, as we see that Microsoft is involved in an alternative form of piracy on a huge scale.

I had decided to purchase a copy, and whilst the actual price is somewhat high, that fact alone did not immediately deter me, but when I saw the US price, I decided that perhaps it is time to investigate other options. I am not a “Microsoft Basher” (well until now!) but this makes me feel that it may well be time to completely review options available from O/S up, which for me is sad, as I feel that they are quality products.

Office 2003 Vs. Office 2007

 

http://live.pirillo.com/ – What’s the difference between Office 2003 and Office 2007?

The biggest difference – and the only difference most users are going to notice – is the ribbon, which is a replacement for the traditional menu system. The ribbon is supposed to make it easier for people to discover features that are already present in the office suite.

There really isn’t a huge difference for the average user: if you just type away then the difference between the two is negligible. for the power users, they’ll notice some slight tweaks and differences, along with a major speed boost in Outlook 2007.

Should you get Office 2007? Well, if you already have a version of Office that works fine, then don’t spend the money (and it is a lot of money).

If you don’t have Office and you want the suite, then try to find the bheapest price and buy it. Or, you could try Office alternatives, like OpenOffice.org, whish is a free open-source alternative to Office.

OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute.

Microsoft owns the market for office applications today: but it won’t be like that in the future.

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OpenOffice vs. Microsoft Office

This afternoon, Ponzi asked me to install Office on one of our laptops so that we could use Excel and Word on it. Easy enough to do, right? All I had to do was find the CD, right? Well, I couldn’t find it – and I’m pretty certain all of my Office activations have been used up, anyway (especially now that I no longer have access to an MSDN account).

As I was digging through my software drawer, I started to think… do I really need to use Microsoft Office – or will OpenOffice do just fine for desktop productivity? Let’s think about this for a moment. OpenOffice.org is free software:

  • you may download OpenOffice.org completely free of any license fees
  • install it on as many PCs as you like
  • use it for any purpose – private, educational, government and public administration, commercial…
  • pass on copies free of charge to family, friends, students, employees, etc.

Writer, for the most part, is like Word – and Calc, for the most part, is like Excel. That’s all I really need on this laptop. Guess I can kiss Microsoft Office on ancillary machines good-bye? Forget about limited editions and 60-day timeouts, man. I don’t know if I could live my life on the desktop without Microsoft Office at this point (especially with Outlook playing such a pivotal role)… what about you?

More Outlook HTML Email Problems

Outlook is great. It’s great. So great, in fact, that someone just asked me to blog one of their greatest Outlook concerns. Not quite sure if anybody on the Outlook team gives a rip, but… here’s what Derek sent me earlier:

“When I put pictures into an Outlook HTML email, they are much less quality and significantly larger, even though Outlook reports that they are 100%. Images also seem to gain 300% more in file size (kb). Comparing them to the Image and Fax Viewer or other image editing software at 100%, Outlook inserts the image at 30% bigger. After doing some research, MS is using the Word Editor – which assumes images to be inserted at a DPI of 96, although most digital cameras go between 72 DPI (Mac’s standard) and somewhere around 200 DPI. Images inserted at 72 will be upsampled (using MS’s rather poor upsampling engine). Images larger than 96 dpi will appear smaller than the original image. To change the DPI (or PPI) value, you must open the picture with a non-Microsoft product, then resample the picture to the 96 DPI, just to have the image appear in the email appear correctly. Even some pictures with a DPI value of 96 will still be upsampled. This is a tremendous inconvenience for those doing email newsletters, and I can assure you novice users will not know why their images are changing in quality and size.”

I really wish Microsoft would issue an interim release of Outlook, much like they did with Outlook 98 (fixing with it countless bugs). This is just, kinda… irresponsible?

I'm Using Microsoft Outlook 2007

Stop the presses – I’ve finally moved from Outlook 2000 to Outlook 2007! Granted, I didn’t have much choice in the matter. The decision was reached after I tried using Outlook 2000 on Windows Vista – and that experience was painful, at best. Then again, my Windows Vista experience has been nothing short of “so-so” to this point (far too many ghosts in the machine).

I’m still getting used to Outlook’s haphazard UI, but at least most of the speed issues with it have disappeared. Search is only as good as the last time the index was updated, however – which is frustrating if a message has just arrived and I can’t find it again by keyword. I’ll miss Net Folders, too.

Despite leaping to the new version, my outlook on Outlook remains the same; Microsoft needs to overhaul their PIM. And don’t even get me going on the mess that’s Windows Mail – as opposed to the slightly-more usable Windows Live Mail Desktop. Thunderbird kicks their respective digital asses (though none of ’em are true personal information managers).