Archive for the ‘Office’ Category

Google Office 2007: Now compatible with Vista

February 21, 2007

In case your company spent too much on Vista licensing this year, it looks like you can still save some costs on your productivity suite!!

I know MS is just trying to get into the hosted space for email, but Google is already offering all the important productivity tools with 99.9% uptime….email, calendaring, spreadsheets, & word processing….even blackberry if you want it! For $50 per user!!

This is a neat idea and certainly fills a void for a lot of cases. The case of schools is a huge one in my opinion students can cross the boundaries of home and campus and maintain a familiar application at little to no cost. That is fantastic! Small businesses and un-tech savvy users is another great example, if they can get easy access to this stuff…they have a viable option to reduce the costs of their business….

Of course I would need to know a few things before I started moving my business onto the latest fad software:

  1. What about email retention & discovery (all companies need to worry about this now)?
  2. Where is the diagramming software?
  3. Where is the project application?
  4. Where is the presentation software (an online app would be great for this…never get up to speak without your presentation online)?
  5. Why is this better then starOffice (ok hosted email is cool, but starOffice is cheap and fairly solid now)?
  6. Am I going to get advertisements in my apps for this price (ok, probably not, but does the licensing prevent them from doing this)?
  7. Why isn’t jotspot or blogger included in the deal (that would take care of number 3 and a lot more)?
  8. What is the plan when Office Live comes out with twice the feature set at the same price (isn’t that what they do, make everyone else’s ideas better)?
  9. Will Maps be included at any point (a la MS streets & trips)?
  10. Why isn’t the IM application included…or any conferencing suite (we need easy, trackable, auditable collaboration software!)?

Google Spreadsheets

November 28, 2006

During the course of one of my classes I ended up working with a student who was unable to use a reliable spreadsheet application at home. This means that their only option to complete any spreadsheet work would be to come into the computer lab and use Microsoft Office on those computers. Of course with the snow and usual pain in the butt that goes along with coming into the computer lab, this is kind of a crappy option. So why doesn’t he have a spreadsheet application?

Well why wouldn’t anyone have a spreadsheet application accessible to them at home in these modern times? To be honest, I didn’t ask, I felt as though I was intruding a little too much with that question. Everyone should have access to these tools. Maybe installing StarOffice is not allowed in the home (I wouldn’t let my kids install it on my personaly computer), maybe Microsoft Office is too expensive even with the student discount… what is a student, or anyone to do in these circumstances? They have somehow made the effort to obtain a computer and it already has a licensed operating system on it (that is the easy part). But what about the basic applications to make these things work?

Well to my suprise the neat thing Google has been talking about was a great fit. A lot of people have been talking about it and to be honest it is better then Microsoft‘s “test drive” (a.k.a Not easy to use and completely FREE). The second half of that statement really gets me pissed off, Microsoft copies a lot of things from Google, but they are able to somehow miss the essence of what is being offered (similar to zune vs. ipod), just easy to use best of breed technology. Yes I would rather use excel online with it’s specialized functions for accounting and other operations, but I may not be able to afford it……is pirating the only option?

So what are some of the cool features that I am talking about for Google Spreadsheets?

Go check it out, go to Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Login or get an account (includes IM, email, calendar, etc), create a spreadsheet and check out these features that make collaboration a reality…..

  • On the left hand side of the screen under the Google logo there is a “file” button, when you click the button you can select the “export” >> then export the single spreadsheet as a .csv or .html, you can also export the entire workbook as a .ods, .pdf, or .xls (.xls is highly compatible with people who may want to edit the file so is a good idea to use for collaboration), .pdf is great for publishing to wide variety of sources.

  • On the right hand side of the screen under the “Sign Out” link and under the “Save & Close” button, there is a tab titled “Collaborate”, this tab allows you to add collaborators (people who can edit the spreadsheet) and viewers (people who can simply view the spreadsheet). In the screen shot below I have myself listed as a collaborator and my wife as a viewer.

  • Once you have collaborators and viewers invited, these people can view and collaborate on spreadsheet numbers, formulas, formatting, etc, etc

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The Office 2007 Ribbon won’t be too difficult

July 26, 2006

Now this is pretty funny, the other day my wife started a new job at Microsoft and is getting used to all of the features and functionality of being a Microsoft employee. As a good softy, she ensured that she was playing with all the latest stuff and installed Office 2007 on her computer.

So we were at home earlier this week and I was just finishing up some work while she was finishing up some homework, when she asked me a question about ‘save as’ in Excel 2007. Now I have been using Office 2007 for a while now (pre-beta 1), and I honestly had no idea how to answer her…. I encouraged her to look on the ‘file’ menu which was not easy to find, I then encouraged her to search the ‘ribbon’ which was difficult to navigate, in the end she overwrote her existing file (a little frustrated in doing so), and decided that well, now she worked for the evil genious that thought this Ribbon thing was a good idea.

Apparently she and I are not alone, the new Office 2007 Ribbon, although thought through and based on plenty of user research (well at least I would hope so), will probably contain the feature to get rid of it and use the file menu like a normal office app at release time