So Microsoft has cranked out a couple of public betas in the past few weeks: Vista and Office 2007. I'm all about the early adoption, so I'm in the middle of a 2-hour Vista download right now. Have any W's taken a stab at the beta, and with what results?
I'm planning on doing an upgrade install rather than a clean. I've got mad backups should the unthinkable happen. Does anybody think my life will be miserable without a clean install?
Also, I've been toying around with the new Office for a couple of weeks. I like the ease of use of Word and Excel, but man... expect a huge "THIS IS NOT WHAT I'M USED TO" backlash from the less-proficient end user. The ribbon bar is very different from the usual "File, Edit, etc." menu bar. I'm still having a hard time finding some simple commands the first couple tries. Also, Word seems to be hell-bent on making its users create documents to the program's own specification (10 pts. after each paragraph, 1.1 line spacing, etc.). No matter how many times I try to reset the defaults, I get jarred back into Word's preferred fonts and paragraph settings. Also, the default "Print Layout" view gets a bit old, too. All in all, though, I like the improvements in the publication software.
Outlook's upgrades are fantastic. No complaints here; they put out a natural evolution more in tune with Office 2003 than the massive reorganization of Word and Excel. There's also integrated RSS reading, although Microsoft still hasn't figured out that users might want all RSS feeds aggregated into one window. A minor qualm, though.
Anyhoo, anyone else have any articulable experiences with the new Office?
I've only touched Word and Excel, but, yeah, the new menu bar is freaky. I've been able to find most things, but I've found myself right-clicking more often and using the contextual menu instead of hunting around up top.
The most noticable difference is how documents pop off the page. Excel spreadsheets I use with a lot of color seem more lively and vivid; while this is hardly a key component of Excel, I do love it.
I personally love the new menu system. It's different, but I find it easier to find what I want on there or less annoying than using the old menu format. Very nice upgrade.
Vista, I would do a dual boot unless that's not an option for you. I just broke off a chunk of hard drive space using Partition Magic and put it on there. Main point would be pay attention to the required hardware. They aren't kidding. In my view if you don't have 1 Gig of RAM and a video card with at least 128MB onboard(not shared) then don't bother. Sure it'll still run, but it'll be slow unless you turn off all the cool new video features, and then why bother installing it? I've got an older laptop (1.2 Intel, 512 RAM, 64MB video) and it was nice and poopy on there. Removed it after two boots. On my desktop however(3.2 Intel, 2 Gig RAM, 256 MB video) it runs like a champ..
Seems to be working great, and I like the new features although in a lot of ways it feels like XP with some new trim color.
Here's an article from AnandTech about the 5700 series: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=1910 Not necessary reading, but if you're curious. I'd recommend AnandTech and HardOCP as decent sites to read for hardware reviews.