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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

To Office 2007

Tuesday, I had lunch with J. LeRoy. 

He probably doesn’t remember it this way, but he convinced me to make the switch to Office 2007.  It went something like this:

Jim (All paraphrased):

  • I have finally given up on Outlook.
  • I’m sick of waiting for five minutes for it to start.
  • It never closes when you click on the ‘x’.
  • Business Contacts Manager constantly asked me to reinstall its database.
  • Which database is that?  I remember installing a database.

and the one that convinced me:

  • It does some really cool things with tasks (and follow-up).

That was it.  I had to install it.

Having the tools to manage my to-do list efficiently is kind of my Holy Grail. I have tried various tools and not been happy with any of them.  So I have fallen back to using tasks in Outlook which are synchronized with my Treo.

This works okay, but Outlook 2003 treats tasks as some kind of afterthought.

Outlook 2007 is a much better job with providing a usable UX integrating tasks (and the calendar) across many different views.

And for me, it doesn’t take very long to start.  It also closes when I click on the ‘x’.   I suspect that Jim is having add-in trouble.  Something (probably Business Contacts Manager) is keeping Outlook alive when it shouldn’t.

Now, I’m using the entire Office Ultimate suite.  More on that as I actually start to use it.

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.NET 3.0 Ships

Office 2007 RTM’ed this morning so I’ve been looking throughout the day for news on .NET 3.0.

And, yes, it came out too.  Here.   

I got what I wanted: the release of .NET 3.0 has been decoupled from Vista.  Of course, Vista is in escrow and will RTM within a few weeks so it isn’t that decoupled.

Anyway, congratulations to the teams for getting this done!  

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Putting a grid behind Excel 2007 and SharePoint

Yesterday Dan posted on his experiences getting a grid running behind SharePoint with Excel 2007.

It turns out that it is remarkable easy if you use the Digipede Network.

Check it out: West Coast Grid: Putting a grid behind Excel 2007.

Good job, Dan.

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Might Softricity enable a real Office Live?

Many people would like to see an online Office product. Bill Gates says that what people really want are online documents. That is, if Office is available everywhere (with a full-desktop license or through some other interface) then the users need to get to their documents from any machine.

Setting aside this storage requirement (and the services to support it) for a moment, making Office available everywhere requires one of two things:

  1. An Office Live strategy that actually includes Office products — meaning re-writing or newly written Office applications for the Web (which is apparently what Bill Gates doesn’t think people want); or
  2. Easy deployment of the existing Office desktop products anywhere.

Isn’t that what Softricity’s SoftGrid product does? From their site:

All applications are instantly available anywhere in the world – from a user’s desktop or a browser . . . whether the machine is the user’s own computer or a device shared by many users; or whether the user is on a high-speed or dialup connection — or even completely disconnected.

In addition, they claim that they can rapidly pull just the part of the application needed by the user (again, from their site):

. . . the Softricity client rapidly responds and “pulls” only the code necessary to start the program from a central Server — typically 20-40% of the total code. This happens without any degradation in functionality or response time; applications launch within seconds, based on application size and connection speed.

So, Office 2007 + Softricity = Office Live?

Is this the real reason Microsoft is buying Softricity? Is this the Office Live strategy? Mr. Ozzie, is this your online strategy? Robert, do I have it right?

Yesterday I wondered about the overlap between Softricity and FlexGo. So, alternatively, Office 2007 + FlexGo = Office Live.

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