Microsoft Office 2010 Beta - first glance

Hoourey !!! the Office 2010 Beta is available for download ... that's very nice. I followed the link and after login, got the green "Download" button. Nothing new so far, and as the "blue highlighted" text says "product is delivered by Click-and-Run, a streaming technology" -- kind of cloud-computing from Microsoft !?!

The "downloaded" file was an .exe with a funny name -- X16-19318_FBCYG-7YP8K-CFH3W-B6G4H-96X7W.exe --  (do not change it, the recommendation yells) and just 2MB size... 2MB indeed.

Double-click on it, and the "installation" starts, and after few moments the "PowetPoint" application starts with, obviously, the presentation of the new Office. So, "only 1 minute to install, start and run ?" I asked myself ... it should be a catch somewhere. And, indead, the PowerPoint starts, but perhaps, it just draws a screen an after that it starts downloading some "components", according with the indicator from the toolbar:

And wait, and wait ... type some keys ... and after a while the characters appear on the screen, and then it's stuck again, and again...

So, it's quick to see something, but it quite hard to use it, when it forces you to take breaks almost at every 10 seconds. Come on, I understand that you download live the DLLs, but after first time you have to cache it on my computer, not to download over and over again.

I just stopped the Office, and restart again, and the downloading crap starts ... so it's cool that you saved me time with the installation, but when you try to use it actually, you have to take "download break" too often.

>>> So, Microsoft needs to do smart improvements in caching and managing the internal components on local machine. <<<

There are good things too, all compoents have the same kind of user interface (UI), with , now clasic already, ribbon toolbar, which is trying to clean up (show the most used actions and tools) the very rich set of features.

There is a new "File" menu, which seems embedded (options are listed in the left side to be selected, and an editor panel for each one is available in the  right side), except the options "Options", which doesn't respect the UI pattern, to be consistent like the others, and pops-up a dialog on top of the main window, as you can see in the following images:

>>So, another need of improvement is: please, be consistent in UI, and open the Options dialog in the same kind of flat "editor panel" instead of heavy and ugly dialog <<<

A nice feature is the borrowed from Vista "screen clipping" that is available with OneNote, and easy to access through "Windows Key + S", very simple, and used a lot for the above images.

Another ugly point, if you use the Outlook with a "hotmail" account, it requires the "mail live plugin", which isn't downloaded automatically like the other hidden components, but it's done in the old way with a popup download dialog. So, the main issue here is: CONSISTENCY !

>>>So, if you decided to download automatically required components, do it the same for the mail-live plugin too <<<

I'm pretty sure that there are more stuff to discover and talk about, but it's "'night 'night" time, so I have to stop.



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