26 May 2006

Microsoft's New Products

Just out of curiosity, I installed Internet Explorer 7 on my computer. Almost all the features Microsoft had introduced with this update were copied from Firefox. And that too, they didn’t do their job well. The code is quite buggy. I just don’t understand one thing – they don’t have any idea to improve their product. Ok, that’s understandable. But when copying somebody else’s idea, can’t they even write some good code to implement those features? I don’t think they will be able to get back their browser market share (at least with IE 7).

I came to know that Microsoft Office 2007 beta is available. For office suites, I do prefer Microsoft Office than anything else. But before saying my comments about office suites, I must tell you my usage pattern. Predominantly I use the word processing application only. Very less frequently I use spreadsheet application. In the past two years I have hardly prepared 2 or 3 presentations. As I am a developer, I don’t like to use any small scale database applications (like MS Access). So it would now be obvious that if I say something about Word, it’s worth listening to.

I have used MS Office, OpenOffice, and Lotus SmartSuite. Of these, MS Office is the one I have loved to use. OpenOffice is good in some ways, but it still has a long way to go. They have to implement many new useful features and introduce all good Microsoft features like smart tags, and the like. Till they do something to make it better than MS Office, I’m gonna continue to use MS Office.

The new version looks so promising to me. The UI is so great. Now we can perform all the trivial jobs without having to go to a dialog box. Menu bar and tool bar are kind of integrated. Very rarely only we got to open up some dialog box. Otherwise it’s pretty much easy and cool. Other office suite vendors will have some tough time competing with MS Office 2007.

After typing all these and saving the file, I noticed that they use a different file extension: .docx. I got curious again and tried to open the document with 7-Zip. Microsoft is now following the same approach OpenOffice is also following: they save all the data in XML files and put all the XML inside an archive (maybe a ZIP file. I don’t know). Good. Microsoft goes on doing well with their new Office suite.


  1. Dude,IE 7 is far better browser when compared to versions 5 & 6.

    If I remember right,IE had tabbed browsing.You need to download it as an separate add on.

    So basically 'Add ons' and 'tabbed browsing' existed for IE long back..even before Firefox came into existence.

  2. You may be right. I don't know which browser introduced tabbed browsing first; but I am sure it was not Firefox.

    Mainly I was irritated with IE7 because there's no Text Zoom option available (Ctrl++ and Ctrl+-) in IE7. They zoom the whole display of the site which makes it less readable (when I go beyond 130% I have to use horizontal scrollbar). I have done a little bit of Windows programming. Resizing the text while leaving images and other stuff is more difficult than resizing the whole thing; lazy Microsofters have chosen the easy-but-useless way.

    Another thing is the architecture of multiple tabs in IE7. For each tab they spawn a new process. Alright, that makes the browser more stable. Fine. But they should have worked a bit harder to do it correctly. In IE7 each tab has its own Find dialog box. You search for something in first tab and move to a different tab. If you want to search for the same text in the new tab, you have to type in your query again. This is not good.

    And a few more things like this; I forgot them. I know IE7 is supposedly more secure than IE6. But I would prefer to use IE6 as it's very faster and more usable than IE7.