Commentary

Vista -> The Devil

Windows Vista actually made me cry this morning.

I want to pummel whoever thought it would be a good idea to completely reformat a program that half the world has been using for years and that made perfect sense the way it was set up. It was such a simple thing, too, that made me so mad. When you open Word normally in the 2007 version, it will automatically double space every time you hit enter. I have never met a single person who does this, nor a single professor who would deem this acceptable. Nobody single spaces papers, and if a student tried to turn in a paper with four lines between each paragraph they'd probably get into page count and formatting trouble. If you're making a list, yes sometimes you need two lines between each item, but is it really that difficult to hit the enter key twice? My little pinky finger is quite capable of that and I don't need some computer monkey out in silicon valley to try to make my life easier.

I finally figured out how to change my defaults back (again): you have to go to the "Change Styles" menu on the "home" tab and select Word 2003 as your default. Go figure. Give me a new program and I will switch it right back to the old one.

P.S. Those commercials about the "Mojave Experiment" are lies. All lies.

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5 comments about "Vista -> The Devil".
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  1. Bill Louden from Peer Forward, Inc., November 14, 2008 at 12:22 p.m.

    Although I haven't yet made the mistake of installing the Vista OS I own, I did make the mistake of buying/installing Office 2007.

    I've been using WORD for 20 years and Word 2007 is the worst implementation of a word processing program I have even seen. Not even in the pre-DOS days of UNIX vi, Multimate, or Wordstar has a word processing program been so intrusive in how we write letters and papers.

    It's one thing to change the file format to force users to upgrade to the Office 2007 version of the software - something Microsoft has done several times before. But it's quite another to change a user interface that has been refined and improved upon over 20 years to one as arcane as 2007.

    Why did I upgrade? Well, many of my students have new computers and began submitting papers in that new **&*^ ".docx" format - which of course I could not initially read. I did get the ".docx" to ".doc" converter but found I could no longer help my students with their technical word processing questions, because I was not using 2007. So I upgraded. BIG MISTAKE.

    My second mistake was telling Office 2007 to remove previous installations of itself. So the OEM version of Office on my Dell was erased forever! I am now stuck with the new 2007 version and as much as I have tried to make it 2000/2003 compatible again, some commands often used commands are now hidden behind a maze of nondescript menus, icons, and commands. It now takes me three times as long to write a paper was it did with WORD 2000/2003.

    The good news? Well Microsoft has finally convinced me to "bite the bullet" and switch to OPENOFFICE 2.3 - the FREE, open source suite available at www.openoffice.org.

    The learning curve was much easier than trying to re-learn WORD and the other OFFICE 2007 applications. I am now using OpenOffice for nearly all my work instead of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

    Thank you Microsoft! I not only have mastered a better office suite, I no longer have to shell out $400-$500 per employee for basic software.

  2. Melissa Cole from Omnicom Media Group, November 17, 2008 at 10:33 a.m.

    The Mojave commercials are about Microsoft Vista not Office. They demonstrate how easy Vista is to use, because it is very similar to Windows, and a lot of people were/are too afraid to swtich/upgrade.

    Your problem lies within Word- within Microsoft Office, not Microsoft Vista. The new Office Suite was build to be easier to use and more user-friendly. While they changed the defaults, it has a very different look and feel and takes a while to get used to. Which was may not have been the best move on Microsoft's part.

  3. Thomas Hicks from New Media Consulting, November 17, 2008 at 10:34 a.m.

    It's Office 2007 that is driving you nuts, but Vista really is the devil IMHO.

    Vista shifts the cursor around in Word documents without any reason. I'll be merrily typing away on my laptop, stop to collect a thought, then as I resume, I'll be in the middle of sentence three lines up. At first, I thought I was just having problems with the track pad, that it was too sensitive and I was inadvertently shifting the cursor without realizing it. A friend complained of the same problem and I knew that my sanity was intact.

    Another "feature" of Vista is that it crashes if you close the screen on a laptop without shutting Vista down. Open the screen, and poof, all is gone. Same result if you leave your machine idle for too long. Apparently Vista needs closure, literally, or it does bad things.

    I tried to uninstall Vista and replace it with XP on my laptop. No go. My recommendation is to insist that your new machine come with XP. Many manufacturers have recognized the problem with Vista and offer an XP install as an alternative.

  4. Cody Gossett, November 17, 2008 at 12:18 p.m.

    Just to clarify, this is Office '07 you're writing about, not Vista. The same issue would be present if you were typing on a Mac. This reminds me of the Mac vs. PC ads in a funny way... MSFT doesn't make hardware! Dell, Lenovo, and HP do. MSFT actually makes the #1 selling software for Mac.

    Anyway, glad you found a solution for yourself. Here's to hoping that you shed less tears on spacing issues in the future :)

  5. Aaron Kupferberg from Did-it Search Marketing, November 17, 2008 at 12:31 p.m.

    Time to get a Mac...

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