As Microsoft Office 2007 approaches its official release, I have concerns that its new office suite may not be as well received as hoped. Although I believe MS Office will still remain the most dominant player in the office suite options, Microsoft may start to see a chink in its Office’s armour on dominance.
There is no doubt Microsoft spent exorbitant time and money on their new “ribbon” GUI. We are at a time where we need a fresh update to computer interfaces. I congratulate Microsoft on doing such a great job on the Ribbon GUI. It’s a step in the right direction, and a much needed update to doing “computer business as usual”.
Unfortunately, people are creatures of habit, and usually resist change as much as possible. Although the masses will adapt to the new office suite, I predict we will probably see (the largest size to date) a group of people who will not upgrade to Office 2007 or seek Open Office as a possible alternative. Why Open Office? It’s an Office Suite that should be savvy enough to be compatible to the MS Office new xml file formats, but will have a look and feel more similar to MS Office 2003.
Its unknown if the growth of Open Office 2.0 will be enough to affect Office 2007. I do however think we will begin to see an MS Office suite alternative start to bubble up more than ever before.
For those of you making the leap to 2007, I recommend this flash player reference window from Microsoft as a reference source for finding your way around the new GUI.
SEPT 10 UPDATE:
IBM announced today it will join the OpenOffice.org community and contribute code and company resources to the software project. [Announcement Link Here]