No. of Recommendations: 51
Recently I received a promo email from Newegg. Office Home & Student 2007 for $112, shipped. I'm a heavy Word and Excel user, and I'm still running Office 2000.

Now, I don't really expect great improvements in this area, but I was curious what I'd be getting if I upgraded, so I went looking on the official site. Given the age of this product line, you'd expect a well-labeled area selling the upgrade to long time users. But no, the most they seem to have is an entry in the FAQ.

And what does that entry say? Does it lay out why you'd want it in clear English? No, it's bullet points and buzzwords. I had to run the text through a Marketing Weasel to English translator several times before getting a vague picture of what I'd get.

· Office Home and Student 2007 has the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface
Translation: We've got a new trademark. Since we spend enormous amounts of time thinking about trademarks and slogans, they must be intrinsically valuable.

· an enhanced Help system, including online tutorials with step-by-step instruction
Translation: ... all of which was present in earlier versions.

· The improved user interface makes it easier for you to deliver better results faster by simplifying the way Microsoft Office works. It organizes program features according to the tasks you want to accomplish
Translation: We've fracked with the menu structure. You'd figured out where we hid the commands last time, so we moved them.

· reveals additional features when needed
Translation: Remember how 2000 introduced the "simplified" menus that only showed what we thought you wanted to see? And how the menus always hid vital commands like "open" and "close" because you didn't use them as often as others, so you were constantly selecting the "show full menu" to get to them? We're doing it again. Our programmers have assured us the mind-reading subroutines work better now.

· Office Home and Student 2007 has new graphics, formatting galleries
Translation: We've added more clip art.

· and the Ribbon, a new device that exposes commonly used commands
Translation: we've added a menu with shortcuts.

· enabling you to produce high-quality documents you can be proud of.
Translation: Not that any of the features we've mentioned have any bearing on producing high-quality documents.

· Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 gives you a digital notebook where you can gather, organize, and search all types of notes and information — typed text, images, audio and video recordings, Web clippings, computer files, and more — all in one place.
Translation: We've replaced Outlook with an unrelated program, OneNote. You can take notes, just like you can with Word or Notepad. You can search, just like you can with the basic tools built into Windows. In fact, we're kind of hard pressed to say why you'd want to use it.

· With an automatic document recovery feature and the Document Inspector tool for removing personally identifiable information from your documents, the latest release of Office Home and Student 2007 enables you to work with more confidence and security.
Translation: When Word inevitably crashes on you, you won't lose as much.

Overall, not the least bit convincing. There may very well be useful new features in Office 2007, but no one has told the marketing weasels what they are.

- Gus
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