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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Office12 As Enterprise Alternative To Browsers

Microsoft is very much in the news right now . As again there are a lot more skeptical & some odd good views.

Microsoft recently announced that the next version of Office shall have a new look, finalized with four major design goals.

-To make it easier for people to find and use the product features needed to get the results they wanted. (Characterized as “results-oriented,” as against “feature-oriented” or “command-oriented”).
-To streamline the UI to maximize the user’s workspace. That means having the UI generally be much less intrusive
-To make it easier for people to discover the capabilities that achieve a desired result by using contextualized UI.
- Full document life cycle support. Authoring, collaboration and work flow and document management processes are supported. (This certainly falls far short of what a document management system can provide – but nonetheless a good beginning).

R.L.Narain points to the screenshots of the new Office 12.

David Kirkpatrick offers the best perspective of what is in store. He points out that the changes in how Office will work in the future will have far reaching impact. Office will no longer just be a variety of interlinked desktop applications, but will now extend onto the server, where it will be linked with many other kinds of software. RSS support will allow workers to pull data in and out of Office and subscribe to blogs and as well to receive data from enterprise software applications. The information produced by enterprise applications like SAP will be drawn down into Excel, Word, and other elements of the Office desktop, so users can manipulate, comment on, and share new kinds of data. This data sits on corporate servers today, but few workers have access to it. If Office becomes the portal to corporate information, it could increase the number of employees who can easily find and use critical information in a company’s applications and databases – this allows Office really to formally integrate with processes in business. Today, workers get access to most enterprise applications, by using a dedicated software client on their PC desktop. That has been changing slowly in recent years as the web browser began to serve as the portal to business applications, especially so-called “software-as-a-service” ones like Salesforce.com. Now Microsoft is making a play to establish its Office software, which after all is already on just about everybody’s desktop, as a third alternative to dedicated enterprise client software and the browser. Ballmer said the browser just isn’t good enough as an interface to corporate information. With office users can view information, comment on it, mark it up, and make it pretty. Microsoft wants Office to become the front-end portal to just about every business application. Microsoft needs to work seriously make the office application light - office current version sizes upwards of 600 MB now - certainly not something that we can live with for ever..

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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