Thats the sound of me getting blown out on a bid for work I just did.

It was a small project – just a few days work. But it was Office 2007. I have never made it over the UI barrier that everyone including Microsoft accepts is there for experienced users. I’ve had no need, all my fee paying clients till now have been on 97-03.

Most people are suggesting several weeks of reduced productivity in moving to 2007, and I havent seen any non-MS sponsored reports of improved productivity after, but thats by the by. This post isn’t about the ribbon its about the business of the ribbon.

I estimated an additional day because this project was 07 rather than 03. Who should pay that? Me or the client? I costed in half of it. (and didn’t get the job)

You could argue I should pay to learn the new UI as an investment in my future consulting business. Thats totally valid, but the ribbon is not one of my current investment targets, I am investing in other areas.

You could argue the client should pay, they insist on using 07, so its a cost of their platform choice. I think thats valid too, but possibly an easier sell on a larger project.

Personally I think Microsoft should fund the training – they forced the UI on us disregarding the massive opposition. They also ignored the many requests for a compatible UI option. They chose not to default it to something a current user would recognise. They stand to benefit from an updated ecosystem to support their latest products.

So is it Microsofts fault I didn’t get the work? no of course not. I have prioritised my learning investments and the 2007 UI has not made it to the top of the list yet.

I’d prefer my free course somewhere warm and sunny please MS, the weather is dreadful here.

Ribbon – who should pay?



7 Responses to “Boom!”

  1. Johan Nordberg Says:

    If you actually used Office 2007 the same amount of time as you bitch about the ribbon you would have learned enough by now to get the client…

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

  2. Simon Says:

    but I much prefer moaning to working!
    (like a few others I could mention)

  3. jonpeltier Says:

    I’m with Johan. I kind of flamed a bit in the follow-up post. I didn’t mean to be harsh, but maybe it’s time to stop sniveling, take off that dunce cap, and come out of the corner. And I mean this in the friendliest manner possible. Myself, I’ve bitched plenty over the new UI, but I’ve figured out ways around parts of it. And for my own stuff I can use whatever version I want, so I’m using 2003 for that.

    You don’t need to take a course, and MS sure isn’t offering you one. Just hole up for a couple evenings with Google and your spare machine with Office 2007, and figure out how to get it done.

    Anyway, if half a day’s fee over a few day project put you over, you might not have gotten the job anyway.

  4. Simon Says:

    “I didn’t mean to be harsh, but maybe it’s time to stop sniveling…”
    Jon, of course I could learn it, I guess I havent had the right motivation yet to sacrifice some other part of my life.

    If I hold out a few more months/years I could probably skip straight to the O14 UI.

    And BTW MS did offer lots of free/cheap and subsidised places on Sharepoint courses. Maybe there is a connection with its apparent stellar take up?

  5. jonpeltier Says:

    “If I hold out a few more months/years I could probably skip straight to the O14 UI.”

    Which will be different from O12 how? My guess is not much. They’ll keep it relatively stable while they work out some of the major pain points. We might get better QATs and maybe tear-away widgets, but the UI will still be Ribbon/XML.

  6. Simon Says:

    Ribbon/XML is fine, its when they regroup the commands so they are unfindable again.

  7. jonpeltier Says:

    I suspect the commands will stay put for the next version; this is included in my guess that the UI will be “relatively stable”. I have no inside knowledge of their plans, but i know that they felt a lot of heat over this in O12.

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