2011 looking back

Not much to say really, if something exciting happened in the Excel/Office dev world in 2011 I missed it.

If anything, the biggest story is the deafening silence from MS and the Office team. Dunno if they just don’t have anything to say, have been cut back so much there is no one to liaise with the community, or if they are no longer encouraged to reach out, or maybe they just fell out with me. Or maybe I haven’t been scratching around the internet as much as previous years. Whatever, I can’t think of a significant Office related story from this past 12 months.

I s’pose Office 365 appeared, fairly recently – perhaps in 2011, and Mac Office 2011 got VBA back, Office 2010 seems to be gaining some traction, I have seen a few migration project roles advertised, often with Win 7 (seems unnecessarily risky/painful to do them together to me).

Most of the xll tools (certainly xll+ and ExcelDNA anyway) got updated to cope with 64bit Excel, a necessary but somewhat thankless task, I suspect. I haven’t seen any sign of Office 15 – rumours of a beta in Jan 2012 though.

One bit of mild excitement was the rates for Excel related contracting in the city, generally around 400, it dipped to 350 early in 2011, stormed up to 500 and then crashed back down to 300 by the autumn, with most places hacking 10-15% off ongoing contracts, or trying to. The economy is generally in the toilet.

In more general news, I managed to avoid buying a tablet (so far), I did buy a new netbook screen, and I think a new keyboard and battery are on the cards too. Bearing in mind that seems to be a dying form factor, not sure its worth the effort… I have followed the patent dance around tablets with amusement, or perhaps bemusement. The whole thing brings the whole patent system into disrepute IMO. I love that the Galaxy tab is now marketed as the tablet Apple tried to ban.

My crappy Motorola Droid got retired, I really wanted to shoot it to bits as punishment for being so rubbish but I haven’t had chance yet. I came close to getting an iPhone as a replacement.

I got a replacement Android phone, only to find it can’t connect to my home network because it doesn’t broadcast its SSID. Funny because Santa brought one of the kids an ipod Touch which instantly connected fuss free. Doubly funny because my Blackberry is also incapable of connecting to my wifi, shocking really, as supposed smart phones in 2011. It seems the Android crap connectivity is a known, long standing bug, but as its only medium priority it still hasn’t been addressed.

I just reviewed my 2011 predictions from Jan, a few seem to have worked out but many didn’t. IBM overtook MS in mkt cap (didn’t see that coming), but Google didn’t (but they are closing in). I was right that Office dev didn’t get sexy tho.

I’ll do some more finger in the air guessing for 2012 over the next few days, probably.

What were the most important news stories of 2011 for you?



One Response to “2011 looking back”

  1. Harlan Grove Says:

    Might as well put this here. A possible topic for the pub at the developers conference: trying to run Excel on touchscreen tablets. You should give prizes for the most inventive multifinger jestures.

    Re Office 15, I’ve seen some stuff on the web about how it’s going to get a Metro-enabled UI, but I can’t believe that. More believable is the monstrosity at the following link.

    Who would ever want to sacrifice UI screen space just to display document work area?

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