Microsoft Partners: Use Of Downgrade Rights Is Surging

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| Downgrade rights, which are only available through volume licensing, have
| existed for more than a decade with Office, and since 2001 for Windows. But
| system builders and other Microsoft partners say they're witnessing a large
| and growing number of customers exercising downgrade rights to roll back
| Windows Vista to XP Professional, and Office 2007 to Office 2003.

Counterfeit rate of Vista half that of XP

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| Microsoft's statistics are based on Windows Genuine Advantage validation
| failures, along with other internal data.

It means nobody wants it. If people did, they would get it, not be forced to
get it with a new PC (then delete it). What a shot in the foot.


Why downgrade when you can Upgrade?

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| Microsoft telling everybody that they will let people downgrade their Windows
| Vista to Windows XP making this the first time in computer history that a *
| software that is selling like hotcakes should put out of computers to make
| them better. *

Acer: PC industry 'disappointed' with Vista

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| Acer president Gianfranco Lanci became the first major PC manufacturer to
| openly attack Microsoft over the Windows Vista operating system in the
| Financial Times Deutschland on Monday.
| Lanci said the operating system was riddled with problems and gave users and
| businesses no reason to buy a new PC, according to the report. Taiwan-based
| Acer is the world's fourth-largest PC manufacturer, after HP, Dell and
| Lenovo.
| "The whole industry is disappointed with Windows Vista," Lanci said.

Dell casts doubts on Vista

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| Dell today revealed that it will restore the option to use Windows XP on
| some of its home systems, marking a potentially damaging blow to
| Microsoft's hopes for the newer Windows Vista.
| [...]
| While a popular request through the company's IdeaStorm website, the
| choice was substantially outnumbered by requests for pre-installed
| Linux, US-based technical support, and other features -- pointing to a
| larger general demand for the change. The turnaround may be a reflection of
| an overall backlash against Vista, observed IDC analyst Richard Shim.

Why Microsoft's ribbon sucks

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| Bottom line, I have a lot of respect for Microsoft and many of the
| outstanding people that work there (e.g. Bill Buxton).
| But the new ribbon sucks.
| I've been using it daily for months (Word, Powerpoint, Excel), and I
| consistently stumble on the same functions over and over again. I doubt I
| will ever master it. And I'm an interface designer! *

July 1: No more Office 2003 for OEMs

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| It’s only been six months since Microsoft launched Office 2007 at retail. But
| as of July 1, 2007, *Microsoft won’t be making the OEM version of Office 2003
| to its PC partners, a k a “OEMs.” *
| [...]
| Microsoft has told OEMs that they must stop selling Windows XP preloaded on
| machines as of January 29, 2008. Retailers also are required to stop selling
| XP on that date. *

Poor Design by Microsoft - "Save As" Button in 2007 Excel has been located!

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| In an experiment 4 out of 5 users took longer than 2 minutes to find
| the SAVE AS button. And 3 of those users needed to use the PAPER CLIP
| (CLIPPY). This is clearly poor design upon Microsoft. They never think
| about the end user. The menu structure is horrific and it has been
| proven inefficient!

Bold Redesign Improves Office 2007 But Learning Curve May Be Too Steep for
Some Users

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| "it requires a steep learning curve that many people might rather avoid.
| In my own tests, I was cursing the program for weeks"

Office 2007 may be Microsoft's Titanic: former Government IT boss

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| Bill Gates has been talking up Office 2007 ahead of its business launch
| on November 30. However, the recently departed deputy CIO of one of
| Australia's biggest government Microsoft sites believes introducing
| the new version of Microsoft Office may be the company's biggest
| ever disaster.

Question: why do I need to upgrade to Office 2007?

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| Much has been said and written about Microsoft's "bold", "gutsy",
| and "innovative" initiative of releasing Office 2007, an office
| productivity suite with a totally new user interface. However, the
| question that is bound to be on the lips of every user will be: "why
| do I need to upgrade?" Microsoft doesn't really have a good answer.
| [...]
| Microsoft, however, claims to have come up with something better
| and more intuitive - the Ribbon. Such a claim begs the question:
| "If the new user interface of Office 2007 is so intuitive, why does
| it have a learning curve?" And it does have a learning curve - a
| very steep learning curve.

Office 2007 Review: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back - Part 1

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| I've been using Office 2007 for a couple of weeks and I'm convinced
| that Microsoft missed an opportunity to change the way we relate to
| software by taking one step toward radical change, but ultimately
| failing when it came to implementation.