After countless delays Windows Vista and Office 2007 were finally released yesterday to consumers in what Microsoft calls its “most significant release ever”.
Microsoft rolled out Windows Vista at retailers in 70 countries on Tuesday, delivering a new computer operating system that aims to better manage the explosion of digital media and protect users from the dangers of the Internet. The world’s biggest software maker marked the launch of its first all-new Windows operating system in five years with a marketing blitz, including commercials featuring basketball star Lebron James and appearances by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on morning and late-night chat shows.
The most obvious change is the new look. Vista’s “Aero” interface uses 3-D graphics to create translucent windows that appear to float above the background screen, with much of the other changes being under the covers. Vista has received criticism early on, with new controversial DRM technologies, in addition to Apple’s claim that Microsoft’s Vista is a copycat version of its Mac OS X Tiger operating system that originally introduced many of Vista’s new features. Similarly, Apple also has plans to introduce a new operating system of its own later this year.
It is Microsoft’s first major update since Windows XP was released in 2001.
Microsoft Office Word 2007 provides a new default file format called Microsoft Office Word XML Format (Word XML Format). The following extract from a MSDN article is a must read. It talks about how the package format decreases file size for Office documents.
The file format in Word 2007 consists of a compressed ZIP file, called a package. This package holds all of the content that is contained within the document. Using the package format decreases file size for Office documents because of the ZIP compression. The new format is also more robust to errors in transmission or handling. It allows you to manipulate the file contents using industry-standard ZIP-based tools. An easy way to look inside the new file format is to save a Word 2007 document in the new default format and rename the file with a .zip extension. Double-click the file to open and view its contents.
Yesterday I had posted an entry on Google Notebook on my blog. While I was writing the entry, I was thinking whether Microsoft had an answer to this application. It turns out that Microsoft had already thought about this scenario, wherein people would have to collect information entities in the form of notes, audio, video, documents etc. and store all of these at a centralized location for a quick and efficient retrieval at a later point in time; much earlier. Thus came up this product which they called ‘OneNote’. Thanks to my friend at Microsoft who pointed out this product to me. Not many of us are aware of this product and its features, I feel.
OneNote 2003 was a new program in the Microsoft Office System that enabled users to capture, organize, and reuse notes on laptop computers, desktop computers, or Tablet PCs. It gave you one place to store all your notes and the freedom to work with them however you want to. OneNote 2003 also helped you in capturing information in multiple ways and then let you organize and use it according to your needs.
Microsoft Office OneNote 2007, the next version of OneNote, is a digital notebook that provides a flexible way to gather and organize your notes and information, powerful search capabilities so you can find what you’re looking for quickly, and easy-to-use shared notebooks for teams to work together more effectively. Read more…
In a surprise move, Microsoft is bending to pressure from governments and will sponsor an open source project to build tools that enable conversion between its Open XML formats in Office 2007 and OpenDocument (ODF). The forthcoming Office suite will also support an add-in for saving directly to ODF.
The Open XML Translator project will be hosted on SourceForge.net, and is available under the BSD open source license. Microsoft says anyone can submit bugs and contribute to the project.
If this is not news, what is?? 🙂
The 2007 Microsoft Office system has adopted an XML-based file format for Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office Word 2007, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007. The new file format, called Microsoft Office Open XML Formats (Office XML Formats), addresses the workplace issues like easily moving data between disparate applications, and allowing users to glean business insight from that data with changes that affect the way that you approach solutions based on Microsoft Office documents.
The new formats improve file and data management, data recovery, and interoperability with line-of-business systems. They extend what is possible with the binary files of earlier versions. Any application that supports XML can access and work with data in the new file format. The application does not need to be part of the Microsoft Office system or even a Microsoft product. Users can also use standard transformations to extract or repurpose the data. In addition, security concerns are drastically reduced because the information is stored in XML, which is essentially plain text. Thus, the data can pass through corporate firewalls without hindrance.
Came across this interesting piece of information – Microsoft is trying to allow people to try out the next Office, without the hassle of installing beta software or replacing their current version. They released a free, web-based test version of the new office yesterday.
“The online test drive offers the perfect opportunity for everyone to experience an easier and better way to work,” Microsoft said.
The new Office is a considerable departure from the current edition of the productivity suite, sporting a radically redesigned user interface as well as new XML-based file formats.