Redmond…I’m still waiting!

14 Mar
2008

Like most people who have used computers in the past 15 years I am very familiar with Microsoft’s products. Office 2007, which was made available to the general public on January 30, 2007 had some profound user interface enhancements; many of which I like. The ribbon interface is one of the more innovative features to come out of Redmond in quite a while. Why then, after the launch of such a money driving product such as Office, would Microsoft still not deliver any preview plug-ins for Outlook? I like the ability to preview files in Outlook 2007 within the preview pane. Instead of installing a non-registered third-party plug-ins I stumble across on the Internet I would like to go to Microsoft’s own website and install a compatible viewer. PDF is a standard, ZIP files are standard, why then hasn’t Microsoft or the vendors it claims to have been working with the past 13 months released any plug-ins you can download. Even Apple with their paltry market share of the software and hardware market ensures there are methods to allow developers to create software for their products.Microsoft states on their File Previewers for Outlook page, “Check back soon for updates. We are currently working with previewer developers to list previewers on this page.” This may be a trivial little quibble but if they think soon is over 12 months then perhaps they are not in total alignment with expectations of users on the Internet. This lack of attention to detail are the things that make me want to consider the use of other software and platforms and I get the feeling I might not be alone. I still like and use Office frequently but I think Microsoft can be a little more on top of their game. In my years of designing software interfaces and applications it’s the attention to detail that customers appreciate.

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