The release of the 2007 Microsoft Office Beta has led to the discovery of major problems with two of the products main applications Outlook and Powerpoint. Microsoft insiders have told me that early testing has revealed “A lot more bugs than was expected” and that code is again being re written.
Another big problem area for the application is Powerpoint with users reporting “major” problems when inserting images and manipulating text and images on screen. Another problem for Microsoft is the new layout with many testers complaining that they cannot find basic tools such as help or undo.
What Microsoft testers are now concerned about is that the new software design may be too radical and that many Companies will stick with the old as opposed to having to invest in new training which could cost as much as $150.00 an hour.
This time, Microsoft’s problems could have a serious effect on the entire industry.
By delaying the release of both Windows Vista and its 2007 Microsoft Office system untill next year as tipped by SmartOffice earlier this year. Microsoft not only hurts its own bottom line but affects potentially hundreds of hardware manufacturers, venders and retailers.
Another issue for many Companies is that the new Office application could force many Companies to have to consider upgrading their computers. Without a more powerful graphics adapter, some computer can’t support the DirectX 9.0 software and advanced pixel shading required for advanced 3D graphics rendering.
Without a TV tuner card capable of both HDTV and analogy TV conversion, not to mention remote control capabilities,users won’t be able to take full advantage of the Media Center’s digital video recording capabilities.Many people don’t have this gear yet and will have to purchase it to test-drive the media center features.
The Vista delay was first announced last March. Microsoft will not get Vista out to consumers until the first if not second quarter of 2007, though that date can and probably will change.
When Microsoft delays product releases, IT officers at large corporations begin to lose confidence in that particular product, causing them to rethink their rollout plans.
Many decide to back off and wait and see. No IT officer wants to oversee a software and hardware transition that cripples a company. Microsoft often suffers slow adoption of new products for this very reason.
Finally, the stock market reacts. An announcement of a Microsoft product release delay is old hat, and most stock analysts have grown used to expecting them. Still, it always portends a slow adoption, and Microsoft and its dependent vendors, from Intel to Cisco to Hewlett-Packard, can feel the effects on stock prices.
Microsoft’s recent delay announcements have depressed its stock prices and those of the broader computer industry.
You may want to know what happened to cause the delay. I’ve been using Vista’s beta 2 test release for the past two weeks, and though I’m not a software developer, I can tell that the release is still pretty buggy.