Microsoft released Office 2000 this week. I've got no plans to upgrade and I won't be recommending an upgrade at work, even though Microsoft are touting it as the saviour of the Intranet. One reason is that most large companies are preparing for freezes on new software in readiness for the year 2000, and a large scale roll out at this time of year is very unlikely. The second reason, and the crucial one really, is that there is no compelling reason to upgrade. I had a reason to upgrade to Office 97 - it was the first real 32 bit version of Office (95 was just a straight recompile of 4.2) so it made sense to run it. But to me and to most of the people I know, it's feature complete - especially for Word and Excel, which are about the only two packages I use on a regular basis. What exactly does Office 2000 bring to the party?
"Microsoft Office 2000 can save your documents to HTML format without any change in their original formatting for easy posting to your intranet. Because anyone with a Web browser can view HTML files, you can now share information with anyoneregardless of what software they use. "I'll believe it when I see it.
"When you save a document to HTML, Office 2000 automatically selects the appropriate graphic format (such as GIF or JPEG) based on the graphic's content. "and I guess it chooses the best palette for the GIF and the best compression level for the JPEG.
"Copy up to 12 pieces of information from any Microsoft Office document, then paste them, either individually or all at once, into another document. "Where are all the real features? All we have so far are more save as HTML options and more clipboards than fingers. What's in there o make me want to upgrade?
"The self-repairing programs in Office 2000 automatically search for missing or corrupted files and repair them so you don't have to worry about it. "This has to be the scariest of them all. Back in my old windows developer days the biggest headache/nightmare was DLL version mismatches. I can just see the poor old developers running around installing the required DLLs for their application while every time the user starts Office 2000 they get overwritten with the 'correct' ones. Is it my imagination or are things about to get a lot less fun around here...