The reasons I do not upgrade to MS Office 2013 (outdated)

There are at least two reasons – and still looking – why I will probably never upgrade to the 2013 version of Microsoft office:

Reason #1 – Price tag too high

When you already are using Office 2007, the price tag will have to be taken into consideration. Upgrading to the latest versions for a large family means personal bankruptcy, not to mention all the extra work to maintain all those one-user-only personal licenses. And that’s me doing that maintenance for a total of seven persons.

Lately, I have evaluated both LibraOffice and OpenOffice, two strikingly similar alternatives that both work very well and come as freeware. Those suits both lack an alternative to Outlook, but when I become aware of a proper alternative, I might leave MS Office for good.

Reason #2 – Those old MS Office bugs that are never fixed

There is in existence a long and tedious list of bugs that has been in Office and other MS products for a decade, and that causes millions of people around the world to work countless hours in a non-productive manner to avoid these annoying bugs.

It is probably just the misfortune of a too large organization that nobody inside Microsoft is paying attention to these bugs, but some of these bugs have really been given “top coverage” on the internet for many years. I suggest some of them may be categorized as extra embarrassing. I am a software engineer myself and know all about making silly bugs.

What amazes me in this context, is that guys like Steve Ballmer do not grasp that these bugs may evidently be the reason why customers leave for alternative products, here, now, today, in 2013. I am sure Steve is an intelligent man and suitable for the responsibility, which means this is interesting in an organizational perspective; “The strange psychology of large organisations”. Anyway:

What the new MS boss should do

If I should dare a suggestion to the next boss of Microsoft, it would be to setup – in an immediate release – a major internal (or perhaps external) rescue squad that is “granted” accountability for the detection of and subsequent fix for the 99 most discussed MS Office bugs. And thereafter, to ensure the immediate flush into all relevant editions of MS Office, be it the 2003 or the 2013 edition, with an update maintenance release where these well known bugs are solved once and for all.

Why include the 2003 edition, isn’t that too old ? No, because those 2003 users may evidently make a move to a more modern version of MS Office, if they are kept in the MS loop, inter alias has not left for LibreOffice.

An old friend of mine enlightened my day with the following expression which is excellent in this regard: “Corporate memory lost, that’s when things go awry.”

Bug example

And to this new boss of Microsoft, whoever that may be, here is my personal welcome present in the form of the revelation of one of those 99 bugs, namely this:

The corporate memory regarding how to do humble numbering of chapters in MS Word was lost in 2003 or earlier.

Since 2003 edition, and still being present in the 2007 edition, and nowhere announced as fixed in neither the 2011 nor the 2013 edition of MS Office, and therefore probably still a bug, it is no longer possible to create a Word template with correct numbering schemes for chapters and sub-chapters.

In my technically oriented documents I need to create a numbering scheme as follows:, inter alias not 1.I.A.1

This is literally impossible, you will get for example this:
2.1.1 (should have been 1.2.1)
My wife, my friends, myself, we have all worked countless hours to try to fix this bug. We all found after all those hours that the remedy is to find in the closet an old template made in MS Word prior to 2003 edition, then to upgrade this with a modern look in font selections etc and save it as a 2007 or 2011 template.
Then we meet, and we laugh, and we discuss how it is possible for Steve Ballmer to sit in that position for so many years and not taking action to fix simple or embarrassing pitfalls that may destroy all business in the long run ?

This downfall has already started several years ago, has it not?

The annoying numbering bug is solved for my personal comfort, but around the world, millions are spending countless hours trying to fix the same thing. Contact me if you need a template with proper numbering. You shall get it for free.

To Microsoft, that has spent a decade not fixing the bug: Release the code and we will fix this embarrassment bug “numero uno”  today, before the lights go down low.


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