Browsing Posts tagged Office 2010

One of the questions I hear frequently from users of Office is “Why did Microsoft switch from the familiar Menu-based interface in Office 2003 and earlier to the new Ribbon User Interface in Office 2007/2010?” Well, the short answer is the Ribbon is intended to be easier to use – with fewer clicks to accomplish frequent tasks.

For some, whether Microsoft met their goal remains open to debate.

But, for me, I was curious as to how they actually arrived at and ultimately decided upon the Ribbon configuration. I’m happy to report if you have 90 minutes to spare I have located The Story of the Ribbon, documenting the entire history of how this User Interface was created. It’s a truly fascinating story and entertainingly presented.

It’s not often you get to go “behind the scenes” of the development of a product and this is truly an eye-opening experience. You may find it even helps you understand Ribbon better.

If you are still using Office 2003 or earlier, this might just motivate you to consider making the jump to Office 2010. To those I would say “Come on in, the Ribbon’s fine!”


Ok, to understand my point here, it’s important to understand the lengths I’m willing to go to in order to make a point. Right now I’m on the 8th deck of the cruise ship “Monarch of the Sea.” Before you ask, no, it is not the sister ship of “Chicken of the Sea.”

Anywho, here’s the fun part. I’m on day 3 of a 4-day cruise, taken under extreme suggestion from my lovely wife, Julie. Most folks, when they hear about going on a cruise, they immediately check out destinations, menus, activities, etc. Me? I’m checking out Wi-Fi, cellular charges, wanting to make sure that, fun or not, I’m as online as I need to be. Yup, that makes me at least a workaholic. And yup, it makes a saint out of Julie.

Now, here’s how it works. Cell charges change immediately to $2.75 a minute when out to sea (this is based on my provider, Sprint). And Wi-Fi is available, at (drum roll, please)…$.65/minute. And it’s only available at certain parts of the ship.

So, how do I get to my files? Working on my emails? Talking with my staff while I’m gone? Am I forced to pay a premium every time I want to talk to somebody or do anything with my data.

Welllllll, no. Actually it’s worked out pretty well (so far). And unlike web applications, most of my applications are installed on my laptop (Office, as an example). So here’s what I do.

  1. Open Outlook. Review my current emails, and write any new ones (or replies). But here’s the catch. Do this while offline, so I’m not being charged anything.
  2. Head to where there’s wireless (huh, go figure…a bar!). Connect to the ship’s wireless, and put Outlook back online. All my outgoing emails are sent, and all new emails waiting for me are delivered. Total time, a couple of minutes.
  3. Turn Outlook offline.
  4. Disconnect from the Wi-Fi network.
  5. Lather, rinse, repeat.

But what about files? No problem there, either. Because at Simplex-IT, we do a lot of our file work using our internal SharePoint site. And I’m synchronizing our files using Outlook 2010 (I could have just as easily created SharePoint Workspaces). Which means as soon as I connect, all new files added by anybody to our SharePoint site are automatically added to my Outlook, and I can edit those files offline as well.

And talking to my staff? Well, I’ve got the cell phone ($G$ulp). Or I can go with email. But how about using Office Communicator, which gives me an encrypted chat session with my folks (I can see while I’m online whether they’re available). Yeah, I have to be online for this, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The nice thing about this scenario is it highlights the benefit of both thin (where everything is in the cloud) and thick (where some or all of everything is installed locally) solutions. Relying solely on one strategy opens up several vulnerabilities. By combining the strategies, you give yourself an additional layer of protection and control. And it ain’t that expensive.

So, am I too reliant on the software installed on my laptop? What if, as my wife has threatened, she takes it snorkeling with her? Not a problem. Office 365 (Microsoft’s successor to BPOS) gives me the flexibility to work on Office files from any web-connected workstation.

Ok, let me clarify this. Not a problem in terms of my data. But I think I’d better get back with my wife before I put this to the test<g>.

Ummm…anybody think I could claim this cruise as a business deduction now?  No?  Ok, just a thought<g>.

Dateline Thursday, June 03, 2010 –I just participated in a Microsoft sponsored event, TechNet Events Present: Launch 2010 Highlights, to find out first-hand what Microsoft® Office® 2010 and SharePoint® 2010 mean for the productivity of our customers and our people—across PC, phone, and browser. Very well presented by Microsoft veteran, Matt Hester, the attendees learned how this latest wave of technologies provides a revolutionary user experience and how it takes us into a future of even greater productivity.

Of course, we at Simplex-IT have been using the Office 2010 beta since it’s been available but, even so, I did learn a few new tricks. The tight integration between Office and SharePoint was especially touted and demonstrated, giving me even greater insight into the possibilities these technologies offer.

So if you’ve been thinking about upgrading, especially if you’re still using Office 2003 or earlier, my personal recommendation is…DO IT! And if you need to talk about licensing multiple copies for your organization, don’t forget, Simplex-IT can help!

P.S. This just in! Microsoft has extended their Big Easy licensing promotion. Contact Simplex-IT for the attractive details, but suffice it to say, here’s just one more reason to make the move to Office 2010 you’ve been contemplating!

Bob presents to Hudson Chamber

On May 25, over 50 members of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce enjoyed a relaxed and informative presentation at their monthly luncheon meeting by Bob Coppedge, President of Simplex-IT, on some of the latest and greatest developments in the world of Information Technology.

The range of topics was broad, as you can well imagine, and included the latest Microsoft offerings, Windows 7 and Office 2010 (Simplex-IT is a Microsoft Small Business Specialist and Partner).

Cloud-based services, like Microsoft’s BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), were covered as they continue to generate great response from the marketplace. It seems like everyone likes the idea of eliminating the expense and hassles of keeping hardware, software and administration all onsite when instead they can offload those issues to a reputable business partner for a low, fixed monthly fee. What a great concept!

Also of significant interest among the attendees were the many different kinds of Social Media that many companies are rushing to use to stay in touch with their customers – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs being the big ones many people are familiar with.

And, as it just so happens, Social Media is the topic for our next Simplex-IT Lunchinar that will be held at Hattie’s Café in Hudson on Wednesday, June 16 from 11:30am-1:00pm. If you’d like to join us you can reserve your seat by calling 234.380.1277, or emailing We’d love to have you join us!

As you can probably tell, Bob really loves to talk about technology and how, when properly managed, it can help companies lower costs, increase productivity and grow the bottom line. If you would like him to make a presentation to your group or organization, contact him and he will be more than willing to make that happen!

The new Office is here! The new Office is here!

Yes, the new Microsoft Office 2010 is here and the Greater Cleveland PC User’s Group is focusing on it at their General Meeting on Saturday, May 8, 2010.

Simplex-IT’s president and long time GCPCUG member will be hosting a demonstration and showcasing many of the new features in this latest version of the popular business suite and you’re invited.

Where:     Cleveland State University, Main Classroom Building, Room 136,
                    E. 22nd St & Chester, Cleveland Ohio

When: 9:30 am-12:00 pm

Cost: Free!!!!

Join Bob and find out what all the excitement’s about. We’d love to see you there!