I have to admit, I’ve used Microsoft Office extensively over the years, and at one time, I was considered quite the expert. Around 1989, I took our corporation kicking and screaming out of the character-based PC applications of the DOS/WordPerfect/Lotus platform, into the graphical Microsoft Windows/Word/Excel world. That’s right. It was my project and network design that placed the first 2600 Windows PC’s into our company with a Sales Force Automation program.
It was a hard transition, and I even had to sit with some of the veteran employees and teach them how to use a mouse. I want to tell you, that it was a violation of company policy to have games installed on company computers, but I got special dispensation. The reason that the games that came pre-installed with Windows at the time were intentionally left on our “install image” was so that our users could play those games to get used to using a mouse rather than “keyboard shortcut” commands.
We’ve come a long way.
The major competition at the time struggled to get their products “Windows Ready”, and in the meantime, the kids in Redmond made so many dependencies and hooks into the Windows operating system that it took a long time for those competitors to get it right.
I still believe that if the importance of a task borders on mission critical, if there are specific workgroup sharing and collaboration requirements, security, or automation requirements, then those premium products are warranted.
I’m not saying DON’T use them, but I am saying that you should use the appropriate tools for the job.
The automation work I did with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Visio absolutely required the premium tools in Microsoft Office.
As with anything, you need to weigh the benefits before making any technology commitment.
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