Just so you all don’t think I am all Apple, all the time; I must admit I do have a sweet tooth for Office. It’s perhaps the best thing coming out of the offices in Redmond, and it just keeps getting better. Sure, there are choices out there these days, other competitive, and free software, and some that isn’t even software at all, but a service. None have ever fully done the job compared to Office, even though there are attractive reasons for using all of them. I need not go into my reasons, that would be another, and lengthy post. Maybe some other time.
Just installed the newest version of Office. It’s beta software, running on my laptop with Beta Windows 7. I think you need to be invited to this, but since there is no longer a gag order non-disclosure agreement, I will say this: I like where Office is heading.
- The interface is much less cluttered looking, which is hard to explain without seeing – image included below.
- The ribbon, done right. Colors are easier on the eyes, and fit better with the Windows 7 themes. The text is very readable. No shifting tools, very fast redraw, and context only changes when you double click. Very elegant.
- But here’s my favorite part, I counted the number of seconds to launch Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, individually. It’s Fast. *
For a year old laptop, and a Mac running in BootCamp I wasn’t hopeful. Here goes: One… One. That’s it! One second. Well, I am not sure what is happening under the hood, and maybe I don’t want to know.
Voodoo, black magic, or maybe they re-employed Clippy to run a virtual hamster wheel or something. All I know is, this can only help with productivity. Unless or course like me, you also get writers block staring at a blank page. Maybe it’s time to edit the Normal.dot to include some encouraging words.
Road to Recovery
Autodesk, listen up. Future versions of software should be more responsive, load quickly and just work. Revit Architecture 2010 now takes, 1 minute and 5 seconds to launch and manually open a blank project document. AutoCAD Architecture (yes I run both), takes 59 seconds. Word is nearly 60 times faster than either. That is just unacceptable. If I had been writing in Word, I could have typed 45 words in that time. I know, I’m not a pro touch-typist by any stretch, but just the same it would be nice to have a nearly instant clean canvas from which to work in Revit.
We all know that project files, which can be very large in Revit, also take a while to open and parse the database. Any user who has worked with the tool has come to terms with this. It does seem that Revit has taken longer to load with the last successive releases, and it’s hard to justify why. If we could just eek out a little more performance, especially with regards to launch and the Ribbon redraw, life would be great. Just 30 seconds faster, is all I ask. This would be like a small economic stimulus package for all 300,000+ Revit users in the world. Imagine it. We could all get on with economic recovery by saving and estimated 4 hours, per user, per year. If you conservatively assume that a user will launch Revit 2 times per day, 5 days a week, for 48 weeks, you get 240 minutes, or 4 hours, equalling $340 at a billable rate of $85/hour. That’s the equivalent of half the cost of a subscription renewal right there. You could use the money saved to buy a full seat of Office Small Business edition. Getting that time back would be the equivalent of about 24 blog posts like this one… or four more hours a year to be more productive, have more fun, or take up yoga. Makes you think.
* Individual results may vary.