Office 12

I've been reading a lot about the upcoming Office 12 recently. Rumor has it that they are all going to change the way we look at documents and interact with our computers. I've been watching videos on their UI changes with the new 'Ribbon' and so on and I must say that it is very impressive. I was real amazed with the new data binding capabilities of the upcoming Visio too.

I'm a big fan of analysis tools! DynamiCube was my first love and I have never really liked the user interface that Excel offered for their Pivot Tables. I never did think that pivot tables were very strong in earlier versions of Office. They were hard to use and just the way that the data was displayed was horrid(blocky and ugly). I'm a pretty savvy guy when it comes to analysis tools. I play around with lots of components and various analysis applications just to see what I can get myself into. It was clear that PTS was just lacking in a lot of areas. The functionality was there, but it was just too old school looking and I had a hard time getting the results I wanted from it...

Well, fast forward to today... Pivot Tables are getting a huge facelift. I've been reading the Excel 12 blog posts very regularly lately. David Gainer just finished a series on the new pivot table improvements for Office 12, and... WOW!! Some of the stuff they are doing is simply amazing. The level of support that they have for the new KPI's looks really cool. The built in themes and predefined formats make each view very professional looking with no extra grunt work. The results that you get in the spreadsheet appear to be 'printer ready'. Excel 12 definitely proves that pivot tables are very much alive and prove that Excel can be a great client for any analysis backend.

This almost requires going back to the drawing board for anybody who writes “Office“ style applications (email clients, document writers, spreadsheets, presentation software, and the like). It is obvious that Microsoft has put a lot of everything into the upcoming release. I can't wait to get my hands on it. :)

Print | posted on Friday, January 20, 2006 12:03 AM