I’m really beginning to dig the Metro UI. I have liked it from the start but I’m liking it more and more every day as it is adopted by more and more websites and software applications. I like white space and I hate clutter. I believe Metro feels as I do. Just keep it simple and don’t get in the way. Apple has always received the accolades for their designs (and rightfully so), but Microsoft is changing the game.
I installed the Windows 8 consumer preview on my old tablet PC. I like it although it frustrates me at times. I find the transition between the Metro UI and the traditional desktop to be easy. What’s not so easy is Start button (or lack thereof) and the keyboard combinations. I’m sure I’ll figure it out and become proficient soon enough.
I hope you know that the items I include in the newswires are items I find interesting and useful. A good example are these new icons I created for the different sections of the newswire (News, Tips & Tricks & Tutorials, Developer news, & Cutting Room Floor). I created these using a super-nifty tool that I included in the Developer News section.
Some days are richer than others (content-wise). The great philosopher and poet Bono, likes to say “some days are better than others”. Today, I found it difficult to cull the list. It’s just more evidence that MSFT is a-movin’-and-a-shakin’ out there. It’s tough to keep it.
While we wait to see what happens today with Apple (will there be any announcement involving our favorite Office application suite?), here is today’s Office Newswire.
- Exclusive: Microsoft Office 15 features and improvements :: I keep finding newswire-worthy articles from TheVerge.com. Where did they come from? I don’t know but this article has some pretty screen shots of what they claim is Office 15. According to them, there is some Metro-influenced design. It is going to be really interesting to learn what MSFT has up there sleeve with this release of Office… what with the dramatic change to Windows 8.
- Death by PowerPoint? Not so fast! :: PowerPoint receives a bad rap. Steve Jobs is praised as public speaking genius. Is it because he was user of Keynote? No way. It was because Steve Jobs knew how to captivate an audience. His slides illustrated the points he made with his vocal chords. The problem with PowerPoint isn’t PowerPoint… it’s the people who use it. Click the link to learn more about this important business issue.
- Of SharePoint and the Swiss Army Knife: six observations :: This is a thoughtful article from Oracle. It’s good to hear what MSFT’s competitors have to say about one of MSFT’s cornerstone products. There are 6 points to this thesis. Some agreeable, others disagreeable.
- Microsoft’s Office chief sure seems to like the iPad :: Okay, I admit it. I really want to see an Office version for the iPad. I think MSFT will rock this if they choose to do it. Plus, it will make all my predicting correct and prevent me from looking silly… at least, on this issue.
- Microsoft needs to release an Office for iPad App :: This author says MSFT needs to do it. But… does MSFT want to do it? Who knows? Mr. Ballmer, please tell us today. Please end the torment caused by my curiosity. Yeah or nay?
- LibreOffice 3.5: the best Office killer yet :: I stopped reading when I read, “Installation is free, but not easy”. If installation is difficult, I doubt the user experience is any better. Still, it is worth keeping tabs on other so-called Office suites. So I redoubled my efforts and kept reading. It’s worth remembering the great adage, “You get what you pay for.”
Office tips, tricks & tools
- Download: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 data mining add-ins for Microsoft Office 2010 :: I’m enthusiastic about this release of SQL Server. I think it will be significant for anyone building business intelligence solutions on the MSFT platform. Here are some tools for that data miner you know and love. If only they had been available by Valentines… [shrug].
- How to group conversations in your Microsoft Outlook inbox :: A quick tip from Dummies.com. If you don’t already know how to do this, you are ignorant… not dumb. I think ignorant sounds worse however. English is a quirky language.
- What you always wanted to know about Excel IF function (but were afraid to ask) :: I bet you know a thing or two about Excel’s IF function. I also bet you don’t know the answer to every question raised in this article. Take the challenge. I double-dog dare you.
Office developer items of note
- VSTO: code traceability with Source Control :: I spent last week with the author of this post… the great Mathias Brandewinder. This article is a continuation of the work he did with the VSTO Stocks project. I owe Mathias a debt of gratitude for explaining to me why I would ever want to use F#.
- Add-in Express vs VSTO: Custom Office task panes :: Pieter is at it again with another solid article in our series discussing Add-in Express vs. VSTO… this one covering a very common feature of custom Office solutions… the custom task pane.
- 101 SharePoint code samples :: What’s better than 100 SharePoint Code Samples? Yeah, you guessed it… 101 SharePoint Code Samples. These are guaranteed to teach you something you didn’t already know.
- SharePoint Log Parser :: Who doesn’t love a good log parser?
- Metro Studio 1 :: Syncfusion, makers of .NET components and more, released a nice tool for creating Metro-style icons. They are offering it for free (at least for now) so download it now while you still can. You can learn more about Metro Studio here. I used this tool to make the icons for today’s newswire, pretty impressive, right?! Syncfusion promises to continually add icons.