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Reader Feedback: Microsoft Bonds and Office 2010

Back in the mists of time (weeks ago, when Swine Flu was in the news and Susan Boyle wasn't yet suffering from overexposure), we asked readers to send us "buy bonds" posters in honor of Microsoft's first-ever bond offering. To our great surprise, somebody actually did, and the contribution is magnificent. Check out Rae's handiwork:

Buy Microsoft Bonds
Click on image for larger view.

We also speculated as to what Microsoft might do with its bond money; specifically, we joined the chorus of pundits asking what might happen if Microsoft bought SAP. On that topic, we got a tremendous e-mail from Rich, with whom we'll be keeping in touch:

"I don't see it happening, but I can only imagine the fireworks that it would create. What would our boy in Redwood City do? Hey, maybe [Oracle CEO] Larry [Ellison] is already waiting in the wings with a pile of cash ready to suck up SAP when Microsoft decides against the deal. Just like the IBM/Sun deal. But wait, no, he'd have nothing to live for if he did. Hmm...He'd probably go for it anyway.

"You're right about the culture clash. I've worked for both Microsoft and SAP and their cultures are day and night (or should I say day und nacht?). The partner vs. direct-sales strategies would exacerbate an already bad situation that both companies wrestle with. As far as products, my guess is that Dynamics would ultimately fade into SAP's suite, and who knows when SAP's Business ByDesign SaaS will ever see the light of day. Walldorf has had heartburn over that since its inception.

"And Larry will be bristling. Oh, did I mention I worked for Oracle, too? Truth is, Larry's the only guy who has the stomach for such a deal -- largely because he doesn't care about the other culture or the fallout. Strangely enough, Oracle has done a very good job of integrating the likes of PeopleSoft, Siebel, Hyperion, BEA, etc. I was there when they happened and, frankly, we were all surprised at how smoothly they went down (no pun intended)."

Wow. Rich, you're in our Outlook contact list now. That's just some tremendous insight there. We have nothing to add except that the phrase "day und nacht" literally made your editor laugh out loud. Danke schön!

Also in the distant past, we did some complaining about Office 2010 arriving just as your editor is figuring out Office 2007. Peter, one of our better and more frequent contributors here at RCPU, felt pangs of sympathy:

"I never bothered to go with 2007. There was so much consternation about the place with the 'aghhhh ribbon' that I didn't bother. There was nothing in 2007 that I actually needed. As partners, we get all that stuff for free, but like Vista, most of it just sits on the DVD! I did give 2007 to my 15-year-old son and he seems to quite like it.

"I also bought my son a MacBook for school, and each day he tells me how it exceeds his expectations. Of course, he has all his Windows stuff on the Windows partition if he should want it, but he says he never needs to go there. He has Office 2008 on the Apple side and he says that's pretty good.

"As a Microsoft partner, it's a complete mystery to me why there are only 40 million Macs (and 40 million Linux) systems on the planet versus 1.25 billion Windows machines. My son and I often amuse ourselves by watching that series of Mac ads...unfortunately it's all true."

Oh, Peter, that last paragraph is trouble. We're going to leave it alone for the time being, lest this edition of the newsletter run into the tens of thousands of words. But we hear what you're saying, and we definitely hear you on Office 2007. It's a lot to learn for not a lot of reward, frankly.

Dave is a fellow kindred spirit:

"It has taken a while to get used to the new menu interface. I can't say I like it better, but time will tell. We all used the old interface for so long that it had become second nature. The only feature I really miss in Word 2007 in the HTML source viewer. I wish they would put that back into the product."

Dave, we wondered about that, too. Maybe it'll be back for Office 2010.

And Aaron got a chuckle out of your editor with this effort:

"Microsoft needs to give information about Access 2010. I can't find reliable information anywhere about this. I don't care about 'Access Web Access.' LOL -- what a horrible idea and name."

Aaron, to be perfectly honest, we don't know much about Access 2010. But Access Web Access -- yeah, that's comically bad.

Want to add to the e-mail pile? Throw one on at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on June 04, 2009 at 11:55 AM