I want Microsoft Word to die. I hate Microsoft Word with a burning, fiery passion.
I want Microsoft Word to die. I hate Microsoft Word with a burning, fiery passion. Our reasons are, alarmingly, not dissimilar Its pervasive near-monopoly status has brainwashed software developers to such an extent that few can imagine a word processing tool that exists as anything other than as a shallow imitation of the Redmond Behemoth.
But what exactly is wrong with it? These tools were fast, powerful, elegant, and extremely demanding of the user. Programs like WordStar led the way, until WordPerfect took the market in the early s by adding the ability to edit two or more files at the same time in a split screen view.
An ongoing war broke out between two factions. One faction wanted to take the classic embedded-codes model, and update it to a graphical bitmapped display: But another group wanted to use a far more powerful model: Steve Jobs approached Bill Gates to write applications for the new Macintosh system inand Bill agreed.
In the end, the decree went out: Word should implement both formatting paradigms. Word was in fact broken by design, from the outset -- and it only got worse from there. Over the late s and early s Microsoft grew into a behemoth with a near-monopoly position in the world of software.
One of its tactics became known and feared throughout the industry: Microsoft Word grew by acquiring new subsystems: But one by one, Microsoft moved into each sector and built one of the competitors into Word, thereby killing the competition and stifling innovation.
Microsoft killed the outline processor on Windows; stalled development of the grammar checking tool, stifled spelling checkers.
There is an entire graveyard of once-hopeful new software ecosystems, and its name is Microsoft Word. As the product grew, Microsoft deployed their embrace-and-extend tactic to force users to upgrade, locking them into Word, by changing the file format the program used on a regular basis.
Each new version of Word defaulted to writing a new format of file which could not be parsed by older copies of the program.
If you had to exchange documents with anyone else, you could try to get them to send and receive RTF — but for the most part casual business users never really got the hang of different file formats in the "Save As In the 21st century they tried to improve the picture by replacing it with an XML schema This planned obsolescence is of no significance to most businesses, for the average life of a business document is less than 6 months.
But some fields demand document retention. Law, medicine, and literature are all areas where the life expectancy of a file may be measured in decades, if not centuries. Nor is Microsoft Word easy to use.
Its interface is convoluted, baroque, making the easy difficult and the difficult nearly impossible to achieve.
It guarantees job security for the guru, not transparency for the zen adept who wishes to focus on the task in hand, not the tool with which the task is to be accomplished. It imposes its own concept of how a document should be structured upon the writer, a structure best suited to business letters and reports the tasks for which it is used by the majority of its users.
Its proofing tools and change tracking mechanisms are baroque, buggy, and inadequate for true collaborative document preparation; its outlining and tagging facilities are piteously primitive compared to those required by a novelist or thesis author: The reason I want Word to die is that until it does, it is unavoidable.
I do not write novels using Microsoft Word. But somehow, the major publishers have been browbeaten into believing that Word is the sine qua non of document production systems. They have warped and corrupted their production workflow into using Microsoft Word.
It is, quite simply, unavoidable.
And worse, by its very prominence, we become blind to the possibility that our tools for document creation could be improved. It has held us back for nearly 25 years already; I hope we will find something better to take its place soon.
I write for a living. At no point was Microsoft Word involved in its creation; and you can buy it as an ebook from all the usual stores, via the menu here.The popularity of custom essay writing service has only risen for the last couple years.
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