Saturday, 21 April 2012


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If there were any doubt that Microsoft were out of touch with their 1 billion users, that was backed up this week by two users I made very happy by restoring their Office 2003 menus to them via a little extra provided by

It was worth a jam doughnut in one case and a hug and a kiss(?!) in the second situation. Don’t tell ‘er indoors.

But why on earth do that?

While wrestling with that question I was looking into an upgrade of Access from 2003 to 2010 when I read this on Amazon from Ian Pearson from Beds UK, who I would wholeheartedly agree with:
From the manufacturer's description:
"With its improved interface and interactive design capabilities that do not require deep database knowledge ... "
The terms "improved" and "interactive" clearly have a broad definition. The Access 2007 interface is actually intrusive and unintuitive. The core of a great product is still there (see Access 2003) but I can't see many persevering long enough to find out. Oh yes, there is also a new feature (multivalued fields) which controversially breaks a critical database design rule.
After a bit of time with the new Excel 2007 interface, you realise it works, but why oh why did they then apply it to everything else in the Office suite.
Don't buy or upgrade unless you have to.
Five stars for the best PC database product, minus 4 for a truly awful interface and multivalued fields.”

Why mess with something that works, have Microsoft been listening to the geeks? Apple don’t appear to do this, nor do Adobe?

Another review from Mr. A. Jawed "E Jawed" (Greater Manchester, United Kingdom) – (he got my attention right there!)

This review is from: Microsoft Access 2007 (PC) (CD-ROM)
I am a prolific user of MS Access with VBA with 15 years programming experience. I've been through all the versions since Access 97/2000/2003, and know them inside out. I am at pains to finally admit after extensive use of 2007 that the graphical front-end on this piece of dung is absolutely awful!

Microsoft have (as usual) gone a step backwards by reducing the customisability of the object views. To make matters worse, where it was extremely easy to set the options of the database to hide all the menu bars, navigation bars etc, they have now made that task incredibly difficult too. You have to create new system hidden tables with 'XML ribbons' to hide the usual navi-bars to get you DB to look like a regular app. Migrating existing 2000/03 databases will also give you new nightmares. A lot of old VBA functions don't work, and your database will be ridden with bugs upon migration from an older version - like sub-forms that become un-editable Read-Only for no reason if created previously in pre-2003.

Also gone are the regular text menu bars in place with these wacky looking graphical icons. All the regular features have been shuffled around and I can't tell what's gone where.

I hate Access 2007 and hate Microsoft for their regular conventional screw ups. Microsoft's HQ's retarded logic dictates that you should create something good to start off with, then every 3 years ruin it step by step with worse versions.

Well you sort of have it there. If like me, you are a bit like me, you probably need In fact I would go as far as saying make the payment to these guys, straight away. You will save that in the first hour, just with one user.

It makes you want to move to Apple. I don’t think they would be so stupid to make that schoolboy programmer type mistake. 

Sugar knew the meaning of changes.

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting

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