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I’ve been running the Office 2007 beta (final release just got delayed).

It’s a beauty.  There are new charts in Excel that make the old charts look like dried puke.  The new presentation templates in PowerPoint are stunning.

But at least to me, it’s a bit maddening to use.  The entire UI has changed, and for power keyboard users like me, it’s just mighty uncomfortable. (Note that there is absolutely nothing I abhor more than having to use a mouse, so perhaps I’m incredible biased here).

I’ll give you one simple (and perhaps nitpicking) example:  When I go to close a window, I don’t always press Alt-F4.  I sometimes double-click with my mouse on the upper left-hand corner.  That feature simply doesn’t work anymore.  You have to click on the upper left-hand corner, and then choose Close.  “Click Click” is replaced by “Click…click”.

Certainly, Microsoft really did try to get the keyboard compatibility in there. 

However, it’s not only keyboard compatibility.  All of the old menus are gone, replaced by a whole new look and feel. 

What does this mean for Office 2007 adoption?  The new UI is a very appealing, but there is a tremendous adoption  curve that will have to occur here.   Will corporate America really really want to roll this new release out right away?  

What do you think?  Am I just being my typical curmudgeonly self?

Alex Eckelberry