Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting rid of Microsoft Office - and Software Bloat


I really had had it with Microsoft Office this time. Specifically the monster that it Outlook. Slow, over-complex and cumbersome. Into Windows Control panel I went and clicked on Programs | MS Office | Change. I unchecked Outlook and away went the routines. After two minutes of crunching, it popped up a message that I needed to insert my original Office CD. I guess I could have done, but I was utterly outraged by having to insert a CD in order to install some bit of middleware in order to uninstall an application. What kind of software madness is this?

In fact I was so annoyed that I felt compelled to remove the whole Office Suite in disgust. After all, Word, Excel and Powerpoint had gone years ago - I use Open Office very happily - but enough is enough and I wanted Office's bloat and inelegance out of my life and off my hard disk.

I went back into Control panel and this time opted for 'Uninstall'. And waited. And waited. 15 minutes later, the progress bar had reached 50%. WHAT? All I wanted to do was delete the application suite. Deleting files should not take this long. In addition to my regular 'I hate Adobe' posts, I'm sorely tempted to apply similar bloatware reasons for doing a 'I hate Microsoft' one. Office is a disgrace.

If it wasn't for Windows itself, which at least keeps me laptop going and running leaner, fitter apps, Microsoft would be out of my life completely. I installed Firefox 3 earlier. The download was 7MB and it installed in under a minute. That's what software should be like. Not 4GB of code on DVD or a 3GB download (Office and Adobe Premiere Elements 4 respectively).

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