Feeds

Microsoft Office 2007 migration aches foreshadow 2010

Pain now, pain later

High performance access to file storage

It has been predicted Microsoft's Office 2010 will cause migration headaches, but for some, the pain is already here.

Customers speaking with The Reg are experiencing major delays in their move from Office 2003 to 2007, more than three years after Microsoft released the latest version of its suite.

Problems include having to rewrite and test old VBA Office macros because they won't work in Office 2007, file incompatibilities, major interface changes, and instances where Outlook won't work on different versions of Microsoft's Exchange Server.

And while Microsoft has documented known problems, customers have complained it's the undocumented stuff they are uncovering that's really tripping them up and where Microsoft is not being helpful.

It seems that with 2010 on the horizon, some organizations are either only now moving to Office 2007 or are still struggling with Office 2007 more than three years after it shipped.

Directions on Microsoft managing vice president of research Rob Helm tells The Reg he expects more customers will experience problems as they too make the move to Office 2007.

Helm said some organizations are only now upgrading after postponed the move because of the changes involved.

"Even if you decide on the dawn of Office 2007's arrival to complete a migration, organizations need to find all the macros used for critical tasks and identify a representative sample of files and test them on the new version," Helm said.

He said Microsoft could be doing more to help customers with technical and migration consultation under its Software Assurance (SA) program.

He noted that small organizations that are unlikely to be on SA are also likely to need assistance, as large enterprises will at least have dedicated IT teams that can plan and implement the upgrade.

Architectural engineering consultant Benchmark Group has postponed its Office 2007 rollout three years after it first looked at the migration. It told The Reg the project is on hold because of both documented and undocumented problems with macro and file-format incompatibilities between Outlook and Word. It has also been unable to use Outlook 2007 in mixed Exchange Server 2003 and 2007 environments.

Benchmark, which prides itself as an early adopter of PCs in building design, has had to rewrite each of its 75 macros used by 400 users in mobile, remote, and office-based locations.

Workstation administrator Christopher Blake told us Benchmark had spent "months and months" recoding single macros and still things don't work. "We need the conversion process to happen very smoothly so we are investing a lot of time up front to ensure that," he said.

Today, just 30 per cent of the company's staff has some form of Office 2007 running - such as Word, Excel or Outlook - with just two per cent using the full suite.

MSD Capital said it rolled back to Office 2003 because it had "a lot of heavy Excel users" who'd built their own macros. MSD Capital is an 80-employee, $10bn investment fund set up to manage the capital of Dell founder and chief executive Michael Dell and his family.

MSD's Jason Palatty said: "We have a lot of users who have their own .XLA add ins, but when you use that in Office 07 that broke and we had to roll them back."

High performance access to file storage

Next page: More pain ahead?

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.