#microsoft word

Charles Stross:

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.

I haven’t used Word is years and I do feel that my life is better as a result. As a writing tool, it’s awful. It’s like visiting the world’s largest, most garish salad bar when all you really want is a nice side salad.

Bret Taylor in an interview with Alyson Shontell, about his new startup, Quip:

We definitely thought about Microsoft Word because it’s what most people use today. We also talked about what, with existing products, didn’t work well. For example, all of those products you type on a virtual 8.5 by 11 piece of paper. These days that’s almost comical. Not as many documents are printed anymore [so they don’t need to be restricted]. Quip documents don’t flow to a traditional piece of paper. They fit all screens whether small or large.

Many people now talk about how ridiculous skeuomorphic design is with regard to mobile, but how ridiculous is it that we still use 8.5x11” paper as a virtual reference point in software? Sure, some of it is related to printing, but as Taylor notes, that time is ending as well. In many ways, it’s worse than the 3.5” floppy disk being the symbol for “save”.