Some days I wonder why I use any Microsoft software anymore. I'm a man of simple needs. I prefer simple tools that do one thing really well. While I can trace some of that to my Unix/Linux roots, the same is true when it comes to real-world tools as well.

So it's no surprise that I find myself wondering if Emacs, Open Office, or even VIM isn't more appropriate when this dialog appears for seemingly no reason:

If you're too lazy to look at the full-sized version, here's the text of the alert:

The document was saved, but data for speech recognition was lost because there was not enough space to store it. Be sure to turn off the microphone when you are not recording, and check the available storage space on the disk.

My reaction upon seeing this can be summed up in a common three letter acronym: WTF?!


Where's Microsoft World Lite when you need it?

Posted by jzawodn at April 11, 2007 06:35 PM

Reader Comments
# Ryan said:

Where's Microsoft World Lite when you need it?

It's called Writely err... Google Docs

on April 11, 2007 06:40 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Except for editing non-public documents that you'd rather not hand to your competitors...

on April 11, 2007 06:45 PM
# Ryan said:

Heh, good point. Forgot about that whole you working at Yahoo thing. Aside from open office and star office, what about abiword? (

On a side note.. I wrote a blog post about mybloglog and was impressed to see that a few of the mybloglog staff showed up in my stats. I was so impressed that I applied for an open job with them. The very fact that you guys take the time to read no name blogger reviews puts you a notch above the rest.

on April 11, 2007 06:52 PM
# Tony said:

I use ultraedit have done for years. The best bit is you can write code or a document. If I need to pretty it up then I might use word or acrobat depending on the needs. The program never crashes or gives me an error, I can make the file as big as the harddrive its stored on.

on April 11, 2007 06:53 PM
# Joe said:

This is why I try to avoid fancy documents. Vi/gedit is all I need. BTW, why don't you use Linux/BSD/Mac?

on April 11, 2007 07:28 PM
# Jason Lefkowitz said:

God, what a horrible error message. "Your document was saved, except where it wasn't." A document that was "sort of" saved is like a woman who is "a little" pregnant -- either it is, or it ain't :-)

on April 11, 2007 07:29 PM
# Kevin Roth said:

I believe it's called Wordpad ... comes free with Windows ;-)

Used to be called Microsoft Works, but IMO it wasn't any better.

And oh by the way ... I hope they don't ever end up owning the "World"!?!

on April 11, 2007 07:38 PM
# Raj said:

Maybe Word 5 for DOS or the equivalent WordPerfect for DOS is 'Word Lite' ?

Certainly in Mac-land Word 5.1 was a real killer app (that MS managed to bloat in Word 6). After the Word 6 fiasco I think alot of hardcore writers switched to Nisus . . .

on April 11, 2007 08:07 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Man, I sure do miss WordPerfect for DOS. That was the ultimate word processor.

on April 11, 2007 08:10 PM
# Doug Cutting said:

I switched to OpenOffice a few years ago and have not missed MS Office. I use it on both Linux and Windows.

on April 11, 2007 08:19 PM
# Brad said:

Word still owns all the other wordprocessors (online or off), but a Word Lite would be great.

on April 11, 2007 09:13 PM
# Frank Smadja said:

MS Word lite IS "Google docs and spreadsheet" -

on April 11, 2007 11:45 PM
# Nang said:

"Except for editing non-public documents that you'd rather not hand to your competitors"

That goes for everyone I think, who wants to hand corporate docs to Google? That's why I'd like to see them do a Google App-liance (like Google search appliance, but for applications), or sell it as a corporate intranet app to run on your own apache server.

We use Wikis here a lot, for pre-specs, activity reports, etc. all the management fluff, and PDF for specs, but I can't see them ever letting our corporate info go out onto the public network.
(I'm not working on search anymore, so Google isn't a competitor, but still who would want to trust Google with corporate secrets?)

Another point, the last time I opened up Word, I couldn't believe how clumsy and complicated it was. I can't recall the last time I've used Word for more than a 1 or 2 page fax, it was so long ago. So if the market is ripe for switching now is as good as anytime. Word is a mess, Vista is not selling well, there's a big opportunity there.

Does Yahoo not have something in the pipeline in this area?

on April 12, 2007 12:36 AM
# Pete Wailes said:

I've got to say, whether it's on my work computer (Windows XP machine) or at home on my PC (Ubuntu/XP dual boot through VM), OpenOffice is my word processor of choice.

It just works. It does everything I want, with very few flaws. Sure, Word, Excel and the rest are more evolved, but you'd expect them to be. But OO2.2 is so close, there's not that much in it anymore.

That's where I throw my chips.

on April 12, 2007 01:01 AM
# mookie said:

Word Lite = WordPad.

If anything, try AbiWord for Windows. It opens Word docs and is *really* lite.

on April 12, 2007 07:09 AM
# Jay Neely said:

Just yesterday I attended a speaking event at The Coop in Boston by David Platt, author of Why Software Sucks. One of his 10-minute example/rants was about how Microsoft Word was the only application in which you could drag the menu bar from it's place as a stand-alone attachment that could be positioned anywhere on the page, despite the fact that he's never need to do it, he's never heard of anyone needing to do it, and he's never heard of anyone hearing of anyone needing to do it.

There are plenty of people who use Microsoft Word who need advanced features, but there are just as many who don't. The problem is that there isn't a more user-friendly product for those who don't. Notepad is too simple. OpenOffice is essentially the same as MS Office, but slower. Nothing else has the buzz or current market share to be known about by most users.

on April 12, 2007 08:40 AM
# Maurice Walshe said:

Ohh so xemacs does audio now cool :-)

trouble is open office as one of my non techie co- workers said.

"its just looks Explletive Explitive"

on April 12, 2007 09:18 AM
# Tom said:

One definition of a "virus" is, "something that runs on your computer and you don't know, or can't control what it's doing".

That is a pretty good description of Microsoft software.

I'm an old Unix guy.

I use a Mac.

on April 12, 2007 12:09 PM
# Bill said:

Word 5.1 hit the peak benefit/complexity ratio, and it's been downhill since then. The SE/30 I run it on still works fine too, and is perfect for the app. No toolbar, but then there's no screen space for one either.

on April 12, 2007 12:34 PM
# Anatoly Lubarsky said:

Come on, people are trashing every little bug in microsoft word for 10 years now and still it is #1.

Non-Microsoft software does not have bugs, of course :)

on April 12, 2007 01:09 PM
# Ram Prasad said:

Is there any console edition of wordstar available still ? (and hopefully free) ? There are many lawyers in India who still use wordstar (because it gets work done faster, and they dont need any fancy box to run it on)

on April 12, 2007 01:13 PM
# Ian said:

Another AbiWord supporter here - for a single lightweight version of Word, it's hard to beat.

on April 23, 2007 04:47 AM
# Johannes Rössel said:

Hmm, first thought: Word Lite = Wordpad (or simply something clobbered together with the current version of RichEdit. Wouldn't even lack features, then.

Word 5.5 for DOS (which runs as OS/2 app on my machine, interestingly enough) would also be an option. If run by the OS/2 subsystem it even supports more than 80x25 characters.

And to name OOo or Emacs as tools that do one thing really well is a bit far-fetched imho :)

As for the messagebox ... what's so wrong with it? (a) you'll never let your HD fill up to the last bit, that only drops performance below anything known (b) it shows that the devs were able to recognize that you document is more likely to be more important than speec recognition data. Something I wouldn't accuse them of.

on April 23, 2007 10:21 PM
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