When Office 2016 was released the other day I was both surprised and excited. Office 2013 has been around a while and I knew Office 2016 was in development but there was no pre-release warning, it just appeared. In the continual need to always be using the latest stuff I uninstalled Office 2013 and installed 2016. Then the problems began.
No Installation Options
The first issue is that when you start the setup program it displays a message telling you to “click here” to start the install. Doing that installs Office, as in everything. Do you use Publisher? Hope so because it’ll get installed. InfoPath? I thought that went away years ago. Still use Access? Good because it’ll be ready for use after the install. That’s right, every Office product gets installed on your machine. You have no chance to tell it not to install a product you will never use. I cringe when I think of that stupid Language Settings toolbar.
No problem I figured. There are a lot of poor installers that install everything and then make you rerun the setup to remove stuff. I go to Programs & Features, select Office and look for the Change option. There isn’t one. Clicking the option to Uninstall warns you it will uninstall everything.
So not only does Office default install every program you don’t use but you have no options to uninstall the pieces you don’t. This is not looking good. It looks like the marketing folks at MS beat on the Office team again. I would personally like to find anybody who truly uses ALL the Office products such that this change makes sense.
I would like to point out that during the betas there was mention of a tool you can create for networks that allows you to selective install certain Office products. Not sure why this tool simply wasn’t part of the core installer.
You Have Too Much Memory
Yet another problem is Microsoft’s philosophy that you have so much memory that yet another background process won’t bother it. Office installs yet another useless Windows service. What does it do? The description vaguely mentions communicating between applications. It is set to run automatically at startup whether you intend to use Office or not.
No problem, this happens all the time. First I test whether I can simply disable the service and still have Office run. Starting Office while it is disabled tells me the program is having an issue and that I should repair it. I run the Quick Repair and it doesn’t solve the problem. I then mark the service as starting on demand. Now Office starts after starting the service. This isn’t ideal because I have yet another service fighting for my time (why doesn’t Windows identify MS services as degrading startup apps like it does non-MS services?). Why does editing a Word document require a service?
To be fair, Office 2013 had a service for the installer. I have no idea what this does but it was set to run on demand and didn’t get in the way.
This problem is specific to Outlook. It no longer supports Exchange 2007. Unto itself I don’t have a problem with MS not supporting older systems but Exchange isn’t that old. The bigger issue is that you get absolutely no warnings about it. Nothing in the install, no link to the system requirements, nothing. When Outlook tries to connect you get a generic error about not being able to connect. Why doesn’t Outlook handle this (probably common case) and clearly let you know that the server you’re connecting to is no longer supported? Instead I had to do some searching until I found the system requirements.
The final problem with Office is that there really isn’t anything new. MS is touting connectivity but when you look at the list of new features for Office 2016 is it really small compared to previous iterations. It is like they didn’t want to spend a lot of time on it.
Let me clarify, I’m focusing on the 90+% of the Office apps I use regularly: Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint. They look just like they did before and nothing seems to have changed.
Why Am I Upgrading
Most logical people ask the question “why am I upgrading” before starting an upgrade. I personally just like being on the latest tech. But this time I really had to look at what Office 2016 brought to the table and it was literally nothing. Office waste resources on my computer, won’t work at all with one of my mail servers and doesn’t provide anything new.
With a little sadness but a great deal of relief I uninstall Office 2016 and return to the solid, faithful Office 2013.