You may have noticed that Microsoft began rolling out a new version of Microsoft Office early this week. That means that there are now three versions of Microsoft Office out in the wild — Office 2016, Office 365 and the brand-new Office 2019.
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Last week, I tried to get a subscription to Microsoft Office. I expected to simply find an Office licence that included what I needed for a simple price. Instead, I discovered that Microsoft's Office licenses are infuriatingly complex, making it nearly impossible for anyone to get what they need without overspending.
The term "death by PowerPoint" was coined because so many people have abused the use of PowerPoint presentations. Often they are unnecessarily long and, visually, not that interesting, leaving audiences who have to suffer through them bored out of their minds. This totally defeats the purpose of giving a presentation, which is to engage people and help them better understand what you're trying to say. Here's a video on how turn your boring PowerPoint presentations into interactive slides with the Prezi software.
Imagine seeing a young student attempt to twist in a screw using a hammer. I think we can all agree that angrily grabbing the hammer from the student and throwing it away would be a mistake. A more constructive response would to be to simply clarify the true purpose of a hammer. The same principle applies to the much-maligned PowerPoint.
It was recently argued that universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring. I agree entirely. However, most universities will ignore this good advice because rather than measuring success by how much their students learn, universities measure success with student satisfaction surveys.
Any university teacher who does not harbour a painful recollection of a failed lecture is a liar. On one such occasion, I felt early on that I had lost the students entirely: those who hadn't sunk into comatose oblivion were listless and anxious. Ungracefully, I threw myself even deeper into my PowerPoint presentation to save me from total ruin. Years later, I can still hear myself reading aloud the bullet points from the overhead and see myself turning around to the students to sell these points to them.
Android: Today, Microsoft announced that it is expanding its Office for Android beta. Now, you can install it on any 7-10" ARM-based tablet running KitKat or higher. You don't even need an invite anymore.
Microsoft Office has so many options that often the trickiest task is working out where to find the option you need -- something the Ribbon interface doesn't entirely solve. Office Online, the free browser-based version of the suite, now incorporates a "Tell Me" feature, where you can search for what you want to do using plain English and relevant menu choices will automatically be displayed.
If you want to grow in your career, you’re going to have to present to business people — the phrase we geeks use to refer to everyone who isn’t technical. And you’ll need to present well. Successful geeks are the ones who can bridge the divide between technical and business groups. If you invest in preparation, not only will you accomplish your goals, you’ll find that giving presentations isn’t difficult at all.