Gears & Gadgets

Microsoft: Yeah, we make Office 2019 and Internet Explorer, but don’t use ‘em

Two twins race to complete a PowerPoint challenge.

In an unusual turn of events, Microsoft this week warned Windows users off from using its Internet Explorer and dissed its new Office 2019 suite in a series of videos that show it to be worse than the competition.

While Windows 10 uses the newer, faster, much more standards compliant Edge browser as its default, it still ships with Internet Explorer 11. Enterprise customers with legacy systems from time to time want to make Internet Explorer 11 the default, but Microsoft doesn’t think this is a good idea. Internet Explorer 11 isn’t being updated to support new Web technology (and indeed, hasn’t been updated for many years), existing only as a compatibility tool to access legacy “designed for Internet Explorer” content that simply won’t work properly in any other browser.

As such, while it might be tempting to set Internet Explorer as the default to ensure that any intranet and line-of-business applications continue to work, that comes at a price. It will be slower, less secure, and increasingly incompatible with the broader Web as developers drop the old browser from their testing. So please, use it only when it’s absolutely necessary.

The competition to the recently released Office 2019 is, of course, Office 365. The perpetually licensed, frozen in time Office 2019 package exists for those customers that absolutely need it, but for any consumer or company that is amenable to the subscription-based version, Microsoft thinks that’s the far better option. That’s because the Office 365 version contains a number of cloud-based features that aren’t found in 2019: machine learning-driven drawing and handwriting recognition, integration with LinkedIn, a range of live data sources for Excel, and so on.

To demonstrate this point, the company has made a trio of videos in which pairs of twins race to perform some series of tasks in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. One twin is given Office 365; the other is given the broadly similar but cloud-ignorant Office 2019. Naturally, the tasks are designed precisely to showcase those features of Office 365 that aren’t found in the traditional version, giving the cloud twins abundant time to troll their disconnected clones.

Listing image by Microsoft

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Tech – Ars Technica

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