I cannot uninstall Microsoft Office 2010


I cannot uninstall Microsoft Office 2010

The press release said that a survey of 600 sales, marketing and IT professionals from companies in the UK, France and Germany had revealed millions of pounds were being wasted every year on unused applications. Actually, it said millions of Euros but I knew what it meant. Actually, at first I didn’t know what it meant as my thoughts turned to smartphones and while I appreciate that the iPhone, BlackBerry and assorted Android devices are doing well, I wasn’t swallowing a survey which reckoned that business were wasting millions every year on apps they don’t even use.

Then I read the document again, and everything became clearer. This was a story about data governance rather than Angry Birds in the office, and don’t even get me started about that one or the wife will kill me. According to Informatica, the outfit that provided me with the research data, some 81% of those IT professionals questioned said their corporate networks were hosting unused applications and data. Which isn’t really any surprise at all, is it? I’ve just looked at my own corporate network and it’s full of applications that sounded like a good idea at the time but turned out to be a waste of money as they are never used. Microsoft Office 2010, for example.

Microsoft Word 2010, along with the rest of the redundant suite of Office applications, sits there taunting me

Yep, I invested in a copy of Microsoft Office 2010, as you do when you are a small business running on a Windows platform. It was only after I had installed it that I started wondering why I had bothered; this was a knee-jerk purchase rather than a business-needs driven one. Now please don’t file this under ‘Microsoft Basher’ as that really couldn’t be farther from the truth. Both my kids are happily using Office 2010 Home and Student edition, and I’m quite happily running the equivalent of a small zoo full of Microsoft software here.

But as  a professional writer, as well as a consultant,  surely Microsoft Word gets used to within an inch of its life, I hear you pondering. But no, I’m writing this blog entry in my text editor of choice which happens to be NoteTab Pro. Yes, I said text editor rather than word processor, because my business-driven need for writing happens to be getting words onto a blank page with minimum fuss. That means I want a clean and compact interface without annoying distractions, and I want text entry to be straightforward and equally distraction free. By the time I have turned off everything that Microsoft throws in my direction by way of interface and text-entry distraction I could have written a small novel. NoteTab Pro has a spoil chicken (you know, the thing that checks your spellings), it has a word count function, and it has all the letters of the alphabet that I need.

Yet Microsoft Word 2010, along with the rest of the redundant suite of Office applications, sits there taunting me for being a slave to something (truth be told, I’m not even sure what). Am I really so gullible that I fall for the marketing hype, or such a predictable geek that for me ‘upgrade’ is the same as ‘fix’ to a junkie? I suspect the latter, although why I was upgrading from something I hadn’t been using to something I wouldn’t be using, at considerable cost, on the off chance that I might be missing something, I have no idea. It’s not even that I cannot view Office documents without it when they arrive, as I can.

Back to that report, and the suggestion is that unused applications and data on your corporate network are ‘inefficiencies’ which place a significant cost burden on your business in terms of resources, power and management time. The bigger your business, the bigger those inefficiencies and the bigger the bottom line. Eighty six per cent of those asked agreed that removing unused applications would result in their IT systems running more efficiently. Mind you, so could preventing sales and marketing droids from installing unnecessary apps in the first place. The findings revealed that, and I quote, “sales and marketing departments are prone to side-stepping the IT department when it comes to adding new software and applications to existing systems”.

I can’t use that excuse: I am the sales and marketing department here. I can, and indeed have, used the research as a catalyst for having a long overdue clear up of unnecessary and unused applications from the servers. Which revealed that I am a pretty average kind of business guy, I guess, as just as the survey predicted the unused application detritus accounted for around a quarter of the total number of applications installed.

Also, just like 46% of those surveyed, I wasn’t keen on removing all the unused apps just in case I needed them for something at sometime in the future. Yes, you guessed it, Microsoft Office 2010 is still there and I’m still not sure why. It’s as if it has an uninstall block imprinted on my brain, and I remain convinced (for absolutely no good reason) that to remove it would be folly.

Go figure…

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