Office 2004 Service Pack 1: What it doesn’t fix

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
October 19th, 2004 • 12:06 am

Here’s a short list of obvious and extremely annoying bugs in Word 2004 that Microsoft’s recently released Service Pack 1 fails to fix:

  1. Disappearing I-beam Cursor: If you cut or paste or copy or delete text and then immediately try to move the cursor around using the cursor keys, you’ll notice that the insertion point (the so-called I-beam cursor that indicates where you are in your text) will not reappear until you release the cursor keys.
  2. Postscript fonts and non-breaking space: If you are using a Postscript (Type 1) font and type a non-breaking space, Word 2004 switches to Times New Roman!
  3. Freeze with Spell Catcher X or TypeIt4Me: If you have a glossary entry in Spell Catcher X or TypeIt4Me that is longer than 127 characters, Word 2004 freezes. This only affects Spell Catcher X and TypeIt4Me users, obviously, but is such an obvious bug, documented by Spell Catcher’s developer Evan Gross himself and verified by the MacBU, that the fact that it isn’t fixed is shameful.
  4. No scrolling wheel support in VisualBasic (Macro) Editor: This is a great source of annoyance to anyone who wants to customize Word 2004 to make it more usable. It’s Microsoft’s way of telling you: “So you want to customize our beast? Here are a few additional bugs just for you. That’ll teach you.”

Of course, this is just a sample. And some people will probably say: Well, some bugs are more important than others. True — but then how to do you explain that the bugs that Office 2004 SP1 does fix include the misaligned button text in the Find/Replace dialog box?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad the misaligned button text is fixed. The very existence of this was shameful in the first place. But was it really more important to fix that particular flaw (purely esthetic) than the bugs mentioned above?

Then some people will probably say: Well, some bugs are easier to fix than others. True — but what does this have to do with the end user? It’s not the end user’s fault if some bugs are easier to fix than others. Microsoft are the ones who created the bugs in the first place. That they cannot sense that fixing the bug with Postscript fonts and the non-breaking space is more important and urgent than fixing the misaligned button text in the Find/Replace dialog is simply shameful. I don’t care how many resources it takes to fix the Postscript font bug. Microsoft have had several months to fix it. They haven’t bothered to do so. Shame on them.

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