Office 2003: Disaster or Comedy?

Microsoft erased one of my favorite programs without asking me.

It was only after I upgraded my main computer to Office 2003 that I discovered that, for some inexplicable reason, Microsoft had erased one of my favorite programs—Microsofts own Photo Editor—and seemingly replaced it with the useless Adobe Image Ready program. Actually, the Adobe product doesnt totally suck. It just doesnt have the quick features that I like in Photo Editor. And, oh, yes, get this—aside from the fact that Adobes product takes ages to load images, you cant print from it. No kidding. Look at the menu. You cant print the darn photos. What kind of thinking is involved here? You cant print a photo? What is the point of this program? Is someone kidding me? Is the process hidden? Is this some sort of scam? Why cant you print? Yes, Im very annoyed.

First of all, the reason I like Photo Editor, which is not a great product and cannot handle big files, was that it had one or two outstanding filters that I liked to use. Even Photoshop did not have these filters. Now, if I had known that the program—which I thought was mine to use—was going to be blown away, I would have never installed Office 2003. NEVER. The question I have to ask is, exactly what kind of gall does Microsoft have for it to erase perfectly good programs during the installation of anything? I consider this an illegal attack on my computer! Is this what we can expect from "trusted computing?" How is this different than a virus? How does this work with the Justice Departments belief that Microsoft is a good guy looking out for the user? Can someone explain this to me? Im appalled. I have never seen anything like this, ever.

Okay, so now it gets worse. I have no idea how this Adobe Image Ready program got to be the default. Whats Adobe got to do with Microsoft? I have to assume some registry hanky-panky is going on via Adobes software or Windows. After all, Microsoft has plenty of image view systems. Whatever the case, this non-printing ridiculous Adobe product is now the default. So I go into File Types under Folder Options to get rid of it. I erase it from the jpg and jpeg list. The next thing you know, Microsofts Windows Picture and Fax viewer appears as the default for these files. Well, anything is better than Adobe Image Ready, but I did not request the Picture and Fax viewer!

Did I mention that the Adobe product also takes forever to load and display a jpg? I did? Okay, I said it again. Whatever. The fact is the miserable Microsoft Windows Picture and Fax viewer program is not what I wanted either. I figured Id use my old standby Pix Wizard—a third-party program that runs fast.


Click here to read the rest of Dvoraks views on Office 2003 in PC Magazine.