Microsoft Packaging 2007

The packaging for Microsoft Office 2007 sucks big time. It made my recent such acquisition traumatic and thoroughly unrewarding.

Whenever you buy an Apple product *, you know you’re in for a fabulous, rewarding experience when you open it. Every component is meticulously designed for pleasure and function. Irrespective of the product itself, you know that by the time you’ve got to it, you’ve enjoyed every moment of discovery—every unfolded box, every individually-wrapped component, every carefully crafted booklet. By the time I reached my Microsoft product (no more, no less than a holographic CD), I wanted to snap it in half out of sheer desperation and frustration. (I didn’t.)

Once I was through the ubiquitous cellophane wrapper, I was confronted with an inelegant frosted-plastic case about the size of a standard paperback fiction book, its only redeeming design feature being one rounded corner. Immediately beneath the plastic was some thick, glossy paper marketing the product therein. But the puzzle of how to get to the CD itself was confounding to say the least—something worthy of the Krypton Factor’s Intelligence round. A red tag seemed to indicate the intended direction of travel, but I was unable to figure out what it meant, or how it should be operated.

In the end, I prised apart the plastic packaging, breaking the hinge that I later discovered to be the critical part of the preferred method of opening, and tearing slightly the paper that supported the marketing blurb. I’d hope that the experience highlighted Microsoft’s lack of attention to product design, as opposed to my own intention. I’ll let you decide that.

A couple of shards of plastic later, I was confronted with the CD itself, but I took another five minutes to find the 25-character reference number that is crucial to the Office install. Looking in vain all over the outer part of the packaging, I eventually found it on a sticker on the rear of the inner portion of the packaging—not obvious at all.

Overall, a dreadful experience that has sullied the product itself.

* My Apple experience has been limited to iPods, but I understand the same to be true of the wider Apple range.


4 Responses to “Microsoft Packaging 2007”

  1. art vandelay on December 30th, 2007 02:10

    ‘sucks big time’? Ugh.

  2. curious on December 31st, 2007 18:58

    Apple are noticeably getting more and more sensitive to recycling and minimising waste, this year’s Leopard package was very sleek and minimal compared to Tiger.

    So what’s the verdice on Office, was it worth the price for the new features, or just another bloating of the ware for features that don’t really matter?

  3. Dan on January 7th, 2008 06:35

    Office isn’t for me; it’s for my wife. First verdict is that in Word, it’s difficult to find what you want to do…

  4. Niknej on January 21st, 2008 03:36

    And i thought it was just me. Though ms kindly have me mind for beta testing one of their products when i had time to do there things. And once you get the hang of where everything is, it’s excellent.

Leave a Reply