RE: Bill Gates mentions Linux

Dan Kohn (
Wed, 11 Mar 1998 07:52:47 -0800

I have more knowledge of PowerPoint than I would wish on anyone, and
you're wrong on the PPT97 file formats. (BTW, I'm the annoying guy who
uses all of those extraneous features, like B&W mode and my personal
favorite, Format: Background: click the pop-up box: Fill Effects:
Picture tab: Select Picture.)

Our standard Teledesic presentation is about 4 MB in PPT97 for 100 very
graphical slides. It's the same size saved into PowerPoint 4.0 format
(the Win3.1 version). In PowerPoint 95, by contrast, it's 30 MB! I
figure that in the rush to ship Office 95 at the same tie as Win95, they
couldn't get built-in file compression working and gave up at the last
minute. Then, they added it back into 97.

Besides the fact that the PPT95 format needed to be out of its misery,
PPT97 is a major enhancement. The most important improvement is drawing
tools. PPT97 can finally draw bezier curves (including functions like
Edit Points), and has some other really impressive AutoDraw and
flow-chart creation tools. I think 90% of what you people use Visio and
Freehand for, they can now do with PowerPoint. (Actually, with
Microsoft Draw, whose identical tools are available to PowerPoint, Word,
& Excel).

Our Mac-centric designers, for instance, had always hated PowerPoint in
the past, and now prefer to do new drawings directly in PowerPoint
rather than import them from Freehand. I believe the file rev was
necessary to incorporate the enhanced drawing information.

- dan

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lloyd Wood
> Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 1998 3:27 AM
> To: Dan Kohn
> Cc:
> Subject: RE: Bill Gates mentions Linux
> On Tue, 10 Mar 1998, Dan Kohn wrote:
> > Microsoft's file change strategy, especially their Office 97 file
> > changes, has been crazy and annoying.
> Yup.
> > But they do the file changes only when needed to support new
> > functionality.
> Like macro viruses? Nice line, but I'm not falling for it. Take a
> _good_ look at versions of Powerpoint; same functionality (none
> whatsoever!) in all of them.
> A comparison of 'normal' and 'fast save' documents in Word shows you
> two different formats with wild variations; converters have more
> trouble with fast save. Fast save is pretty pointless these days, but
> it's still on by default last I looked.
> > (Note that file formats
> > didn't change with Office 95, which included almost no new features
> > other than 32-bit compatibility.) And, they always come out with
> > converters to let old versions read new files.
> ...after the user population has complained vociferously and they
> realise that not having a converter is delaying mass corporate
> upgrades as the deployers realise that reading the data is important.
> And this excludes Powerpoint, of course.
> Powerpoint transparently rewriting old files in the new format when
> you open them is particularly irritating.
> L.
> >
> <
> 11
> > 111> If you're using Word 5.1 or 6.0 for the Macintosh and need to
> work
> > with documents created in Word 97, download and install this new
> free
> > converter. With it, you can easily share your works with Windows
> users.
> > Other converters are at
> > <>.
> <>PGP<>+44-1483-30080
> 0x3641