In addition to the great Sprint phone I got last week, I was also recently offered a free Excel tool from a company named Intellitabs. Why have so many people switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox? Tabbed browsing. That’s the same feature Intellitabs brings to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
If you’re like me, you wind up opening multiple documents by 9AM. Even though I use Firefox all the time, I never stopped to think about how nice it would be to have a tabbed interface in Excel, for example. Now that I have Intellitabs for Excel installed I can see what I’ve been missing. Rather than dropping down to the taskbar and finding the right entry to click on, I just go to the top of the Excel window and quickly switch from one spreadsheet to the next. It’s one of those little UI tweaks that saves more time than you might think.
It’s a great tool and all, but I wouldn’t want to have to pay full price for it. According to the Intellitabs website, a single license for any of the three products (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) costs $79. A bundle of all three runs $299. Although they offer discounts on multiple licenses, the lowest per seat price is $55. I think that’s too much to pay for a simple add-on like this. Again, great tool, but I hope they reduce the price and expand their audience.
Claiming tabs is like a rifle with the sight just a little out of focus; i.e., it's a diversion from the true aim.
In reality, one of the biggest problems with IE implementions is standards conformation. "Yeah, we hear what you're saying, but instead of meeting all of the expected standards, we thought we'd toss a few extra things in for everyone else to ponder in the meantime.
Microsoft hears "tabbed" from the users but keeps a deaf ear to developers re: current standars; specificall, a good issue is CSS. Most recent versions of good, current, not IE browsers support CSS. Microsoft will "address" it in the future.
IE hasn't followed (they hate that word -- I think they might have t-shirts with the word "follow" with a red slash through it -- It's been a couple of years since I was turned loose on the campus and I didn't find any, but they might have introduced the shirts since that time. I wasn't going to ruin a full day of ten of us with Anders looking for a shirt I can create later) where was I?
Ok, IE hasn't ever followed, er, conformed to browser standsards. If someone wants to argue the case, I'll supply the browsers for them (http://browsers.evolt.org/). This site has something Netscape won't provide. I'll leave that exercise to readers but will fill in the answers if it appears too obscure. For the most part, the only way to ensure IE is mostly HTML conformant is to open it up and test it in NN. This is because IE tries to "help" you by "fixing" things; e.g., if there's a problem with tables, whether it be or , it'll guess what should be there and correct it.
It's also part of a good interview question: If web content displays fine in IE but doesn't display [at all] in NN|Firefox|etc., what's the problem (and why)? The not-IE browsers detect HTML errors and don't display them on the screen, but you can see the source when you perform View|Source whereas IE will do its best to fix it.
When coding and CSS is involved, it's currently a matter of CSS where possible, exceptions for IE; i.e. you have to write exceptions for the [substantial] majority of the market.
Posted by: Anders Tomilsson | April 10, 2006 at 01:08 PM
Yep, a nice little piece of software. Have bought the bundle at $99.00 some days ago. So they've reduced the price quite radically.
But what I totally dislike about it is the religious 'propaganda' that you get shipped with it by the way. Once you've finalised the activation process a cryptic number code in a pop-up window is greeting you with "Allahu Akbar" the muslim prayer word for "God is the Greatest".
To me this is lacking the religious sensibility that is so much needed in these days. I hope very much that the company is reviewing their policy in this field and will take appropiate steps to keep religion out of software business. Unless this happens I won't buy a single piece of software from them again.
Posted by: ralfd | April 14, 2006 at 03:25 AM
OK, have cleared that issue with Intellitabs technical support. They've explained that it was an internal testing routine not to be seen by end users. Obviously an oversight from the developers during quality control. Hopefully they will do their job a bit more accurate in the future!
Posted by: ralfd | April 14, 2006 at 05:08 AM
First I disagree with the price, that's not what the purchase page says : Excel's addin is 29$ USD for the pro version, and the bundle is 49$ USD.
Then, in regards to pricing in general, the product price is not just the bits, it usually covers bug fixes, technical support, improvement (stability, perfs), as well as new features.
If you think you are paying too much, it's because some company out there that shall not be named is making so much money with their two cash cows that they can give away any other product for free, seeding the market, and killing competitors that can't possibly align to it (including the perception of free products from customers, especially corporate guys). How good does this do to ISVs out there, well I'll let you decide.
Posted by: Stephane Rodriguez | April 14, 2006 at 06:20 AM