Microsoft's horrible "Office Online Gift Guide"

Happy holidays from the friendly folks at Microsoft! Why not warm your friend's heart by giving them something from the Microsoft "Office Online Gift Guide 2007." I promise you they won't forget it.

* Traditional calendars for Excel, $7.50

* Time planning and reporting from inside Outlook, $35

* MyFax Internet faxing, 30% off

* 6 must-have tools Excel pros use, $49

* Create and convert PDF forms in Word, $14.50

* Make Flash presentations in PowerPoint

* Buy one get one free: Three dozen Outlook add-ins

* Professional backgrounds for PowerPoint for only $199

* Create and manage projects more effectively with Project Mentor Lite, $29

* Build lists of leads from any Internet source

* Automate your company's document creation, $24

* Make flowcharts a breeze, $19.95

* Import data from Access into Excel easily and quickly

* Gladstone’s Report Wizard for Microsoft Access, $42.50



  1. “Professional” backgrounds for PowerPoint at $199!!!! Are they serious?

    A. Shouldn’t they have thought of that when they were creating PowerPoint in the first place?

    2. Does that mean the included backrounds are “unprofessional”?

    C. $199??? That’s more than the upgrade price for their operating system?


  2. The title of this article should have been:

    “Great Gift Ideas for Your Ex”

    or better yet

    “Great Gift Ideas for Your Ex’s Attorney”


  3. if anyone knows of a freeware alternative for the “make powerpoint into flash” utility, please post it. I’m a tad leary of purchasing it when they can’t spell the name of the software correctly – this is quoted directly from the download/purchase site for it:

    ‘This holiday, gift authorPOINT at the best discount ever.

    Perfect holiday gift – $299 $49 only

    or Try auothorPOINT’

    Oooh – I can’t wait to purchase AUOTHORPOINT! It’ll go great with my SORNY speakers and my POWOOWORPOINT program.

  4. No goatse, but I WAS struck by the very christian-looking imagery in that picture. White robe, hands folded as if in offering or supplication, the red ribbon forms a cross…
    Dunno what the intent could be, but it’s kind of hard to ignore once you look at it that way.

  5. At first, I looked at this list from the geek perspective. “Oh, look, PDF995 does PDF from documents for free on a PC… if you don’t have a Mac.”

    Then I looked at the list again. You have a sad, sad job if you need “professional backgrounds for PowerPoint or a “must-have” tool for Excel that “pros” use…

  6. There are a lot of things on here I wouldn’t consider purchasing, but I have to admit I like the discount on PhotoStamps. I would have bought them anyway, but it’s nice to get a discount.

  7. Oh Hey! Let’s not be too hard on #6 – Mr Sputnik there. When he came on this post and saw the samll image i too thought “goatse? that’s sooo microsoft!” So I changed my mind when I clicked on the link – though I don’t see the christian imagery either.


  8. The idea of giving these as gifts is laughable… but then I thought about the content:

    “Create and convert PDF forms in Word”

    The key word for me here is “forms.” Creating PDF’s is easy, creating fill-in PDF forms is not. Pdf995 doesn’t seem to support forms, and I know GhostScript isn’t the easiest thing in the world to make forms with. Acrobat Standard doesn’t support forms that allow saving of form data – you need Pro or 3D for that, $449 or $995 respectively. Now I need to research free alternatives, but $14.95 isn’t bad at all if it lets you save the form data!

    Err… not that any of the preceding means it would make a good gift. It wouldn’t.

  9. lets you take slideshows (in the ISO-standard ODF format, or from Microsoft’s PowerPoint format) and export them to Flash. This feature has been there since version 2.0, I believe (about 2 years old or so).

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