Microsoft Office 2011 has been available for a few weeks and reviews have been positive so far. Many of the early users, including me, noticed the significant speed increase in the new version. Microsoft on Tuesday gave some insight into how they achieved this.
[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]Posting to the company blog, Erik Schwiebert, Senior Development Lead at the Microsoft MacBU, said that speed is the perception of how fast software reacts to user input. He said Microsoft measures performance relative to human expectations.
“With Office for Mac 2011, we had a team-wide effort dedicated to improving the raw and perceived performance of the suite,” wrote Schwiebert. “We started off defining what we called ‘KPIs’ or Key Performance Indicators. These were a series of procedures such as boot time, Excel recalc time, Word page rendering, Outlook message syncing, where our raw performance and visual cues were mismatched – the operations took longer to complete than the cues successfully communicated and so users had the perception that Office was slow.
Schwiebert explains what the company did to improve the code in Office 2011 to make the entire suite of applications as fast as possible.