Inbox: Why is Westminster lost for Words?

"Why are they worried about being able to open documents? They'll only lose them or leave them in the back of a taxi"

"Why are they worried about being able to open documents? They'll only lose them or leave them in the back of a taxi"

The weekly Inbox column collects the best and most thought-provoking of the reader comments silicon.com receives each week.

Westminster's failure to get to grips with Microsoft Word divided silicon.com readers last week, with some shaking their heads at Microsoft and the rest despairing at the lack of IT skills of our political elite. Other things that attracted some attention were a comment piece regarding Chrome vs Firefox, and - yet again - ID cards are on readers' hit-lists.

Don't forget to post your own response to any of these stories or comments as a reader comment below.


Westminster can't understand Microsoft Word
Microsoft is working with Westminster tech chiefs after politicians and peers complained of being unable to open the latest Word documents.

Get some lessons
It's about time for these people to learn to use their computers properly, and stop throwing my money away in the direction of Redmond.

For instance, I spent about 10 minutes teaching my son the basics of using LaTeX to do a school homework assignment a couple of nights ago. He was thoroughly confused at first, then upon seeing the PDF it produces, he remarked "Hey that's cool". I think he's become a convert.
David Fletcher, UK

Microsoft wary
This should make Westminster wary of anything that has Microsoft underneath.
Lionel A Smith, Fareham

Err compatibility pack?
I'm surprised that it's taken nearly two years since the release of Microsoft Office 2007 for Westminster to realise that at some time, they will need to roll out the Office compatibility pack.

If Westminster decide to roll out Office 2007 instead of just the compatibility pack, I can see the secretaries and not just the back-benchers revolting!
Daz Hughes, London

"Give them all notepads and pencils"
I don't know why they're worried about being able to open Word documents, they'll only lose them or leave them in the back of a taxi! Give them all notepads and pencils, they should be able to manage that!
Matt H, Staffs

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From Firefox to Chrome: Why I made the switch
I switched from Mozilla Firefox to Google Chrome as my default browser for the very reason Google's executives said we should: speed.

More about Microsoft
Only thing I notice better on Firefox from an end user perspective is tab browsing and the downloads management.

Well Firefox is old news and now Google, the major Microsoft challenger released something and you rushed to install it. You mentioned more things you didn't like about Chrome and you only liked the speed. I am not saying IE is better currently. Best browser for me is Opera and Firefox comes second although I always browse in IE.
Anonymous, London

Head in a sandbox
I too have been using Chrome more and more. I now only use Firefox when I need a particular plug-in.
Dik Allison, Notts

What about the Pipeline?
Well, Firefox is a tad slow to load, that I'll give you.

However, faster surfing? I dunno. I have Pipelining enabled on Firefox and it loads most web pages extremely quickly. A Google search will get you plenty of sites to tell you how to enable Pipelining in Firefox.

Also, I use Adblock and NoScript. I will never use a browser again without these two extensions, or something else with similar features. It's just bar none, the best way to surf the web.
Zac, USA

Blame it on Vista
I've switched to Chrome purely because my new HP PC has been struggling with web browsing. Chrome is easier to terminate as it treats each window as a separate entity in memory. It's also faster than Firefox and IE.
Matt H, Staffs

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ID cards: Rely on 'visual check' as biometrics unreadable
The first UK ID cards will be of limited use for full biometric ID checks on foreign workers, with the government yet to reveal a timetable for the deployment of scanners capable of reading the cards.

Numpties, numpties everywhere
What a joke, as much as I laugh I also hang my head in shame at our government.
Anonymous, Hampshire

How can the cost rise so much?
What a load of watered down rubbish.

In what instances will this database be accessed then?

How can the cost rise so much, yet what we actually get goes down and down and down, until we're paying an awful lot of money for a flash and go card!

It's a disgrace is what it is, and the people involved should be banned from ever being involved in such projects ever again.
Richard Davies, North Yorkshire

Musical cards
So I have two prospective employees I flick their ID cards and they have distinctive but different sounds which one is the real one and which one the forgery? Have the Home Office released an MP3 that I can play and check the sound against?
Guy Reynolds, Letchworth

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