Home Forums SharewareOnSale Deals Discussion Ability Office 7 / Dec 30 2018

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 32 total)
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  • #12822358 Reply | Quote
    Stephen Bennett

    [@Chris] I’ve now installed on a second machine, also without any difficulty or problem whatsoever, doing nothing at all differently than that which was done with the first machine. Thank you kindly. I’m, though, thinking that I may actually be in violation of licensing by installing on a second machine. If so, indicate same and I’ll most certainly be forward to immediately uninstall.

    #12822377 Reply | Quote
    Stephen Bennett

    [@Peter Blaise] I installed on two machines without any difficulty or problem whatsoever.

    #12822835 Reply | Quote
    Peter Blaise


    Category “I hate to hear a grown man cry” Department: you wrote “… The complexity of Windows privileges, mixed with the vagueries of system services and controls being enabled or disabled, seems to be an ever moving target. A quick search on Google will show examples of problems experienced by many software vendors using Microsoft Installer technology … Unfortunately, you may find the same MS Installer issues on your PC will affect v8 installation too …”

    ( a ) Stop complaining in public about the environment in which you voluntarily work, and into which you voluntarily release your programs.

    ( b ) It’s not an MSI problem. The direct web link fails. But a step-by-step approach works, where we manually go the the download page first, then we manually select the exact same filename from the failed link in the failed setup program. The problem is at your end, not ours.

    Category “I’m shocked, SHOCKED that others give away current programs” Department: you wrote “… We offer our software here for free in support of SOS. As a commercial business we only do that once we are focusing on a newer version. I am surprised you expect us to be giving away the current version of our commercial software …”

    … and you wrote all that as if you have actually never visited SOS before and seen the dozen, DOZENS of current programs offered free by other vendors, not old versions, current versions.

    Lemme explain Goodwill Marketing 101 to you …

    SOS, GOTD, Giveaway-Club, Bits du Jour, et alia, are places where vendors engage a wide range of users, and exchange value-for-value, where for the zero cost of giving away a license to a current program, the vendor gets feedback, exposure, expanded users, the chance to knock a competitor out from under some user’s fingertips, familiarity, and, given positive engagement, loyalty.

    Try it, you’ll like it.

    Category “Marketing 101” Department: all those goodwill advantages are whittled away to negativity by ( in no particular order ):

    — expiring term licenses

    — inordinately complex registration

    — failure to download, install, and or launch

    — cannot be migrated to a new computer, inability to reinstall later

    — the vendor not participating in the discussion, helpfully

    — unresolved program misbehavior, though you can actually earn extra value by fixing something that breaks during our giveaway trials ( instead of complaining that it’s too hard )

    — damage to user data and or the user’s operating system

    — real malware infection, installation of unwanted and unexpected side programs

    — program incessantly phoning home

    — programs that auto update out of the free version

    — ancient programs that have not been updated in years, even if they are current

    — non-competitive and or ineffective programs

    — uncompetitively expensive programs ( yeah, we get them free, but we know when the asking price is outlandish )

    — immature unsophisticated user interfaces that cannot be resized, cannot be reskinned for clarity, fonts are not resizable with system or program controls, text messages cannot be copied as text, programs that do not offer standard Create / Save / Edit / Print control menus

    — NRFPTY ( Nerf Putty ) programs that are Not Ready For Prime Time Yet ( we are not Alpha Beta testers )

    — discontinued programs from which the vendor has moved on

    — other users here have additional observations, read the page histories here at SOS, they are a shockingly deep and rich training ground for any programmer wanting to market their offering and wanting to avoid predictable snags.

    Tick items on that list, and you tick off folks who tick you off their list in return — your choice.

    Category “Moral of the Story” Department: instead, we could have been enjoying and discussing your program’s features and benefits.

    #12822889 Reply | Quote
    Peter Blaise

    Yes, [@Stephen Bennett], I just tried again and the servers at Ability suddenly magically fixed themselves, I wonder what provoked that?



    PS — I said I dont review discontinued programs, but I’ll just say this: I tried a search-and-replace and it locked up requiring termination through task manager, twice, losing the as-typed document on screen, no recovery information … if this is fixed in v8, then why offer v7 … just to aggravate us?

    It’s a lot of work to compete with Microsoft head on, even Microsoft refuses to do it, having bought Word from a non-Microsoft programmer, and then marketing it to a fare thee well via monopoly practices to defeat WordPerfect’s worthy dominance.

    Ability’s inabilities are no surprise to me, I wish them great good luck, but word processing is an overflowing field with fully functional offerings from many other companies, and unless one is going to distinguish themselves with something unique, then one is doomed to be an also-ran … if their program runs at all, which Ability is unable to do for me.

    #12824453 Reply | Quote

    Thanks, Ashraf!
    And thanks, Chris (from Ability)!
    And thanks, Peter Blaise, for your always helpful critical comments. I hope your points will be well taken by the people at Ability. In this particular instance I must add that there’s a bit of neglect/laziness on the part of whoever is responsible for the text that accompanied the downloader this time. While the title was Ability 7, the entire text from beginning to end described and referred only to Ability 6. Lack of attention to this detail undermines one’s confidence in the programmers/marketers and, consequently, in the program. Heads up at Ability!

    #12824966 Reply | Quote

    I like the speed on this, it’s very fast to open and use

    #12825086 Reply | Quote

    [@david] Hi David,

    I’ll leave Ashraf to answer that one :-)



    #12825808 Reply | Quote
    Peter Blaise

    You’re welcome, [@david] and fellow SOS participants.

    Check out Ability’s pages at Wikipedia to gain some perspective — it’s an old name from the early PC years that has been bought and sold and re-marketed and passed from hand to hand for discontinuous development and eventual mimicking of Microsoft Office, and is now English-sold ( here ) Bulgarian software:

    “… Ability Plus for DOS in the early 1980s by (1984) Ashok Patel, Tracey Allen, Andrew Forber, Richard B. McMurray, Tom Keith, Mike Gore, Drew Sullivan, Tom Dressing, David (Collier-) Brown, Karen Banks, (1986) Michael Smith, Rita Khan, Pete Sketch, (1991) Phil Roach, Mike King, Mike Young, J Raymond, Vassil Stoilov, George Georiev … Development ceased in 1995 with the last build made in November 1997 … succeeded by Ability Office on Windows … Xanaro Technologies, Toronto, Ontario, initially sought to market Ability in 1984. After a business reorganization at the request of the investors, the product was taken over by Migent Inc, Incline Village, Nevada, around 1984/85 and released as Ability v1.2 in 1985 … Ability Plus was released in 1987 by Migent … in Europe, Ability v1.2 and Ability Plus v1.0 were bundled with Amstrad personal computers. In 1987 Ability Plus won the Barclays Bank British Micro Computing Award … Migent Inc fell into financial difficulty (see Migent vs Ashton-Tate) and eventually reversed into LANware Inc, Markham, Canada in 1989. Migent (UK) Ltd, based in London, continued for a few more years, closing in 1991 … a new company was set up in the UK, Ability Plus Software (UK) Ltd, and it joined forces with LANware, with new funding, to develop and market a new version of Ability Plus v2.0 released in 1992 and then v3.0 in 1995 … Ability Plus Software acquired the source code for the Ability Plus package and with some of the ex-Migent staff and the help of LANware Inc, which had acquired sales and marketing rights in the US from Migent Inc, began a program of product development … in 1993 Ability Plus Software teamed-up with Great Bear, a US company with an office in Sofia, Bulgaria, to develop Ability Office for Windows in 1995 … Great Bear are now based wholly in Sofia and the partnership remains intact … A second version was released in 1998 called Ability Office 98. The framework was changed from Borland’s Object Windows Library to Microsoft Foundation Class Library and the database was re-written to use the Microsoft Jet Database Engine … Ability Office is C++, 32-bit and uses the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 compiler. In 2004, Ability Plus Software entered into a long term marketing and sales agreement with Ability Software International, part of the Formjet PLC Group. Ability Plus Software now manages the software development and Ability Software International handles all sales and marketing worldwide … In October 2006, Tesco launched a range of own-brand software that included Tesco Complete Office, a Tesco branded version of Ability Office. Corel (Home) Office, Corel Home Suite are based on Ability Office 5 …” — Thanks for perspective, Wikipedia folks.

    Follow all that?

    Ability Office is yet another Microsoft Office clone that even WordPerfect’s current owner / developer bought into a bit, but it’s a disparate group of groups of separate programmers and separate marketers, who’s goal, I think, is “value” in being cheaper than Microsoft Office for a claim of many similar features, who’s offering of v7 here at SOS I don’t think we can even buy, considering that it’s been replaced by v8, $40 … or $45 with database and, get this, Adobe Photoshop compatible photo and graphics editor.

    We’ve come this far in not discussing Ability Office without any mention of a $45 Adobe Photoshop compatible photo and graphics editor in Ability Office Professional!!!

    “… A feature-rich photo and image editor that will instantly feel familiar, both in interface and functionality, to users of Adobe Photoshop. Its fundamental components include paint tools, colour palettes, brushes, selections, special effects filters and layers, delivering you the ability to create the exact graphical effects and edits required. Compatible with both Adobe Photoshop psd and all other mainstream graphics file formats …”

    THAT’S news.

    THAT should have been the offering here, because THAT differentiates Ability from all other Microsoft Office clones.

    And considering that adding the database and photoshop-clone are only $5 more than the office suite, then they have a market value of ~$2.50 each, and that, also is news.

    A $2.50-value lifetime license to an Adobe-Photoshop-clone.



    Does the Ability marketing department know about this?

    Do I have to do all the work for them?!?



    #12826773 Reply | Quote

    Hi [@Peter Blaise],

    Thanks for all the time and effort you are putting into this promotion. A few comments;

    I am fairly sure nobody has been working on our servers or our installers over New Year’s Eve, so nothing changed on our side to make your install magically work.

    Thanks for the feedback on ‘Find & Replace’. I just checked in v8, almost expecting the problem to still exist, but it seems fine on my PC.

    With any such bug report it helps us if it can be submitted using the ‘Online Support’ option from the Tools tab (assuming the issue isn’t failing to install in the first place).

    The Wiki page;

    “… it’s an old name from the early PC years” – that’s certainly true and a great old name too!

    “… that has been bought and sold and re-marketed and passed from hand to hand for discontinuous development and eventual mimicking of Microsoft Office, and is now English-sold ( here ) Bulgarian software.” – I can see how you could interpret the Wiki story in that way. However, having worked with the Ability product since 1987 it feels very different to me. ‘Company’ ownership may have changed over those 30 years but it’s development has been quite consistent. After the first few years, changes in development occurred only as required for different platforms. Windows development of the current ‘office suite’ system has been in Bulgaria since 1994, not at all ‘passed from hand to hand for discontinuous development’. And we really like our Bulgarian developers, having worked with them for almost 25 years, so we don’t view ‘Bulgarian software’ as any kind of negative label.

    All SOS users are entitled to ‘Upgrade’ to v8 at half price; $19.99 for Standard, or $22.49 for Professional. Just visit the website ‘Upgrades’ page. The ‘full retail’ license permits use on multiple PCs – 2 for commercial purposes and up to 10 for non-commercial use by the owner’s family. Both v7 and v8 are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish and Italian.

    All the best,


    #12833871 Reply | Quote

    Absolute waste of time. Installed (they do not give you the installation file, only a downloader, so you can’t keep the setup file), installed (takes ages), activated, but on each of the 3 modules when clicked on the desktop icon, the app crashes without launching. Reinstalled, ie. “repaired”, same issue. Cannot judge if it is good because it never launched, only crashes. Lousy, total waste of time. Win 7

    #12835101 Reply | Quote

    [@Sky] I’m sorry for your wasted time.

    When installation works normally it would not usually be described as taking ages. Did you see any error messages during download or installation, or other indication things were not working as expected? It is very unusual for the installation to finish, complete with icons on the desktop, only for the applications not to run.

    When you tried to run the individual applications from the desktop icons did any screens appear, or any error messages, or did nothing happen at all?

    Downloads vs Local Backup;

    The installers available for download from our website will be the latest releases. As soon as an installer is retained as a ‘backup’ it potentially goes out of date. All users are able to come back to the website to download updates for their existing version as many times as they need free of charge.

    #12835578 Reply | Quote
    Ultima Thule

    I’ve seen too much of Peter Blaise all over the ‘Net. He used to be of some (maybe) help. Sadly not much of not much help anymore. Have become watchful of his posts nowadays. Unfortunately. Thought he was just geeky, or what… A few people grow old faster–and that we have to respect. That happens, for some reasons… and why.

    #12861009 Reply | Quote


    I purchased the version 6 of the Pro edition. I noticed there is a counter on the activation, so I do not want to re-install it if I don’t need to, and I don’t want anything else to mess it up. Mainly, I do not want to destroy my current Version 6 installation in order to test the Version 7 standard features. If I install Ability Office Version 7 Std, will it uninstall version 6, or is it even necessary to uninstall 6 to try version 7?

    #12861260 Reply | Quote

    Hi [@Robert]

    The different versions are essentially quite separate. You can install v7 without uninstalling v6.

    However, uninstall/reinstall is not the same as activation. You can uninstall and reinstall without being penalised by losing an activation. So if you decide not to stick with v7 and want to go back to v6 you can always reinstall v6 if anything is left in a changed state.

    #12901283 Reply | Quote

    Installed, but wont launch. Waste of time. Reinstalled, repaired, same thing. Win 7/64.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 32 total)
Reply To: Reply #12825086 in Ability Office 7 / Dec 30 2018