I hated Office 2007 with a passion; the ribbon on the top completely rearranged my beloved 2003. It took me months to get used to it and I continued to have issues long after that. Finally, I managed to limp along with it.
Now Office 2010 has hit the market and wow! I am impressed. It still has the same general look of Office 2007 with the annoying ribbon, but they’ve restored the “file” menu, for one, and added a whole lot of useful new features.
For one, you can now add your favourite social networking sites right to Outlook! Aside from being able to see recent updates from the person, a picture pane is automatically populated with that person’s available likeness at the bottom of each email. Better yet, if you haven’t chatted to someone in a while, the same pane brings up a list of your entire email history so you can see just where you left off and everything you’ve recently emailed about. There are built in filters for received attachments, meetings, “RSS feeds about the person” and probably more I’ve yet to discover. It is an extremely useful addition.
The next thing I was impressed with right away is the simple addition of your schedule to meeting requests. Instead of having to remember or verify your availability for a scheduled time slot, your entire day’s schedule is listed right in a meeting request. It makes the decision on time allocation instant and painless.
I’ve been focused on Outlook because I spend most of my day there, but one of the most impressive new features for Word is the ability to have more than one person working in the same document at the same time. That’s right, no more “Read only” copies. Microsoft has plugged Word into SharePoint (you must have SharePoint 2010 Foundation for this to work) and now lets you collaborate on documents in real time! Suzy can be working on the report summary while John fine tunes his financial section – all at the same time. Users will be periodically updated with the newest information and only the paragraph being edited is locked by the user.
There are literally dozens of improvements, overall, but I’m not sure how many of them will be useful to the average user. Here’s a few more quick highlights:
- Autosave: multiple file versions are saved as you’re working – no more costly mistakes
- PowerPoint: you can now broadcast your presentations, like a webcast, right from your PP
- PowerPoint: put video into your presentations or record your voice and show them like a video
- Outlook: when viewing 5 or more persons’ calendars, you’re treated to a new schedule view
- Excel: 64-bit versions of office can work with huge 2GB+ files
- Excel: data filters are implemented in charts to make charting a lot easier
- Word: WordArt and SmartArt have a slick facelift and more options
- Word: cutting and pasting across applications offers superior formatting options
- Many more beyond my skill level…
There’s really too much in Office 2010 for me to comment on in any real depth, but for the average user, I think that Office 2010 is worth the upgrade. There are enough day-to-day improvements in functionality that give the newest version a great advantage over its predecessor.
It’s even priced more reasonably now. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain to a customer that their Office OEM product isn’t a transferrable license to their new PC – that they have to buy a whole new version of Office. Well, Microsoft must’ve listened to someone because you can buy the fully licensed, packaged product of Office 2010 Home & Business for around the same price you used to pay for the OEM version. It even includes an extra license per user. For example, if you install Office 2010 on your work PC you’re also legally entitled to install it on another PC (assuming it’s for use by the same user). I would suspect that taking a copy home isn’t out of the question.
Overall, Office 2010 has fit in and been accepted without any kicking or screaming from our staff – and I hear “Oh, that’s cool!” all the time. Thumbs up!
office 2010, productivity suite, review