Office 2010 – First Impressions

3 12 2009

Office 2010 public beta now available

The Microsoft Office 2010 public beta is now available for anyone to download and try for free. The Beta is valid until October 31st 2010, so if you need a copy of office for a new computer this Christmas, don’t buy office 2007, use the 2010 beta until it is finally released (whenever). The beta is full feature and is not crippleware. Thank you Microsoft!!

I’ve had a quick tour of the new office suite and here are a couple of my initial ‘drive by’.

Ribbon, Ribbon, Ribbon

Minimize Ribbon, new function

Office 2007 introduced the ribbon interface. Microsoft applied this to the core office products only, products like Project, Visio etc did not get the facelift. With 2010 all office applications now sport a revised version of the ribbon.

One really nice feature is a button to minimize the ribbon to give one more screen real estate. The reality is that the ability to minimize the ribbon was available in Office 2007 as well, but via Ctrl-F1 keyboard shortcut or via an option on the quick access toolbar. Microsoft must have realized that most users were unaware of this (me included).

The Orb is gone and File is back!

Office 2007 'Orb'

Office 2010 File menu drop down

I imagine there are a lot of people who will applaud this, not having a file menu drop down just makes folks uneasy. Interesting what bugs us :-)

I noticed the color of the File menu option is the same as the programs desktop icon, so in word its Blue, PowerPoint its orange etc. Not sure why it had to be colored, but it is.

Excel Limits

With several versions of Excel, Microsoft have increased the number of rows and columns it will support. Have they increased in 2010? The answer is yes and no. Excel itself works similar to 2007 but a new feature (PowerPivot)  allows Excel to draw its data directly from a SQL database so how does 100 million rows sound?

Lots of new features?

Doing a quick drive by of the basic office apps, Word, Excel, Powerpoint I didn’t notice a bunch of new features, however when I looked at Visio 2010 I was able to do all sorts of things with Visio I haven’t been able to before. My suspicion is that the feature set is similar, the ribbon interface has exposed me to so many more features I was blissfully unaware of. I ended up with a really sharp looking diagram versus what I could have done with Visio 2003.

File Format Compatibility

So far so good in opening 2010 documents with 2007 and 2003 products. Visio 2003 can open 2010 files just fine. 2007 can open excel and word documents just fine. Word Excel and Powerpoint still defaults to docx, xlsx, pptx file formats as with 2007.

Speed of execution

I have tested Office 2010 directly on a desktop PC and also on a virtual machine running Windows 7 (on top of XP). Even on the virtual machine office programs open comparatively quickly, Microsoft must have done some work here to improve the time it takes to open an application.

SharePoint Workspace basic functions

One component that was slow to execute was the SharePoint Workspace component. I was pleased to see in the SharePoint Workspace was a ‘google gears’ type function so that one can work with SharePoint resources while disconnected from the server using a local copy and sync up later.

Summary

I didn’t spend very long looking at the new Office suite, but my first impressions are that it the suite performs better, has a more consistent look and feel and has a few new features. Worth the money to upgrade from 2007 when it comes out, maybe. Worth putting off the purchase of office until 2010 comes out, definitely!!

Advertisements

Actions

Information

2 responses

4 12 2009
Mike M

Does Office 2010 have the horsepower to relegate Office 2007 to the junk pile for those contemplating an upgrade from Office 2003?

4 12 2009
jpwhitehome

With a tentative release date of June 2010 for Office 2010, it would seem to make sense to skip over 2007 and shoot straight for 2010. Why upgrade to something that is about to become obsolete? Unless schedule or a specific feature indicates an imminent upgrade I’d wait a wee while longer. Individuals can decide to take the risk of using the Beta, but that would not be prudent for a corporation to do (except as a pilot).

In early tests I see Excel 2010 reducing memory usage by about 60% opening identical spreadsheets over Excel 2007. Another reason to wait, older hardware will tolerate 2010 better than 2007.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: