The New Office 2010 Beta: Is Microsoft Winning The Last War? - InformationWeek
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11/18/2009
09:35 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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The New Office 2010 Beta: Is Microsoft Winning The Last War?

For most modern businesses, Microsoft Office is the standard for productivity applications. So the arrival of Microsoft 2010 -- now going into beta for release next year -- is big news. But after a couple weeks of working with the new release it seems that Microsoft has done a great job -- of winning the last war.

For most modern businesses, Microsoft Office is the standard for productivity applications. So the arrival of Microsoft 2010 -- now going into beta for release next year -- is big news. But after a couple weeks of working with the new release it seems that Microsoft has done a great job -- of winning the last war.Don't Miss: Slideshow: 12+ New Microsoft Office 2010 Features

Over at bMighty.com, I've put together a slide show of the top 12+ new features and enhancements in Office 2010. But the real question isn't which feature in the new Office suite will matter the most to your company. It's whether or not any of them will matter at all.

Even as I was impressed with a number of individual features -- from editing videos and broadcasting presentations in PowerPoint to enhanced charting in Excel and a slick Navigation Pane in Word -- I couldn't shake the feeling that Microsoft is building the world's best battleship -- at the dawn of the age of the aircraft carrier.

That is, even as it makes Office 2010 by the far the most robust office suite on the market -- and begins to experiment with online features and sharing -- is that really what matters any more? Can any of these features be compelling enough to keep companies spending on a high-end office suite for all their employees? Or do modern, forward-thinking companies just want something good enough, cheap enough, and compatible enough to do the jobs they need?

Sure, some people will always need the best possible productivity apps. Some people really do spend lots of time working on creating high-end documents and spreadsheets and presentations, where the details matter and saving a little time here and there adds up to big productivity improvements.

But many others will be more than satisfied with something good enough, cheap enough, and compatible enough to do the jobs they need.

Sure, Microsoft is attempting to address that notion by adding Office 2010 Web Apps to the package. But so far, at least, I found those Web apps the most disappointing part of Office 2010.

Ironically, though, they don't look so bad compared to other online office suites like Google Apps, OpenOffice.org and Zoho. But they really suffer next to the desktop versions of Office 2010.

Don't Miss: Slideshow: 12+ New Microsoft Office 2010 Features

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