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How Much Office Do You Want?

With Microsoft Office 2010 due to ship in the middle of this year, now may be a good time to take a look at how you use Office applications and whether it makes sense to plan for an upgrade. There's certainly a lot of interest in Office 2010; Microsoft says the beta is generating 40,000 downloads per day earlier this month.
With Microsoft Office 2010 due to ship in the middle of this year, now may be a good time to take a look at how you use Office applications and whether it makes sense to plan for an upgrade. There's certainly a lot of interest in Office 2010; Microsoft says the beta is generating 40,000 downloads per day earlier this month.Microsoft Office seems to be one of those software applications where many users and businesses are not concerned about being one or two versions back. Office 2007 made a lot of major user interface changes, and that gave many businesses a reason to wait because of the possible training issues. The default document formats changed as well, which is always painful. Yes, there is a converter that Office 2003 users can download and install if they want to read and write Office 2007 document formats. In a mixed environment of Office 2003 and 2007. this invariably means that Office 2007 format spreads like a virus and becomes the default.

Frankly, some parts of Office 2007 got a lot slower as well. I used Outlook 2003 for email until last month, but decided to "upgrade" to Outlook 2007 along with my new Windows 7 setup. Its performance is horrible, and this is on a brand new dual-core system with 4GB of RAM and a solid state disk drive. While synchronizing mail accounts, Outlook 2007 will sometimes hang for several seconds at a time, and even Windows 7 will declare the morbid mailer to be "not responding". A Google search confirms that many people have been disappointed with the sluggish performance of Outlook 2007.

So let's assume that Microsoft pulls a "Windows 7" on Office, so that Office 2010 addresses these kind of performance issues and runs well on recent hardware. Are there features in this new release that you and your company want enough to do the upgrade this year? Or are you happy with the features you have in Office 2003 or 2007?

Editor's Choice
Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer