REVIEW SUMMARY - If my review was tl:dr for you, this will give you a quick summary
Office 2007 is pretty perfect for my needs, its simple to use with the ribbon interface,
has all the excellent programs a home/student user would need and is quite cheap these days.
Office 2010 is a very minor upgrade, everything remains in the same place mostly, there are
minor additions to the programs such as in Word, you have more picture options, and in Excel
can make graphs inside cells. But for the price, it is not really a worthwhile upgrade if you
are working well with Office 2007. My advice would be to avoid this until an inevitable price drop.
STARTUP & APPEARANCE
Office 2010 does start up a bit quicker, but only by a second if that. That being said,
on a powerful PC it is nice to see your blank document open up almost immediatley. For the
majority though, the difference will be non-existent, or will not amount to anything useful.
Appearance is almost identical to Office 2007. Classic ribbon interface above. However, the
Office 'Orb' button has been replaced with the old File menu. This now provides a list to your
left with all the common tasks of opening, saving, sending, printing, and recent documents. On
the right handside is the detailed options of the menu selection, on the Print section for example
you now have a nice preview without needing to open up print preview, all the printer options now
have nice big icons, everything seems a tad more user friendly.
You can also customise the Office program colours to blue, silver and black. It's a nice touch i think
as i can now blend the Office suite into my dark Windows theme. Nothing major, but im easily pleased!
- Ribbon interface is now in all Office programs including Outlook & One Note
- You can now fully customise the ribbon to add your own buttons and tabs
- More user friendly file menu with left navigation pane has replaced 'Office button'
- In Word 2010 you can now easily make screenshots with a few clicks using the ribbon
- Office 2010 has more artistic effects and styles to use on your photos (e.g colour correction)
- Videos can now be edited within PowerPoint, very simple editor but works well, includes effects too
- Outlook now has an ignore button which gets rid of conversations you don't want (both
current and future messages relating to that thread)
- Easier control options over conversations in Outlook using right click menu
- Using the custom ribbon interface you can add common tasks you do in Outlook
- New Smart Art designs
- Excel sparklines and slicers. Sparklines are tiny charts that fit into cells. Slicers are objects
you can use to filter data in pivot tables
- Existing documents opened up for the first time use Protected Mode. There is no ribbon available,
and you cannot edit them. Click enable editing to turn to the usual mode. Nice safety feature.
- Simulatenous editing. Now 2 people can edit the same document at the same time. Great for collaboration.
Not a great deal, but some genuinely handy features in some applications.
I would see if you really could make some use out of them before thinking of buying.
To try and compete with the monster that is Google, Microsoft are now offering Web versions of
its Office programs with each desktop version you buy. These are like Google Docs, but are the familar
Office programs you have come to love. They simply open in your web browser, and allow you to share your
work with others online. Good for people who travel a lot, and the Microsoft SkyDrive (online storage space)
should come in handy. There a few things to consider though:
1. Only available for Word, Excel, PowerPoint (and OneNote, but this will be at a later date)
2. Only compatible with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari (no Chrome, wonder why)
As above, it's a bit too expensive right now. For what you are getting, which is a very minor upgrade
i don't think it is worth it. However, a price drop is almost inevtiable. And when it happens, i think
Office 2010 would be a nice upgrade.
I know i am happy with Office 2007, it does everything i need it to do. 2010 was nothing special,
some of the features did seem useful but i can live without them. I think for the majority of people,
Office 2007 will more than suffice for a few more years, or until 2010 comes down in price.
For those of you who use the suite day in and day out, most of the day, then this could be worth looking
at definitley. The small upgrades and few new features won't seem like much initially, but after a while
you will start to like them. Again, that's only if using something like Word is your day job.