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on 10 June 2007
Its easy to hate everything Microsoft (I too hate crossing Bill's palm with Amex as much as the next person) and its also true that Open Office 2 is a supberb piece of software - particularly given as its free. In fact I have been using Open Office exclusively - until now.

There's one thing that gives Office 2007 the edge over Open Office and that's the new ribbon interface. It really is brilliant and it really does increase productivity. Afterall, if it wasn't for the ribbon it would be just another office suite and I would stick with Open Office.

It seems though, that Microsoft really have sat with end users and really have taken notice of how people use their software and I think that the new user interface is a huge step forward in software interaction.

As a home user as well I don't think the £85ish that Amazon is asking for 3 licenses is particularly expensive. About £27.50 each which if you think back to the cost of the full proper office suite a couple of years ago is pretty good value.

Just bear in mind that the standard Home & Student pack doesn't come with Outlook which I suppose most home users won't miss (although I can't live without it so bought it separately from MS for £40 odd) but it does come with OneNote which is proving useful.

All in all if you're not sure whether you're ready for the jump to Office 07 then download the 60 trial version from Micrsoft's website. Just be warned if you do you may find yourself reaching for your credit card - I did!! (and a word of warning, its much cheaper to by the software from Amazon than to acitivate your demo version via Microsoft).
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 October 2008
I got a trial version of this (Fully working) and installed on my daughters computer, and my daughter went mad. They use 2003 at school and when she did her work at home to take into school it wouldn't work. Now you can use 2003 projects in 2007 version and the other way round, you can save your 2007 projects as 2003 projects, but somehow the School version would not open her projects correctly.

Some of the features were a lot nicer in the 2007 version and my daughter did get used to it eventually, but was happy when I put 2003 back on her computer.

Outlook is on the way out for live mail so that isn't a big thing to worry about.
I must admit I prefer open office, which is free. This program needs to be made cheaper, it just isn't worth more than £15, but then Bill Gates is on the greedy side isn't he!
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on 31 May 2008
The ribbon "feature" is what had me request to go back to 2003 at work.
I don't need 5 gazillion styles in my menu, I never use them. Nor does anyone else I know. It's especially bad in Word.
If this "Ribbon" were customizable, great. But it isn't. You're stuck with what Microsoft deems essential -- not you.
MS, believe me, Styles are not what I deem essential to have up at all times in rather wide buttons for each one. They are better served in a dropdown list as they used to be.
This isn't so much a case of not wanting to learn a new menu, it's a case of being unable to customize a large amount (LARGE amount!) of screen space. That doesn't exactly enhance productivity.
Frankly, the only thing worth having seems to be OneNote, but if that's truly the only thing you consider it for... [...] has an alternative.
There is a reason so many people move from Word / Excel to Open Office, and 2007 is one of them.
Powerusers will most likely not enjoy the new version.
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on 31 January 2007
This is fantastic value for the Home and Student edition of Office that, unlike the Student and Teacher version it replaces, can be used be *all* home users. I would've jumped at the chance of buying Office 2007 for less than £100... if only it contained Outlook.

I honestly can't think why Microsoft decided to remove this essential application from the home edition of their Office suite. It's without doubt my most-used Office application, and by excluding it they're only going to drive existing users to rival (and mostly free) products such as Mozilla Thunderbird, which while being so much better than the dreadful Outlook Express (now known as "Windows Mail" in Vista), doesn't quite include all the functionality of Outlook.

If you don't use Outlook much but do use a lot of Word, Excel and PowerPoint then this is a must-have upgrade. The new Office 2007 versions of these products are truly ground-breaking and will definitely increase your productivity and efficiency. Those used to having Outlook for their e-mail might be left feeling a little disappointed though.
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on 8 September 2007
Quite good value for software from Microsoft, and a must 'add on' for any student off to university, especially as it can legitimately be loaded onto three laptops or pc's at any one time - a bonus for families with more than one child or student whom may each have their own pc or laptop.

Others, not students, tempted to buy it for their basic office needs such as Word and Excel and Powerpoint, may perhaps first like to check and see if their employer is signed up to Microsofts 'Home User Program'. This allows employees to register with Microsoft and get a more fully loaded Office package for the price of the disk plus postage and packing, currently about £18.
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on 16 June 2008
I purchased this because I like to be running up-to-date software, and to have the best possible software. I'd been a very satisfied user of Microsoft Office Standard 2003, and used it thoroughly through a degree and into a professional qualification to great effect.

Microsoft Office 2007 is a disaster.

I installed it onto my brand new Sony VAIO laptop (top of the range, with a Blu-ray drive and all possible extras, in case a sceptical reader is questionning the power available to me) only to find that of the four programs contained, Excel worked fine for viewing files, but for some reason ceased to work every time I tried to copy and paste something; PowerPoint and Word displayed the messages "this program has stopped working and must close" as soon as I tried to open them - before they'd fully opened! The only program that worked as it was meant to was OneNote, but for the life of me I haven't a clue what this program alone does to justify the price.

I thought that perhaps the problem was I needed to download some upgrades to get it up to speed with the many patches and upgrades I'd downloaded for Windows Vista (with which I'd assumed it would work perfectly) but after several hours of downloading all the essential updates from Windows Update and restarting my PC several times to make sure that said updates were correctly installed, I was having the same problems.

I fully admit that perhaps I'm doing something wrong. But I've never had a problem installing and operating software before, and if there is some complex piece of code that's crippling this supposedly sophisticated program, frankly I've no interest in owning it. I don't buy software to challenge my abilities to solve complex computational problems. I buy software to be installed quickly, to be straightforward to use and to be useful in my day-to-day computing needs.

This will be returned promptly and the excellent Office 2003 will be reinstalled. Next time, I won't be so eager to get the latest upgrade. I'll give a little more attention to the negative feedback given by others.
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on 20 April 2007
Assuming you're running Windows Vista, you won't need Outlook any more (for basic email/calendar/contacts needs) because Vista comes supplied with Windows Mail, Windows Calendar, etc.

As for incompatibilities, it's true that older versions of Office cannot open/edit Office 2007 documents. However, there is a Compatibility Pack available from Microsoft (official update) for earlier versions Office (XP, 2003, etc) that lets you open/edit/save Office '07 documents for Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, using older versions.
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... They attempt to fix it. The end result is an insanely unorthadox formatting system that rather than simplifing documents, makes life alot slower and frustrating; particularly when you're due to write an essay for University.

Why change the old layout of tabs and formatting tools? The new look/set-up may look cleaner and more modern in an attempt to look Mac-Like, but it fails because rather than simply choosing an option from a drop down menu, you have to traul through silly tabs on a new chunky bar above the document (for Word) while PowerPoint isn't even worth starting on...

One of the biggest nusances that others have highlighted is that this new version of Office isn't directly compatible (when saving files) with older versions of Office. To exchange files between a computer with an older version of Office, I've had to download a 144mb 'update' called Open XML which converts the file from being 'docx' to simply 'doc'. This is 2008 - new versions of software should be simpler!

The only ipostives to come out of this experience:

- The zoom feature is now a slider, for easier viewing on docs
- When using the Undo/Redo feature, you can act on multiple actions without having to keep clicking the tab
- I still have my trusty and nippy copy of Office 2002 under the bed!
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on 30 January 2007
This finally gives home users a cheap and legal way to get the 'basics' - Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Puzzling though is that Outlook (used by many home users and students to manage appointments and address books) is ommitted in favour of the utterly useless OneNote. Of course this encourages people to downgrade to Vista and get the improved Windows Mail, but nobody is going to spend hundreds on a new operating system just to get an email program - use Thunderbird instead.

To summarise, the three useful programs are VERY good - I am not one of those who hates the new interface - just make sure that you have an alternative email program available (Thunderbird, or a webmail service like Gmail or Yahoo) because you won't get Outlook with this.
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on 27 April 2010
If you've used Microsoft office 2003 or any other previous incarnation of MS Office for any length of time you are going to absolutely hate this product. Past users will feel totally lost on opening the program and will be greeted by a totally incomprehensible user interface. Gone are all the familiar menus and toolbars so you are going to have to relearn how to use the program from scratch. Personally I'm not going to bother and you can understand why a huge chunk of corporate users worldwide have not bothered to upgrade as they would have to spend millions on retraining their staff. Why Microsoft should want to alienate over a decades worth (and more) of loyal users is simply beyond me and why they think we need a new interface when the old one wroked perfectly well for the vast majority is simply astounding. It would have been nice to have a choice of interface (new or old, toolbar or ribbon) or some help learning the new interfaces (as they used to provide for WordPerfect users), but no choice is given. This is a huge, huge blunder by Microsoft who well and truly seem to have lost the plot in recent times. The new ribbon interface is untidy, looks dreadful and takes up too much screen real estate for my liking. I see little evidence of any other products adopting this sort of interface and it makes you wonder just what (if any) sort of market reserch MS conducted before coming up with this monstrosity. I've yet to come across anyone who likes it. Hopefully it's lack of appeal to both clients and developers may eventually make MS see sense and give user what they really want. Somehow I doubt it however. If you're new to office, 2007 may be worth learning. I simply don't have the time nor inclination, so will revert to 2003. If you're an old office user like me, stick with what you've got unless you're prepared to spend some considerable time relearning. This is one huge step backwards.
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