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At just over £60 this item works out at around £20 per user for what are probably the three most used Microsoft applications by most students and home users (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) in their latest 2007 versions. Not a bad deal overall when compared with Apple's comparable i-Work suite of programmes and ultimately your choice will be driven by what is your computer and operating system of choice. I have always found the Home and Student editions from Microsoft great value across the years and this one is no exception in giving cheap access to these three much used and well tested Office programmes.

Most of the other adverse comments by reviewers have been around One Note instead of Outlook being offered in this suite. While accepting there is no comparison between thsee two alternatives, this does not prevent you unleashing overall value by using One Note as you see fit and instead simply replace the lack of Outlook's email and calendar with a wholly free alternative, if having a Personal Information Manager (PIM) software tool is that important to you!

That alternative (as covered in a recent issue (January 2010) of "What Laptop" magazine) is to install the Mozilla Thunderbird free email on your computer and set this up to synchronise with your preferred email accounts. Then because Thunderbird has no calendar or organiser installed as standard, download and install the Sunbird Calendar via "Lightning" into Thunderbird for the creating and sharing of calendar events. That is followed by installing "GooSync" which allows synchronisation of the Thunderbird installed calendar with Google Calendar and other chosen external devices. The overall end result is to create a free PIM alternative if required to work alongside your Microsoft 2007 Home and Student Edition and overcome its absence of offering Outlook.
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on 2 September 2010
I have happily used Microsoft Office in the past. Before buying this I was using Office Professional 2003. (using Word, Excel, Outlook and Publisher). As this was only licensed for one machine I bought Office Home and Student 2007 so I could use Word and Excel on my other PC. I wish I hadnt bothered. I have two serious complaints.

First - 2007 (and 2010 update) is incompatible with 2003. I am just about to uninstall the whole 2007 (2010) suite from my original computer so that I can re-install my 2003 Outlook and Publisher. The Publisher software is important to me and I cannot afford to update this as it cost over £100 for a licence for a single machine!

Second - the update to 2010 is a further attempt by Microsoft to force one to buy additional software. Not only does it update the Home and Student software it also installs trial versions of all the other Professional suite software - overwriting the orginal 2003 software. Hence my perfectly satisfactory Publisher and Outlook 2003 have been replaced by trial packages of Publisher and Outlook 2010 which will stop working in 60 days. There is no facility to delete the trial without deleting the whole of the Office suite. There is no facility within Publisher 2010 to save files in Publisher 2003 format to use with my old software after the trial ends. Hence if I inadvertantly used the trial software I would end up with files I could not read on my original software.
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on 13 August 2009
I would give this product negative stars but that isn't allowed. I can only repeat what previous reviewers have said. I've been a user of Office for more than 15 years and thought I was pretty competent. But now everything has been moved. I am in agonies of frustration. Everything is more difficult and slower.

The ribbon is such a waste of screen space. If you hide the ribbon, it takes several mouse clicks to do simple things that used to be easy. If you select a block of text that you want to change the font, size and colour of, instead of doing it all from the tool bar it takes 3 separate operations from the ribbon. Everything has been moved - I'm forever reloading the help - which takes ages - to find what I used to know how to find easily. The menus were so neat and logical - everything was in a nice clear list - now the actions are spread over an area of the screen.

The keyboard shortcuts that I used quite freely before just don't work - even though it says at the top of the screen that you can still use them. For instance, when you use Insert Date and Time it just doesn't work. You have to select it from the ribbon. Then when you get to the list of formats for Date and Time, it doesn't remember any more what you selected the last time it was used, so you have to cursor down the list. I type fast but have difficulty with my shoulder, so I use keyboard shortcuts as much as possible and the mouse as little as possible. But this new product forces me to use the mouse all the time.

What really finished me is not being able to copy parts of Excel spreadsheets into documents and reformat them. This makes writing reports and minutes impossible. This is something I need to do often and it used to work very well in previous versions. I'm in the process of trying to find my previous version of Office to reinstall.

To be honest, I fear for the future. I can't imagine what was in their tiny minds when they decided to take a long standing, well regarded product with millions of existing professional users, probably hundreds of millions, and completely scramble it up.
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Like several office users reviewing Office 2007 I have just put my hands to my head in despair at having to learn something that was easy back in Office 4.2, let alone 2003. Apart from writing a simple letter, if I want to do anything in the way of formatting, or adding autotext I have to trawl the help files. I gave up after and hour and have gone back to my own laptop. We use Office 97 - 2003 and this is not a problem: I use Mac, Windows and Linux and I have come to the conclusion after trying to use Office 2007 that I might just have purchased my last Microsoft product. Open Office is limited, but it works, Office 97 is familiar and now unsupported, but it works: I don't want to learn a new system. If, like me, you prefer the familiar, don't bother to buy this product, it's not worth it. If you are new to the whole thing, you might be interested in investing the time to learn how to use it, but if you only want simple spreadsheets and word-processing, why pay at all - get open office. I'm not an MS critic, ordinarily, but this product is like a new car with a steering wheel at the back - it might look like a porche, but it don't drive like one!
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on 17 December 2007
If you've never used Office before and are looking at Home and Student; this is a good price for the package. But if you are upgrading; don't do it.
The pictogram menu system is TOTALLY different to previous versions and immensely frustrating to use. Using Office Home and Student has become a like using Works, as some of the functions (charts in Excel) don't work the same at all and information and properties boxes are very difficult to find. It has bugs ('features') like it defaults to spellchecking in Welsh when you install it for English (UK), and it will wipe out your Outlook Express spellchecker(Microsoft's helpful 'fix' is to tell you to go buy one from someone else).
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on 21 January 2008
This software is almost unrecognisable from the previous version. I can't find anything (even some basic things). The learning curve is massive.

Using 2007 is not as uncomfortable as relearning bowel control but none of us would sign up to relarning something we do naturally so why buy 2007. I expect all the features which enable us to get things done quickly are still in there but you can't do it quickly any more because you can't find the feature you need!

Anyway if you are going to learn what is effectively new software why not go for Lotus (the difference is that huge).

If it aint broke don't fix it!

On the plus side it looks a bit prettier
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on 13 December 2008
I wish to add my own experience this product, having used MS office fairly extensively for over 15 years. I chose to upgrade only as a last resort. After initially downloading the 'Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats' (a free download from Microsoft well worth the time in locating) I bought this as a result of receiving files to work with that I had to return in the newer formats.

The menu system is vastly changed, cumbersome in terms of numbers of clicks required to perform actions and inefficient in space use. The ribbon puts a significant dent into the viewable working area, most noticeable when working with spreadsheets. Add to this a Vista-style burden on memory and resources coupled with new reasons to crash unexpectedly and the result is a version of Office that is slower to use, poorer visually yet no more functional except in terms of prettiness of outputs. Granted, this might add impact to occasional Powerpoint presentations, but it certainly doesn't help crunch numbers or write reports so much.

MS Office, with competitors in fierce competition, was almost forced to make some noticeable changes. In this respect only, it has succeeded with this version. If you value cosmetic effect over efficiency, then perhaps this is a product for you. For my part, I have now uninstalled Office 2007 and will be returning Office 2000 / 2003 for home / office use. I do and will continue to suggest people to use earlier versions or even alternative brands of office software until Microsoft make adjustments to Office that actually cater to the needs of their customer base.
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on 3 January 2009
When I tried this software I found it to be absolutely horrible, almost unusable. For expample, instead of the usual menu when you right click, all you get is one for formatting-and that's all you get. They have made it far too different from the previous version and have spent so much time on looks that I think they have forgotten functionality. Editing the formatting is not the only thing I want to do from the right click menu!! Every time I try to do something I have to go to "help" to find where they have moved it to.. I HATE this software, I would give it 0 if I could! Iam sticking with an earlier version.
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on 2 January 2008
If you are familiar with Excel 1997 or 2003, and are not a user Clicking on menus but use mostly shortcuts and menu undescores to surf through menus and submenus, Office 2007 will be a true nightmare: you will have to learn it all back again. To me, consultant, learning the new Word is such a enormous waste of time, that I unistalled it right away. For Excel, well, confronted with the limits of memory management in the previous version of Excel, I had no choice than to switch to Office 2007. The price is dear : what Excel does is basically unchanged, however, the way to do it, is completely modified. Microsoft has been so disregarding for its users' needs, that it quietly informs them, that all classic menus are gone, irrevocably : you will use their "Ribbon"!
Add to that, that Excel2007 clearly is unfinished : many disfunctionnalities when using complex formulas, seeing different informations in the ActiveCell and the related information in the formula bar. You can wonder whether it has ever been beta tested. An explanantion : I was offered the beta test to the program 6 months ago, but confronted with the unacceptable user interface, I ignored the offer.
Add also that the colorful Ribbon distracts your eye into low efficiency. And add further, that the Ribbon takes 4 times more screen space than previous menus, so that Excel shows even less of the spreadsheet.
When you sum this all up, you realise that from the very first use, your efficiency is penalised by everything that is new (menus and screen). And for what is behind the user interface? Well, unchanged.
Microsofts' programmers do not seem to understand that Excel is not a fashion object, but an efficiency tool. I want my Menus back!
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I work at Oxford university and get Office 2007/2003/XP etc.. free via educational licences, but I choose to stay with Office 2003 Professional. As mentioned by other reviewers Office 2007 is a bit of a pain in the positrons compared to just about all other versions of MS Office that keep to the same basic menu and file format. It takes you 5 minutes just to work out how to load a word document with the new interface, gorgeous though it is. I run many networked PCs at home and at work, and casual users who are Office 2003 savvy don't take kindly when this new 2007 interface pops up. Worst still, almost unforgivable even, is that a Professional version of Office 2007 Student is no longer offered, when even secondary school kids need Access and Publisher as part of the GSCE in IT. Plus no Outlook either. So, great software as Excel, Word and PowerPoint is, this loses Office Student two stars in my book. Another downside is that many schools are likely to stay with 2003, making it hard for the kids to adapt to two interfaces and file formats at home and school [for similar reasons all our new Vista PCs have been reformatted back to XP Pro].

However if you have a schoolkid/student in the house and their academic institution [i.e. School or College] is on the participating list, and most will be, you can pick up the full Office Professional 2007 for them for just £45 [incl postage] via any Microsoft educational software partner. With Office Pro you get Access/Publisher/Outlook as well, for about the price of this cut-down Office Home & Student. If the kids might need OneNote as well then go for top of the range Office Enterprise 2007 for just £55 [there's even Wacom 'educational use' graphics stylus/tablets on offer]. Try for instance Microsoft Partner [...] you just select the school and input your kids name [who must be on the role-call and live at the delivery address], buy the software and the bare CD/wallet appears in the post. The rather natty CD/DVD is emblazoned with Microsoft holograms and the text 'Licensed by student and facility only'. Likewise you can buy your kids the superb Encarta Premium enhanced Student 2009 for just £14 [retail price £49] - it integrates into Office and gives superb homework help [Encarta encyclopaedia, Maths equations, languages and English literature]. Well now children that even makes Office 2007 seem desirable. For the rest of though I'd save the pennies and stick with Office 2003 for the time being, assuming you're lucky enough to own it.
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