Is Office 2010 Worth It?

Every time Microsoft releases a new version of Office, we all have to ask ourselves whether there is enough business value in the new and improved version to justify the time and effort of rolling out the upgrade, listening to our users complain about the things that may not work the way they used to, and helping them through the rough spots.

Since ManageOps is a Microsoft Partner, we don’t have to pay for the Office licenses we use internally. Moreover, it’s important for us to actually use the technology that we’re promoting to our customers, so that’s another reason for us to upgrade. Even so, it costs us time and effort to upgrade everybody, and we have other critical applications that depend on Office – like the Word merge app that allows us to print quotes and sales orders from our MS-CRM records – so we have to make sure that those dependencies don’t get broken. So, like you, we have to ask, “Is it really worth it? Is there that much difference between Office 2007 and Office 2010?”

Well, actually there’s more than you might think, and J. Peter Bruzzese wrote an article about it over on earlier this week. Here’s just a quick bullet list of his “top 25” new Office 2010 features. If any of them catch your eye, I’d encourage you to read his article for a more detailed description:

  1. Universal ribbon – the ribbon interface is now part of every Office application.
  2. Customizable ribbon – don’t like the defaults? Customize it.
  3. Backstage view (behind the “File” tab of an application)
  4. Paste preview
  5. Office Web Apps
  6. Protected View
  7. More themes
  8. Insert a screenshot
  9. Crop images to a shape from within the app
  10. New photo-editing options in Word
  11. Navigation pane in Word
  12. “Sparklines” (Excel)
  13. “Slicers” (Excel)
  14. 64-bit support, which allows for Excel workbooks larger than 2 Gb
  15. Video editing from within PowerPoint
  16. Broadcast slideshows (PowerPoint)
  17. Distribute slideshows as video (PowerPoint)
  18. Animation painter (PowerPoint)
  19. Sections (PowerPoint)
  20. Transition improvements (PowerPoint)
  21. Outlook conversation view
  22. Outlook MailTips
  23. Outlook Social Connector
  24. Outlook “quick steps”
  25. Outlook “Clean Up”

So, a tip of the antlers to Mr. Bruzzese for coming up with a great list. Again, if any of these catch your interest, I’d encourage you to read more about these features in the InfoWorld article.

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