Microsoft Office 2010 Tech Preview: First Hand Look

I had hoped to get a full post together on the first day the tech preview became available but I had some issues with the installation, and that took a good few hours to sort out.

I have, somehow, ended up with a seemingly corrupt install of Office 2007 as Office 2010 is unable to upgrade it and I can’t remove it either! Eventually I tried installing 2010 alongside 2007 and it worked, the downside is that you can’t have 2 versions of Outlook together so I’m stuck on 2007 for that…however I’ll install it on another machine ASAP and hopefully Outlook will work on that 🙂 I managed to get rid of Office 2007 after 2 hours of deleting and registry editing so I now have it all installed! (I’ll do a separate post on how I did it).

Excel 2010:

Excel 2010 First Opened

That’s Excel 2010 opened for the first time-not much difference although I think it looks a bit “cleaner”.

Sparklines:

Excel 2010 Sparkline

These were one of the big features from the WPC demo of Office 2010 and they’re as awesome as they seemed. This feature is going to make Business Intelligence and the sharing of information so much easier (to understand and present) and more worthwhile; I think this is going to make a real difference in the world of work-it certainly will for me! I’ve got a spreadsheet at work that covers all our major software vendors and includes sales and profit for each one as well as overall totals, various comparisons between years and more. Currently this has multiple tabs that just contain trending charts, making it awkward to present and impossible to screenshot/print. With Sparklines in Excel 2010, I can show the trend in a single cell at the end of the data range, allowing me to consolidate it down to just one sheet!

There is an excellent post on Sparklines over on the Excel team blog here which features some great examples of how they can be used.

OneNote 2010:

One Note 2010 New Features

I haven’t had much of a play with OneNote yet but one thing I have noticed is it seems that OneNote no longer auto copies screen clippings into the Unfiled Notes section…I think I like that 🙂

Word 2010:

I don’t actually use Word that much and when I do it’s usually pretty basic, so it may well take me a while to find all the new features. However one that I’ve found straight away and is very useful is the Navigation Pane, which makes it much easier to read and work with large documents.

Word 2010 Navigation Pane Arrow

As you can see on the left hand side, the Navigation Pane has identified all the section headers in the document and allows you to jump around simply by clicking them-no more slightly random scrolling up and down 🙂 This is a truly great addition!

Outlook 2010:

I’ve not yet got any good screenshots of Outlook 2010 as I’ve discovered that the Hotmail connector doesn’t work with the new version, which is a shame. I’m sure that will be resolved by the final release though! I’ll get some screenshots from work but I’ll need to block out any confidential/customer info etc first so that’ll be next week.

I can however attest that Outlook 2010 is great. I was a BIG fan of the improvement in Outlook 2007 and the new version builds on those very well. There are no huge new killer features but there are lots of little ones such as:

Quick Steps: A set of handy time savings shortcuts which allow you to, for instance, forward a mail directly to your manager with 1 click, send an email just to your team, forward a mail and automatically add “FYI” to the subject line and more. It’s also possible to create your own Quick Steps, just like macros.

Calendar: When you receive a meeting invite, you can now see a preview of your calendar inside the mail-handy!

PowerPoint 2010:

Powerpoint has always been full of features I’ve never quite got round to using and I’m sure that is true of 2010 too, but one that I like is the ability to “Broadcast Slideshow”. This allows you to quickly and easily share your presentations with others in remote locations:

Powerpoint 2010 Broadcast 1

 Powerpoint 2010 Broadcast 2 Powerpoint 2010 Broadcast 3

This will be useful for informal collaboration with colleagues where you just want/need quick opinions and helps further Microsoft’s Collaboration through Office strategy.

General Features

Backstage: Gone is the menu/sub-menu structure for print preview, open, save as etc and in it’s place is Backstage:

Word 2010 Backstage

 The Office Sync Center:

This is a new thing AFAIK that I noticed when uploading some documents to our Sharepoint Online BPOS installation.

Office 2010 Sync Center

Office 2010 Sync Center Settings

This gives you a great overview of which files have been uploaded and if they were successful or not. It also shows a history of recently uploaded files which works well for me as I often forget whether I’ve done it or not 🙂 This seems like yet another great addition in Office 2010…

Summary:

This post isn’t finished, at the very least I’ll be adding in some screenshots and more info on Outlook. However as I come across new features in the various programs I’ll add them into this post as I go.

All in all, Office 2010 looks like a solid forward move for the Office suite and should see good adoption across the board-although perhaps more in the business rather than home space. The inclusion of more business intelligence, more collaboration and more time saving tricks is a sure winner and Sharepoint Workspace Manager (SWM formerly Groove) will only further that I’m sure.

2 Replies to “Microsoft Office 2010 Tech Preview: First Hand Look”

  1. Nothing beneficial for most businesses – no reason to upgrade/purchase –

    Like Vista – all bling – no function.

    If they wanted to improve Office they SHOULD have –
    1. Made outlook open multiple e-mail accounts as full exchange -not an additional mailbox with some functionality or pop/imap with very limited functionality but two seperate exchange profiles simultaneously from multiple exchange servers.

    2. Full OLE support for pictures in access – umm wasn’t that functional with Office XP – why take that out? Why should someone have to code to add pictures to a personal database? Might was well use oracle or a real database if you are going to have to use code. Adding Office XP photo editor is the work around but why not just add photo editor back into office if that is the solution?

    3. Offer the old menu bar for people (most of my clients) who don’t want to learn the new menu bar. You can finally modify the ribbon to some extent in 2010 however my clients just want their old ribbon bar. Frankly I have no issue with the new menu bar but I’m one person and most of my clients don’t like it so prefer to stick with office 2003. MS could make money selling the new version if they just offered the old menu as a choice with the new ribbon.

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