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”.


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…


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.

Office 2010

office_2010Microsoft Office 2010 was a big star of today’s opening keynote at Microsoft’s WPC 2009 event, and boy did it shine brightly! The new version of Office is always exciting and there have been some features leaking out recently, mainly around Outlook with it’s “mute button” and conversation threading etc, but the video demo’s today were amazing.

Unfortunately the keynote video isn’t available on demand yet  is available on demand now at (as I couldn’t get over to N’Orleans), so I’ll have to try and remember the new features that I saw for now 🙂

Word 2010: One new feature of Word is an improved Copy & Paste function. At first glance you wouldn’t think you could do much with it, but it is actually a great new addition-it gives you a live preview of what you’re about to paste…clever eh? I often hit “Ctrl + V” only to find that it’s something completely different than I expected so this will definitely come in handy… as Stephen Elop (MS Business Division President) says, the aim is to get users away from the pattern of “paste, oops, undo”.

Powerpoint 2010: Two big additions to Powerpoint 2010 are Photo Editing & Video Editing. These give you the ability to crop the image/video, change colours and hues, add borders etc all within Powerpoint; that will definitely make creating slide shows quicker, easier and more enjoyable!

Another great feature is the ability to “broadcast” your slideshow via a Live-Meeting style effort so people can see it in real-time. This feature extends to users of mobile devices and not just Windows Mobile-iPhones too!

ppt 2010

 Excel 2010: Many of the new features in Excel 2010 are centered around Business Intelligence (BI). One such feature is Sparklines: these give a snapshot of data trends in a single cell, which makes charting many different data ranges in one datasheet much easier, and much more attractive for readers 🙂

Outlook 2010: Outlook now has the ribbons interface to bring it in line with Word, Excel etc and also contains many new features. Namely the “Mute Button” which will allow you to remove yourself from the “Reply All” floods that occue when someone accidentally puts the addresses in “To” rather than “Bcc” and everyone, for some reason, decide that they need to “Reply All” each time. This quite quickly makes your inbox a joke…now however with a simple click of the mouse they’re all gone…plus it also keeps any future replies from appearing too 🙂

Another new Outlook feature I’d forgotten about is Mail Tips, which provides info & hints to help prevent you making daft mistakes! Just added 250 names in the “To” field-it’ll tell you…sending a mail to someone who’s out of office-it’ll tell you…added people outside of your organization-it’ll tell you (to help prevent confidential info leaking out) and much more 🙂

Conversation View lets you group emails by conversation helping clear up inbox clutter. This is a BIG one for me!

Sharepoint 2010: This wasn’t really demo’d during today’s keynote so I don’t have much to say (yet) other than it has the ribbon interface and “embraces” social media/web 2.0.

Office 2010 now supports co-authoring, this means that multiple people can work on the same document at the same time without users receiving the “this document is already in use” error…this is really something and gives a pretty big middle finger to other pretenders to the crown such as Google Apps and Zoho.

So far I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen of Office 2010 and by the end of the week I expect to be even more impressed!

A great top 10 features list can be found here, props to Sarah for this 🙂

Thanks to Techcrunch for the pics…

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