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Microsoft Office 2010 hits the streets

7th Jun 2010
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It's been a long time coming, but after nearly a year of technology preivews and beta testing, Microsoft Office 2010 was officially launched on 12 May.

Microsoft resellers and commercial customers had access to the full commercial versions from May, but such are the logistics of the roll-out that consumer versions will start arriving from next week (14 June).'s ExcelZone has been looking at the features of the new version for the past year. While there are few changes within Excel, the new Sparklines feature is a very welcome data visualisation aid and the Slicers tool makes it much easier to organise and view data in pivot tables. The PowerPivot tool - formerly known as Project Gemini - is another important enhancement that allows Excel users to import up to 3m rows of data from SQL Server to perform instant "in-memory" analyses.

But the announcement many people were waiting for was the arrival of Office Web Apps - "Cloud" versions of  Microsoft's productivity tools available via Windows Live. This release was announced on 7 June, with versions for the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland available immediately and more localised versions to come in the next few months. 

Office Web Apps currently include Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote and let users open and edit files on the Web. Combined with SharePoint 2010 and other tools such as the new Outlook Social Connector Microsoft positioned the 2010 launch package as a "powerful productivity experience" that could support users in the cloud, in their data centres, or a mix of both.

With the core Office tools relegated to the fringes, Microsoft's executives devoted much of their attention at the launch event to SharePoint 2010, an increasingly important component in its "software+services" strategy. Originally devised as a web publishing portal for Office documents and the like, SharePoint has become in Microsoft's words, "a complete business collaboration platform for the enterprise" that lets people interact with each other and their data via the web.

Office 2010 comes in two main versions (with another variant available for developers):

Look out for further Office and Excel 2010 coverage in ExcelZone.


Replies (4)

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Adrian Pearson
By Adrian Pearson
08th Jun 2010 15:01

It's really rather good
Hi John,

I have been using Office 2010 for quite a few months now and I have to say it's really good. Despite being "beta" software when I downloaded, it hasn't crashed on me once. The Web Apps side is useful but what's very good is the ability to open and save files directly to the web seamlessly.

The power of a full desktop app (unlike Google Docs) plus the flexibility of storing and collaborating with files online.

Microsoft have hit the spot as far as I am concerned.

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By cverrier
08th Jun 2010 18:54


It's a nice update to Office 2007 - extending the Ribbon to more products (like it or hate it - it's here to stay!).

The 'Office Orb' thing on the top left has been replaced (by popular demand) with a 'File' tab. Clicking it gives you a really nice new 'control panel' for your document/worksheet/presentation with much improved elements such as a big print-preview display.

One thing in Outlook is this new 'view by conversation' gizmo that tries to organize your emails into 'conversations'. Sadly, as it only performs a rather basic attempt to match emails with identical subject lines, it often makes a bit of a mess of things!  Good effort, but I turned it off pretty sharpish.

Warning note - If you opt for the 64-bit version, many 3rd-party add-ins have trouble working.  As an example, iTunes generates various errors trying to synchronise your Outlook data to an iPhone.   Unless you have a burning need to work with VAST spreadsheets, the 64-bit version doesn't really offer any advantages.




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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
09th Jun 2010 11:17

Thanks for the feedback, chaps

I've been spending so much time with Excel 2010 that I just wanted to report its full commercial appearance, but neglected to put in much about the advantages/disadvantages.

I'd have to agree with Adrian about the Office 2010 beta experience - not a problem with either a Vista or a Windows 7 machine and as I explained in my Fantasy Football article, it was a breeze to create the visual KPI dashboard I wanted, and I suffered agonies when I tried to create Sparklines with Office 2003 and an add-in tool.

I have to confess that I haven't tried the Office Web Apps beta, but will rectify that shortly. I have been using some of the Office Live facilities to collaborate with colleagues and found the synching a little cumbersome. I'll be interested to see if Office Web Apps streamlines some of the niggles.

We should also be hearing very shortly from Simon Hurst about his thoughts on the Office 2010 upgrade. David Carter, meanwhile, has been galvanised by the appearance of the PowerPivot tool (formerly known as Project Gemini) to work with Excel 2010 and SQL Server 2008. He's been discussing its merits in our Excel reporting discussion group.

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By metcalr
09th Jun 2010 14:40

iXBRL in Office 2010

Reference the comment above about Add-Ins in 2010, the Arkk iXBRL Adapter for Microsoft Office works in 2010 too :-)


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