It does take a bit of time to get used to the new layout, but can be done over a week or so.
Overall, productivity is improved, and the visual design is appealing.
*For college/university students, Microsoft offers the "Ultimate Steal" promotion (search it on the web for more info,) which will give you the exact same thing as this, except the shipping package says "Professional Academic" for $80 in USA or $89 in Canada.... what a deal!
Love it. Love the Word program, very user friendly. Easy for writing and editing my manuscripts in.
I LOVE the new publisher. Lots of templates and clip art to create unique designs. Makes things look really professional. Plus you can save things as just about anything, including jpg's which is really cool.
Excel is just excel. Haven't noticed anything different.
Admittedly, those are the only programs I use in office. May edit my review after I play with the other programs.
I had concerns that this might not be a Microsoft approved version since the price was considerably lower, but it passed all the tests for product key installation, for which I am grateful!
When I started thinking about writing a review for this product, I realized it could be months, even years before I thoroughly investigated the changes and whether or not I liked them. I've had it for just about a month now and decided to review what I've experienced so far.
Installation: This should have been an easy simple process, and mostly it was but there were a few hiccups. The installation wizard gives you a choice between 32 bit or 64 bit and pretty much no guidance as to how to make that choice. The geeky part of me hit the 64 bit because well I figured I could use the extra memory access. Well, choosing 64-bit is not just hitting a button and then installing. The installation program actually has you leave the set-up process and locate another file to set-up. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it's not smooth and could cause an issue for those a little less tech inclined. The other issue is 64 bit Office has some compatibility issues, especially with add-ons. Since I am not using this in a work environment where huge files could benefit from the 64 bit advantages, I just went with 32 not to worry about it, and 64 2010 would not install with 2007 32 bit without spending more time online figuring out the tricks how to.
First, I want to make a note about compatibility, I am not talking about OS compatibility but other versions of Office. Between my three computers, I have Office XP, 2007 and of course, 2010. In addition I have used 97 and 2003. Now getting 2007 to work happily with XP wasn't a problem. The two-coexist with no problems at all and seem to ignore the fact that the other exists. 2007 and 2010... this is not the case. It will allow you to install them both of course, but that's about where the cooperation begins. Yes, you can access files from either but each time you switch from 2007 or 2010 the other program wants to run a set-up configuration. This is not a slow process. Searching online I see you can install to a different folder and perhaps avoid some of these issues, but when I review a product, I do so as a standard user. I'll do the geeky stuff later.
After the installation, I jumped into Word because that is the program I will use the most at home. I do a bit of creative writing so I have some fairly large, 100's of pages long, documents. Now the one thing I hated immediately is how much longer it takes me in 2010 to switch from one recent document to another. In 07 it's very easy, right off the "Office Button" and boom there it is. With 2010 I have to go to the File tab and then drop down to the Recent area since the default is a bunch of info on the document you are currently editing. This info tab has a lot of info and a lot of utility as well to do things like change the compatibility of the document, add tags, permissions, a whole host of stuff that would be more useful to me in a work environment but at home, I just want my recent documents very handy. Fortunately, Windows 7 keeps track of that very well instead.
One very good feature that encounter in 2010 that almost makes up for this tiny little annoying thing I encountered above is the new search feature that lets preview you about 3 and half lines of the sentence of the word you are searching for is just awesome, I mean really awesome to see this list. There is a limitation though, at some point this new search future decides there are too many matches as a result, won't show you any of these partial sentences which is just so... sad.
I also played around with Excel a bit, as I use that in work environments for formulas, pivot tables and just standard things that you would expect. The ribbon changes found in Word can also be found in Excel and the other programs, here is the thing though. The differences between 2007 and 2010 are rather minute. My complaints and praises could easily bother other people so it's a bit of a personal preference issue. If you are using the older versions, not 2007, then 2010 is as good a point as any to move on over and enjoy the expanded memory usages, extra rows and just generally easy to use features. You could also go 2007 and not have a problem. If you like 2007, like I do, but want easier ways to set permissions, compatibilities, share your work and, finally, have a chance to change around your toolbars and better customization in general, 2010 is for you... you're still going to have to use ribbons though which I don't mind one bit. For the rest of you using 2007, unless you have money to burn or a very specific need not being met, there isn't a whole lot to justify the cost.
Oh, I almost forget, being able to preview your past before you actually paste, that, that is almost as nice as the search preview and could be the tilting point for a number of you as you can monkey around with things before you paste and have to undo it what you just did. This is a time save and a very nice option.
Lastly, yes OneNote works with Win 7 64. I was one of those people who switched Win 7 64 and suddenly discovered that my OneNote "printing" capability was just gone. It was an unfortunate surprise for me anyway.
Thanks for your time!