Office 2010: Worth the Upgrade?

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With the release of each new version of Microsoft Office, there is a period of exploration and evaluation for the new version. What’s changed? What’s been fixed? What got broken? Is it easier to use? And most important of all: Are the new features worth the cost of upgrading?

For IT administrators looking at the possibility of upgrading a whole system or network to the newer version, these questions are amplified. Will this improve our productivity to be worth the cost? Is there a learning curve to adjusting to the new version? With Office 2010 Enterprise Edition running $500 and given the current state of the economy, this will be a major question.

By most accounts, however, Office 2010 has a lot to be excited about. Many new features are being highlighted across the web in blogs, reviews, and discussions. The reception of Office 2010 has been very amicable among the internet community at large.

Improvements to the Ribbon are a welcome change, as the Ribbon released with Office 2007 was met with many user issues and poor reviews. By all accounts the new Ribbon is much more streamlined and efficient – mostly due to the new ability to customize the Ribbon. Allowing users and administrators to tweak the Ribbon for their own best use allows for much greater overall efficiency, as those features which are most frequently used are the most accessible.

Other features include an improved PowerPoint, which has multiple exciting improvements. Making the biggest splash of these is the ability to broadcast presentations that others can view with an internet connection and a few easy clicks. Another feature is the ability to compress PowerPoint projects, which can get large and difficult to transfer.

Improved security features, downloadable add-ons for Excel that improve computation and graphical abilities, and improvements to Outlook have kept the web talking about the potential for Office 2010. Our friends at TechRepublic has laid out a concise article of their 10 favorite things about Office 2010, and it’s worth a look for more info.