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Summary:

Recently, I got access to the Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview. I spent some quality time over the past week going through the latest version of the suite and delving into all of its new features. In this post, I am going to concentrate on the […]

Picture 1Recently, I got access to the Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview. I spent some quality time over the past week going through the latest version of the suite and delving into all of its new features. In this post, I am going to concentrate on the productivity-boosting enhancements available in the new version. Microsoft says that it has put a lot of effort into productivity and making the product easier to use, but has that work paid off?

Backstage View

Office 2010 replaces the old File menu in all of the applications with something called “Backstage View.” This contains familiar tasks like Save, Print and Publish. However, it also makes a lot of document-specific information including Document Mode, Permissions, Prepare for Distribution, and Versions readily available.

MSO2010_Backstage_view

Backstage View didn’t stand out to me when I was looking over the list of new features. However, I was quickly sold on it while testing Word 2010, because it put all of my important document management information into a single view.

Ribbon Menu Enhancements

While Office 2010 keeps the ribbon menu that was introduced in Office 2007, it now extends across the entire Microsoft Office 2010 suite. While the ribbon has just as many detractors as it does lovers, Microsoft has made many improvements over the version found in Office 2007. In particular, it lets you customize it to your particular working style in each application. The ribbon received a lot of criticism in the 2007 release, but these enhancements should build greater acceptance of perhaps the most drastic Office interface change so far.

Support for Co-authoring

Word 2010, OneNote 2010, and PowerPoint 2010 now include a co-authoring feature, enabling multiple authors to work on the same document at the same time. This is a welcome change from having to use SharePoint, where only one author at a time can check a document out for editing. The addition of co-authoring is really ratcheting Office 2010’s collaboration options.

Improved Conversation View in Outlook 2010

Email management can be a challenge to even the most experienced web worker. To help tame your inbox, Outlook 2010 includes an improved Conversation View, which includes:

  • Show Messages from All Folders
  • Reverse Sort
  • Add Columns
  • Expand/Collapse

I am pleased with the new, more granular Conversation View. The controls are very accessible and usable, showing a definite improvement over Outlook 2007.

MSO2010_conversation_view

OneNote 2010

While it has been part of the Office family since 2003, OneNote 2010 is now included as part of every Office 2010 edition. This is a well-deserved “bump up” for OneNote, and I hope to that it takes the application further into the corporate mainstream now that it isn’t a separate purchase. The latest release of the popular note-taking app sports version tracking, highlighting and Linked Notes.

MSO2010_Linked_Notes

As a longtime OneNote user, these features are very handy.  I can’t wait until OneNote is available on the web so that I can see how it stacks up against EverNote.

Final Thoughts about Office 2010 Technical Preview

My tests of Microsoft Office 2010 show enough productivity tweaks to make it an attractive upgrade. If the upcoming Office Web components live up to their potential, then Office 2010 is going to break from the tradition of Office releases having to compete against previous versions of itself and make a strong first impression on the web office suite market.

Have you tried Office 2010 Technical Preview?

  1. A question about the coauthoring: Do the change you make appear in realtime in the other authors document just like Google Docs?

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  2. [...] still 2009, but that didn’t stop Will over at WebWorkerDaily from kicking the tires of Microsoft Office 2010. He shares his initial hands-on thoughts on the productivity boosters and it sounds promising. Of [...]

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  3. borax99 (AlainC.) Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Got my invitation yesterday – just in the nick of time, I guess, if the Technical Preview is now closed. I’ll be focusing on Word, OneNote, Publisher and PowerPoint. Should be interesting…

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  4. Why can’t we see larger screenshots? Posting mistake?

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  5. Can any tell me whats latest build number exists on this technical preview version?

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  6. @Tim — we’re hampered by the design of our WordPress template, which means screenshots are often smaller than I’d like. Hopefully that will be addressed in our redesign. In this case, the screenshots could have been a little wider, though.

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  7. I was more wondering why I can’t even click on them to go to a larger image. WP supports that out of the box. Isn’t this WebWorkerDaily.com?

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  8. @Tim – for some reason, it doesn’t seem to be working properly on our WP (although it does on other network sites). I am talking to our devs about the issue

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  9. [...] No Comments While my first impressions of the next version of Microsoft Office, Office 2010, were quite positive, I did have one major disappointment. Why didn’t Microsoft make Outlook 2010 more social? I was [...]

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  10. [...] Kelly at Web Worker Daily was able to get a copy of the technical review paper for the new version of office.  One of the big changes in the new version of Office is that the typical “file” menu [...]

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