Pros Does everything most users could ever ask of an office suite.
(My 2 star rating is to understood as a comparison to office 2003)
Cons The ribbon is a stifling factor to user friendliness, intuitiveness and flexibility with respect to customization
Summary Microsoft seems to have a very unique problem. Their greatest competitor are their own products. I started using MS products in the early 80s and kept faithfully upgrading all their software because every upgrade was really worth it. Then came the time when their products plateaued and upgrades were not worth their money anymore because for the average user upgrades became merely cosmetic. With office 2003 MS surely reached the plateau with their office suite and you can tell that they were really stuck because they were challenged by their own excellency. How could they make a product that is next to perfect even more perfect? Well, they couldn?t so they did something really stupid ? they invented the ribbon! Menu operated programs along with *fully* customizable toolbars can not get any better. When mouseing over menus, I find it much easier and quicker to read and comprehend the text in the menus than to look at, and figure out icons. It is like comparing a well organized and bulleted To-do list with a To-do list that someone has subjectively organized in groups but that are scribbled all over a notepad. Granted, the menus have icons too, but they are only there for aesthetic reasons whereas in the ribbon they are meant to be the main vehicle of communicating the underlying commands. My best solution at the moment is a combination of office 2003 and those programs of office 2007 that are without ribbon. My advice to Microsoft: If it?s not broken, don?t fix it!
Pros Some formulas in Excel are easier to use and PowerPoint has some positive aspects. That's it.
Cons You have to make three or four times many mouse clicks to accomplish the same task as you would in 2003. Not very well thought through. Stick with OpenOffice or the Corel office suite, they are cheaper and better in many ways, or just stick with 2003
Summary OK, but not a hit like Windows 7 is. Not worth the money.
"Ribbon Trouble"on by DennisWeston
Pros None compared to 2003
Cons Ribbon still the only option
Summary Ok I'll say it. I simply hate the ribbon. The least MS could have done in 2010 was to give the user an option to choose between a ribbon or menu driven interface. I agree 100% with magavara's comment - very well said!
Pros I like the idea of it been an update as such instead of a fresh install in 32 bit
Looks a hell of a change from 2007
Cons Its gonna take me ages to download on a 512k connection from Australia to either Asia or America
Summary I will let you know what I think when I can download itI downloaded it last night. I can now say that it is light as a feather on resources and requires only 256mb of memory, it comes as an upgrade to Office 2007 and gives an option to keep the old version while trying the new. I like the backstage it gives us an idea of what we can do next. I have already sent 20 messages to Microsoft on what they need to improve but I can say that it probably half a jump forward compared to when 2007 was released. I now am just waiting for the online version that is due to hit Windows Live Workspace later this year.
Updated on Aug 11, 2009
Pros Some excellent new features in Excel, insert snapshot of desktop, copy and paste as transposed, customizable ribbon, 64 bit (major plus), Outlook sends and receives email and now has a ribbon. (Well honestly I was hoping the ribbon would be a plus)
Cons The ribbon takes up yet even more space, The UI is starting to look more and more like a TV setup menu. As far as Outlook itself, don't even get me started. It is the worst email client I have ever used which is about a dozen.
Summary Ribbon Verses Menus:
I do prefer the ribbon over drop down menus. But one advantage that menus have is the ability to mouse over them for them to drop instead of clicking back and forth between ribbons. Furthermore, in order for the ribbon to be useful they need to include all the items that the drop down menus had which I think Excel 2007 accomplishes, not so with Outhook. Outlook 2010's UI makes everything looked greyed out and the default ribbon is about as useless as a 10 meg hard dirve. Finding the account settings was a real nightmare requiring 3 times the mouse travel and twice the clicks. In fact you have to switch to a different ribbon just to send and recive. In Excel 2010 opening a new spreadsheet involves going to the cornermost menu then click on new and then decide which type of spreadsheet you want to open with the most popular one, "blank", being in the opposite corner of your screen, this will make you miss the good ol' days of the menubar. What I really miss about the menu bar was the ability to create toolbars with custom icons and titles which you could drag off the main bar and use as a toolbox closer to your working area, a feature that the ribbon still doesn't have.
Both the menubar and the ribbon allow single click access to popular tools but the ribbon does a much better job of grouping them together making them eaiser to find. The ribbon in 2007 has nearly everything you need without having to click through a bunch of windows in search for it. Of course you do have to know which ribbon a tool is on but the same is true for menus. I think finding items in ribbons is easier because menus all tend to look the same. Office 2010's ribbon goes beyond 2007 by adding the ability to customize it, major plus. You can create your own ribbon or even add a tab to an existing ribbon. But the ribbon in 2010 has put on a few pounds, the tabs and icons are huge, major negative. In Excel an additional 3 data rows are used up by the ribbon and thick borders. I'm sure some users like this but others prefer more working space and as far as I could tell, putting the ribbon on a diet is not an option. Useless popup windows and thick info bars rob even more of your workspace. Overall, I think constantly changing the UI is absurd. I don't have to remodel my physical office every 3 years, why does my software? Keeping the ribbon from Office 2007 and making it customizable would have been the better choice.
Being an IT Admin part of my job is to quickly become familiar with the latest in computer technology. I've never even thought of going backwards until now, in particular with Outlook. Being so disappointed with it I decided to revert back to using Outlook 2007 which I feel has a good balance between functionality and appeal. When I tried using VBA in Outlook 2010 it crashes and restarts every single time although it works fine in Excel. Incrediblity Outlook doesn't even sync with the Mobile Office on my HTC Touch Pro 2 updated to the lastest OS, Windows Mobile 6.5.3.
Does Microsoft not tell Microsoft what they're doing so that Microsoft can make the rest of Microsoft's products compatible with the changes that Microsoft is making?
Excel 2010 has some sweet new features but there's a few small changes that were unwelcome such as the conditional formating options. They changed the tempature colors from blue yellow red to blue white red, these colors tend to clash with the traditional white background. The other with this same feature pertains to the data bars which no longer fade into the cell, instead they have a border around them which make them look tacky. Pasting as values and even transposed data is a snap once you learn how to tranlate the hieroglyphics in the paste menu. The small negative changes offset the small positive changes. The increased size of the ribbon offsets it customizability. That leaves us with only one big improvement over Excel 2007, it can process 64bits.
Other than the 64bit capabilities of Excel, Office 2010 was a major disapointment.
For you to decide how crediable my opinions may be, here's an overview of my experience:
I've used versions 2000 and up and have beta tested both 2007 and 2010. Regarding Word and Power Point I have limited experience. I have moderate experience with Access (MSSQL is more my speciality) and feel that version 2003 is the best release. I've extensively used Excel and Outlook for about 10 years and feel that 2007 is the best release for these. I've done some rather wild projects utilizing the VBA functionality in Excel & Outlook, including a barcode generator in Excel and the ability to group and sort email by sender's domain name in Outlook. I'm the DBA and IT Admin for about 30 workstations and have answered all kinds of questions about office.