Office 2010: The Pros and Cons for Businesses

The Cons

Drawbacks of 64-bit Office

Running the 64-bit version of Office 2010 will have benefits such as utilizing more data and memory, and allowing much larger Excel workbooks, but there are some disadvantages.

Forrester points out that ActiveX controls and DLLs (dynamic link libraries) that were written for 32-bit Office will not work in 64-bit Office. The workaround for resolving these issues is to obtain 64-bit compatible controls and add-ins or to install the 32-bit version of Office 2010.

Also, databases that have had source code removed (such as .mde, .ade, and .accde files) cannot be moved between 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Office 2010.

Click here for more on the advantages and disadvantages of Office 2010.

Technology Integration May Be Clunky

Microsoft had to reengineer the Groove collaboration software from its 2005 acquisition of Groove Networks to rebrand it as SharePoint Workspace. Also, Outlook Social Connector will integrate social networking tools from sites like LinkedIn into Outlook for the first time. So don't expect either feature to be clean and seamless out of the gates, writes McLeish.

Forrester predicts that Microsoft will refine these new collaboration tools in SharePoint and Outlook, but will "continue to face challenges making its broad feature set in Office clean and easy to use."

Programming Code Changes in Office 2010

For developers, the VBA (visual basic for applications) language has been upgraded to support 64-bit, and the Office 2010 Object Model has been updated. So those businesses moving from Office 2003 to Office 2010 may have to deal with old, incompatible programming code.

Outlook may be the most affected as Object Model changes have led to a rewritten MAPI interface and tweaks to the navigation pane. Any business doing large migrations of content in Outlook using macros will have to test to see if they need to rewrite code.

"The key is to plan and test for code compatibility," says McLeish. "No one in IT wants to be the cause of a business disruption because of broken code."

Shane O'Neill is a senior writer at CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter at twitter.com/CIOonline.

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