Office 2010 Review: Inside Microsoft's Newest Suite

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Love and Hate: The Pros and Cons of Office 2010

5 Things to Love

1. PowerPoint Broadcast: Show presentations remotely to anyone with a Web browser.

2. Live Preview for paste: Saves clicks by letting you see what different paste options look like before you commit.

3. User-created Ribbon tabs: You can assemble your most frequently used commands in one place.

4. Lowest Office prices ever: Product Key Card discounts bring some bundle prices to half of 2007 levels.

5. Neat multimedia tricks: In many cases users will be able to embed images and videos the way they want them, without leaving the Office program.

5 Things to Hate

1. Office Web Apps: They're disappointingly anemic--skimpy in features, and lacking support for revision mode. Though the Microsoft offerings are free, anyone who is looking for no-cost Web-based productivity tools can do much better with Google or Zoho apps, which aren't limited to editing Office's XML file formats.

2. OneNote everywhere: Microsoft's note-taking program is in all versions of the suite, and almost all apps can send material to it at the click of a button. But its new level of organizing options can be confusing, and it isn't always the most intuitive collaboration tool.

3. 64-bit edition: It's lacking some 32-bit features (for example, third-party social network support for Outlook Social Connector), and even Microsoft advises most customers with 64-bit PCs and operating systems to get the 32-bit Office unless they absolutely need 64-bit's superior memory capacity for Excel and Project. (Oddly, the increased memory capacity doesn't apply to the 64-bit Access.)

4. No speaker notes in PowerPoint Broadcast: A minor disappointment in an otherwise cool new feature.

5. No 2007 upgrade pricing: I realize that the new editions aren't expensive, but the people who invested in Office 2007 really should get a break.

Next: Beyond the Core Apps

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