As founder and CEO of Capital Network Solutions, I’m always on the lookout for improvements to Microsoft products for our clientele.  So when Office 2010 beta applications became available, I downloaded and installed them eagerly.  Although I have not gone through all the applications in depth, what I’ve tested is a major improvement over Office 2007.  The main applications I have spent time reviewing are Outlook, Word and OneNote. 

 Outlook Features I Liked:

  • Personal and business email accounts synced in one place vastly improves managing multiple email accounts.
  • Conversation View of email also makes managing easier; all emails on the same subject are grouped together makes searching through emails is easier and very fast.
  • If you have your contacts and IM information in Outlook you can see if they are online and get client information without having to bring up the contact – it is right on the screen as you write your email.
  • Customizing your common tasks can now be setup with a single click.

The Outlook interface is much more intuitive.  I liked the new way it sorts emails by subject and gives you a tab for all the file options that were not easy to find in 2007.  The overall layout between applications is now exactly the same making the learning curve much less.  This can save businesses time and money in training new hires how to use the application as well as getting current users adapted to the changes.

 New Word Features I Liked:

  • You can now co-author a document, meaning more than one person can work on a document; each can see the changes made and collaborate.
  • Same easy-to-edit changes to your work environment.
  • Many new visual effects for text that are easy to use.

 Above the additional features and easier to use interface, the biggest advantages are going to be the web versions that are available.  You will be able to login from any browser and get a web version of your office applications and data.  You don’t have to have Office loaded to make a change when you’re on the road.  The other big advantage is being able, seamlessly, to copy data to the cloud for others to see and edit.  You can have a shared folder that anyone with a browser can use.  You have total control of what they can do with documents and they also can run a browser version of the application to make changes.  This has already been very helpful when working on a project where you are updating documentation.  Clients can get the latest versions of all project documents without having to ask for them or email them over and over.

 I believe Microsoft has listened to the wishes and complaints of consumers and has finally come out with Office products worth upgrading to. I look forward to diving into other Office applications soon, such as Visio and InfoPath. Let me know how your review of the applications have gone.