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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 now available

Office Home and Business 2010

Microsoft still sits on the throne of Operating systems. However, they have been in some trouble. Their forays into the mobile market have been disastrous, their portable music player is eaten alive by the iPod, and even their Windows OS fortress is being continuously attacked by Apple and Google. The kingdom is under fire. 

Microsoft Office has always been one of the pillars that keeps Windows on top. Office has an overwhelming share of the Productivity market, Practically everyone who does document work on their computer knows about, or has used either Word, Excel, or Powerpoint. A dominating presence indeed...but its last 2007 release was met with a lot of mixed reviews. Some welcomed the drastic changes in the UI, while others complained about the needless simplification in some aspects, or the over-complexity in others. Today, Microsoft is hoping to re-strengthen their position with the release of Office 2010 edition.

The key changes in Office 2010 features are:

1. Office Web Apps. Microsoft's answer to the looming challenge of Google Docs. Office Web Apps, basically is the web version of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. It is free to use with 25GB of cloud storage. It allows you to create, move, edit, or store your Office files on the internet. I believe this is the single BIGGEST new advantage of Office 2010. I have been using Google Docs for some time now, just because of the cloud storage feature. The problem with Google Docs is that it doesn't maintain the 100% format of my Office files. Microsoft is now promising that their application will be a carbon copy of the Office documents you work with on your desktop. I am eager to spend more on this, and see if there's any chance it can replace my usage of Google Docs.
2. The File tab has returned. I don't know about others, but that little ribbon on the top of Office 2007 sure confused me at first, where were the old tabs i was used to clicking? They were gone, buried underneath menus. After getting used to the old File-tabbing, 2007 presented users with some getting used to. The 2010 version marks a return to the older ways, with more familiar menu locations, while still keeping the fancy "bare" look of 2007. How did they achieve the best of both worlds? By having the Office "backstage"view, which gives users a chance to work while seeing whats under the hood. 
3. Advanced imaging, writing , and editing. Image editing capability is now available in all major pillars of Office: Word, Excel, Powerpoint. They're getting photo-editing tools built-in to each respective application. With powerpoint getting an additional advantage with a video editing tool built-in. A PDF writer and screen grabber is also built-in to all apps. Overall, Microsoft promises more editing tools present natively in each Office application. 

The price is set between $100-$600, depending on you location, the number of keys bundled with the package, and of course the version you get.
You can download the 60 day free trial now in the Microsoft Office site.

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