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on June 17, 2010
This is a worthwhile upgrade for me. I debated whether to do it or not and what version to get. I finally decided on the Home and Student version. I was pleased to see the price actually drop upon shipping. For me the main deal was OneNote 2010 which allows me to print directly into OneNote. In December I bought a new laptop and it has Win7 Pro 64bit. I was very disappointed to find that OneNote 2007 did not include a driver to print directly into it. While MS did provide a work around this much better.

One word of caution when you are installing. My MS Office install is a bit of a collection. I'm using stand alone versions of Outlook and Publisher (both 2007) and Access (2003). I had decided to leave these as is. Upon installing 2010 I was presented with two buttons: "Upgrade" and "Customize". I picked curtain 1 (upgrade). My bad! The install then proceeded to remove Outlook, Publisher and Access. Since the program I was installing did not include these products I think it's pretty bogus for the install process to remove them. I don't know if the "Customize" button would have allowed them to stay. I reinstalled the 3 programs and everything was fine, but I should not have had to waste time doing this.
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on June 16, 2010
I've had an opportunity to use Office 2010 Beta edition for a couple of months now and now that I see the full, final, edition I can say that this is a very worthwhile upgrade. First things first, I am not a techie. I am someone who uses Word, Excel and PowerPoint on a very regular basis, who really liked some of the changes in Office 2007 but who thought some things needed tweaking, so when given the opportunity for the beta edition I jumped on it and have not been disappointed. Office 2010 is to Office 2007 what Windows 7 was to Vista; that is, there are not many breakthrough, drastically different features, but a whole lot of polishing and cleanup to make it easier and more efficient. Overall, the program seems to run faster, incorporates many of the most commonly used options and makes them more accessible (eliminating many dialog boxes and tabs) and allows for more customization.

At first glance it looks very much like its predecessor, the ribbon is back and it is now also found on OneNote. There are plenty of sites that will give you a play-by-play on all the features available in this new version, so I'm just going to mention some of the biggest improvements that I've seen.
1) The biggest change is the addition of the web apps. It may not be a true direct competitor to google docs, but it allows for easier sharing of documents, as well as making your documents more accessible.
2) The ribbon is back and it now includes the "File" option and a new feature called "Backstage view." Backstage view incorporates the most commonly used actions in one place (yay! no more dialog boxes with tabs). You get the usual open, save and print, but you also get several templates for new documents, print layouts and ways to share your work, all without dialog boxes and tabs, everything is much more easily accessible.
3) Another new feature is that the ribbon is now customizable so you can organize it according to your needs.
4) There is a Paste Preview which lets you switch between paste options so you can make sure that your work will be formatted correctly.

Changes in PowerPoint.
You can now edit video directly on PowerPoint. You can trim a video, add effects, fades and even triggers for animations for the presentation. Another new feature is that you can add effects and edit images without the need for third party software.

Changes in Word.
One nifty new feature in Word is called "Navigation pane," which replaces the old document map. It incorporates minor changes in design that make big changes in productivity and ease of use. It allows you to quickly rearrange the document. Take for example a document with several headings/sections. The Navigation pane provides a list of all the headings. The headings are live, so you can drag them up or down, thus rearranging the document. It also incorporates most of the functions that used to be available in the "Find" dialog box but now they are all visible so you don't have to go digging through several menus to find the option that you need.

Changes in Excel.
Most of the changes in Excel deal with very large datasets. There is a new PowerPivot add-in which works great if you are dealing with a very large dataset that does not fit in one Excel spreadsheet. PowerPivot pulls the data from multiple sources (several Excel spreadsheets for instance) to analyze it.

Overall this is one well planned and executed upgrade that essentially takes all the promises of Office 2007 and makes them a reality. Yes, some things are different, and it will take some getting used to; but, once you realize the improvement in efficiency you'll agree that the changes are mostly for the positive. The only thing that I truly wish had changed but didn't is that this version does not include Outlook. That is available in the Home and Business version.
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on August 25, 2010
Platform: PC Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In my title, I noted that it is "probably" not worth the upgrade. The probably depends upon what you are upgrading from. If you are using Office 2007, stick with 2007. This has a slightly longer load time and not much in the way of usable new features. If you are upgrading from an even earlier version of Office, then this is probably the way to go.

The good: The ribbon bar. I like it and it is still there, with a couple of minor improvements such as adding a file option and incorporating your most commonly used actions into one place (kind of like Office 2003 did). The look is slightly updated to be more in line with Windows 7. There are some nice video editing features for PowerPoint that you may find useful. Also, the true claim to fame of this program is that it nearly catches up to Google Docs with online options. Finally, this is a three computer license, which is nice since so many people buy one and put it on all the computers in the house anyway.

The bad: Slower load time (with a fancier splash screen to make you think you are getting something better). Second, try the online options at Office Live before you buy. I have found that the load times can be unbearable there and the firewall where I work effectively blocks the Office Live features anyway.

The INEXCUSABLE: I didn't want to give this a one star rating for draconian DRM like so many gamers have done lately, but this product does one inexcusable thing on install. I was "upgrading" from Office 2007 Pro to 2010 Home and Student. I was well aware that this version didnt come with Access or Outlook, but I WAS COMPLETELY UNAWARE THAT 2010 WOULD REMOVE MY EXISTING ACCESS 2007 AND OUTLOOK 2007 FROM MY COMPUTER WITHOUT MY PERMISSION! There is no excuse for this type of behavior and it is making me consider re-installing 2007 instead of this junk! (When I have time, I will attempt to re-install Outlook and Access 2007 from that disk and see what happens, but even if that works, this is inexcusable.)
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on December 17, 2010
Whatever you do, don't allow the software to install a trial edition of Outlook 2010. Since Outlook is not included in the Home and Student edition of Office 2010, you may be tempted. DO NOT! It will hijack your profile (the place where Outlook stores access to ALL your mail, your contacts, your entire life) and ***it will not give it back if you uninstall***

I got hosed this way, just wanna warn you!
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on October 7, 2010
This Upgrade will ERASE your other office stand alone products!!!

I own:
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
Outlook 2007 (Stand Alone Product Purchased Separately) and
Publisher 2007 (Stand Alone Product Purchased Separately)
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 Upgrade

When I installed my new Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 and selected the Upgrade button, it DELETED my stand alone installations of Outlook 2007 and Publisher 2007! OUTRAGEOUS!

After 40 minutes on the phone with Microsoft technical support, their answer was "Yes, the install will delete all of your other stand alone products". When I asked "Where is that fact documented in the software install guide or in the process of the software installation", they had no answer. In other words, it's not! UN-ACCEPTABLE!!!

Apparently, Microsoft must have the happiest customers on earth, because they have no complaint department to file an official complaint with. (Trust me, I asked and demanded to speak to someone who could direct me to an official complaint department).

When I insisted that I be directed to a manager who could direct me to an official complaint sight, I was HUNG UP ON!!! That is absolutely DISGRACEFUL!!!

What a way to handle your customer when he brings to your attention a HUGE FLAW in your upgrade process!

I'm filing a complaint with the better business bureau and then I'm calling my lawyer.

Oh, by the way. Microsoft's technical support team felt that me, losing all of my Outlook Contacts, Email Accounts, Calendar Entries, Tasks, Notes, was an "inconvenience". They were sorry for the "inconvenience" of me losing years of work!!! Utterly COMTEMPTABLE!!!
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on April 14, 2011
1st Download, attempted to install then received the error message to uninstall any 32-bit versions of Office (including the compatibility pack). This required a reboot, then the downloaded files couldn't be located in the folder created on the desktop. 2nd Download, then received error message you must be running Windows 7/Vista/XP for x86 and Windows 7x/Vista for x64. Digging around on Microsoft's website discovered you must disable compatibility mode from properties of setup.exe. In my case I have Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit installing 64-bit version of Office 2010 Home & Student. So, three hours later I have the product installed but it will not activate because of an unspecified error. Rebooted again, same issue. Tried phone activation and received automated system response of "we're sorry we're unable to process your request at this time." Called 30 minutes later, still same problem. Phone system transferred me to someone in India who said "Our activation system is down at this time please call back in an hour". To sum it up, if you really must have Office without the CD this will be an excruciating experience. Hope this helps someone else.

One severely disappointed Amazon customer.
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on July 25, 2010
I had been using Office 2000 forever and thought it was about time to upgrade. The new menus and features take a bit of a learning curve to get used to but I am very impressed with all the features and quality of the product. Microsoft Office is the industry standard and you won't have any issues reformatting files or compatibility with this product.

The only recommendation I have is get the CD version over the digital version. Digital costs around $100 for each computer and by buying the CD version for about $120, you can use it for up to 3 computers.
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on June 16, 2010
First of all, I'm a long-time user of Office but I'm not a techie. I'm also not a professional secretary who knows and uses all of the secrets and capabilities of Office. I have been using Office 2010 Beta for several months. I have used Office 2007 for many years, as well as prior versions of Office. I've tried the word-processing and spreadsheets on Google docs and I have Open Office.

I use Word for a *lot* of basic word processing - writing reports & articles with foot-notes, head-notes, & tables of contents, not to mention personal stuff. I rarely use mail-merge. I use Excel for simple spreadsheets - including calculations and such. I often sort etc. I don't usually use charts & graphs. I use Power Point once in awhile but I don't do anything fancy with it. I have been perfectly happy with Word 2007 about 98% of the time.

I'm waiting for Google docs to get it together, but their word-processing program is missing a number of critical features and is *not* ready for prime time. As to their spreadsheet, you can't even merge cells vertically. In other words,
Google's programs are completely useless at this stage of development, though they're getting better. Google is also trying to build in the ability to use Word & (I think) Excel online, which is great. Google will get there. It's not currently an alternative to Word 2010.

Open Office is basic and is probably adequate for simple home computing. It would take some time to learn how to use it with Bibus & other freeware, though I imagine a techie could cobble together something pretty good. It's free and worthy of consideration. For many I'm sure that it's good enough, and low-end users should think hard about their needs, but Open Office just does not rise to the level of Office 2010.

Office 2010:

1. You cannot edit Office 2010 documents online (yet), whatever MS says. (Watch their wording.)

2. I haven't had any technical problems with Win 2010 Beta running on either Win XP, Win 7 SE, or Win 7 Home Premium systems. It's on par with Win 2007 in that regard.

3. Surprisingly, the ability to "pin" your most-used documents to the "File" screen of your applications is very useful feature. No more "most recent documents" list that is usurped every time you use Photoshop or something. Exceeds expectations, & one of my favorite features.

4. Organizing all of the functions by separate ribbons/menus is a great idea, especially since you can create your own ribbon with your most used commands. I did have problems locating some commands b/c they have been moved to different locations. In Word this was quite aggravating at first, but it's not an issue now that I know where things are & how to locate commands that I use less frequently.

5. Having your open windows at the bottom of the screen is handy, though it can be annoying until you learn to not accidentally roll your mouse over them. A so-so improvement. (This is a Win 7 and Office 2010 combined feature.)

6. Snap is a nifty feature that allows you to line up 2 pages from your apps side-by-side using the full screen. This has been very useful for me and already gets regular use. Drawbacks: Sometimes the text is too small or, if you enlarge it, doesn't always fit on the page. Still, Snap is definitely worthwhile. (Another Win 7/Office 2010 feature; IME Snap doesn't work with many non-Office applications.)

7. It's so easy and fun to use the different color swatches to brighten up my Excel spreadsheets. This is not trivial for me as I like to use color to emphasize different kinds of data. People find the spreadsheets easier to read that way. YMMV. You could do this in Office 2007, of course, but the procedure is much more cumbersome.

8. Excel is configured in much the same way as Word, with ribbons at the top for different menus. The ribbons are mostly pretty good, but more so than in Word, some basic commands are located in counter-intuitive places. For example, to copy or move a page, you have to go into Home/Format Cells/Organize Sheets/Move or Copy Sheet. The "format cells" menu is in a tiny font and located at the right of the sheet. There is a certain logic to the location, but the command for this simple task should, IMO, be right on the ribbon. (It's on my personal ribbon now that I found it.) Likewise, the Tables menu doesn't show the most simple and complete way to create borders - you have to go to a sub-menu of the Tables submenu to get to the old XP Format Cells menu where you can find number, alignment, tables, etc. One of those submenus is below the page & is easily missed. Don't be fooled; not all commands are on the ribbons or in the same menus as XP & you'll have to ferret some of them out. Oh, and so far I've found 3 "Format Cells" menus, and they're not all the same.

Minus 1/2 star for hiding the Excel commands ('cause I'll learn them but that was stupid) & round up.

You get the general idea. Office 2007 is significantly different from Office 2010. IME, Word and Excel, and to a lesser degree Power Point, are easier and more efficient to use. There are some minor annoyances and there is a learning curve, but it should be relatively easy to switch from Office 2007 to Office 2010. I wouldn't advise anyone to rush out and buy Office 2010 right this minute, but it's definitely a good product and worth consideration - when you're ready.

Did MS get it right this time???

And no, I don't work for MS.

Update 12-09-2010:
I decided to stick to the free Open Office for a couple of months and it was more than adequate for my purposes. Most importantly, documents were compatible *enough* with Office when sent via email (no recipients complained). Then I had to prepare and submit some legal documents. Legal IT systems hate non-MS documents, and many of them still prefer Works to Word. Go figure. Anyway, I'm now using Office 2010 exclusively on my workhorse computer but I still use Open Office for quirky extras such as decent flashcards.
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on April 9, 2011
I was worried when I bought this that it would stop mid-download or that it would just be faulty. Program downloaded in under 30 minutes and installed in about another 30. After rebooting (after installation) it worked perfect!

I gave this 4 our of 5 stars, because there was a bit of computer knowledge involved in installing this product. I installed the 64-bit version and when I attempted to install I was advised that I had 32-bit software on my PC and I would have to delete it to install the 64-bit newly downloaded software. It was easy to find the power point 32-bit that came with my PC through control panel, but if anyone doesn't know about removing programs may want to have someone help them with this.

Downloading software is the way to go for me in all future purchases!
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on September 22, 2010
Platform: PC Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Warning, warning, warning
The trial of Outlook on this that you don't even know it is going to install, not only makes itself your email client, it keeps downloading your email even after the trial ends if you open it for any reason, for example to look at all your emails it is already holding hostage, get rid of the trial software for Outlook as soon as you can if you still have it on your computer, I'm currently trying to go through the over 900 emails that it downloaded before I realized that it was even on my computer

I was orginally very happy with this product, but then to my dismay I found out the hard way that it installs a trial version of Microsoft Outlook on your computer.

Everything works nice, until you send an email and then Outlook takes over your email, I thought it wasn't going to be a problem, then I went to send an email and got a box that popped up and told me that the trial period had ended and that I would have to purchase a $200.00 or more program to get all my business and personal emails back that Outlook automatically downloaded without me selecting that as an option

The Powerpoint is good on this version, but if you buy this office suite, make sure you do not install any of the trial programs that the disk automatically installs, otherwise you will find yourself losing data that you needed and can't afford to pay the ransom to get back
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