This buying guide lets you easily compare Microsoft Office 2010 editions to help you decide which suite is best for you. MS Office 2010 has been grouped into four main editions: Home and Student; Home and Business (replaced Office 2007 Standard); Professional, and Professional Plus (available through open licensing). Microsoft Office Ultimate and Enterprise suites are no longer available in the 2010 editions.
*available only through the Microsoft Open License Program with a minimum purchase requirement of 5 licenses
New Features in Microsoft Office 2010
Wondering about the differences between Office 2010 and 2007? With MS Office 2010, users continue using the established .docx format introduced in Office ’07. So, thankfully, no one has to worry about file extension incompatibility this time around. Office ’10 also follows suit with similar layout, feature set, and tools you’re probably already comfortable with from 2007, so in that regard the jump may not seem as necessary. However, I have two words for you, “Improved Ribbon.” Microsoft heard all the clamoring about how terrible the Ribbon design was (great concept, poor inception) and made it MUCH better. In addition, with enhanced text, image, and video editing tools, you’ll have more freedom to create without having to rely on third-party software.
One of the most compelling reasons to upgrade to Office 2010 is the new Office Web Apps feature. Once again Microsoft is rolling up its sleeves in the competition against Google. Office Web Apps will include online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, which will allow for simplified sharing and collaboration on documents and files. The best way to think about Web Apps is the way Outlook coincides with Outlook Web Access.
Ultimately, is Office 2010 worth the price tag? You bet. But you should consider the new features and see if they apply to what you plan to do. Chances are you’ll see that Microsoft added just the right ones to entice you to buy. But then, isn’t that their job?
What’s a Key Card and Who Can Use It?
With Office 2010, Microsoft is trying a new approach to help simplify your life when you buy a new computer and you want Office 2010. They are currently working with PC manufacturers to have Office pre-installed on new PC’s. Purchase a new PC and when you decide you want the full-version, all you need to do is buy the appropriate Office 2010 Key Card, input the code, and voila!-your copy of Office 2010 is unlocked and ready to use. No disks, no installations, no downloads. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition is designed to replace Microsoft Works. It is not available for purchase, but rather will come loaded on new PCs. The ad-supported Starter Editions only include very basic functions of Word 2010 and Excel 2010. You will be able to edit, view and create documents and spreadsheets, but at a very basic level. The Starter Edition will never expire (it is not a trial), it just has reduced functionality. Users will also experience ads as they use this free version.
Retail vs Open License
For businesses, paying retail-price for every program for every user can be quite costly. That’s why we’re happy to announce Office 2010 Licensing where businesses get the best possible deals when buying a minimum of 5 licenses. Purchasing through the Microsoft Open License Program gives users another suite option – Office Professional Plus 2010. Professional Plus includes everything in the Professional version plus InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace, Communicator, and Outlook with Business Contact Manager. Create sophisticated electronic forms without writing code with InfoPath. SharePoint Workspace (previously Office Groove) lets you to work better as a team by allowing fast, anytime, anywhere access to your SharePoint team sites. Office Communicator is tightly integrated with Outlook and lets you experience multiple modes of communication, including messaging, video conferencing, file transfer, and more. Keep track of all your business contacts and even create custom reports with Outlook with Business Contact Manager.