The latest version of the most famous software suite, Microsoft office went on sale last week for businesses. With the launch of the consumer version of Office 2010 in June, Microsoft will also be releasing its free Web version of Office, providing a limited access version of Word, PowerPoint and Excel when you are connected to the Internet.
In this new package, Microsoft has done a good job of incorporating together online and offline programs. For example, you can now easily display a PowerPoint presentation you created in Office on the Web.
Overall, Microsoft’s new software gives a similar look and feel to Office 2007, which is actually a good thing because, unlike the previous version, users won’t have to go through a completely new learning process.
In Office 2007, Microsoft replaced the familiar menus available in most programs with a “ribbon” that displays available commands. Although the ribbon might seem like an easier interface for new users, but it is hard for old users to become familiar with the new interface as they are used to the old one.
In Office 2010, they have put the ribbon on all of the programs, but they have also provided the users the facility to customize it by creating their own tabs or by adding commands to existing tabs. This is good as you can now place the options which are more frequently used at places where you can find them more easily.
Another major change that has been done is the way it integrates pictures in PowerPoint, Word and Excel. It is now possible to do some basic editing when you insert a picture from within Word, Excel and PowerPoint, including removing the background from an image.
With PowerPoint, you can also trim a video to adjust the beginning and ending, and the video file will be saved together with the PowerPoint presentation, so you can easily view the video on any other computer too.
Moreover, although they have maintained the ribbon, the File menu is back with its familiar commands such as new, print, save and so on. Clicking on the File menu also allows you to see what Microsoft calls “the backstage view”. This provides more information about your file as well as more options, including “save and send”, which now allows you to “save” the document to the Web, which will post it to your Windows Live account, although you will need to set up a free Windows Live account to use this feature, which will allow you to get a massive 25 gigabytes of free storage space to save and share documents.
The upgrade may seem to be quite subtle, but the improvements are evident. Prices will range starting from $149 for the Home and Student edition, but there are discounts available for K-12 students and teachers. Business and professional editions range from $280 to $500.