Microsoft Office 2010 vs. Microsoft Office 2007

Microsoft Office 2010 was released on April 15, 2010, although it did not become available for retail and online purchases until June 15, 2010. With Office 2010 comes the free online versions of Word, Excel, Power Point, and OneNote, which work in the browsers Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. The development of Microsoft 2010 started in 2007, shortly after the release of Microsoft Office 2007. Office 2007 is considered version number 12, then 13 was skipped due to the aversion to the number 13, making Office 2010 version 14.

If you are wondering whether or not you should upgrade from your 2007 version, consider the new features offered by Microsoft Office 2010, which includes a built-in screen capture tool, a background removal tool, a protected document mode, and new SmartArt templates and author permissions. The 2007 "Office Button" was replaced with a menu button which leads to a full-window file menu which gives easy access to task-centered functions such as printing and sharing.

More Additions

Office 2010 now has a ribbon interface and backstage view across all applications as well as a background removal tool and letter styling. New SmartArt templates are available through Office 2010, as well as new text and image editing effects, screen capturing and clipping tools, and new animations in PowerPoint 2010.

Outlook Social Connector is a new feature of Microsoft Office which allows users to connect and receive updates from their chosen social network inside Microsoft Outlook, and even offers a name, picture and title to go with the e-mail they are viewing. Presently Outlook Social Connector supports Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Windows Live Messenger.

Removed Features

Features which were present in Office 2007, but were removed for the 2010 version include the Microsoft Office Document Imaging applications, Microsoft Office Document Scanning applications, Office Startup Assistant, Office Diagnostics tools and the Research and Reference pane for Internet Explorer. Smart Tag auto recognition, the AutoSummary feature and support for Word Add-in Libraries have been removed from Word 2010, while Access Calendar Active X control, data access pages and Replication Conflict Viewer were removed from Microsoft Access.

What's Better About 2010?

Office 2010 comes in a Starter version which includes Word and Excel, but also brings a reduced functionality in viewing, editing and creating documents. Office Starter 2010 is intended to replace Microsoft Works, and are available only to original equipment manufacturers for preloading on Windows PCs. Microsoft Office 2010 has effectively not only upgraded its already great desktop software, but brings web functionality for free.

While Office 2007 made some waves with its innovative ribbon menu system, Office 2010 takes it to another level by incorporating a more intuitive ribbon and a new home menu system. Rather than being required to open up a dropdown, the entire 2010 window changes colors and provides you with options such as save, open, close and preview. The print and print preview menus are much cleaner but the layout most PC users are accustomed to has certainly changed. Image editing has gotten a definite boost with the addition of video editing within Power Point, and screen captures and video cutting are now available.

If security is your main issue, Office 2010 has revamped author settings, restricted editing and added a protected mode which keeps you from accidentally editing a file you have downloaded until you enable it-a feature some like and others truly hate.

While it can hardly be claimed that Microsoft has gone all out and amped up the features with Office 2010, there are plenty of Office Web Apps this go round to delight, and there is really no lack of new features in the desktop version. Most users have expressed an overall satisfaction with the new version of Office.