Microsoft’s Office 2010 has been out for a couple of years now, but how many people actually know about it and its full capabilities? It’s like those people who are just discovering Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. I mean peanut butter inside of a pretzel inside of a pint of ice cream, is that even possible? I guess so because we landed on the moon. Well Microsoft Office 2010 has been around for some time as well and I bet a lot of people are still using older versions of Office mainly because, hey it works. Sometimes Microsoft’s biggest competitor is itself, but in this case Office 2010 does have some nifty features that older versions of Office don’t have, and I find that these useful features save me time during the day that I can spend doing more appropriate things, like say eating ice cream.
Office 2010 includes a lot of interactive and collaborative technology that ties into other products such as SharePoint, Lync and InfoPath, but the reality is not everyone has fully invested in those other products so one may think, what’s the point of going to Office 2010 because we’re not going to even use those other products at this point. Well the good news is Office can do more than just play with those collaboration products; in fact it actually has a lot of subtle, useful tools that make the everyday work experience just a little bit easier on you.
Email is a very important messaging tool that that we know and love, in fact we probably interact through email more than our phones, so Microsoft has provided some practical tools to make our daily use of email a little simpler. One is the Out of Office message. Like Marty McFly, Office 2010 can also see into the future. Once you add a contact name into the “To” Box, Outlook will let you know that your contact is out of the Office so as you’re about to type your message you can decide to abort the email all together or format your message differently knowing that the person you’re about to send it to may not immediately read their email. Doc Brown would be proud. Office also has Mail Tips, where it lets you know that you’re about to Reply to All, which is nice to know just in case you’re about to send a very regrettable email to everyone in your company. HR would be proud. It also has a Forgotten Attachment detector. If you’re sending out an email that reads please see attachment, Office recognizes that you’ve written the word “attachment” in the body of the email so it will let you know to actually attach the file if you have forgotten to do so, because as you know it’s always rewarding when the person you wrote the email to asks “what attachment?” Doh! Homer Simpson would be proud. Lastly, when someone sends you a meeting request, Outlook shows you what other meetings are sandwiched between your meeting, that way you can see how much of a crazy day you’re going to have or how much time you have to recoup from you lunch food coma. Yikes, I have a ½ hour to suck down a 5 Hour Energy! Dyn-o-mite!!! Jimmie Walker would be proud.
If you’re still running an older version of Office, one of the great things about Office 2010 is that it allows you to work anywhere. It’s incorporated a lot of functionality into mobility products such as the Windows Phone and iOS devices. If you’re stuck in a cab in NYC and have to make a few edits to a presentation, Office 2010 allows you to view and edit PowerPoint presentations and Word documents on the fly right on your phone as Microsoft has made an investment in the fidelity of the product to make the application look exactly the same on the phone as it is on a PC. However, it’s much smaller especially if you’re using the Derek Zoolander ridiculously good looking tiny phone. In addition if you don’t have a collaboration tool like Lync or WebEx, Microsoft has built in presentation capabilities right into Office 2010 which allow you to broadcast PowerPoint presentations on your PC or phone right on the web through a shared URL.
Office 2010 also added hundreds of more commands, which at first is a bit overwhelming, but they did it in such a way that it’s organized into a variety of tabs on a ribbon. For instance if you click on a picture it brings you right to a tab where you can make any edits to that picture on that tab without having to jump around all over the document.
Lastly if you purchase Office 2010 with Software Assurance you’ll receive a whole bunch of other benefits, the first of which is Office Home Use Program which lets employees download a copy of Office for their personal PC for $9.95. The cool thing is the employee has a full functioning copy of Office that they can use at home for work or let their kids do their science projects on. Ok, so maybe it’s not that cool, but from a manageability standpoint when an employee downloads Office the employee would sign a separate EULA from the one provided to the company under their Volume License Program. With this agreement the employee would be required to remove the Office from their PC if they were to leave the company, keeping the company off the hook in trying to retrieve the Home User license. In fact, if someone does leave, the employer can redistribute that Home Use license to another employee. Also, with Office 15 coming down the pike, Software Assurance would provide new versions rights to have access to Office 15, when it’s finally released, allowing the end user to enjoy the new features of Office (which may include touch capabilities).
If you’re on an older version of Office and are looking to upgrade, now is a great time to do so. With the purchase of Office, as well as other products, Microsoft is offering their Big Easy promotion which provides subsidy dollars for implementation of future solutions and products including software and services. Basically, depending on the quantity and type of software you purchase, Microsoft will give you money back in the form of a check that you can use for future purchases!