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Office 2007: Are you planning to upgrade?

Office 2007: Are you planning to upgrade?

  • In my opinion, there is impending reason to upgrade to Office 2007. There is a freely-downloadable compatibility pack for Office XP and Office 2003 on Microsoft's website. This does more than let you view a docx file, it lets you edit, save in the format, etc.

    Anyway, if you are using a current, supported version of a product, feel free to skip the next release (i.e. if you're using 2003, skip 2007). Plenty of companies do it and they aren't hurting. It all depends on your preference - but Office 2007 isn't A) going away or B) causing the end of life of Office 2003.

    The interface is very different, as previously mentioned in this post. Maybe your users don't handle change well. The "productivity gains" in Office 2007 are pretty shallow when your primary use of Office products is to write a mail merge or answer an email.

    Chris Shipley
    Nutmeg Consulting

  • I was involved in the private beta test of Vista and Office2k7, and when Office2k7, and Vista, were released, I upgraded my personal machines to the latest.

    Awake In America moved to the new platforms, well, we do have one computer running Win2k, one with WinXP, and a couple with Linux, and one, for a good chuckle, running Win3.11WFW (Windows 3.11 Windows For Workgroups), but that machine is for secure transactions, locking down files, and is not networked. We have one box that's running as a hardware firewall, which is running (xxxxx - not listed for security reasons). ;)

    The reasons to upgrade: compatibility with others in the corporate world that you will/may collaborate with on a regular basis; the ability to use the latest storage methods (XML, etc.), and many other features that are in Office2k7. In fact, we considered migrating to OpenOffice.org, but for a variety of reasons, after a great deal of testing -- holding both MS Office and OpenOffice.org to the same standards -- OOo failed to meet the standards we had. Was there a bias in favor of MS Office? Not really. We developed, over a four month period, a rigid plan for testing and evaluating both products, based on our use, activities, and needs.

    During the planning, if it is "the basic" stuff you need, OOo did fairly well. When it came to compliance with standards, OOo didn't do so well, especially in saving to MS Word format so others who do use MS Office could open and read the files. When printing, the files did not print as expected. Issues with the spreadsheet also arose.

    In the end, migrating to OOo would have been a great downgrade for us.

    Cheers,
    Dave Jackson
    National Coordinator
    Awake In America, Inc.
    http://www.AwakeInAmerica.org/
    AIM/AOL: AwakeInAmerica05
    V: 215-764-6568
  • I don't get it sometimes. I know Office 2007 is said to comply (with caveats) to a more open standard for document formats, but everything I read is they're still going their own way in MS fashion regarding the OpenDocument format (ODF). It seems every post here regarding the reasons to upgrade is for compatibility, which is still going to require ass't plug-ins for other vendors' office apps.

    I won't upgrade to Office 2007 unless or until I have to support it more extensively than I do at this point. I'd certainly run it in a compatibility mode to handle the older Office formats. In my job, I see a lot more older apps than newer ones out there, and in that world, the Office 2000/2003 formats still rule the day. As for ODF, it's success depends to a large degree on MS's participation, which is minimal at this point. Sorry if the ODF diatribe is out of scope here, but I don't see Office 2007 as all that compatible with anything but itself.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. :(
  • I have upgraded and when I email a word doc to anyone they cannot open it and read it. What good is it to have 2007 when this is the case. How do I get my Word doc to stop doing this?
  • Hi Donna,

    As I was considering how best to reply and construct a bunch of screen shots with instructions on how to do each one, I decided instead to create a short (very short) training video on the topic. You can simply change the default save type of documents in Word 2007 (and Excel and PowerPoint) to be the older format, and your colleagues won't have difficulties in opening them. Here's a link to my video listing. Just click on the Change default save type in Word 2007 video. Hope that helps. Once you've changed teh default save type and clicked OK, you should be all set.

    For documents you've already created, you'll have open them first, click the Office Button, then click "Save As..." You'll see an option for Word 97-2003 there. The icons are slightly different in display between the new and old versions.

    (note: The video loops, so once I clicked OK, the screen will show you a blank Word Document, then loop back to the start of the video again. These are not additional instructions.)

    Chris Shipley
    Nutmeg Consulting

  • Quite a few companies have decided to put off upgrading to Office 2007. I know of one major Canadian bank that, for the time being, has decided to keep all of its employees on the current Office 2003 setup.

    This makes sense: imagine the logistical mess and impact to business productivity and internal workflow associated with having to retrain thousands of employees on Office 2007.

    I guess such a large-scale move can be handled in a series of phases to ease the transition process. But even still, things are bound to get messy when internally you've got various departments using different versions of the suite.

    Myself, I've played around a bit with the new Office 2007 and decided to stick with 2003 for as long as possible. The only upgrade I've made to the suite is my use of OneNote 2007. I just started using OneNote recently and thought it made sense to jump to the latest version, which is a nice step up features-wise from OneNote 2003 (very few changes have been made to the program's UI). But the other Office apps I use -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Visio -- are all 2003.

    Unless you're the type to avoid using Office altogether, for the rest of us I think it's just a matter of time before we make the jump to 2007. As much as many of us would like stay on 2003 for as long as we can, how long can this really last?

    Yann

    Yann Toledano, Digital Marketing Strategist
    YTConsulting.com
    Host, Web Building Forum, TechSoup.org
    Twitter: @webmanyann

  • I'm just throwing a "me too" in the mix, and to suggest a voluntary transition.

    I personally like 2007. The ribbon took a while to learn, and things still aren't as intuitive as they used to be for me. But overall, the improvements in the right-click menus are enough to sell me.

    But I'm not my users. I'm the IT guy. And the thought of throwing my not-so-savvy users in the Office 2007 Ribbon deep-end gives me chills. The productivity and morale hit we'd take while they fumbled around and re-learned how to do all the tasks they already know to do in 2003... it's prohibitive. We could train them for a week and they'd still have to fumble around for months. It's just not worth it.

    Default installation is still 2003, and it will be for a few more years. But, when I have a user who's used 2007 before, I'm more than glad to install 2007 for them. Everyone at the office has the compatibility pack installed, and I set 2007 installations to save in 2003 format besides. Everyone wins.
    Chris Broussard Director of I.T. Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations www.lano.org
  • I'll echo the last two comments. If I can impart one piece of information about Office 2007 it is this: Office 2007 has a new interface that requires previous users to spend considerable time learning to use the new product. This translates to decreased productivity, increased frustration, and the costs associated with such. The frustration and lost productivity may be temporary, but they are costs, nevertheless.

    Also, since the new formats of Word and Excel documents can create problems when sharing those files with others who have not also upgraded (i.e. most others), frustration and lost productivity occur there too if the documents are not saved in the old format or if recipients have not installed the conversion software.

    Even if you get this product at a low cost from TechSoup, training and reduced productivity may be costs to consider.
  • Does this version of Office Plus 2007 work with the new Window 7 operating system?