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Office 2007: Are you planning to upgrade?

Office 2007: Are you planning to upgrade?

  • Are you planning to upgrade to Microsoft's new Office 2007 productivity suite? Why or why not?

    Still debating the issue? Check out TechSoup's article Microsoft Office 2007: An FAQ For Nonprofits, which may help you make an informed decision.

    If you have additional questions about Office 2007, please share them here.
    senior editor, TechSoup
  • I, personally, am planning to upgrade simply because I am expected to support those people that *want* to upgrade.

    It really does not matter if *I* like or need the newest features in Microsoft Office. My career is built around supporting those who are convinced that *they* need the newest features in Microsoft Office... and Microsoft Windows... and Microsoft Exchange... and Microsoft SQL Server... and...

    Tim Claremont
    Systems Administrator
    Rochester, NY

  • There are two reasons why we will not be upgrading to Office 2007 right away.
    One: Our computers just don't have the necessary horsepower to run it.
    Two: I never buy any MS product until the SR1 version comes out. After being burned several times trying to keep up with the latest and greatest I now wait until most of the bugs are worked out.
    That said, I've been running the beta version for my own use and really like some of the new features.
  • I'm curious, too, to see what those who have used Office 2007 think of the new interface. Was it pretty easy to understand and use?
    senior editor, TechSoup
  • chowen,

    You stated: "...I never buy any MS product until the SR1 version comes out...." Why would you believe that SR1 code would be any better? I have been using MS Office 2007 Premium for nearly a month now.

    My usage is to do as many different actions as possible in order to support our Computer Club's membership. I also provide support on the Microsoft Newsgroups.

    I have yet to hit on a true bug. I have hit a bunch of "why in the world did they do that?" kind of things.
    Charles W Davis The F1 Key has never broken anything!
  • wcook

    I have been using Office Premium 2007 on a Windows XP Service Pack 2 machine since the Microsoft Launch team was in Las Vegas on January 30. All attendees received a free copy.

    My experience has been with Outlook, Word, and Publisher. I have also made a couple of insignificant changes to a PowerPoint presentation.

    The documents that I produce with Word and Publisher are no different than before. Naturally, with a new user interface, one must learn where various functions are hidden. If you don't convert your files to the new format, you will be working in "compatibility" mode. I recommend that you continue in compatibility until all that you are sharing documents with are on Office 2007.


    The "Ribbon" interface was not implemented Publisher, so the transition is almost painless. My only objection is the Format Publication panel that opens when you open a document. One can click on the X to close it, but I continue to wonders why?


    Here the Ribbon was implemented. Before most function that you wanted to get at was 'hidden' on a task bar drop down list. Now there are a similar number of tabs that, when clicked on, offer up most of the same functions spread across the tool bar and remain in place rather than going away as in the drop down menu. Good feature. I have stumbled each time when adding header & footer information, but am beginning to get used to it. As a frequent contributor on the Microsoft newsgroups, I find that most rants against Microsoft and their products, is by the younger flexible generation. We old dogs (77 on Friday) seem to learn the new tricks more easily.


    Outlook operates pretty much as before. One important aspect of installation that isn't properly thrown in your face is the fact that you must create a new Profile. Otherwise you will wait 30 seconds to delete a message. You can get detailed instructions on how to create a new Profile here.

    All in all, the programs have operated without a glitch. I continue to see posts to the newsgroups about this bug or that bug, but the bug is the one sitting at the keyboard. If I would have paid for it, I probably would hunt longer to determine the ROI, than the now missing Alt+W function to update a Distribution List in Outlook (one must click an icon).

    Hope this helps...
    Charles W Davis The F1 Key has never broken anything!
  • [font face='Arial' size='3' color='red']"I recommend that you continue in compatibility [mode] until all that you are sharing documents with are on Office 2007."[/font]

    You never know with whom you may need to share files; not everybody will use Office 2007, ever.

    I think I will never be using MS Office; for many years I've had copies of various versions of MSWord, and never installed them. I last used MSWord, on someone else's computer, in 1995, and I have no interest in repeating the experience, and I feel a civic responsibility not to add myself to the monopoly's constituency.

    So will you wait in compatibility mode 5 - 10 years, until you can assume everybody has filters for the new formats?
  • Hi Jesse,

    I think in truth that very few people share office documents beyond a close circle of business associates. That you choose not to use a certain product, probably has no impact on most other people. Also support for Open XML and backward compatibilities means very few people will experience any compatibility issues.

    PS - Microsoft Office has changed quite a bit since your stated last experience with the product back in 1995 ... to be objective you may wish to have another look . :-)

  • I can assure you that the latest version is better than what you were using in 95.

    To dismiss it out of hand based on your experience of twelve years ago is naive at best.

    Tim Claremont
    Systems Administrator
    Rochester, NY

  • I also received a free copy when I went to a Microsoft Launch event, so I installed it on my home computer (XP pro) to test it out.

    First - i don't like "change" - I still use Microsoft Draw 2000 because that is what I'm use to. I still use a FTP program that I used in the late 90's that I started updating website with - because that is what I'm use to.

    So when I found out about these new "ribbons" instead of all the menus - ugh... and worse when I read you can't make it look like the old way. But I had a quick word document I needed to make, with inserting a few pictures and such - so I went ahead and and used Word 2007.

    Well it does take me some extra time finding what I need - but surprisingly I'm really impressed by Office 2007. I think what I liked the best was when I inserted a few pictures & screen prints into the document, i could do all kinds of things with the pictures from within word - no need to open my old Microsoft Draw 2000 to do the editing.

    So even though it took me a few extra minutes to find what I needed, I'm really impressed by Word 2007.

    I'm also using Outlook 2007 as my primary e-mail at home and that is pretty good also. Nothing has really jumped out at me, but nothing has bothered me also.

    I've looked at Excel & PowerPoint - and both seemed like they will be nice also once I have a project to do in those.

    I also downloaded Visio 2007 as the 30 day demo to try it out, and I'm a heavy Visio user - but nothing fancy jumped out at me - so I will probable stick with the old version for awhile on that.

    I'm disappointed that FrontPage is no longer made - I did not know they were discontinuing it for another webpage development product - and VERY disappointed that it is not including in the Office Suite. I've found FrontPage an easy tool to show others when they need to update simple static websites.

    But overall - I like the new Office 2007. Of course for my work environment (non-profit agency with around 80 computers), it will be awhile before I make the switch. If I can, I like to be able to use a product for awhile so I can be more helpful when it comes time to support the product to my users. But maybe I'll load it on a few of my "power users" with the default in the old file format and do a slow upgrade of everyone else.
  • It is not naive to reject MS Office on principle; naivety would be to blithely join the monopoly's constituency, when I have no particular need to do so.

    It used to be that MS had deals with all the computer manufacturers who give the whole suite away with any computer purchase. Now that MS have you in their grip, they charge a premium price, and they charge it frequently. They can now charge a premium because of their near-monopoly position.

    In the corporate world the cost of software is often a marginal concern compared to other costs, and bottom line profit is the overriding mandate for corporate managers, and breaking away from the monopoly after you have committed to it requires a lot of expense.

    At least, if somebody keeps an alternate reality viable by using other software, you too will someday have a choice. If you had no choice, the MS premium price would be arbitrarily high. In order to get as much money as possible from near-monopoly, MS is also imposing many non-monetary costs, such as WGA, which becomes more aggressive with each iteration. MS software is poison. It is not naive to avoid it.
  • Jesse, if you read for comprehension you will notice that I stated it was naive to dismiss it "based on your experience of twelve years ago".

    If your personal and political views prevent you from purchasing or using Microsoft products... so be it. I credit you for sticking to whatever beliefs you subscribe to.

    I, personally, do not expect a product that contains the popularity, the support, the user base, the compatibility, and the feature set of Microsoft Office for free.

    But alas, I come to this conversation from the support side primarilly, as opposed to an end user. I get paid to support what the end users want to use, which is predominantly MS Office.

    Based on my 25 years of experience, this is a case where the cheapest solution is not the least expensive.

    Tim Claremont
    Systems Administrator
    Rochester, NY

  • [font face='Arial' size='2' color='purple']"I, personally, do not expect a product that contains the popularity, the support, the user base, the compatibility, and the feature set of Microsoft Office for free. "[/font]

    Popularity is roughly equal to user base, something that MS acquired by monopolistic practices and that does not indicate any value to the software itself;
    support is something you pay for on the side anyhow;
    compatibility means MS compatibility, not standards compatibility....
    These four items are not things that should be included in the pricing of MS Office.

    So you pay for the feature set; that is fair enough, if you're satisfied with the rest of the package.
  • Jesse I likewise respect your principles, however these are not the topic of discussion. My own principles are less critical of individual company's; more critical of the absolute desire of corporate America to monopolise en-masse - i.e. it doesn't matter if it's Microsoft with MS Office or Sun with Open Office, both are attempts by corporate culture to achieve monopoly status; both attempts to defeat the other; both symptoms of a society where freedoms and personal choice are voiced as the highest of goals, yet in truth are goals condemned and ridiculed by critics of free choice through expressions and accusations like: 'blithely joining a constituency'... but I digress.

    This thread is asking for reasons to upgrade MS Office, it is not questioning the value of Office itself... As you have made clear you have not had any experience with MS Office since 1995, then clearly you have no reason to 'upgrade'!

    Cheers, Don
  • Our organization just paid $20 each for three copies of MS Office. I am having a hard time feeling guilty about using it at that price.

    As an employee of a non profit organization, I owe it to the organization to get the most bang for the buck. Microsoft Office at $20 provides a better return on investment than any "free" software that offers comparable capability.

    If forking over $20 to TechSoup (not sure how much of that $$ makes it's way to Microsoft) in exchange for MS Office implies that I am "feeding the beast" then so be it. If your principles dictate that it is in the world's best interest to offer a similar product for less money, while including all of the resources and support that Office enjoys, then by all means go make an alternative for less than $20 and sell it. When that happens I will evaluate that product on an even keel with MS Office and begin my assessments anew.

    To tie this back in to the original topic, yes, I / We are planning to upgrade for the very reasons that I stated here, and then some. These are not "pro-Microsoft" reasons as much as they are logical decisions made with the best interest of my organization in mind.

    Will our upgrade happen today? No. Will it happen next month? No. Will it follow a logical order of progression as our current hardware is taken out of circulation? Probably.

    Tim Claremont
    Systems Administrator
    Rochester, NY