[AI] MS Office 2010 in-depth guide

Sanjay ilovecold at gmail.com
Mon Apr 26 10:49:57 EDT 2010

Anyone can give Microsoft's Office 2010 productivity suite a spin, but 

not all
the pieces are ready.  Gregg Keizer outlines what to expect

In mid-November Microsoft launched the first public beta of Office 

2010.  As the
last big testing milestone for the new suite, Microsoft was keen to get 

the beta
into the hands of a very large group.

"Tens of thousands tried the technical preview, but now we're talking 

millions of people," says Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice-president for 


>From the user's point of view, the best thing about Office 2010 beta is 

it's available to use, free of charge, until 31 October 2010.  And 

unlike with
the Windows 7 beta, you don't need to rush to download the software 

You can do so any time you feel like it.  In fact, we've made it even 

convenient than that: you'll find an extended trial version on our 

cover DVD.

For most people, however, a month would be plenty of time to establish 

the new office suite is worth having.

Microsoft certainly hopes you like Office 2010: it had a tough enough 

persuading consumers and small businesses of the need to switch from 

Office 2003
to Office 2007.  The last version brought new file formats that didn't 

want to
work natively with its predecessors, plus a revised menu structure that 

intended to simplify things but wasn't universally welcomed.  Will 

Office 2010
beta be enough to change your mind?

Initial feedback on the public beta has been mixed.  PCAdvisor.co.uk 

reported that it installed faultlessly, but not all the expected 

features are
available yet, and not everyone is ready to embrace that shiny yellow 


For an in-depth look at what it contains, how it performs, what you 

need to do
to get hold of Office 2010 - or be rid of it - and the system resources 

demands (this is Microsoft after all), read on.

FAQs: All you need to try out the Office 2010 beta 

When can I download the beta? 

Immediately.  Microsoft rolled out the beta at its Professional 

Conference (PDC) in November.  You can download it from 

tinyurl.com/yexjp89.  If
you don't want to hang around waiting for a hefty download to complete, 

a 60-day trial version on this month's cover DVD.

Do I need 32bit or 64bit Windows? 

Office 2010 is the first Microsoft suite to be offered in both 32- and 

versions.  Choose the version that fits your operating system.  If 

you're not
sure of this, click Start, Control Panel, System Maintenance, System 

and details
about your PC will appear.

We were unable to install Office 2010 beta on 64bit Windows XP, 


Is Microsoft limiting who can try it? 

There's no cap on the number of downloads for Office 2010 beta.  And 

has not, as yet, set a time limit.  "I'm not sure whether we have a 

plan to shut off availability at some point," says Takeshi Numoto.

The Microsoft vice-president adds that the company intends to make sure
"millions and millions" of users are able to download and try the 


What edition of Office is the beta? 

You can choose between Office Professional Plus 2010, the
everything-and-the-kitchen-sink edition, or Student and Home.  When 

Office 2010
launches commercially, Professional Plus will be available only to 

and volume licensees.

Professional Plus includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, 

Access, Publisher, InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace and Communicator.

Microsoft originally listed three different versions on the Office 2010 

website: Professional Plus, Office Professional and Office Home and 

The two retail versions have yet to be offered through the beta 


Numoto said Microsoft still plans to offer versions other than 

Professional, but
wouldn't be drawn on timing.  "We'll make additional offerings fairly 

was all he would reveal at launch time.

Are there any problems with the beta? 

The day it launched there were a few issues, but since then 

availability of the
code from the download site has been fine and it's been simple enough 

to get the
product key.

What do I need to install the beta? 

Microsoft has set the minimum requirements as a 500MHz or faster 

256MB of memory, 3GB of hard-disk space and Windows XP Service Pack 3 

Vista SP1, Server 2003, Server 2008 or Windows 7.

"You don't need to replace hardware that's capable of running Office 

Microsoft says.  The 32bit version is about 85MB; the 64bit version is 


Do I need to activate Office? 

You'll need a product-activation key to use the software beyond the 

30-day trial
period.  (It's not an issue if you get it from our DVD.) The product 

key you're
assigned when you start the download will work only with the beta code. 

it out and store it safely.

The product key can't be used to upgrade from the technical preview 

you'll need to uninstall that version and then install the public beta.

Can I upgrade Office 2007 to the beta? 

Yes, but you may not want to.  When you install Office 2010 beta, you 

can choose
between Upgrade and Customize options.  The former replaces your 

existing copy
of Office with Office 2010.  However, once the beta expires you'll have 

reinstall the earlier edition using the installation CD.  Choose the 

option and install Office 2010 beta alongside your existing version so 

you can
use both.

You'll still need to reinstall one - and perhaps two - applications 

from your
older edition once you stop using the Office 2010 beta, however.  These 

the Outlook email application and SharePoint Workspace, which can't 

with previous versions on your computer.  Microsoft says you can't run 

copies of Outlook on the same system.

What's Click-to-Run? 

Click-to-Run is a technology that Microsoft debuted along with the 

preview as a way to optimise downloads.  It 'streams' pieces of the 

Office 2010
beta as you begin the download, and should allow you to start using 

elements of
the suite within minutes.  While you get to work on the trial, the 

remainder of
the code is downloaded in the background by Click-to-Run.

But there's more to Click-to-Run than speeding up the process of 

starting to use
Office 2010.  The technology also runs the application in a virtualised
environment, separating it from the rest of Windows.

"Click-to-Run applications don't end up modifying any other software 

on the system," explains a Microsoft engineering team blog post.  "With 

exceptions, only user data actually passes through the virtual 

environment to
the local system."

Microsoft says it will also use the Click-to- Run technology to deliver 

trials of Office 2010 when it ships next year.

Which languages are supported? 

English, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish so far.  Japanese 

has also
been promised by Microsoft.

What support is available? 

You can browse the support material on office.com, or ask other beta 

testers for
help in the user forums - or, of course, our own forums at 


When does the beta expire? 

Not until 31 October 2010, according to the end-user licensing 

agreement (Eula)
that accompanies the product.  But the full version of the software may 

earlier; undenied rumours surfaced at the start of December that it 

will launch
in June.

What about the online version? 

A limited version of Office Web Apps can also be downloaded.  You can 

create but
not properly share or do much editing with these apps so far.  Word, 

Excel and
PowerPoint are the only three apps currently available.

"We should have a fully featured beta for consumers early next calendar 

says Numoto.  "Until then, consumers will continue to get the technical 

of Web Apps."

For more details, see the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 blog post at 


Will Office be updated before launch? 

No.  Microsoft says it will go straight from beta to 'release to 

(RTM) version.

Can I easily get rid of the beta if I wish? 

Go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs in XP; Control Panel, 

Uninstall a
Program in Vista; and Control Program, Programs, Programs and Features 

Windows 7.  Select Office 2010 and click Uninstall.

Copyright (c) PC Advisor 2010



Be more productive in Microsoft Outlook 

Limit new-mail notifications, edit subject lines and link up Outlook 

and Twitter
with a free toolbar.  Rick Broida shows you how


Outlook has had its fair share of criticism for its annoying habits.  

of Outlook users have been lobbying Microsoft for improvements in the 

next version

Message alert alarm 

Turning off Outlook's mail notifications is a must if you want to get 

done.  By default, Outlook alerts you to the arrival of every email 

message that
enters your inbox.  It's a great idea in theory, but the end result is 

very much
like a colleague popping his head into your office every five minutes 

to ask a
question.  It's not good for productivity.

Disabling new-message alerts is both liberating and easier than you 

might think.
Choose Tools, Options, click Email Options and select Advanced E-Mail 

In the resulting window, disable the following options: 'Play a sound'; 

change the mouse cursor'; 'Show an envelope icon in the notification 

area'; and
'Display a New Mail Desktop Alert'.  Click ok.

Outlook will continue to receive new messages at scheduled intervals, 

but it
will do so without interrupting you.  In other words, you can now 

review your
inbox on your schedule, rather than Outlook's.

Edit subject lines 

A common email annoyance is a subject line that no longer matches the 

content of
the message.

Suppose you and your colleagues started off emailing each other about a 

event.  Somewhere along the way, the conversation shifts to sales 

forecasts, at
which point a colleague pastes in some new figures.  Now it's a message 

you want
to keep for future reference, but you'll probably never remember that 

valuable information is embedded in a conflab about the office 


Fortunately, Outlook has a hidden feature that lets you edit an email's 

line.  Open the email in a new window; this trick can't be done in the 

pane.  Click anywhere in the subject line, then edit it as you see fit. 

Enter and accept whatever warning Outlook gives you.

You can now file the email with a more appropriate (and informative) 


Tweet from Outlook 

If you use Outlook to manage your contacts, calendar, email and the 

like, why
not use it for your Twitter activity too?  TwInbox ( bit.ly/8szSGm) is 

a free
plug-in that adds a Twitter toolbar to Outlook.

Once installed, TwInbox places a new folder in your inbox.  It can also 

individual folders for each sender, which you might find helpful from 

organisational standpoint - unless you follow lots of people.

Supply your Twitter username and password, and the plug-in will fetch 

all the
tweets from your account and let you read them just as you read email.

With a click of the toolbar you can send out an update, send a direct 

reply to a message or retweet something.  TwInbox automatically 

shortens any
long web addresses using TinyURL.com.

The toolbar also shows you a preview of new tweets as they arrive, 

which saves
you having to switch over to the tweets folder every time you want to 

check for

In short, TwInbox is a terrific little utility, and it's a must-have 

tool for
any Twitterloving Outlook user.  We wish it could handle more than one 

account, but we can't argue with the price: TwInbox is free.

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