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Microsoft Office 2010

I have just installed Microsoft Office 2010 on my work laptop. This may or may not have been a good idea, time will tell.

After attending a launch breakfast of Office 2010 a couple of days ago in Melbourne, it looked good enough that I had to give it a go, if only to be able to support my clients as they move up to it.

As I dont tend to use any add-ins and I run Windows 7 x64, I decided that Office 2010 64 bit would be the way of the future. If you have any add-ins, more than likely they wont run in 64 bit.

The first issue I had was that I found that I did in fact run an add-in, the Google Calendar Sync application to maintain my appointment calendar between my desktop, laptop and mobile phone. Google doesn’t support Office 2010 yet until the official public release (regardless of the fact that open/volume licenced businesses have had access to it for a month already) so I had to find an alternative. I did a quick Google search and found GSyncit, a cheap ($14.99USD) Outlook plugin that supports x64 Outlook 2010 for syncing calendar, contacts, tasks and notes with Google. Even better, it works.

First Impressions: The addition of the Office “Ribbon” to Outlook is a bit different but pretty good, grouping by conversation (like Gmail has had since day 1) is nice, the ability to clean up redundant messages in a conversation and ignore conversations is also useful. Powerpoint’s built in image and video tools and functions are a great improvement and the web publish feature is great for quick small presentation sharing in real time. Word looks pretty much the same, I would need to have Sharepoint available to take advantage of its multi-user simultaneous editing features (minimum 5 users @ $10USD/m each for Microsoft hosted Exchange and Sharepoint, could be worth it in the future when I start employing staff. It turns out that in Australia, the MS hosting is managed by Telstra (bad) but they allow a single user @$16.95AUD/m. Will give it a go).

Overall, it seems to be an improvement on Office 2007 but most likely, unless you are a power user or want the latest, there is probably no need to upgrade for the sake of it, you only use a fraction of any of its apps anyway. One feature which may be of benefit is OneNote is now standard across all versions of Office 2010. In Australia there are still (as of June 10th 2010) some Office 2007 Small Business edition retail boxes going very cheap (~$230AUD) that are eligible for a free upgrade to Office 2010 Professional which is the cheapest way to get it (cheaper than an update licence). Update June 13th, this software is nearly impossible to get now, looks like the word got out.

I will edit this post with more updates as I find out more about it, good and bad.

Update: Where did my auto complete addresses go??? It tuens out Outlook 2010 no longer uses the NK2 file that I have so diligently copied, backed up and restored over the years so none of my auto complete email addresses are there any more.

To import .nk2 files into Outlook 2010, follow these steps:

1. Make sure that the .nk2 file is in the following folder:
%appdata%\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

Note The .nk2 file must have the same name as your current Outlook 2010 profile. By default, the profile name is “Outlook.”

2. Click Start, and then click Run.

3. In the Open box, type outlook.exe /importnk2, and then click OK. This should import the .nk2 file into the Outlook 2010 profile.

All my auto complete email addresses are back now. Happy me.

Update: I just discovered that Outlook will send an email from whichever account you are in at the time regardless of your default settings… I have also signed up for Microsoft BPOS (Exchange Online) so have a full exchange server behind my Outlook instead of Google. It seems to work well, albeit difficult to set up. Will post about it specifically another time.

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