Office 2010 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

Who upgraded to Office 2010? Personally, I haven’t. I’m on 2007 and quite frankly it serves my needs just fine. I downloaded the beta of 2010 and to be honest I thought the UI was hideous! Most of the time I’m not even a fan of the blue Office ribbon, but this latest version just looks horrible!

But as far as features go it just doesn’t have anything I need. I mean seriously, what more can you possibly make Office do? I’ve stated before, Word hit feature saturation in 2003, so did Excel. At this point it’s just being dressed up and shortcuts are being added. The shortcuts are nice but I’m not sure they warrant the massive price tag of the update.

And it looks like Office 2010 might be the first version suffering from market saturation. It seems adoption is a little sluggish for this new version. Again, what is the average user missing? 2010 offers integration with cloud, web and Sharepoint services, but for most folks, that really doesn’t open the checkbook. Most of us are writing standard documents like memos, reports, essays, letters, articles and the like. Hell, you can even do some impressive desktop publishing with Word if you want to. But when you move beyond that your market becomes really small. I really like Word, have for years, even back to the Word 6.0 days which at the time was really quite good. And OneNote is fantastic. I’m only disappointed that it didn’t get more significant upgrades for 2010. Although I rarely use it now, I used to support Excel and it is insanely powerful and useful. I was astounded at the way people would manipulate Excel. It was wondrous, but also a little frightening. And Outlook? Well, Outlook has come a LONG way since it debuted in 2007. I like the 2007 version, but only use about 10% of the features. I check my email and get appointment requests. All those other crazy features really don’t mean anything to me.

But anyway, adding some shortcuts and the ability to publish to the web isn’t going to sell new copies of Office. And even adding all sorts of bolt on packages isn’t going to do it either. Really, what the hell are Groove and Infopath for? Who are you people that are using those apps?

I thought Publisher was really neat back in the day, but is anyone actually using it? I know Powerpoint gets a lot of attention, but what else can you make it do? Is there some sexy dissolve or background we’re missing? Visio is neat, for those who use it (I don’t know anyone who does). Let’s not forget Access. I almost did because I don’t use it.

I use Word, Outlook and OneNote. And if I use 10% of the features available in Word I’d be amazed. Truthfully I wish they would make a bundle of just those three apps and I would be incredibly happy and satisfied.

Office is an impressive bundle, but I think we might already have too much of it…

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