I couldn’t help myself. I downloaded and installed the Office 2010 technical preview. It’s definetely not baked all the way through, but it clearly shows the direction Microsoft is going.
The big news is that Outlook now has a ribbon. Additionally, they have made some significant changes to the Outlook UI. There are two very welcome features that I noticed. First is that there is automatic threading of messages now.
I didn’t realize I needed this until I used it. Now it’s much easier to keep an entire thread together. I used to have to search to find the related messages. I am very happy using this feature.
The second feature I just love is something kind of silly. Often I paste into an email and get annoyed because I don’t want to keep the formatting. So, in the past, I clicked Paste – Paste Special – Text Only. Now, as you can from the image below, you can click under the paste button and click Keep Text Only. It saves me exactly one click. However, I really love this feature. It’s the little things that make you hate or love a product. This is a delightful little thing.
The rest of the office suite (Excel, PowerPoint, Word) all behave about the same. I haven’t really run them through the ringer yet. I had some trouble using PowerPoint with an older version of SharePoint. Apparently, there is tighter integration, but our version of SharePoint is pretty old at this point. I have been moving my documents to a share to try and wean myself off SharePoint completely. What I really want is a Microsoft version of Google Spreadsheets. I want multiple people to be able to edit at the same time online. I have no idea, NO IDEA, why Microsoft doesn’t make SharePoint available as a direct competitor to Google Docs. Use the same pricing structure.
So overall, Office suite seems to load quickly and have some nice features. The coloring is very washed out, but maybe they will address that.