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Office 2007 Beta Refresh - Review

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#1 Neon



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Posted 14 March 2006 - 05:11 PM

Whether in a work environment or at home you want the best product for creating Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets and Databases. Microsoft have held on to this market well with MS office but since they first started other competitors have appeared or have got serious and now there are many valid alternatives.

Office 2007 will be Microsoft's attempt at putting a distance between it and its competitors. When you thought things couldn't be easier to use and more accessible. When you thought that your Office suite couldn't look better you were wrong.

This will be the perfect companion to Windows Vista, and the Windows Live Products which will also have many improvements.

Lets get stuck in!

Firstly installation - This looks quite nice and more tidy. Not many things to comment on here, but i note how you can choose upgrade or customize your installation. You can even leave older versions of Office installed. The whole process is very straight forward as you can see in the screenshots.

Attached Image: installt.PNG Attached Image: install.PNG Attached Image: install1.PNG Attached Image: install2.PNG

I had a shock when i first opened Microsoft Word. Immediately i was reminded of Vista when i saw an Orb in the top left corner, reminisent of the Vista Start menu Orb. When i clicked this orb i find that the File menu looks very much like a Start menu.

Performance wise i couldn't find fault with it and as i navigated around the layout that is very much the same as previous Office 2007 (formerly Office 12) builds. Very accessible! If i want something, i click and a whole category is there and i can see all the available functions. Note the zoom feature in the bottom right is still there and now almost like the Quick Launch on the taskbar, there is a similar thing above the Office Orb button.

On top of this there is a great menu for customizing MS word, including what format you save in.

Attached Image: wordword.PNG Attached Image: orbinword.PNG Attached Image: 2.PNG

Powerpoint has been given the same attention as Microsoft Word. Menu's are easy to use and to understand, all the main features that you are more likely to need are at hand. It has same options as you can get in Word, such as which format you save slideshows in. Backward compatibility will be very important to a lot of people. Things like animations and insert are now right where you can get them. If you highlight any of the animations you get a preview quickly below on the stage.
Same with Sounds and other extras

Attached Image: pwr.PNG Attached Image: pwr1.PNG Attached Image: pwr11.PNG

Excel is one of the big three. Word, Powerpoint, Excel are the main applications we all use. This too got the new layout and theme. Its important in spreadsheets to be able to complete tasks quickly, and users won't be disappointed with just how easy things have become. Note how formulas is right there to get to!

Attached Image: excel.PNG Attached Image: formula.PNG

Publisher looks very much like Publisher 2003. But there is a cleaner look to it and a few alteration to the layout and neat little zoom effects. I get the feeling Microsoft may do more to this yet. Here is a screenshot of the 'Getting Started Screen'.

Attached Image: pub.PNG

Infopath like publisher just looks cleaner, upon loading i am faced with welcome screen to choose what i want to do. This too may get a facelift.

Attached Image: ifo.PNG

Access is one of the more complicated apps. This has been completely overhauled, and matches Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Before doing anything an updated 'Getting Started with Microsoft Office Access' appears and you can completely customize everything you do. More power to the user, thats what we like to see!

Attached Image: acess.PNG


As i have mentioned, Performance, Accessibility and Power are the key things here and you certainly get them. I will go as far to say that this is the best Office suite i've ever used and already better than Office 2003. I don't know how near to release this is but MS could probably release this publicly and get a great response.

10 out of 10!

Requirements: 1 GHz CPU, 128MB Ram and 1GB of HDD space. Its well worth it!

Also with Office comes Groove 2007, OneNote 2007, Project Professional 2007, SharePoint Designer 2007 and Visio Professional 2007.


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#2 Nvyseal


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Posted 14 March 2006 - 05:54 PM

Nice review! Great Screenshots

#3 Barty


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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:10 PM

yeh real nice!

#4 Neon



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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:35 PM

Thanks dave ;)

#5 Serb-Man


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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:38 PM

Nice, UI refresh. I like it ;) Thanks for the review!

#6 x2p


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Posted 14 March 2006 - 07:11 PM

just one bad thing....publisher is bac ,damm

#7 Leo


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Posted 14 March 2006 - 07:38 PM

Great work Neon I like the screenys and hope to get a install soon. ;)

#8 Tommy


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Posted 14 March 2006 - 08:26 PM

thanks for this one m8
hacvent read it yet, but i'll always giving credit

#9 clarky3429


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Posted 14 March 2006 - 08:46 PM

good review!! think i might have to download it, lol

#10 error51


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Posted 14 March 2006 - 11:16 PM

I like it! Nice layout to the guide with the organized screenshots!

I think that I might actually download this from ______ later on tonight. It looks like it is a fairly good update.

#11 Neon



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Posted 15 March 2006 - 12:42 AM


One thing i noted was how Office, MSN, Media Player, internet Explorer and XP are all getting replacements. Has MS ever had all these projects on the go?

#12 Sphere


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Posted 15 March 2006 - 12:53 AM

They come from the new Windows whatsitcalled project partly, that windows that is build from completely scratch....

#13 joejoe


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Posted 15 March 2006 - 05:47 AM

Awesome screennshots !

#14 ShadowFox


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Posted 15 March 2006 - 03:39 PM

wow.. amazing ;) Can't wait to use it ;)

#15 Neon



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Posted 16 March 2006 - 11:33 AM

I was suprised by this look, was expecting the silver one from the last Office Beta.

The whole thing is faster, cleaner and to be fair i haven't seen anything big to indicate that its not near finishing stage.

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