Posted by: wpd | June 28, 2006

Working with Office 2007 Beta 2

Over the past month I’ve been working with Office 2007 Beta 2. Here is a review of my experience. I’ve been using Office 2003 Pro everyday for 3 years, infact every version of Office professional since Office 97.

Biggest Changes (WOW! factor): video from MS

  • The ribbon. It’s ugly but clever. In some ways I actually like the ribbon. I didn’t like searching through the menus for stuff. Outlook doesn’t have a ribbon.
  • Live font, color, effects preview. This is nice! However, MS still hasn’t figured out that you need transparent windows in case your work is covered by your menu. Live preview is used in all of the Office suite.
  • You can have multiple Word Files open and tile the windows on screen with a click of a button.
  • Some things work better. Outlook doesn’t freeze, Word doesn’t crash.
  • Outlook works better with MS Exchange 2003.
  • Word: When you highlight a section to change it’s style you get a nice menu that “fades” into existence. Unfortunately, it covers your text you’ve just highlighted.

The Ugly:

  • The ribbon: you can’t customize it.
  • new file format. Older versions of ALL of the office products cannot open these files.
  • You have to relearn every program except Outlook.
  • I’m not sure how the new file format will work with other software. (like Open Office) I know how MS loves to work with others.


Actually, I didn’t mind using it. The real test was when i went back to Office 2003. I can say that I did prefer the 2007 Beta 2. I think they’re onto somethings within the Office Suite that other packages might end up incorporating. Yes, what I’m saying is that MS just might have something that is worth copying.



  1. Sounds interesting. Too bad the only thing I every use word for is to check my spelling. Probably not a product I’ll spend money on.

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