steps_to_msoffice_2010We have been given a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 Beta to use, break and offer feedback to Microsoft. So far we have not found anything that seems to have gone backwards which is often the case in upgrades to software – a feature that they might think great, often could be cumbersome to users. We also look at estimated pricing.
Having been given the opportunity and also with me being bold enough to try a Beta version – it would be crazy not to offer my comments and views on the software to the South African legal market.

This should give all of you the inside track on the new version and then allow you to make your own decision on whether you should upgrade or be confident enough to make use of the new version that would ship with a new computer instead of having to downgrade to a previous version. In other words, allow me to flounder instead of you wasting time and effort testing of worrying about the new version.

As per the norm in the “Step by Step” series, we break up the topic into small bite size chunks which makes it easier to read and absorb the full article/report. Enough time wasted on the introduction, let’s get down to the topic at hand!

File, Recent – “When I closed without saving” files
Under the file menu you have “Recent” files, like before but now you have recent files AND you have files that were closed without saving that you have been working on. That is a great feature.

You don’t have one of those “Idiot you saved the wrong document and did not save the important one!” moments, and you save time no having to redo work you have already done – worth a few Rands.


Associated feature:
AutoSave compare – file that was saved against the auto saved version
Once you have recovered the auto saved document you can now compare it to the file that you have saved before – to find the changed you made, and see whether you want to work on the auto saved document or not.

You don’t have to wonder what you changed in the document and guess if the auto saved document has valid changes – just read the notes on the left of the window.


I would imagine this is worth a few Rand as I said, but the entire price of the upgrade would be justified if you typed up a long agreement and saved the wrong file. This is something everyone will use, in the short month I have been using Office 2010 I have made use of it twice – and I don’t type a lot!

Estimated Pricing:
The upgrade pricing has been abandoned by Microsoft, but they say the new Key Card pricing (indicated with a “*”) via download or installed by your computer suppliers (no disks or manuals) is discounted enough to balance out the upgrade pricing.

Office 2010 Home and Student (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote) will come with a price tag of R1155.00 *R924.00, Office 2010 Home and Business (Same as Home and Student + Outlook) will cost R2156.00 *R1540.00, Office 2010 Professional (Same as Home and Business + Access) R3850.00 *R2695.00 and Office 2010 Professional Academic (Same as Professional) just R770.00 *R770 – all excluding VAT and based on an exchange rate of R7.70 to the dollar. Check each product for the details, as some full boxed versions come with 2 (Home & Business, Professional) or three licenses (Home & Student) included, whereas the Key Card will ship with one license.

‘Till next week.

Contributed by:
Malcolm Pearson


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