Is Office 2010 Really The Best Microsoft Can Do?

Suppose Microsoft released a new Office and a new Windows and neither of them sold?

From what's been reported so far, I don't see much to like about Office 2010. The discussion thus far has lacked a single "killer feature" that makes me want to plunk down a few hundred dollars for an Office that seems only a teensy bit better than what I am already using.

In fact, the real "killer" aspect of the announcement may be what a free online version of Office does to the chance of consumers and very small businesses ever paying for Office again. Microsoft can blame that on the Googleopoly, right?

OK, it won't be that bad and Microsoft will doubtless leave so much out of an online Office that most business users will stay away simply because it doesn't do what they need done. But, it's a sad day when a new version of Office can't generate more excitement than this one has been able to.

Preston Gralla has written a piece that singles out enhanced cut-and-paste as what "could prove to be one of the biggest productivity enhancers in Office 2010." Hardly compelling, even if useful.

Ed Albro and Tom Spring have also posted an excellent overview of the next Office. They think the free version is important, but how does it really help Microsoft?

Office 2010 is being shown today at Microsoft's Partner Conference shindig down in New Orleans. I know there is some disaster symbolism at work here, but why besmirch the name of a perfectly horrible hurricane?

For example, it's too early to say, "First Katrina came ashore and now Office 2010," but the next Office could face the same challenges that turned Windows Vista into Microsoft's Titanic and that already seem to be threatening Windows 7.

That's another way of wondering: Suppose Microsoft released a new Office and a new Windows and neither of them sold?

This is not intended as a broadside at Microsoft, just as a reminder of how difficult it is for Microsoft to build "must have" features atop an already fine Office suite. My bet is Office 2010 will sell best to people who are two versions or more behind and want to catch-up.

As for Windows 7, it looks like XP is becoming the best-loved Windows in the history of the platform. My bet is Windows 7 won't do as poorly as the survey that found 60 percent of IT admins don't plan to deploy it makes things sound.

Still, Microsoft has two major releases that don't seem to be gaining any momentum at all. You can blame some of it on the economy, none of it (really) on Google, at a lot on what happens when you happen to be your own best competitor. Right now, it's not Microsoft vs. Google so much as Microsoft vs. Microsoft.

And, either way, it seems like Microsoft will be the loser.

David Coursey tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Website.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftOffice 2010

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Coursey

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?