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Office 2010 Coolness: 3 Features I Liked

About 30 of us intrepid fools spent a morning with Microsoft yesterday at the Office 2010 launch event in Fort Collins, Colorado, getting a taste of what the 2010 versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, and SharePoint will offer. Here are three of my favorite Office 2010 features:

            Outlook 2010 Conversation view. This feature lets you see a chronological thread of an email conversation. You can also ignore or “clean-up” conversations: Clicking the Ignore button on the Ribbon moves all of a conversation and any future replies to that conversation directly to the Deleted Items folder. The Clean Up button moves older, redundant messages in the conversation to the Deleted Items folder but keeps the most recent message. Microsoft explains more about Outlook 2010.

Excel 2010 slicers. Slicers are visual controls that let you slice and dice Excel data, filtering and massaging and poking it around but keeping everything floating above the Excel data grid so you can see what you’ve done. When you combine slicers with PivotTables, you can get a lot of data up and viewable. Here's more info about Excel 2010.

SharePoint 2010 multi-user document editing. Using the Word Web App, multiple people can be in a Word document in SharePoint 2010, viewing and editing . Actually (and obviously, I suppose), to edit, they have to take turns. If one starts editing a paragraph, the others will see the paragraph “pre-edit” with a note that it’s being edited by so-and-so. They won’t be able to make changes to it themselves until the first person actually saves. Although there was some discussion about users being users and going off on vacation and not saving the doc and leaving everyone hanging, to which the Microsoft guys just shook their heads and said “that’s a user education problem,” still, this feature made just about everyone sit up and take notice. See the Microsoft website for a Microsoft-style semi-dissection of Word Web App in SharePoint 2010.

Unfortunately, only 2 people won the Office 2010 software drawing. The rest of us got T-shirts. I never learned whether the one person running Office 2003 happened to be a software winner. I can only hope for his users' sakes he was.


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