wordMs Office 2010 has been here for a while, but many users are still using the old version,probably because they do not know what they are missing, writes Daniel B. Atuhaire. 

On June 15, 2010, Microsoft Office 2010 was officially unveiled as the successor to Microsoft Office 2007, and has since been made available for retail and online purchase.

It’s the first version that requires product activation for volume license editions. Office 2010 also marks the debut of free online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, which work in the web browsers Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari, but not Opera. 

Office Starter 2010, a new edition of Office, replaces the low-end home productivity software, Microsoft Works. New features and improvements: New features include a built-in screen capture tool (a personal favorite of mine, this!), a background removal tool, a protected document mode, new SmartArt templates and author permissions. The 2007 Office Button was replaced with a menu button that leads to a full-window file menu, known as Backstage View, giving easy access to task-centered functions such as printing and sharing.


• Updated Menu System:

Office 2010 comes with a more intuitive ribbon and, to my delight, a new home menu system. Instead of opening up a dropdown, the entire window changes colors, and provides you with the save, open, close, preview, and other options. The new home menu system provides detailed information on modifications, authors, file size, and permissions and a new print and print preview menu.

Enhanced Multimedia Editing

Microsoft also upped the multimedia editing options from its last iteration. Specifically, image editing gets a boost and Microsoft PowerPoint now incorporates in-video editing. Screen captures and video cutting have also been included in this suite. 

Real-time Collaboration and Communication:

Another new feature in Microsoft Office 2010 is Outlook Social Connector, which allows users connect to and receive updates from their social network inside Microsoft Outlook. (If you’ve used the facebook update on Skype, then you know what I mean here…)When users view their emails, a name, picture, and title is available for the person they are contacting. SharePoint 2010, a new feature in Ms Office 2010 includes functionalities that make transitioning from email, file servers, and shared calendars easy and fun(I haven’t extensively tried this out though).

Stronger Security Settings:

The new Office 2010 suite revamps author settings, restricted editing, and adds a protected mode, which stops users from accidentally editing a download file until it is enabled. Restricted editing helps users to pick who can collaborate.


Microsoft Office Web Apps:

I suppose Microsoft is out to rival Google Docs with its own online version of the software. I don’t quite know about all of its features, but it’s certainly going to become popular very fast. Removed features From the entire suite, features done away with include Ms Office Document Imaging (I don’t know why it had been there in the first place), Ms Office Document Scanning, MS Office Startup Assistant (Osa.exe), Research and Reference pane for Internet Explorer and the Office Diagnostics tool. From other Ms Applications, Smart tag auto-recognition, person name smart tag and auto-summary features have been removed from Ms Word while data access pages and access calendar ActiveX control are no longer available in Ms Access. Other Editions:

Trial Version:

The Office 2010 Trial has an option to download the local install; however the default trial installs an App-V image like Office Starter 2010. The Applications Virtualization installer will create a Launcher and Office 2010 will run from a virtual drive letter Q: rather than installed in Drive: Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice14; though this drive letter is not visible in Windows Explorer.

• Starter Edition:

Office Starter 2010 is an ad-supported product which includes Ms Word Starter 2010 and Ms Excel Starter 2010. These are reduced-functionality versions for viewing, editing, and creating documents. It also includes PowerPoint Viewer 2010, to view and print PowerPoint slides and shows. Office Starter 2010 omits several features available only in the full paid version of Microsoft Office. 

Specifically, it lacks the several features like Customizable quick access toolbar buttons, Macros and Add-ins, SmartArt, Error checking, Automatic table of contents and table of figures, cross references and tracked changes and comments among others…


The office suite for Windows Mobile by Microsoft is updated together with Office 2010. Windows Mobile 6.5 or higher is required to run Microsoft Office Mobile 2010. Overall the product has so much more to offer than its previous versions. It’s a great experience for users migrating from 2007 to 2010!

Installation & Activation:

You’ll need to have at least Microsoft windows Service pack 3 (SP3) or a higher operating system (folks running Vista and windows won’t have issues with this).

The installation will cost you hard drive space of anywhere between 1-2.31 Gigabytes, depending on the options chosen, but the rest of the process is pretty much similar to Ms Office 2007. The Volume edition can be activated using a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) which is limited by the number of times a machine can activate when connected to Microsoft’s servers, or using a Key Management Server (KMS) which requires activation every 180 days.