After introducing it officially back in July, Microsoft have now launched the final version of the long-awaited Microsoft Office 2010.
I tested both the Technical Preview and the Beta version released months ago, and happily I've found a bunch of new features and improvements in the final version. For starters, the Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Business pack includes five apps, namely Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. If you need to test more Office apps, you can try Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus instead.
As regards appearance, all the Microsoft Office 2010 apps have been slightly modified. They still keep the "ribbon" interface – in a much clearer, almost minimalist style – but the Office button has been renamed to "File" and now shows a different pane. Not only does it include direct access to all document-related tasks, but also shows detailed information about the document you're currently working on.
Leaving changes aside, the truth is that Microsoft Office 2010 has pretty much the same features we already saw in the Technical Preview. The context menu in Word, for example, has been greatly improved and lets you see changes in real time as you browse through the different options. You can now add videos to your PowerPoint presentations, remove redundant messages from conversations in Outlook and insert small color charts inside cells in Excel spreadsheets. There are also tools to translate text, take and use screenshots, and apply special effects to the images you use in your documents. What's more, Microsoft Office 2010 now lets you save your documents on SkyDrive and share them online in just two clicks.
Regarding performance, Microsoft Office 2010 seems to be as fast and light on system resources as the Technical Preview. There's a significant improvement in the time the suite apps take to launch, and how they behave when working on your documents.
In all, Microsoft Office 2010 is an excellent productivity suite with great new features that make it easier and more comfortable to use, and also turn it into an even more professional solution for daily work tasks.
Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Business lets you fully test the new, long-awaited version of the world's most popular productivity suite.