Monday, May 14, 2007

Should I Upgrade To Vista & Office 2007?

I was wondering the same thing, and decided to look into Vista and dive into Office 2007.

First of all, I went for the deluxe package (Office Ultimate 2007). After installation a couple months ago, I've really only used 3 of the programs enough to talk about them - Excel, Word & Outlook.

Excel has worked fine so far - no problems. The biggest change is the interface. The menus are TOTALLY different & take some time to get used to, especially for those of us that know where all the tools are on the previous versions. This isn't a BAD thing, but be prepared to take a bit longer while working in Excel just to find out where everything is.

Word has also worked fine so far. As with Excel, the entire layout of the program is different, and it takes some getting used to. I like some of the new templates available (I upgraded from Office 2000), but haven't used them much yet. Again, be prepared to spend some extra time maneuvering your way around the menus.

Now for Outlook. This is the sole reason I'm sorry I upgraded to Office 2007. I have a pretty fast machine, and had 1 GB of memory. My old Outlook Express emails used to fly - I loved it! Once I "upgraded" and installed Outlook, I found my emails crawling at a really slow pace. Figuring it couldn't hurt to add memory anyway, I added another GB. Surprisingly, the email speed is still pathetic. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Outlook was designed to work with Vista. Would have been nice for Microsoft to mention that on their packaging...

To start with, Vista requires a minimum of 512 MB of memory to run. Of course, the minimum is horrible, so there are computer stores that recommend 1 GB. If you look on sites like HP, though, you'll see they recommend 2 GB memory if running HP. I'm never opposed to upgrading memory, but 1.5 GB is a huge difference in recommendations. Personally, I'd go with HP's assesment over the marketing of Microsoft.

That said, a lot of people don't have 2 GB memory. If you don't have it, I wouldn't upgrade your memory just to upgrade to Vista. I've heard back from a few people that really don't like it at all. As with Office 2007, the interface is much different.

If your pc doesn't have Vista, leave it as is. Don't get caught up in the "WOW" ads - the time & expense isn't worth it. Same goes for Office 2007.

The only reason to get either one of these is if you need to reinstall Windows or don't have any Office software yet. Othewise, wait until you get a new pc that already has Vista installed. And when you get to that point, make sure you have at least 2 GB of memory on your new pc!

-Gavin Crawford
Scorching Web Design


Zflamme said...

Last month, my office went through a full Office 2007 upgrade. It seemed like a logical thing to do, it was a way to put everyone on a level playing field (most of the systems were running various versions of Office).

Ever since then, I have heard non-stop complaints from my co-workers about how slow everyone's systems are running (I too have noticed a big difference in speed, or lack thereof), how it takes forever to open up any Word or Excel file, and the fact that some computers crash when there are multiple Excel files open at once! The massive changes in menu setup is the least of their worries! That shocked me since people fall into their comfort zones and won't budge unless they are forced to.

Since I have been hearing so many complaints/issues/problems with this upgrade, I have had our offsite IT guy assess our memory capacity on various sytems in the office. He assessed that there will need to be some memory upgrades and some new computer purchases required to run Office 2007 smoothly.

If I had any idea that this would have turned into such a HUGE problem, I would not have recommended purchasing this upgrade until I had full confidence that our existing systems could handle it.

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Hotels in Ebute Metta said...

This opened my mind to whether I should upgrade or not.

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