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Microsoft Office 2010 Ushers in a Rich User Experience

Microsoft Office 2010 Ushers in a Rich User Experience
L to R – Ms. Manoji Samararatne, Director Marketing, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Mr Samath Fernando, Chief Information Officer, Hirdaramani Group of Companies, Mr. Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka and Mr. Imran Vilcassim, Technical Specialist, Microsoft Sri Lanka

Legions of Microsoft loyalists worldwide rejoice as the IT giant rolls out the latest version of its world renowned productivity suite Microsoft Office 2010, which guarantees a refined user experience and a host of benefits that are generating much hype globally. Microsoft Sri Lanka is providing the power of Microsoft Office 2010 in the local market for users to experience the new empowering solution that is getting rave reviews in the tech world as from home and office users alike.

Reliability and manageability are touted as the prime features of this new Office suite, as it renders doing business across geographical distance a breeze. Office 2010 extends the functionality of previous office versions to deliver greater speed and amazing cross-media reach, whether it is through a PC, smart phone or web browser. Since the suite enables employees to work efficiently across geographical boundaries, it helps reduce the need for travel, an essential element to cutting down on overhead costs during a difficult economic era.

Speaking on Office 2010 and how it will revolutionize the way users work, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka said “Microsoft is delighted to introduce Office 2010 to Sri Lanka. The new version offers a host of novel features that will capture your imagination and make managing cross functions and enhancing efficiency a much easier task. Microsoft plans to make Office 2010 as widely available as possible, including online and via mobile devices. Office 2010 promises to deliver the best productivity experience across PC, phone and browser. Users can access it via any browser or a Windows Live login, including full-featured versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote, and use them to work collaboratively. Businesses can host the Web Apps on their Sharepoint servers which employees can then access. Richer multimedia tools, the ability to use apps online and to collaborate online are the most exciting features of Office 2010. I would like to invite users from all walks of life - home, student or business - to delve into Office 2010 and enjoy its rich functionality.”

Having used Microsoft technology and expertise for many years Mr. Samath Fernando, Chief Information Officer, Hirdaramani Group of Companies spoke on the expectations Office 2010 had sparked. “Companies are constantly under pressure to perform better and increase efficiency. With employees working at their peak, it is the technology that makes the difference between good work and great work. The new features on Office 2010 as well as the improvements to existing features are tipped to revolutionize the way organizations work. We at Hirdaramani are looking forward to company wide implementation and to watching our business grow”. In the new suite, tracking, reporting and sharing vital information has been made simple, offering a greater degree of flexibility to users. However, users can rest assured that security and privacy remain zealously guarded and no compromise has been made despite the greater degree of facility in sharing information in Office 2010. Co-authoring, which allows of many people to work on the same document at the same time, is made a reality. When two people are editing the same document at the same time, Word will notify each user when there are changes that need to be synced with their document. The copy/paste function of the desktop version has also received an upgrade, where you can see a live preview for the paste function. The paste function also has an advanced option to create and insert screenshots. To make moving around a long document easier, Word now has a visual navigation pane and section header breakdown which makes it easy to jump around different sections of a document.

The dynamic presentation made by Imran Vilcassim, Technical Specialist, Microsoft Sri Lanka amply demonstrated the advantages Office 2010 offers, providing new opportunities for people to bring their ideas to life by easily expressing their creativity, using text, video and images. In fact users will be delighted with the enhanced presentation features embedded in Office 2010. PowerPoint has been upgraded not only with a new browser version, but also with attractive extras. Users can now edit video and images within PowerPoint with a basic video editing tool and an image editing tool, which is like a basic version of Adobe Photoshop. Users can also launch a WebEx-like live sharing feature with other users. A slideshow in PowerPoint can now be shared in real-time!

Features such as this enhance not only the individual but the collective user experience significantly, making Office 2010 very simple to ease into. After all, your the slideshow can also be viewed on a mobile phone’s browser. Excel spreadsheets can now run in the browser, and similar to PowerPoint, spreadsheets can be published to the browser via the desktop version.

A particularly innovative feature is ‘Sparklines’, which gives a visual snapshot image of a data trend over time within a cell. Once can also share Excel via the browser with other users and set special permissions on who can access the document. Through new capabilities in Office 2010 including Sparklines in Excel, video editing and broadcast capabilities in PowerPoint and auto-preview in Word, users are able to quickly create, format, and deliver more compelling documents and presentations.

Another key feature of Office 2010 is the free, browser-based versions of Microsoft’s most popular Office products. Office 2010 marks the entry of free online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, which will work in popular web browsers. The 2010 wave deliver the best productivity experience in the cloud, in the customer’s data center, or a mix of both enabling unprecedented IT choice and flexibility. But as more and more businesses are becoming comfortable with working in cloud computing environments, Microsoft’s move to the browser proves to be a wise one, especially because it’s so easy to use both the desktop and browser versions of products interchangeably.

“As always, I was an early adopter of the new product Microsoft Office 2010 and as with Windows 7, I never regretted jumping on the wagon at beta test stage. The product was rock solid and the new enhancements offered in the product prove to be even more valuable than I thought. I had to support an Office 2007 installation and found it extremely painful and was glad I could go back to my Office 2010. MAS will roll out Office 2010, Exchange 2010 and Windows 7 during the course of this year, a move that will make us more agile and more competitive when it comes to communication and integration of back office functions.” Commented Mr. Jay J Keller, Chief Information Officer, MAS IT.

Outlook 2010 has also been upgraded to lend more visual appeal. Users can now experience an immediate visual footprint of emails sent and received, coupled with added search features, thus making it easy to pinpoint content. A delightful new feature of Outlook 2010 is the Social Connector, which is sure to become immensely popular. It allows users to write emails while keeping track of their family, friends and colleagues by viewing status updates and past communication history with the individual. When users view their emails, a name, picture and title will be available for the person they are contacting. Upcoming appointments can also be viewed with this new feature and users can request friends. Beyond the social functionality, this tool can also be tailored to ‘roles’, for example, research and development professionals, sales persons and human resources.Manoji Samararathna, Director Marketing, Microsoft Sri Lanka , speaking on the revolutionary nature of the Office 2010 software said, “The updated Office suite boasts a range of improvements across all its modules, including built-in social networking facilities and compatible bridges to popular social networking websites, which will prove to a be a huge lure for Microsoft fans.”

Outlook is probably the most changed application to the Office 2010 suite with the addition of many new features. When used with Windows 7, you can right-click the program’s icon in the task bar and a list of common tasks appear, such as Creating a New E-mail. Also, you can drag a file from a Windows 7 application’s Jump List to the Outlook window and a new e-mail message will appear with that file attached to it. Syncing with Windows Mobile 6.1 phones has also been included to allow you to sync text messages to your e-mail inbox and reply to them right from Outlook on your computer. Voicemails can also be converted to text from voice and sent as an e-mail. Another really useful feature in Outlook 2010 is its ability to combine and thread e-mail messages from the same e-mail address together. In keeping with user feedback, the look and feel of documents on Word has been maintained as before.

One of hottest improvements to Office 2010 is what Microsoft calls the ‘Backstage’ view. Offered as a replacement for the File menu, Backstage gives you a launching point to share documents, print out your work, set permissions, and other program specific options to get your project ready for distribution. Word 2010 also ushers in all the graphic improvements one has come to expect with new versions of Word. A place for everything and everything in its place seems to be the motto here, with pleasant layouts of templates for new documents, several different ways to share your work, and print settings and page layouts all in one location. Other improvements include new Smart Art graphics, artistic effects, photo editing, easy screenshot insertion, paste previews, reflection/shading/glowing effects to text. Undoubtedly, these enhancements will improve the presentation of charts, images and photos within documents. With its strong emphasis on online collaboration and other features which have been re-engineered to offer optimum functionality, Office 2010 promises a richer experience.

The following are the top 10 reasons why users across the globe are clamoring to switch to Office 2010:

  • It opens up a world of design options to help you give life to your ideas - transforming document visuals into a work of art.

  • It offers co-authoring even from different locations.

  • Using a Smartphone or virtually any computer with an Internet connection, you can work when and where you want to work. Store Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files online and then access, view, edit, and share content through the Web.

  • Create powerful data insights and visuals, and track and highlight important trends with new data analysis and visualization features.

  • Deliver compelling presentations, insert and customize videos directly in PowerPoint 2010, videos are now embedded by default, relieving you from managing and sending additional video files.

  • Deliver compelling presentations, insert and customize videos directly in PowerPoint 2010, videos are now embedded by default, relieving you from managing and sending additional video files.

  • Manage large volumes of e-mail with ease with Outlook 2010 with new Quick Steps feature that performs multi-command tasks.

  • Store and track all your ideas and notes in one place. Get the ultimate digital notebook for tracking, organizing, and sharing your text, picture, video and audio notes with OneNote 2010.

  • Broadcast PowerPoint presentations to a remote audience.

  • Microsoft Office Backstage view replaces the traditional File menu to give you a centralized space for all of your file management tasks.

  • Access work across devices and platforms. Enjoy the freedom of using Office 2010 from more locations on more devices.