Who's Ready For Office 2010?

This week Microsoft officially launches Office 2010. While the final release version has been available for download  by customers with software assurance for a few weeks, the “official” launch means the marketing machine will really crank up as Microsoft tries to create excitement for the 14th version of the world’s most popular productivity tools suite. Given there were more than 7 million downloads of the beta version, it’s evident there is interest in the latest version, and early user feedback has been positive.

But are businesses ready to upgrade to Office 2010? What about at home? A lot of firms recently went through an upgrade to Office 2007 – 80% of firms surveyed by Forrester last month say they support Office 2007. For many information workers the pain of adjusting to the Office 2007 Fluent UI is still fresh. And a lot has changed in the market since 2007 when Google was just launching Docs & Spreadsheets. So what do you need to know about Office 2010 to inform your upgrade decision? To start:

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Adobe's CS5 Ups Ante For Editorial Workflow, Marketing Analytics, And Future Of Flash

Adobe's Creative Suite 5 launched today and offers dramatic advances in supporting creative editorial workflows, bringing together online review and approvals with the help of Acrobat.com as well as marketing analytics capabilities acquired from Omniture. These advances risk being overshadowed by the bigger drama resulting from Apple’s decision last week to ban developers from using rival programming tools like Flash for the iPhone 4. It’s too bad, because in CS5 Adobe compellingly pulls together its design tools to broadly support all mediums across all devices – with added workflow and analytics. Highlights of CS5 include:

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Can Open Office Escape From Under A Cloud?

Like many OpenOffice.org adopters, Forrester's enterprise clients are starting to wonder what's going on with the once-promising open source alternative to Microsoft Office. As one chief technology strategist posited last week: "Oracle has made several strong public pronouncements that their support for OpenOffice.org will continue abated. This, however, begs the question of the increasing functional and technical gap between standard programs like word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations and the new, all-encompassing view of the desktop being adopted by Microsoft in Office 2010. That being so, is there really any future for StarOffice/OpenOffice.org within the enterprise, except as an ever-shrinking niche to support basic, ultra low-cost office document capability on home-use platforms?"

Great question. After 10 years, Open Office hasn’t had much traction in the enterprise – supported by under 10% of firms, and today it’s facing more competition from online apps from Google and Zoho. I'm not counting OpenOffice completely out yet, however, since IBM has been making good progress on features with Symphony and Oracle is positioning Open Office for the web, desktop and mobile – a first. But barriers to Open Office and Web-based tools persist, and not just on a feature/function basis. Common barriers include:

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Microsoft’s No-Win IE6 Browser Mess

The new European browser menu launched this week, and Microsoft in many ways faces a no-win situation. These past few years have been a doozy for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.Read more

Lotus Knows, But Do You Know Lotus?

First, thank you IBM/Lotus for getting me out of Boston before the snow. I know that has something to do with my good mood. But that aside, what Lotus unveiled at its 17th annual Lotusphere in Orlando this week warms my heart in another way. For all the advancements in its product portfolio and technologies, the real accomplishment is Lotus' keen focus on people, context, and simplicity.

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Microsoft Will Pay i4i But Word Won’t Get Left Behind

Enterprises shouldn’t worry about the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals injunction barring Microsoft from selling Word 2007 and Office 2007 in the US on January 11, 2010. The court upheld a ruling that an XML feature included in Word infringed on a patent held by i4i.

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Innovation Matters More Than EU's Acceptance Of Microsoft Browser Menu

The EU’s decision this week to accept Microsoft’s proposed browser menu means in March European consumers purchasing or upgrading their operating system will be presented a choice of browser. Beyond that, the acceptance means little for enterprises.

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Office 2010’s June Release: Time To Strategize (And Segment)

Sheri-McLeishBy Sheri McLeish

Last week, Microsoft disclosed that it expects Office 2010 and related products to be generally available to consumers at retail in June 2010. Office 2010 and related products will be available to business customers through volume licensing earlier in the first half of 2010. This launch confirmation means massive effort by the Redmond product teams to work through feedback from the public beta and ready the suite for launch.

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Efficiency, Sustainability, And Digital Natives Accelerate Paper’s Path To Digital

Sheri-McLeish  By Sheri McLeish

As people spend more time consuming information digitally at home and at work, reliance on paper continues to decrease. But how far are we across the Digital Divide? In 1975, George E. Pake, then head of Xerox Corp.’s Palo Alto Research Center, predicted that in 1995 his office would be completely different: “There will be a TV-display terminal with keyboard sitting on his desk. I’ll be able to call up documents from my files on the screen, or by pressing a button. I can get my mail or any messages. I don’t know how much hard copy I’ll want in this world.”

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Let’s Get To Work, Folks! Listen To iWorkers To Improve Productivity And Morale

Sheri-McLeish by Sheri McLeish

Now that summer is a distant memory, it’s time to get really busy. I know, I know, it didn’t feel like it slowed down. Financial stress, job uncertainty, and the general economic malaise seem to have made people work harder. Non-farm business sector labor productivity increased 6.6% during the second quarter of 2009, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. This was the largest productivity increase since the third quarter of 2003, and it came as the unemployment rate hit a 26-year high at 9.7%. But that doesn’t mean employees are happy about it.

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