How-To Geek

Our Look at Microsoft Office 2010 Beta

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
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Just when you were getting used to using the new Ribbon feature in Office 2007, it’s now time to take a look at Office 2010. Right now it’s in Beta stage and we’ll show you how it looks and what you can expect.

Microsoft Office 2010

The latest offering from Microsoft Office has more features and enhancements over its predecessor and the beta version is available for testing now. It is designed to deliver unified access across your computer, phone, and anywhere you have web access. The other interesting thing is that it comes in 32 and 64-bit version. Here we will take an overview look at what the new apps will look like and some of the new features you can expect. For this we are showing the 64-bit version.


If you’re familiar with Office 2007, the installation experience is virtually identical where you can choose the full or custom install.


As a helpful tip…if you choose custom install with any MS Office version, you can control a lot of what you don’t want to be included. As in this example where I’m not installing some foreign language features.


When you’re done with the installation you can go online for some tips or just dive right in.


Word 2010

Word offers a lot of new enhancements with new tools and document creation features. Some of the new things you can do is collaborate on documents simultaneously, capture and insert screenshots directly from Word, recover drafts of recent edited documents so work isn’t lost, and a lot more.


Excel 2010

New enhancements in Excel include the ability to create mini charts in a single cell, pivot table enhancement, and as with all of the apps, access to your data from virtually anywhere.


PowerPoint 2010 

The new PowerPoint version offers enhanced photo effects and editing, enhanced video editing features, and access the projects from anywhere there is a web connection.


Access 2010

For those who are database geeks, Access 2010 has several enhancements as well. It allows you to build database templates, share them, and build upon each other’s designs.


Outlook 2010

They have added several new features to Outlook like being able to create and save custom commands, add dynamic graphics to messages with tools that are included in Word and PowerPoint, and the new Quick Steps feature.


Publisher 2010

If you are a Publisher user, you’ll like the expanded library of new templates and photo editing tools.



Many of the apps have a File tab which is called Backstage View. It replaces the Office Button and should allow for easier management.


In this beta, Microsoft wants your feedback and places icons on the taskbar for positive and negative.


When you send a comment, a screenshot is taken of what you think is cool or not cool about an Office 2010 feature.



This is just a general overview of what you can expect and the amount of new features is a bit overwhelming. The Ribbon has been redesigned with a new layout, so finding what you need is a bit of a learning curve again. I am currently neutral on the new Backstage View tab as it takes some getting used to. If you’re an early adopter and want to get an early start on the new Office Suite from Microsoft, you can try out the beta now. We are interested in hearing what your thoughts are, so if you’re currently using it, or will be soon, leave us a comment and tell us what you think.

Microsoft Office 2010 Beta

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 11/25/09

Comments (21)

  1. Zeta

    And I had just got used to having that big button instead of a file button :P

  2. norb

    To me the biggest “feature” of office 2010 is how much faster all the apps load. MS has done a good job with Windows 7 and Office 2010 in the speed department.

    Outlook has the biggest change from 2007 with the inclusion of the ribbon, and the texting features would probably be really useful if you don’t have a smartphone.

    All in all, I’m pretty impressed with the amount of polish on this, seeing as it is only in beta. I even upgraded from 2007 (against the recommendations of MS) just to see how it handled that. I have had zero problems so far

  3. Ryan Dozier

    So far Office 2010 looks pretty cool, but I want to know why did they change the Office button for? I liked it?

  4. B

    You are now allowed to change the way the ribbon is organzied and what functions show up on it. I never use styles in Word at work and it takes up a huge amount of space on the ribbon. Now you can choose what sections show up as well as what functions appear under each section. This is a great improvement.

  5. B

    Sorry… an update… you can’t change the predefined sections (such as paragraph, font) and reorganize the functions, but you can create new ones to add the features you need on a specific tab.

  6. Kyle Bachand

    I am already becoming fond of this office suite and have spent numerous hours playing around with it since its release. The only problem I found is that finding clip art within the programs is difficult. It seems that you cannot search clip art from in word, excel, powerpoint, etc. Anyone else having this problem? Lastly, I have found it very difficult to add clip art to the gallery (it was much easier to do so in 2007). I may be doing something wrong, but I would much rather hear how you guys are adding clip art to the gallery. Looking forward to seeing how you guys do so!

  7. Jeff

    Thanks How-to-Geek for posting this review. The screen grabs were a nice touch and makes it easier for people who haven’t seen the Beta first-hand to understand the differences.

    Any plans on writing a review of the Web Apps?

    MSFT Office Live Outreach

  8. Mysticgeek


    Actually we took an overview look at the Office Web Apps when it was first available a while back.

  9. JonMCC33

    Can’t wait till it is released and I can snag it off of the Microsoft HUP for $9.95!

  10. moosh101

    I have to say that I wasn’t too impressed with Office 2010, especially Outlook. I have been using Office 2007 for a year or two now and enjoy it quite a lot and use Outlook 2007 as my main e-mail client software, but what’s with Outlook 2010? I mean the ribbon bar takes up too much space and it seems that the Send/Receive button is on a second tab? Also clicking on the File button opens a full screen page of rather pointless information and I found that I had to scroll through a lot more stuff to do what I needed to do.

    Perhaps I am being a little too hasty and haven’t spent enough time learning the new Office system, but it seems to me that it has been designed primarily for newbies, or for people unfamiliar with Office, with its ‘This is how you do it’ feel.

    I have now uninstalled it and are again using Office 2007!

  11. Mike

    I honestly haven’t downloaded the Beta yet, BUT.. Having spent two years training people to use the OFFICE BUTTOn I think its a backward and unwieldy step to re-intruduce a FILE menu. I’ll maybe re-think after I try it.

  12. calebstein

    I loved the Technical Preview and love the beta even more. The backstage view is a huge improvement. On a scale of 1 to 10:, Office 2007=10. Office 2007=2, Office 2010 Technical Preview=10. Office 2010 Technical Preview=4, Office 2010 Beta=10.

    I know people will be mad at me for saying that is bad but I can have my opinions so please don’t barrage this page with comments saying how great is because that is not the point of this page.

  13. Braulio

    Hi calebstein,

    Following your logic, if the point of this page is not about saying how great is OpenOffice, then neither is saying how bad it is.

    Best regards,


  14. calebstein

    @Braulio: I was only saying it is bad to show that Office 2010 is better. I knew people would post angry comments so I just added that to try to put a cap on the amount of angry comments appear on this page. I know that The Geek would not like 50 or more comments on this page that have nothing to do with the topic :)

  15. Jenn

    Will have to download and test to see how HTML emails render.

  16. calebstein

    @JonMCC33: I prefer TechNet because, although it costs a bit of cash, it gets you almost unlimited access (usually 10 licenses) to a lot of Microsoft software for free (after the subscription fee). You also get most of the software and service packs a week or so before they are officially released.

  17. Y@runya

    Best software, IMHO.

    But “aaaaaam” wait release!

  18. Paul Fraser

    Beta Office 2010 so far is great. However a problem w/ Powerpoint. Received by email a powerpoint file opens and plays great, but when clicking the x in upper right hand corner….it will not shut down. Requires a forced shut down. OS is windows 7 pro; 64 bit config. Any comments?


  19. Jim

    I’m slowly becoming friends with Word, Excel and Outlook 2010. But I miss the orb, haven’t found the benefits of backstage view over orb yet.

  20. John

    Been using it for a while. Most impressive!

  21. Dondi

    Trying to use microsoft hup to get office 2010 but i need a program code how do I find it or get it.

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