Monday Musings: Keeping up with the Joneses, Part 1
Foreword: You’ll notice these next few articles have a PC-bias. We aren’t adverse to using Apple kit (four iPhones and two iPads testify to that), but all of our infrastructure and productivity apps are Windows-based. We still access these from our iDevices of course (thanks Citrix!).
So you’ve just spent your hard-earned cash on a new PC with the latest versions of your favourite productivity apps. Fast-forward three years and if you are particularly unlucky, the hardware is out of date, the O/S (Operating System) is out of date and your apps all have new versions out. Do you bite the bullet and upgrade again all three again? Do you even need to upgrade at all? Maybe you just need to upgrade part of your setup. Over the next couple of Musings, we’ll look at each of these components. First up, your productivity apps…
Generally, you should decide if you need to upgrade by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do I need the latest functionality?
- Will the investment in the upgrade increase my productivity or otherwise reduce my costs?
- Will there need to be significant re-training to use the latest version?
- Do I have to (because of an OEM licensing agreement for example)?
Let’s consider Microsoft Office. It’s likely that you’ve had some exposure to this suite of products and over the last decade alone there have been five editions (2000, 2002 (XP), 2003, 2007 & 2010). The 2010 edition is a vastly different animal to the 2000 edition and if you only need to type basic letters and the like, the majority of Office 2010 would be surplus to your requirements. You could use the Office 2010 Starter Edition for free, or use an open-source alternative like OpenOffice.org.
The story changes if you are using Office in a business environment though. Office 2010 has a very powerful, comprehensive feature set, whilst still being familiar enough to allow existing Office users to continue working effectively. If you use Office as part of your job, you’ll appreciate the better interface (especially if you are a PowerPoint user), real-time document co-authoring and the improved document auto-recovery. Let’s not forget that Office 2010 is also the first to have an x64 version too, which is very important for those of you playing with 2GB Excel files! This feature set makes the upgrade to 2010 much more compelling, particularly if you are still using 2003 or earlier.
Personally, I am running Office 2010 in the office and sticking with Office 2007 at home. At work, I simply couldn’t live without Office 2010 now. At home, there are some features of Office 2010 I’d love to use, like the conversation view in Outlook and the integration with Office Web Apps, but I don’t love them enough to justify the upgrade. If I were still using Office 2003 at home however, I would have been first in line for the upgrade!
That’s it for this Monday. If you are thinking of getting the latest copies of Office, contact us on 01296 399 237 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.