Saturday, May 23, 2009

Microsoft Office 2007 on an Old Computer

My compter, as you probably know already if you read my past posts, is extremely old and out of shape. So now and then I try to see how it handles with different programs. This time I wanted to try running Office 2007.

I won't put screenshots, detailed benchmarks or whatever--because they don't really matter in this case. Office 2003 was OK on my computer, but it seems Office 2007, however sluggish, it holds some new features and performance fixes that makes it worth the upgrade. If my computer can handle it--so can yours.

I don't use Word anymore, and Google Docs gives me a nice alternative to Excel. So the only thing left to compare is PowerPoint.

PowerPoint 2003 | Loading all of those complex drawings and clipart, viewing many slides at once using the layouts and switching between them were a nightmare. Especially when there are many large images and other stuff. And when I actually present a slideshow it's not that great neither.

PowerPoint 2007 | Surprisingly, it performed much better than 2003. I could clearly see that they made many of their basic functions faster, including the creation of slide thumbnails. Even though the UI can take a long time to load, it never once did crash or freeze. It might take a few more seconds to load, but once it's up--PowerPoint feels just as 'fast' as the old version felt.

So if you're not using any online service or to edit documents, I strongly recommend upgrading even if your computer is old like mine. The only thing that's worth checking before upgrading is Microsoft Outlook, being one of the heavy applications within this office package.

Also, I've heared complaints about the new interface, mostly because everything's not where it used to be for, like, at least 10 years. Personally I think the change was for the best. Even though most of the features are 2-3 mouse clicks away instead of just one, they're located in a much more intuitive location. You just need to adjust yourself a bit, as with all Microsoft products.

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