Friday, September 22, 2006

Now Running with Office Beta 2 Tech Refresh


No this isnt a post telling you that the Tech Refresh is out for the Office System 2007 - I think that's had enough posts in the past few days.

This is a post saying that I've gone through the Tech Refresh upgrade and come out the other side so I thought I'd post about that experience as well as what I've noticed has changed - for better or for worse.


Firstly, let me say that in upgrading to the Tech Refresh that 'Blog This' functionality from OneNote 2007 is now working (it was apparently working in Beta 2 for everyone but me) so this post is coming to you from OneNote 2007 TR and hopefully it formats is ok when this goes up on Blogger :)


Anyways, the overall the process was pretty pain free, 1 installation file which analyzed my current install and then proceeded with the Upgrade. The process took about 15 minutes and required 2 reboots (1 extra then most people as I hadn't updated the Windows Search which is needed by the instant search in Outlook and OneNote).



Overall

  • Windows Desktop Search 3.0 - drove me insane at first as it was trying to rebuild all my indexes for Outlook and OneNote and in doing so made my machine painfully slow. Now that it has fully indexed my computer everything is running fine again and Outlook and OneNote are humming. I'm glad I reserved judgement on the TR for an extra day as this was completely turning me off the upgrade but I'm happy with where its all at now.
  • MS have upped the use of the balloon help throughout as a way of keeping you intouch with that is going on. So like I had a slow machine for the first day, Outlook would take forever to show my Inbox, as this was happening the balloon help kicked in saying that its currently loading the view - so I think it's a good thing although I don't want to see the balloons much.
  • New Icons and Splash Screen give a slicker look (yeah it's trivial but I'm putting it down as a plus)


    Outlook

  • Presence, Presence, Presence - Outlook is swimming in it now, which is great. So when I start an email to someone who's in my messenger or Office Communicator I get more information coming through about their availability - I'll do a separate post on this as its really good.
  • Views are loading faster then ever thanks to the desktop search.
  • My Outlook Today screen still doesn't click through correctly when I click Inbox from it.
  • Sharepoint integrations are all working nicely - these were working fine for Sharepoint 2007 sites but not for 2003 ones. So now I can again sync calendars, contacts from 2003 sites ontop of documents, discussions and lists from 2007 sites.


    Word

  • Blogging from Word has improved - I'll do a separate post on this but the big thing is that Categories are now supported.
  • The New Document screen has changed with a lot more options.
  • All the auto previews appear to be working faster.
  • Is it just me, or does the dictionary always default back to the US - I had this in 2003 as well :(


    Excel

  • All the integrations with Sharepoint are working very nicely - these wouldn't load up for me in Beta 2.
  • I'm not a big user of Excel but the BI guys said that the TR fixed a major issue they were having with Pivot Tables and refreshing the cubes.


    Office Sharepoint Designer

    This aint good - I can't run the Sharepoint designer anymore :(

    After I installed the beta 2, Frontpage 2003 doesn't work for me anymore so now upgrading to the TR I'm now faced with uninstalling both of them.


    OneNote

  • Love all the new options in the taskbar and Shortcut Keys.
  • 'Blog This' is now working for me :)
  • Searching is faster


    In Summary

    I'd recommend the TR to those who are blogging, use Sharepoint alot or those who have an issue with Beta 2 (like our BI guys were with Excel). Other then those functional issues, the speed and performance is notable so that might be enough for you to take the plunge.

    If you really don't need to, then wait for the RTM in late November.


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