626898.indd Greetings.  Ed Bott and Carl Siechert are busy writing Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out (ISBN: 9780735626898; 24 chapters; ~1000 pages). We expect the book to be available in August 2010.

In the meantime, to help illustrate why Ed and Carl’s book might be exactly what you’re looking for to illuminate Office 2010’s new features for you, we recommend that you read this blog post by Ed over at ZDNet: “Office 2010: a deeper dive.”

Here’s a bit of the post’s opening:

I’ve got a unique perspective on Office. I’ve written at least one book about every version of Office since 1994 (that’s eight releases and 10 books in 16 years, for those who are keeping score). I’ve also written countless magazine articles and blog posts, all of them based on extensive, hands-on experience with the individual Office products. This time around is no exception. I’ve spent the last six months immersed in Office 2010, using all the core programs day in and day out, digging in to see what’s new, what works, and what’s still annoying after all these years. In this post (first of a series), my goal is to give you a wide-ranging overview of what’s in Office 2010, so you can decide whether it matters to you.

Judging by the Talkback comments I’ve seen in various posts here and in quick-and-dirty reviews elsewhere, I know there’s a lot of misconception about what’s in Office 2010. I’ve read a few comments that dismissed the changes in this edition as superficial eye candy, hardly worth the upgrade. And I understand how easy it would be to come to that conclusion if you simply poke at Word and Outlook for a couple hours (or even a couple days), and then fire up the other Office apps for a quick lap around the track. With that sort of superficial look, it’s easy to pass judgment on Office as too big, too complicated, too expensive, too old. (Amusingly, most reviewers I’ve read find some pet feature that doesn’t work exactly as they would have designed it and then harp on that for the bulk of the review. It’s as predictable as the sunrise.)

Honestly, I wish Office 2010 was a minor upgrade. If it were, I would have been done with this book about six weeks ago and I’d be sitting on a tropical beach sipping mai tais right now. But the reality is different: Office 2010 is a surprisingly deep, thoughtfully designed, well-engineered collection of software programs. The more I dig, the more I like the small but useful touches that the Office design team has wrought. That’s not just my opinion, either. I’ve heard variations on that sentiment from dozens of correspondents, including a few who are Office skeptics.

 

It’s the first post in a series of posts that will give you just a taste of what Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out will offer but that will also help you more effectively consider Microsoft’s new Office suite. Enjoy.