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Office 2007: Good but SLOW

I’ve installed Microsoft Office 2007 on my personal laptop and desktop, because I get it for free as a student at the college where I’m taking classes. It’s taking me a little while to get used to some of the new stuff, especially the Ribbon, and I’ve had a few times where I know what I want to do but it takes me a while to figure it out. When I do, however, I’ve been impressed with how much easier it is to accomplish my goal. Many common settings are simply drop-down options on the ribbon, and they had to be manually configured from a properties screen before. I’ve primarily used Word, Excel, and Outlook so far. Oh yeah, and OneNote, which has become my nearly constant companion, keeping track of meeting notes and agendas, notes at home and for school, and basically as a replacement for post-it notes and one-off Word or Notepad files in general. I love OneNote’s free-form composition, easy shortcuts, and flexibility. Outlook 2007 has also been useful, I like some of the reminder differences, the new way of color-coding categories, reminders from multiple folders, and a few other things that I like, but won’t be able to take full advantage of until my work desktop is also running Outlook 2007.

My one complaint? Office 2007 is S-L-O-W. My laptop is a Centrino Duo 2.0 GHz machine with 1 GB of RAM (running XP Pro). Opening OneNote, Word, and Outlook 2007 along with Firefox and Thunderbird works, but it takes a while to get them all open. Or if all of that except for Word is running, and I open Word, it takes a while to get there. Office 2003, on the other hand, pops up and down very quickly for the most part. 2003 has its moments, to be sure, but 2007 is just consistently slow to get going, and sometimes slow to catch up. And it’s not just because I occasionally have over 100 tabs open in Firefox, either! (I try not to do that too often :-)

We likely won’t be deploying Office 2007 here at Lakeview for at least a year (Vista has at least a similar timeline). I’d hate to see how it will run on machines less capable than my laptop and home desktop, and there’s just no need for the added features right now, not to mention the training required to get everyone up to speed on the Ribbon interface. The one exception may be OneNote, which I can see purchasing individual licenses of (non-profit pricing is pretty good remembering back to some OneNote 2003 purchases made a while back) for a few people that take a lot of meeting notes. The ability to share workbooks and work on them collectively with all the synchronization happening automatically is powerful, especially when done as simply as OneNote makes it.

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7 Comments To "Office 2007: Good but SLOW"

#1 Comment By Bob Brown On March 13, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

I am disappointed in that speed issue. Does the laptop have both 2003 & 2007 installed at the same time? Could that be an issue?

Office 2003 is very difficult to use. I am both worried about how people will take to the change and hopeful that it will make everyone here more productive.

#2 Comment By David Szpunar On March 13, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

The laptop still has 2003 installed as well, except for Outlook (which must be exclusively 2003 or 2007), and they’re supposed to co-exist peacefully. I nearly never use 2003, however, so only 2007 is actually open at any one time almost always.

I did see someone’s brand new Vista laptop the other day running Office 2007, and it seemed more responsive. Is it because Excel 2007 was the only app running on her system at the time, or was it because it was running on Vista, or because 2003 wasn’t installed at all? I have no idea, I was helping her print something and it took less than five minutes, so I don’t have enough information; it’s just an observation.

I have noticed that switching to and from 2007 apps tends to be more sluggish than response time within the 2007 apps once they’re active (opening them is also reasonably slow). Once they’re active and running, they’re a lot smoother for the most part, but not sometimes. Also, in Outlook, opening new windows tends to be slow (new emails take a while to open up after I double-click them in my inbox, especially).

Might this be due to poor integrated graphics performance on my laptop? Again, not enough information!!

#3 Pingback By Microsoft Weblog » Office 2007 Good… and slow On March 28, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

[…] Szpunar a network and systems manager at a large church has similar experience as well. This recent blog post by him gives a nice overview of his experience so far with the application and whether or not […]

#4 Comment By Jason On March 28, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience with Office 2007. I’m also a local Indy blogger, one of my blogs is The Unofficial Microsoft Weblog and another is Christian Music Fan.

#5 Comment By Renee On April 3, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

I had the same problems with Office 2007. The fix is to disable the add-ins. Go to tools-trust center-add-ins and click the “go” button. Disable all add-ins. They probably carried over from 2003 and don’t work anyway. Close and reopen Outlook. BIG change.

#6 Comment By Garry On January 11, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

I was glad to find your site, since we are also a church on the westside of Indy.You mentioned in a earlier post about non profit pricing. How do you obtain non profit pricing I searched Microsoft site and did not find anything. We are in process of refreshing some hardware and software.

#7 Comment By David Szpunar On January 31, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

Hi Garry,

Sorry for the delay in my reply, I must have missed the email notifying me of a new comment! I wrote a post [1]. The gist is, you have to order through a reseller like [2] or [3], or many others, who are authorized to sell at charity prices. My post on the topic goes into greater detail, and if you have questions you can contact me through the Contact page or another comment.