I recall saying recently that "this is my last post for 2009." Whoops... I don't think I was anticipating this. I watched with interest yesterday the coverage and reaction to the i4i judgment. I am not keen to share my own thoughts about the case here, but I would like to offer clarity around the specific area of Word in question, and suggestions for what people can do about it if they are using that functionality today. There is much confusion about the part of Word that is actually affected.
First, some things to understand:
We do not anticipate any interruption in the availability of Word or Office 2007. Additionally this ruling has no impact on the scheduled availability of the 2010 Office version which is planned for the first half of CY2010.
Current users are not affected. If you are using the custom XML tags in Word 2003 or 2007 (these show up in Word as Pink Tags around tagged content), you are free to continue doing so with the products you have already purchased.
Open XML standards (all ECMA and ISO versions) are not affected. Even if Word's specific implementation of custom XML support does infringe the i4i patent (which Microsoft does not believe to be the case), i4i has never claimed that its patent is essential to the OXML standard.
Content Controls of Word (screen shot below) are not affected. In Word 2007 and Word 2010, this is a common method of binding document content to data stored in a custom-defined schema within a document.
The functionality that is in question is indicated by the screen shot below. Custom XML Tags in Word documents are visible in the Word user interface as Pink Tags surrounding tagged content in a document.
What you can do if you have questions about your solutions that use Custom XML Tags:
First, download the Office 2010 beta and test your solution. If your solution works in Office 2010, it does not depend on the functionality in question. If your solution does utilize Custom XML Tags, consider re-implementing the solution using Content Controls. Detailed guidance on the use of Content Controls in Word 2007 can be found here. Also note the Word Content Controls Toolkit on CodePlex. The Open XML SDK, of course, is quite useful for getting people up to speed on developing solutions for Word and Open XML.
Update: Additional Detail
In response to several inquiries on the topic, I have included additional text describing the feature area that is affected vs. what is not affected, including links to KB articles which illustrate the capabilities in more detail.
Word 2003 and Word 2007 distributed prior to 1/11/2010 can read files that contain XML markup (ref: “Understanding Word's XML Markup [Word 2003 XML Reference]”, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa212889(office.11).aspx. When custom XML markup is present, Word delineates this content in a Word document which allows it to later save the file to .DOCX, .DOCM, or .XML with that content marked up.
The Word 2007 product distributed by Microsoft after 1/10/2010 will no longer read the Custom XML markup contained within .DOCX, .DOCM, or .XML files. These files will continue to open, but the Custom XML markup tags will be removed. Custom XML markup stored within .DOC files will not be affected by these changes. Word 2003 and existing installations of Word 2007 will not be affected by this change.
Word 2007 also added features allowing Content Controls to map to XML data stored in a DOCX or DOCM file (ref: “Mapping Word 2007 Content Controls to Custom XML Using the XML Mapping Object”, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb510135.aspx). Content Controls and XML data stored within DOCX or DOCM files will not be affected by this change.
It's a small thing, but fun. Today I was given my 5-year service award for Microsoft. With a brief ceremony and a few jokes about how much more gray hair I have these days, I am now the proud owner of a new conversation piece. Just like Star Trek, I have a crystal that is seemingly capable of recording my memories and replaying them at will.
Unfortunately I don't have the glamorous history of so many people at Microsoft have. I do not have an expensive MBA, nor was I a catch in the college recruiting net. I do not wear the badge of having managed a failed startup / VC-backed thing. I was / am an "industry hire" with a surprisingly boring history of working on very successful products and services. I worked on Adobe Acrobat and PDF for a long period of time. I worked for a company named System, Integrators, Inc. Once a leader in the monolithic newspaper publishing automation space. I was a System Engineer there, working on Tandem hardware, installing systems, doing Y2K conversions, and writing routines in languages like TACL, RGEN, FGEN, FUP and a few other favorites.
I chose to work for Microsoft expecting to find great people building great products. I expected a highly competitive, smart work environment. I expected that the talent level at Microsoft would be the highest that I would have ever seen. In joining the Office team and one of the largest and most significant franchises in the brief history of software, I expected to find a caliber of leadership that exists in very few places.
I must say that my expectations have been exceeded in almost every instance. The IQ of each individual in this company is amazing. The per-capita talent level at Microsoft is something that one must witness in person to truly understand. It can work against you on occasion, when you have too many smart people asking hard questions. But on the whole, I will continue to bet on Microsoft long after I am gone because of the discipline the company has for finding, selecting, cultivating and utilizing talent.
Things I have worked on / with or Titles I have held:
- Sr. Product Manager, Microsoft Word- Sr. Product Manager, Microsoft InfoPath- Sr. Product Manager, Open XML- Group Product Manager, Office Technical Product Management- Group Product Manager, Office for IT Professionals- Group Product Manager, Office for Developers
Most of my role at Microsoft (despite the numerous titles) really revolves around doing more with data, and improving portability of information between our applications and other systems. Data portability is a concept that I learned and practiced building newspaper production automation systems (that were invented in the mid-1980's). For all the hubub about XML, SOA, Services-based computing, etc., this central idea really has not evolved much. Certainly the technology has changed a lot, but the end goal is still the same - enabling information exchange between systems and applications to enable better information exchange between people. (There's a famous saying at Microsoft about "Solving any problem through abstraction" - sorry for "abstracting" a bit here. In truth the problem is complex, nuanced and fiercely competitive among software vendors.)
I'll end the ramble here with a thought - for the readers from other software companies, a bit of a challenge to you.
Microsoft is great as an employer for many reasons, but one in particular that is worth highlighting is the competitive fire and spirit that burns in the core of so many individuals here.
I once worked for an employer who regarded competitors in a very unhealthy way. I won't quote some of the statements that were particularly offensive, to avoid internet searches that might reveal the identity of those people. But I'll just summarize it by saying that when issues / publicity about competitive products surfaced, the general mentality set by leadership (and therefore employees) was "how dare you?" As if they were viewing other companies who dared build similar products as a personal affront. Part of my reason for leaving the job was this mentality. competitors were innovating, and the company was responding by sending MBA's into business strategy reviews to "Fix" it.
Microsoft is quite different. A very important moment from early in my Microsoft career was when I watched Steve Ballmer on stage at a meeting talking about competition. I'll spare the context, but I have a very vivid impression of him standing there, rolling up the sleeves of his powder blue button-down shirt, saying "Bring it on." - Never was there a more concise encapsulation of the mentality of this company. It isn't about MBA's in a strat review for us - it is about engineers writing code and innovating. We focus on the product, and we are strongly committed to our customers and their success.
It is for this reason that I stay at Microsoft. We're not always perfect, there is definitely a "bleeding edge" to brining new products and technologies to market. As we stand on the front end of the Office 2010 launch, though, one can't help but have a very good feeling. When we get it right, the impact on how people interact with computers is profound and long-lasting.
Here's to hoping the next 5 years are as gratifying as the last.
If you are developing add-ins or customizations for Outlook, these changes in 2010 are worth noting. I'm pulling an article out of the MSDN Office Development Library to alert you to an important change to the way Outlook shuts down. The article contains several alternative strategies for successfully managing Outlook shutdown with your add-ins. There are also Reg keys for IT to force the 2007 shutdown behavior.
The changes were made to address end user feedback related to Outlook performance, and should result in implementation changes for Outlook developers that improve the situation. Good add-in developers seek to minimize perf impact as much as possible, and this change in Outlook is a good "suggestion" for how to better manage the closing of data files & global updates from Outlook on exit.
"Starting in the Outlook 2010 Beta release, Outlook, by default, does not signal add-ins that it is shutting down. Specifically, Outlook no longer calls the OnBeginShutdown and OnDisconnection methods of the IDTExtensibility2 interface during fast shutdown. Similarly, an Outlook add-in written with Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office no longer calls the ThisAddin_Shutdown method when Outlook is shutting down. The impact of the changes on an add-in depends on what the add-in does during these events. Most add-ins use these events to release references to Outlook COM objects and clear memory that was allocated during the session. In these cases, the impact on the add-ins is minimal; Outlook releases the remaining COM object references and shuts down, and Windows reclaims the memory when the Outlook process exits. For some add-ins, the changes have more impact. If an add-in uses these events to commit data (for example, to store user settings or to report usage to a Web server), those activities will no longer take place. Depending on the scenario, this may or may not have a visible impact to users. To remedy the situation, the add-in developer can modify the add-in to be compatible with the changes, or an IT administrator can use group policy to restore the original behavior for a specific add-in."
"Starting in the Outlook 2010 Beta release, Outlook, by default, does not signal add-ins that it is shutting down. Specifically, Outlook no longer calls the OnBeginShutdown and OnDisconnection methods of the IDTExtensibility2 interface during fast shutdown. Similarly, an Outlook add-in written with Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office no longer calls the ThisAddin_Shutdown method when Outlook is shutting down.
The impact of the changes on an add-in depends on what the add-in does during these events. Most add-ins use these events to release references to Outlook COM objects and clear memory that was allocated during the session. In these cases, the impact on the add-ins is minimal; Outlook releases the remaining COM object references and shuts down, and Windows reclaims the memory when the Outlook process exits.
For some add-ins, the changes have more impact. If an add-in uses these events to commit data (for example, to store user settings or to report usage to a Web server), those activities will no longer take place. Depending on the scenario, this may or may not have a visible impact to users. To remedy the situation, the add-in developer can modify the add-in to be compatible with the changes, or an IT administrator can use group policy to restore the original behavior for a specific add-in."
Application Shutdown Changes in Outlook 2007 SP2
Client Shutdown in MAPI
What's New for Developers in Outlook 2010
Add-ins should be reviewed per the guidelines in the article to determine whether the shut-down procedures are truly necessary. If they are, however, and IT wants to improve cross-version compatibility, the article details the registry keys available for forcing Outlook to use the 2007 shutdown methods.
Individual Add-in Setting (recommended) With this setting, Outlook selectively provides shutdown notifications to the specified add-in without notifying all add-ins. Configure this setting for each add-in through the add-in registration in the HKCU or the HKLM registry hives, by adding an additional value to the add-in registration. Type the following text as a single line. HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Add-ins\<ProgID>[RequireShutdownNotification]=dword:0x1 Setting this value to 0x1 enables the add-in to receive blocked callbacks during Outlook shutdown. This has an impact on the performance of Outlook shutdown and should be evaluated as part of a deployment. This setting should be used only if an add-in has significant compatibility issues with the new shutdown mechanism. Setting the value to 0x0 uses the default behavior of Outlook 2010. Global Setting Use this setting to change the new shutdown mechanism to match that used by Outlook 2007. You can deploy the setting through group policy, either per user or per computer. Type the following text as a single line. HKCU\Policies\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\14.0\Options\Shutdown[AddinFastShutdownBehavior]=dword:0x1 Setting AddinFastShutdownBehavior to 0x1 enables shutdown notifications for all add-ins. Setting the value to 0x0 uses the default behavior of Outlook 2010. These two settings provide administrators complete control over the effect that this new behavior has on custom solutions and add-ins that are used in the enterprise. During the evaluation period of Outlook 2010 Beta, it is important that organizations test any custom solutions using Outlook add-ins to ensure compatibility with this change.
Individual Add-in Setting (recommended)
With this setting, Outlook selectively provides shutdown notifications to the specified add-in without notifying all add-ins. Configure this setting for each add-in through the add-in registration in the HKCU or the HKLM registry hives, by adding an additional value to the add-in registration. Type the following text as a single line.
Setting this value to 0x1 enables the add-in to receive blocked callbacks during Outlook shutdown. This has an impact on the performance of Outlook shutdown and should be evaluated as part of a deployment. This setting should be used only if an add-in has significant compatibility issues with the new shutdown mechanism. Setting the value to 0x0 uses the default behavior of Outlook 2010.
Use this setting to change the new shutdown mechanism to match that used by Outlook 2007. You can deploy the setting through group policy, either per user or per computer. Type the following text as a single line.
Setting AddinFastShutdownBehavior to 0x1 enables shutdown notifications for all add-ins. Setting the value to 0x0 uses the default behavior of Outlook 2010.
These two settings provide administrators complete control over the effect that this new behavior has on custom solutions and add-ins that are used in the enterprise. During the evaluation period of Outlook 2010 Beta, it is important that organizations test any custom solutions using Outlook add-ins to ensure compatibility with this change.
On December 15, 1999, I was sitting in my home in England (near Reading), having just wrapped up a trip to Salzburg to fix a huge problem related to classified pagination. This work was sandwiched between several Y2k conversions (in reality it was more like "2004-proofing" due to the size of the field containing the count of seconds from the system's base date). I was exhausted, done with traveling, in dire need of Mexican food (I defy anyone to find great Mexican food in Europe), and very much over the novelty of bitter-tasting, motor-oil thick beer. The beer thing was a big deal, growing up in an area where the beer selection typically included "both kinds," (as in Bud AND Bud Light).
Fast-forward to December 15, 2009. The Y2k problem is rarely mentioned, I get all the great Mexican food I want. Classified pagination (i.e., printed page layout for thousands of newspaper classifieds) has more or less vanished as a technology category. And I have stopped caring about the beer that I drink (although there is a minimum quality standard. Sorry, Lucky Lager). Life is better all the way around, and not hoping for my favorite beer saves me much disappointment at NFL games and folk music festivals.
Today I find myself elbow-deep in my 2010 plan for Office developer. We've been spending a lot of time during the launch phase getting oriented to the pressing needs of coders working on Office applications. Our readiness material (and information channels like my blog) reflect those needs (hopefully.) 2010 is a great release for a lot of reasons. We have a rich new set of capabilities, spanning across PC, Phone and Browser.
But I thought I'd offer some thoughts about my 2010 plan, to set an agenda for the upcoming year.
Educate on VBA in Office 2010. (Start here) Maybe I say it too much, but VBA is supported in Office 2010, we like VBA, and we are encouraging people to continue using VBA. Despite rumors to the contrary, VBA remains an important part of Office. In 2010, we will continue to evangelize VBA in Office in various forums. These activities will include various sponsorships, contests, etc.
Drive Adoption of Visual Studio 2010, VSTO and Office 2010. (Start here) Feedback on the combination of these two beta products is very positive. Particularly with .NET 4.0 and PIA-less deployment, VS 2010 offers Office developers lots to work with and should make life much easier.
Educate on the use of the Open XML SDK. (Start here, http://www.openxmldeveloper.org) While the format debate lingers on, development on Open XML is growing very quickly. We're now well past 10k members on OpenXMLDeveloper.org, (12k, to be more precise) with site traffic growing to match. the Open XML SDK is the fastest way to get started with Open XML Development, and (again), we're seeing download counts for the SDK which illustrate the traction that the format is gaining. FWIW we're still not getting any questions about ODF solution development in Office.
Continue building awareness for the Application Compatibility Tools for Office 2010. We're off to a very strong start on this program, and the next few months are about landing these tools and documents into the various service provider channels we offer at Microsoft, like DDPS, MDT and others.
Office 2010 readiness for Office Business Applications (OBA). (see it here: http://www.obacentral.com) In building some of the lower-level building blocks for the Office 2010 launch (see above), we put the topic of OBA off until the second half when we could give it due attention and rigor. Building business applications or front-ending LOB solution in Office is a primary investment area for us, based on the feedback we're getting from the community at large. In 2010 we'll turn the crank on readiness for OBA for Office 2010. With the recently announced DUET updates, we've got a great starting point. But there's lots to share with BCS, SharePoint integration and several other topics.
I always enjoy spending time recapping the year gone by, although I'll spare folks the keyword lists (and a lot of copy paste), by re-treading some of the events about which I was compelled to comment during the year.
The most popular post on my blog: Office 2007 Service Pack 2. I posted 3 times on SP2, and those posts were easily the busiest. 1, 2, 3 if you're interested. SP2 was important for a few reasons. We introduced Save as ODF & PDF into the mainstream products, unfolded a bunch of Outlook perf improvements, and a handful of other things. I recall that being a super busy time.
The most commented: "Rethinking ODF Leadership" and "Clearing up a few matters with respect to ODF and SP2." 102 comments published on that post, it's quite a few. Definitely started a discussion with that post :). Although 6 months later, I observe that this discussion has quieted considerably, and really feels like "internal business" when it comes to reading about the evolution of ODF. I understand the 1.2 draft is up for some vote / approval, and there is dissention among ODF supporters about whether or not 1.1 should be standardized and so on. Because I don't hear much (anything) about ODF from the Office developer community, I don't get that involved any more.
As always, though, I will be interested to see if ODF 1.2 passes the same evaluation criteria to which Open XML was subjected. As we saw with SP2 and ODF in Office, Open XML was sharply criticized for being "application dependent", whereas ODF and aligning to another vendor's implementation of the NON-standard 1.2 was upheld as something that Microsoft should have done. Very confusing. it was felt that Open XML should not be a standard because it had alleged dependences on Microsoft Office, but the only way to really get interoperable ODF was to base that on a product's implementation, and we were being positioned as "incompetent" for not doing that. I don't pretend to understand that contradiction, but I eventually just let it go. My focus for the Office developer audience are the technologies and tools that our developers use. The truth, explained here, (docx), (odt), is quite clear. Open XML is more widely adopted, and that is reflected in the inquiries we get for developers building productivity solutions.
Posts that were most surprising in terms of traffic: SharePoint Conference. I posted on the relocation of Office Developer Conference to SharePoint conference as a courtesy, surprised to learn of the anticipation of ODC. I'll take a little credit, then in the outstanding turnout for SharePoint conference, that show was probably the most surprising event for me in 2009. It was a huge show, easily the biggest I attended this year. InfoPath was booming with traffic, as was Access. That was a very exciting week. Not to mention that I made a new friend. And yes, it is hip to be square.
Posts I enjoyed writing the most: When a thing that you're directly responsible for is downloaded 100,000,000 times, you tend to get pretty excited about that. During the Open XML and ODF "debate", it became very tough to separate conversations about readiness for a new file format (a very mechanical, basic thing). Especially considering the original goal (prior to any discussion about standardization) - getting our apps out of the binary formats onto more sustainable XML-based formats. This post was a fun one for me, I took about 5 minutes after I hit the publish button in Word and thought about how large 100,000,000 is as a number. FWIW, with 100 million being a fairly good illustration of its utility, I stopped counting closely after that post. I haven't looked at the number in quite a while. I suspect it has slowed a bit with the (now) widespread deployment of Office 2007.
A close second to that post is my post about 5 years at Microsoft. I got a lot of great feedback about that post from people across the company. I was already feeling very good about my role here, but that post definitely gave me a boost, and to the folks who took time to contact me offline, thank you for the feedback.
This will be my last post for 2009. As always, I thank you for your readership, and I'll see you on the other side of the new year.
Continuing on the theme of Q & A for Office 2010, I thought I'd add a few questions, answers and pointers to get you oriented to some key topics relevant to 2010. We get a lot of interest from folks who are just starting to code on Office, I thought it worthwhile to run down the list of FAQ's as a shortcut.
Q. Are you supporting VBA in Office 2010?A. Yes. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee814735(office.14).aspx will get you started. Office 2010 VBA is a live and well.
Q: What is the best way to get started with Open XML?A: I strongly recommend using the Open XML SDK for real-world Open XML development. This short video clip from Zeyad has a pretty good explanation of why that is the case.
Interview with Microsoft's Zeyad Rajabi from OpenXML Intergen on Vimeo.
Q: What is PowerPivot and where can I learn more about it?A: Start here for PowerPivot: http://www.powerpivot.com/index.aspx. Lots of promises out there for managing the bulk of data in global analysis type problems, but very few jaw-dropping experiences like this one. Best to just install it and try it for yourself. Where other products are struggling to create a connection to live data (rather than snapshotting it in a workbook), Excel and PowerPivot put BI in the hands of the masses like nothing before it has done.
Q: What is the most common way to build a solution for Office?A: Hopefully this answer is only news to new developers, but Visual Studio with VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office) is the best, most commonly used and easiest way to build add-ins and solutions. VS & VSTO allow you create managed-code solutions for Office. For all new Office developers, I would recommend starting in VSTO to get you up to speed. VSTO is great at addressing many of the small issues that are involved with building and deploying add-ins to our products.
Q: What is OBA? A: Office Business Applications (OBA) refers to the concept of Office being used as a front-end for line of business data and solutions. Increasingly this is the mode of Office development, beyond the VBA automation and add-in development that we've had in the past. Because users are familiar with Office, developers can code apps within an environment that has a very short learning curve. Analyzing data in Excel is natural for users of Excel. Scheduling meetings in Outlook is the same, whether that meeting is booked in SAP, on Exchange or to your Live calendar. There are tremendous advantages to surfacing LOB Data and process to users in Office, one of which is masking business process complexity for novice users inside of easy tools that they already know how to use. To see some examples of OBA's in action, visit http://www.obacentral.com. Two good books on building OBA's that I can recommend: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/book.aspx?ID=9471&locale=en-us, and http://www.amazon.com/Pro-SharePoint-Solution-Development-Sharepoint/dp/1590598083.
Q: What's playing on your Zune right now?A: That would be "Music from the North" by the Jayhawks. Album that is great from top to bottom.
Q: What are the best web sites for learning Office development?A: Off the top of my head, here's a list:
- http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/default.aspx- http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/aa905363.aspx- http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905371.aspx- http://www.openxmldeveloper.org
And some non-Microsoft sites that are worthwhile:
- http://pptfaq.com/FAQ00032.htm- http://www.codeforexcelandoutlook.com/- http://word.mvps.org/index.html- http://www.infopathdev.com/- http://www.powells.com/biblio?show=TRADE%20PAPER:NEW:9781430210726:49.99 (I am a frequent visitor to Portland and I do love Powell's)
- http://officedeveloper.net/ (I forgot the link that caused me to put this section into the post from Ty Anderson.)
He has a good book as well. http://www.powells.com/biblio?show=TRADE%20PAPER:NEW:9781430210726:49.99
I'll point at more links when I get started, but I hope that this helps newer Office developers get started.
Update: URL's in the post were not functioning properly, and have now been fixed.
Today we are please to announce that a public beta of Office Environment Assessment Tool, a beta of Office Code Compatibility Inspector and a draft of the Assessment and Remediation Guide are now available for download at the new Office 2010 Application Compatibility resource page on MSDN. These tools and documentation are made available to you as per our announcement of the Office 2010 Application Compatibility program at SPC09 in October. Please use the links below to navigate and get the tools and the documentation. We encourage you to send us your feedback, comments and suggestions by either using Office 2010 Application Compatibility Forum on TechNet or by just sending a direct mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tools and Guidance
Office 2010 Code Compatibility Inspector
The Office Code Compatibility Inspector for VBA and the Office Code Compatibility Inspector for Visual Studio are add-ins that you install with Office 2010 or Visual Studio. The tools scan VBA, VB.NET, and C# code for object model usage that is incompatible with Office 2010.
Office Code Compatibility Inspector Documentation Office Environment Assessment Tool (OEAT)
This tool helps you determine the kinds of add-ins that are installed on users' computers and the extent to which the add-ins are used. OEAT collects and reports add-in information about Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003, and the 2007 Office system.
Office Environment Assessment Tool Quick Start GuideOffice Environment Assessment Tool User Manual
Application Compatibility Assessment and Remediation Guide
The Application Compatibility Assessment and Remediation Guide for Office 2010 describes the overall assessment and remediation process, including planning, testing, piloting, and deployment.
Send us feedback on the Code Compatibility Inspector and OEAT via e-mail
Customers have many questions about Office 2010, so may decisions related to Office deployment depend on their answers. I am creating a post to address the ones that come up most frequently on the technical side for Office 2010. I will keep adding FAQ' type posts with links in hopes that I can help search engines get people to the right places on key topics. Sysreq's are a big one, here's what I've got for you.
Q: What are the System Requirements for Office 2010?
A: With the caveat that this pertains to BETA software as of today, here's where we are at now with system requirements. Differences between 2007 and 2010 are highlighted in Red. Please understand that the 2010 requirements are subject to change, and will likely add additional detail as we move closer to general availability. The disk footprint is what has changed most significantly, but for the most part, the sysreq's are quite similar between the two versions. Recall that back when we shipped Office 2007 SP2, we made investments in performance, particularly with Outlook. We're hopeful that the release version of 2010 will continue improving performance, so that the experience with 2010 will improve across the board.
500 MHz processor; 1 GHz required for Outlook with Business Contact Manager
500 megahertz (MHz) processor or higher. 2 gigahertz (GHz) processor or higher and 1 GB RAM or higher recommended for OneNote Audio Search. Close-talking microphone required. Audio Search not available in all languages.
256 MB RAM; 512 MB recommended for graphics features, Outlook Instant Search, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, and certain advanced functionality.
256 megabyte (MB) RAM or higher. 512 MB RAM or higher recommended for Outlook Instant Search. Grammar and contextual spelling in Word is not turned on unless the machine has 1 GB memory.
3.5 GB available disk space
2 gigabyte (GB); a portion of this disk space will be freed after installation if the original download package is removed from the hard drive.
1024x768 or higher resolution monitor
1024x768 or higher resolution monitor
Windows XP with Service Pack (SP) 3 (32-bit operating system (OS) only) or Windows Vista with SP1, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 R2 with MSXML 6.0, Windows Server 2008, or later 32- or 64-bit OS.
Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack (SP) 2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, or later operating system (note that Office 2007 SP2 is the minimum version supported for Windows 7).
Graphics hardware acceleration requires a DirectX 9.0c graphics card with 64 MB or more video memory.
Windows® Internet Explorer® 7.0 or later, 32 bit browser only. Internet functionality requires an Internet connection.
Internet Explorer 6.0 or later, 32 bit browser only. Internet functionality requires Internet access (fees may apply).
FAQ: I have 64-bit hardware. Should I install Office 2010 64-bit or Office 2010 32-bit?
a: With the 64-bit version, advanced users will benefit from increased memory utilization of 64-bit hardware. The transition to 64-Bit version will require 32-bit applications and add-ins to be recompiled to 64-bit, however, the leap will offer advanced users exponentially larger memory addresses required for large datasets and intensive computations. For the best compatibility I would recommend 32-bit Office 2010 for both 32-bit and 64-bit Operating Systems. Office 64-bit is optimized for advanced data analysis scenarios that most users don't require.