ronaldg-001_thumb8By Ron Grattopp…..As you should recall I’ve been doing the Microsoft / Intel ‘Building Solutions Together’ Tour roadshow events for the last 6 weeks or so.  If you read about those, or if you attended, you know that in the desktop session we reviewed the value proposition for Windows 7 and Office 2010, with the idea of refreshing our OEM partners on things they could discuss and show to their customers to promote sales of new systems with Microsoft’s current technology.  Of course, the rest of you (non-system builder partners) also have a stake in getting your customers onto new technology as well, so I thought I’d share my list of things to discuss/demo that highlight the capabilities of those products, and  most of which is brand new in Windows 7 & Office 2010.

Here’s the Windows things I demo’d that I think should be compelling to your customers (*=new in Windows 7):
1. Advanced search (significant enhancements over even the great search in Vista)
2. Libraries*
3. Jump Lists*
4. Improved taskbar*
5. Notification area customization*
6. Action center*
7. Reliability history (was in Vista, but not well known, and improved in Win7)
8. Problem Step Recorder*
9. Improved networking* (Home Groups & improved wireless connection enhancements)
10. Shortcut keys (e.g. numerous Windows key combos such as Win-home, Win-D, Win-P, Win-left/right arrow and many others – altho only a handful of them are actually new to Windows 7).

Also, along the way I ran across this article 7 ways to work faster in Windows 7 published in Infoworld a few weeks back.    Here’s a quick list of the features called out in the InfoWorld blog post.  Of the 7 ways, only 2* were different from the things I highlighted in my lab/demo. Of course, the IW post was specifically about working faster where my focus was more on productivity and useful functionality.
1. Get the most out of Jump Lists
2. Beef up context menus*
3. Enable AHCI*
4. Get around Windows with the Aero interface
5. Organize your files with libraries
6. Take advantage of keyboard shortcut
7. Windows search trumps all
Feel free to check out the post to see about context menus and AHCI can help you work faster in the OS.

Here’s the Office 2010 things to know & show (again, *=new in Office 2010)
1. Conversation view with clean-up and ignore options*
2. Calendar preview*
3. Outlook Social Connector*
4. Multiple accounts*
5. OneNote integration*  (you want to check this out)
6. Ribbon UI customization & Backstage*
7. Quick Steps*
8. MailTips*
7. Conditional formatting (around in Office 2007 but enhanced in 2010, e.g. negative number formatting)
8. Sparklines*
9. Slicers*
10. Paste Preview* (multiple ways to format a paste output, very cool)
11. Smart Guides & Format Painter*
12. Insert ScreenShot*
13. Integrated video editing*
14. Smart Guides & Format Painter*
15. Insert ScreenShot*
16. New and easy to use Transitions* (transitions themselves are not new)
17. Broadcast Slideshow*  (this is huge, real ROI on this)
18. Backstage integrated printing and saving*
19. Improved Search/Find* (greatly enhanced search)
20. E-mail page and Outlook Tasks integration*
21. Improved screen clipping and Quick Filing feature* (Win-S, which itself is not new, but again not known by many, and the Quick filing allows you to send the clipping anywhere in OneNote, not just Unfiled Notes as in OneNote 2007.)
22. Shared notebooks
23. Smart Art* (Smart Art not new in Office but new to Word)

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the new functionality in Windows 7 & Office 2010, but it’s a good cross-section of things you can show a customer to get them excited about moving up to our current technology.  For a more complete list of new functionality in the Office apps, see the following TechNet article:
Product and feature changes in Office 2010

I will be updating this post (shortly) with a link to a file that will give you all the “click-steps” (including screenshots) of all the demos above), so you might think to check back sometime later.

My guess is that most of your customers will be able use at least some of these new capabilities, not mention other things like cloud and SharePoint integration (built into Backstage now).   Did you know about all of the above? Smile