In some ways, it might seem that I’m the wrong one to write this article. I’ve been working with MS Office 2010 every day since the early beta version, and I like it a lot. But every software package has its annoying aspects, and MS Office 2010 is no exception. In this piece, I’ll look at the dark side of MS Office 2010 and those little things that annoy me (and other MS Office users).

No upgrade option: Microsoft recently revealed the cost structure of the versions of their upcoming Office 2010 update. The biggest surprise was that the company had no upgrade plans for large base users of existing Office editions.

Ribbon: On a computer, the Ribbon Bar takes up twice space as much space as the old version office’s menu bar and any of you would like to hide this menu bar.

Clippy: The basic problem is Clippy and its stupid irritating habit of popping up at the wrong moment and patronizing you. Typically, every time you started writing a Word document, Clippy would pop-up with message, “It looks like you are writing a letter.”

Office Web Applications: The most annoying aspect in my eyes is the sidebar on the right. It takes up a lot of pixels, when on a standard 1024 x 600 pixel screen, there is not always enough room to see a full page horizontally at 100 percent zoom. You have to take it down to 90 percent unless you like wider margins.

Add-ins: In MS Outlook 2010, at first I thought add-ins will not installed properly because the toolbar did not appear. Finally, I found it installed. You have to click the Add-Ins tab every time you want to use it. Again, this brings an extra step and a little bit of extra annoyance to the user experience.

64-bit can be a hindrance: MS Office 2010 is the first version of Microsoft Office to come in a 64-bit version. The 64-bit version can take advantage of the larger virtual and physical memory capacity of today’s 64-bit processors and operating systems. This is especially useful if you need to use large Excel spreadsheets (more than 2GB in size).

64 Bit and 32 Bit incompatibility: Another problem is that you can’t install 64-bit Office if you have any 32-bit Office installed. It means you have to uninstall your 32-bit Visio, for instance, and you can not install 32-bit PowerPoint 2010 (to get Flash support) alongside 64-bit Excel (for large file support).

Upload center: Upload Center takes center stage. Office 2010 is integrated with the free Office Web Apps, which can be very handy if you need to work at a public computer that doesn’t have Office installed. However, if you don’t use Web Apps, you might be annoyed by the Upload Center icon that Office 2010 puts in the notification area (system tray) of your taskbar. If you want to disable it completely, open the system configuration tool by clicking on the Start button > Click on Run > and type msconfig.exe and uncheck Microsoft Office 2010 on the Startup tab.

Cost: The biggest problem with MS Office 2010 is earlier versions of Office itself in terms of cost.


Sidebar: The most annoying aspect in my eyes is the sidebar on the right. It takes up a lot of pixels, when on a standard 1024 x 600 pixel screen, there is not always enough room to see a full page horizontally at 100 percent zoom. You have to take it down to 90 percent unless you like wider margins.