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All About Office 2010 Document, Software and Windows Version Compatibility

written by: Jeffrey Davis•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 7/4/2010

Do you know if you have what it takes to install Office 2010 onto your system. This guide answers your Office 2010 compatibility questions, provides relevant advice on expectations, and notes inherent deployment advice.

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    Introduction

    Wondering about Office 2010 compatibility?

    Not to worry. This guide answers your questions and provides advice. This guide is not all-inclusive, of course. Rather, it aims to provide the bare minimums of the document formatting, computer software and other basic requirements for using and installing Office 2010.

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    File Compatibility

    Several changes to the Open XML document model necessitate conversion of files created under an Office 2007 installation. As such, this will cause issues with earlier versions of Office that have been configured to use the Office 2007 compatibility tool as well as that of Office 2007 itself. Since this may cause incompatibility and/or the inability to load converted documents, create a backup of your existing Word, Excel, etc. files prior to upgrade or deployment of Office 2010. With that said, you will likely be able to load documents created with or for Office 2003 and earlier, OpenOffice.org, and so forth with no other issues, and you should continue to be able to use PDF and XPS exporting as you did before.

    On the other hand, there may be a few issues with macro-enabled documents and templates, so refer to the next session for advice on that. However, many instances will require little to no adjustment time, as Office 2010 uses essentially the same interface and procedures (e.g. ribbon controls, etc.). Until transitions and conversions are completed entirely, some portions of Office 2010 will be unavailable to end-users.

    In addition, since Microsoft is merging its SkyDrive service with the Office Live Workspace features, you will no longer be able to upload files as you did before. However, Office 2010 does feature upload support for the current and merged forms of the service, even if you never used the Workspace beta in the first place. Using SkyDrive even allows you to perform limited editing of your files over the internet as you can do with existing tools such as Google Docs or Zoho, but with a version of the now-familiar Office ribbon interface as opposed to using the old-school menu/toolbar approach.

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    System Compatibility

    For successful installation, Office 2010 requires a computer running Windows XP running Service Pack 3, Windows Vista with Service Pack 1, or Windows 7. Users installing Office 2010 will also no longer be offered a choice of special upgrade copies. Any Office 2010 package that matches your personal and/or business needs works the same whether you are upgrading or not, and downloading Office 2010 allows you to install or upgrade at a slight discount. Server-based installs require Windows Server 2003 Release 2 or Windows Server 2008. Later versions of both client and server Windows releases will also qualify for installations when available for use, including all service pack installations. Internet Explorer 7 must be installed on the system in order for Office 2010 to function properly.

    In the case of add-ins and other software that is dependent on certain Office document models when utilizing macros, Visual Basic for Applications and/or Visual Studio 2008 solutions, even a few slight differences and changes may need to be analyzed for compatibility purposes within the scheduled deployment process. These are described in Microsoft TechNet bulletins and should be referenced prior to deployment. Microsoft has released a compatibility analyzer tool for assisting enterprise managers with the deployment process in checking for what works and what doesn't. The tool can be accessed from the Microsoft downloads website.