Microsoft Office 2010 is the latest office suite offering from Microsoft. While some features, like the Ribbon, are unchanged, Microsoft Office 2010, some features like co-authoring have been long-awaited since Google Docs has offered this for some time.
Microsoft Office 2010 comes in several different versions, each with a different price point and bundled applications so that users can purchase what they need instead of having to pay for more programs than they will actually use.
Office Home and Student 2010 generally comes with the ability to install on 3 PCs, and includes the four foundation programs of the Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. This is an excellent all-around version for those who are not using the suite for business purposes.
Office Home and Business 2010 contains the four applications that Home and Student does but includes a fifth program, Outlook. Microsoft Outlook is an email program that integrates seamlessly with the other Office applications and not only supports POP3 email access but IMAP as well. Extensions can increase the usefulness of this program, like the TwInbox extension that allows you to send and receive tweets from inside Outlook.
The final version of Microsoft Office is Office Professional 2010. This contains the five previously mentioned programs as well as Access 2010 (a full-featured database program) and Publisher 2010, which creates publications and marketing materials within Office itself.
These three versions range in price from $149.99 for the Home and Student version to $499.99 for the loaded Office Professional, and all three of these editions can be purchased from the Microsoft website and downloaded instantly.
Hardware and Software Requirements
Microsoft Office 2010 is available in both 32 and 64-bit versions and will install on the following minimum hardware requirements:
* 500 MHz or faster processor
* 256 MB or more RAM memory
* 3 GB or larger available hard disk space
* 1024×578 display resolution
* Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), Windows Vista SP1 (32 or 64-bit), Windows Server 2003 R2 (32 or 64-bit) with MSXML 6.0, Windows Server 2008 or later (32 or 64-bit), Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit), Windows Terminal Server and Windows on Windows applications are supported as well.
After purchasing and downloading your preferred version of Microsoft Office 2010, click on the EXE file to begin installation.
Click “Yes” on the User Account Control window to give permission for the installation application to work on your computer. Office 2010 will begin extracting files.
Enter your product key into the space provided and press the “Continue” button once Microsoft validates your key.
Read the Microsoft Software License terms, place a check mark in the box to indicate that you agree with them and press the “Continue” button.
Press the “Install Now” button to begin the installation. A progress bar will indicate how far along the installation has progressed. Depending upon the speed of your computer, this step could take several minutes, so you may want to grab a cup of coffee while you wait on older systems.
Click “Close” when the installation completes.
To access the newly-installed Microsoft Office 2010 applications, go to Start, All Programs, Microsoft Office and click on the program that you wish to use. When Microsoft Office 2010 runs for the first time a window will appear asking you to help protect and improve Microsoft Office.
Place a dot in the radio button beside “Use Recommended Settings” and click “OK.”
Click “Yes” on the User Account Control Window that will appear asking if Microsoft Update can make changes to your computer. The settings will be saved and you will be able to start using your newly installed Microsoft Office 2010.
Office 2010: Which Suite is Right for You?
Microsoft TechNet: System Requirements for Office 2010