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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    Am purchasing a new computer system, upgrading from Windows 95 to Windows XP. Question: would you recommend staying with the Office 97 Professional (SR-2) software we currently have (to save some dollars!) or upgrade Office as well, to Office XP?

    Want to have the most headache free system possible for a non-technical type! If headaches will be fewer with Office XP on Windows XP, it's worth the money. If Office 97 works well with Windows XP, it would be great to save the hefty upgrade charges!

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

    Linda

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    Office 97 works well on Windows XP, provided the user has sufficient rights in the Registry. Whether an upgrade to Office XP is worth the money depends on how you use Office. Here are some highly subjective notes - others may disagree completely:

    Word - I dislike the "enhancements" in Word 2002, they seem to have made working with the program more difficult.
    Excel - The 2002 version is nicer than 97, but the difference is not dramatic.
    PowerPoint - The 2002 version is definitively a big improvement over 97.
    Outlook - The 97 version was a dog; Outlook 2002 is much better; it has some quirks but those can be tamed.
    Access - The 2002 version has some nice new features, but the most important change is in the file format. You can't open Access 2000/2002 databases in Access 97. If you need to exchange databases with others, this will become more and more of a problem as people migrate away from Access 97.

  3. #3
    billeger
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    Re: Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    Irene,

    Agree on all points with Hans but would like to add a bit.

    The Office2002 Suite running on XP offers a quantum leap in interaction among it's applications. You will be pleased -- if you are like me and unable to track changes needed to bring in data from one app to another -- how simple this has become. Not knowing your uses, it's hard to bring an example to the table but data in one part of the Suite can be imported into any other part. Using WORD, for a quick example, you can bring in EXCEL tables to your document and then readily use ACCESS for use in Mail-Merge. This utility is frequently overlooked in general views such as this but is most valuable, particularly when you are composing in WORD. <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>

    We use ACCESS in-house and have several custom apps using it in the hands of clients. We find that the 2002 version is much faster given the same database. There is also more flexibility in the wizards which have taken on a new level of importance. SQL is better incorporated, also. ACCESS gets a bad rap when folks use it for applications inappropriate for a database. That would include accounting. But for uses served by a database, ACCESS can be up and running quickly for simple matters -- with a number of very good setup wizards and templates available -- and in robust fashion if you need to tweak it for security and error handling and are willing to do some study and be patient with your work. ACCESS offers very large data capacity with extremely fast retrieval.

    Suggest you give a look to QUE's Special Edition Using Office XP. That volume contains warnings as well as how-to and is worth browsing in your local bookstore as part of your research on which way to go. If you choose to upgrade, you'll be as happy as I am to have bought the book!

    [b]<font color=blue> <img src=/S/sailing.gif border=0 alt=sailing width=25 height=25>Hawai`i Bill

  4. #4
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    Re: Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    Linda, I'd suggest that you get Office XP. It is much better than 97. You should probably take Woody's adive and wait for MS to offer a techology upgrade. This will be shortly before Office 2003 is released. If you buy Office XP then MS will almost assuredly have a deal for a free upgrade to Office 2003. Office 2003 will probably be released late summer or early fall. In the meantime you could use Office 97. If you want to do the updgrade now and don't really need the Pro version I'd recommend getting the Students & Teachers version of Office XP. It very much cheaper at the stores than the other versions. The S&T version is likely not to be upgradeable to Office 2003 (if I remember some MS stuff correctly). Remember though that the OEMs get Office for a really good price. SO, check out their price if you are buying from one of the majors. Hope this wasn't too confusing.

    Good luck with your new machine,
    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    Here's another suggestion, with the information that 1) Office 97 works fine with Windows XP, 2) although the upgrade from Win 95 to XP is Highly Recommended, there will be a learning curve there, and 3) there's some great new software just around the corner. My suggestion is this: Upgrade to XP, keeping Office 97 for the present. Work out the kinks (almost said bugs, oops), and get familiar with XP. You'll like it a lot, and it may be enough to keep you happy and occupied for a while. Then make a decision on a new Office Suite this fall, or later. For one thing, Office 2003 will be out, and it's really fun. The new Outlook is worth the price of admission, and there's other features that make 2003 worth waiting for. That will also mean that when it comes out, prices on Office XP will drop, and that may be a way to go, too. It just seems like it's biting off a big bit to chew to learn a new OS and a new Office Suite all at once.

    good luck,
    have fun,

    kip

  6. #6
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    Re: Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    Hans, Bill, Joe and Kip,

    Wow! Woody's Lounge and its loungers just amaze me, even though I've sworn by them for help for a few years now!

    Thank you all very, very much. Your advice and comments are excellent. I have printed them all out and will use them to decide which way to go. The advice to get used to XP first before getting used to new software seems especially appropriate. I do remember the time and effort (and frustration) involved in upgrading to Win95 at the same time as upgrading to Office 97 (actually, switching form WordPerfect). We are a 2 person office, I'm the "computer person" and I'm sure no expert!

    We primarily use Word, Power Point, Publisher 2000 and FrontPage Express. Am trying to learn Access since we have it, but it is slow going. Sounds as if the XP version might be easier to learn.

    To net out this ramble, it seems that Office 97 will work well (not badly?) with XP without causing me any more headaches than using it with Win95 does (we've avoided Outlook 97 on the advice of Woody (who else?!), waiting until we upgraded to learn that program). Then, over the next few months, watch for Office 2003 to come out and then upgrade at a savings to Office XP. Does this sound like a good plan?

    Once again, many thanks for so many and so prompt replies to my question. You have helped immensely! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>

    LInda

    PS My understanding from Woody is that computer non-experts, such as I, should not purchase Office 2003 until the quirks have been worked out! Yes?

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    About your PS: yes, it might be wise not to be among the first to use Office 2003. A few months after its official release, the dust should have settled - follow Woody's Office 2003 newsletter.

  8. #8
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    Re: Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    Thanks, Hans. I've just subscribed to Woody's Office 2003, thanks to your link, and will track progress there.

    Linda

  9. #9
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    Re: Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    By the way, I am running Office 2003 Beta 2 "Refresh" on my test machine. It is working better than my Office XP on my other machines.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  10. #10
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    Re: Use Office 97with XP or Upgrade (windows xp)

    Aha! That's positive. Thanks. I admire your nerve (and technical prowess!) in being a Beta version user! Wow!!

    Linda

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