| By Lincoln Spector |
Microsoft hid an interesting option on the Office 2010 DVD — a 64-bit version of the company’s new suite.
But before you go looking for it, understand why you’re better off with the 32-bit version — Microsoft hid Office x64 for a reason.
Mixing 32-bit and 64-bit environments
If you bought your computer recently and it’s not a netbook, there’s an excellent chance it has a 64-bit processor and 64-bit Windows 7 installed. With that configuration, you have the option of installing either the 32- or 64-bit version of Microsoft Office 2010.
Installing Office x64 with 64-bit Windows 7 would seem, at first glance, a no-brainer — you’d naturally assume that the 64-bit version of Office is more advanced and just plain cooler. And why not take advantage of all that processing muscle?
But in fact, with very few exceptions, the 32-bit version makes a better choice. Most Office users will never need all that power, and until other programs catch the x64 trend, you can do more with the Office x32.
(If you’re not sure whether you’re running 64-bit Windows 7, click the Start orb, right-click Computer in the right pane, and select Properties. Your version of Win7 will be listed to the right of the System Type label.)