Microsoft Office Standard 2007

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Microsoft Office Standard 2007
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5


  • Great new features, powerful file format


  • Inevitable learning curve, expensive

Bottom Line

Significant revamp provides more applications and many design improvements, though these take time to learn. If you'd like to get the most out of Office applications, this upgrade can help you do it.

Would you buy this?

XML marks the spot

Microsoft's decision to use its new Open XML file formats (distinguishable from the old formats by the addition of the letter x to the file extension -- .docx, .xlsx or .pptx) as the defaults in Word, Excel and PowerPoint is likely to irritate people who don't have the 2007 versions of these apps and receive documents from people who do.

Microsoft has tried to minimise the pain by quietly shipping Office 2007 awareness patches to Office XP and 2003 users who keep their suite current -- by using Windows Update, for example. People who've received the patch and try to open an Open XML file within Office XP or 2003 will get a pop-up window informing them that they need to get a 2007 Office Compatibility Pack -- a free, 27MB download. With the Compatibility Pack installed, Office XP and 2003 users will be able to open, edit and save to the new Open XML format.

Unfortunately, people who try to open Open XML documents in older versions of Office or other productivity suites will encounter messages saying that the application can't open the file. Your odds of reaching the Compatibility Pack improve if, instead of launching an older productivity application, you click on a file to let Windows try to open it. The OS will still tell you that it doesn't recognise the file type, but you'll have the option of letting Windows go online to find an application that can open it -- and that way you'll get to the Compatibility Pack. With the Compatibility Pack installed, Office 2000 users gain limited functionality in the XML formats; and all other users will be able to convert Open XML documents to Office 97 formats and back again from Windows, though the process isn't particularly intuitive.

Basically, Microsoft's Open XML formats sort the various components of a document -- content, formatting, comments, and so on -- into different files that the software then zips into a single Open XML file. (You can check this out by changing any Office XML file's extension to .zip and then opening the file with any zip utility.) Using zip compression makes files smaller; separating content from other attributes enables you to change those attributes without changing the content. A corporate user could, for example, change the look of a series of documents by swapping out the formatting files.

In the end, you may decide that your current productivity apps are all you need. But if you'd like to get the most out of Office applications, this upgrade can help you do it.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?