When Vista, shall we say, did NOT meet the needs of many commercial users, there was a movement to freeze in place with Windows XP and Office 2003 or earlier Office versions. Some figured out that Office 2007 worked just fine running on the Windows XP operating system. These folks enjoyed all the benefits of Office 2007, including larger worksheets, and more robust sorting and filtering in Excel®, SmartArt graphics and an incredibly easy database system in Access.
Those who froze in place were waiting for the next technology refresh in which to convert to Windows 7, a much more stable system than Vista. While they were refreshing their technology, they took the opportunity to move to Office 2007, as well. Windows 7 was released in October of 2009, about the same time as the whispers about the upcoming release of Office 2010. So, a third group has chosen to wait until now for their technology refreshes, jumping from Office 97-2003 to Office 2010 and from Windows XP to Windows 7.
If you’re feeling like you keep missing the perfect jump in point into this technological double-Dutch game, don’t. Going to Office 2007 wasn’t a bad idea. Even if down the road your organization chooses to move to Office 2010, the interfaces are very similar, much the way Office 2003 was an improvement, but not a radical departure from Office 2000. The first, most noticeable difference between Office 2007 and Office 2010 is the replacement of the Office Button with a tab called File.
Note to job seekers: to take advantage of the best opportunities, be familiar with both interfaces. Many companies are hobbling along on hybrid installations of old and new. He or she, who can move between the versions nimbly, wins!