Windows 7 64bit, Outlook 2010 64bit, Conferencing Addin 64bit, Macbook Pro 64bit

I am a 64bit freak. I got Windows 7, Outlook 2010, Conferencing
Addin all 64 bit versions to work on a Macbook pro. Those who are
thinking about moving to 64bit and hesitating whether something
will break, GO AHEAD! Macbook Pro hardware and Microsoft’s
software are the best combination out there. You will enjoy every
moment you spend with your laptop. Moreover, I have tried these
combinations on HP tablet PC, Sony VAIO, Dell Inspiron and Dell
Vostro. HP works best. Others are struggling with driver
issues.

I will give you positive and negative feedback with the apps I
have tried so far:

Outlook 2010 64 bit:

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Here are my negative feedback. Outlook Product Manager, please
read this. I am a hardcore Outlook customer of you.

  • All my Outlook COM addins are dead. Outlook 2010 64bit does not
    support them. Looks like not so good backward compatibility.
  • Not so significant improvement with Exchange 2007. The startup
    time has improved from about 5 secs to 2 secs. But the startup time
    saving is not really a big saver since I start outlook and it keeps
    running for days until my PC is so screwed that I need a
    restart.
  • Office Communicator 2005 does not work.
  • The beta Office 2010 applications are CPU hungry. I see 30% to
    40% CPU most of the time.
  • It took me over 30 hours until Outlook 2010 started to perform
    well. All this time, it was indexing and indexing and indexing and
    burning CPU.
  • There’s nothing so ground breaking and productivity
    enhancing in Outlook 2010 yet. After upgrading and using it for
    couple of days, I don’t see something so attractive that
    justifies the time spent in upgrading for busy professional.
    It’s not upgrade at this stage so far. You have to uninstall
    all Office 2007 or earlier products, addins etc and then install
    Outlook 2010.
  • Outlook Keyboard shortcuts are changed, having hard time
    adjusting. My precious Alt+L for Reply to All is gone. Now
    it’s Ctrl+Shift+R. Come on guys, when do you just Reply and
    not to Reply to All? I barely remember ever using Reply only.
    It’s always Reply to All. Can’t you make a easier
    shortcut for this?
  • Keyboard focus gets lost to some weird place sometimes and my
    navigation using cursor gets broken. I have to click using mouse to
    get into track.
  • Quick Tasks are kind of limited. For ex, “Reply &
    Delete”, who would want to press CTRL+SHIFT+1 to do reply and
    delete? It’s more natural to press Ctrl+R to reply and then
    send it and hit DEL. The choices on Quick Tasks are limited as
    well. I was hoping I would be able to chain multiple commands like
    – open a new message window, select a specific account to
    send mail using, select a specific signature and after the mail is
    sent, show move dialog box to move the conversation to a specific
    folder. Nope, it does not work this way. First of all there are
    limited commands which does not even support this. Secondly, all
    the actions are performed instantly one after another without
    waiting for the first action to complete.
  • Quick Steps cannot be added to Quick Access Toolbar. Go
    figure!

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width="404" height="266">

Now the good things:

  • Overall Outlook experience is smooth. Opening new mail, typing
    address, doing search, moving messages, viewing a folder on
    conversation view mode are all significantly faster, even with
    Exchange. It’s hard to say if it’s due to fully 64 bit
    environment or due to the fact that none of my COM addins are
    working.
  • Outlook exits. Finally! None of the previous Outlook would
    terminate the process if I exited Outlook. It remains in memory
    forever unless I kill it from task manager. Now the Outlook really
    closes, or at least kills itself when I exit. Whenever I exit
    Outlook and start again, I see it doing some Data Integrity check.
    This means it is not really closing itself properly, but killing
    itself. I assume that’s bad and my data in Outlook are slowly
    getting messed up.
  • The conversation view is great!
  • Inline appointment viewer is a life saver. When I get an
    appointment invite, the email preview shows a small view of the
    calendar around the meeting time. I can see if I am occupied or if
    there’s an available time before or after the meeting. This
    saves me a lot of time everyday as rescheduling meeting is a
    tedious job in my company and it takes around 4 to 7 reschedules
    attempts to get a suitable time slot in everyone’s diary for every
    darn meeting.
  • Quick Steps is more or less useful. I am getting used to using
    CTRL+SHIFT+1 to “reply to all and delete” and
    CTRL+SHIFT+2 for “reply to all and move to folder”. You
    just have to configure the quick steps to make it suit you.
    Previously I used to use QuickFile addin, which was a super useful
    tool, worth paying 39.95.

Onenote 2010 64 bit

The UI is certainly much slicker. It really looks and feels like
a notebook now. Sketching performance is improved.

However, a big bug. I was sketching and suddenly my pointer
switched to selection mode from pen. All pen options are disabled.
I tried exiting and coming back. Nope. Can’t go back to pen
mode at all. I am using a Genius Tablet. Looks like Onenote is
Tablet PC friendly only. Hope Apple makes a Tablet Macbook Pro
soon.

Word 2010 64 bit

Haven’t used it much. Ribbons are as confusing as before.
The File menu is even more confusing now. No new shape styles that
makes word documents stand out from the rest. No new Smart Art
worth mentioning. Overall – disappointing.

The print features are much improved!

Powerpoint 2010 64 bit

I did not notice any significant new feature in Powerpoint,
sadly. The ribbon has been made more useful than before.
There’s a “Transition” and
“Animations” ribbon bar which is very useful to use and
saves time putting animations in slides. But that’s all I
could see from my limited trial. This is disappointing. I was
expecting there would be richer collection of shapes which are
really cool to look and makes presentations look like Web 2.0
sites, a lot of new Smart Arts, but nothing.

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Visio 2010 64 bit

The UML Diagram designer is as crappy as ever. Come on
Microsoft, watch the other UML designers and learn from them.
Currently Visio is my last choice for UML design and makes my job
life unhappy because my company forces me to use it. I use "http://plantuml.sourceforge.net">PlantUML wherever I can.

I don’t see any new amazingly cool diagram either. I was
hoping the Detailed Network Diagram stencil would be much improved
with smooth round glossy servers, amazingly cool looking router
icons etc. But no luck. The new ribbon interface is as confusing as
other Office applications.

Conclusion

So far I can see significant improvement in Outlook only. Other
apps do not have anything that stands out.

6 Comments

  1. Umm what? What CPU are you running on your Crackbook?

    I'm running a 3 year old Opteron based desktop with less than 10% CPU utilization when ANY Office 2010 64 bit program is running.

  2. Intel 2.56 Ghz.

    Comparing CPU consumption would be inappropriate because surely we don't have the same files or data in our apps.

  3. Are you running it in a virtual machine or via bootcamp? Always a bit annoying to (more or less) loose 2GB of RAM when running it in a VM, as OS X needs some RAM, too. Another problem is the different keyboard layout.. atm. I think about going back to a pure PC laptop, got a macbook pro 15″ right now..

  4. Hi Omar,

    Are you still using Mac?, how is your experience with it so far? would you recommend is some for .net development as primary machine?

    Thanks,

    • My macbook pro is my primary laptop for work. Don’t use any desktop. Laptop everywhere. I use Bootcamp to run Win 7 64 bit. Mac is expensive. Unless you want to enjoy the slick body of macbook pro, I would highly recommend Sony VAIO Intel i3 models. Intel i3 is latest gen true 64 bit processor.

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