The (Few) Ways Vista Makes Office Work Better

Microsoft's dual launching of Office 2007 and Windows Vista to the general public was the second time the software giant released the OS and office productivity products simultaneously, the first time being with Windows 95. Are there any advantages to running Office on Vista as opposed to XP? According to Chris Capossela, Microsoft's corporate VP in charge of the Office line, there are features consumers should be aware of: "Just about everything in Office 2007 works on XP. But there are a few things that are special to Vista." Here's a list of how any version of Office, not just the latest one, can benefit from Vista's new features:

  • Integrated search: Office 2007 is able to leverage Vista's underlying Instant Search functionality, while XP necessitates downloading Windows Desktop Search 3.0. For example, a user can search for specific words and Vista or WDS 3.0 will return documents that contain them.
  • Security: BitLocker Drive Encryption (only for Ultimate & Enterprise editions) addresses the threats of lost or stolen laptops and PCs, preventing the victims' documents from being viewed. Third party software is probably available for Windows XP that can do the same.
  • RSS feeds: Syndicated feeds can track documents, sales leads, to-do lists, calendars and so on. Vista has a common data store as well as a download engine for RSS feeds, and Office can access these feeds. For example, users can pull calendar data from a conference Web site directly into their Outlook calendars.
  • Auxiliary displays: A new feature in Vista allows laptop-makers to build computers with small screens on the outside of the computer. For example, Toshiba has a new tablet PC out for businesses with a small screen that notifies users of new Outlook messages even if the computer isn't open.
  • Gadgets: Developers are already creating gadgets for the Vista Sidebar that leverages Office applications. Once again with Outlook, a gadget currently available can notify the user of the number of upcoming appointments.
News source: InformationWeek

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