By Sue Keno and Nancy Kruzel
As Microsoft prepares to roll out Office 2010, law firms should consider whether to invest in the latest version of the software. The answer is: It depends. It depends on the current state of your firm's hardware, what version of Office you are currently using, how your firm's other software applications integrate with an upgrade and--perhaps most importantly--your technology budget and goals for 2010. There are no clear-cut answers, so firms should consider their own unique situations, variables and priorities.
The Latest Version of Office
Last July, Microsoft introduced the technical preview of Office 2010, and the beta version appeared in November. While Microsoft initially forecast that the upgrade would be available in the first half of 2010, it is more realistic to expect it by the fourth quarter.
Office 2010 will feature extended file compatibility and user interface updates. According to Microsoft, the Office 2010 suite is designed to make work flows more efficient; to effectively use Web applications to make work available anywhere; and to make collaboration with others much easier.