i haven’t used office 2003 for a while, but this evening i installed it for a demo environment on windows 7. then i installed office 2010 click-to-run (a virtualized second copy of office built upon the same application virtualization technology we use in app-v) on the same computer (i’ve been dogfooding it for a while virtualized along with a traditionally installed version). now i have the ability to work on both at the same time
the really great thing about running the older with the new is you can truly compare and contrast between the two – take for instance the file format introduced with office 2007 – this demo file is 4.5 mb in the xls format. in the office 2007/2010 xlsx format, it’s only 1.25 mb – that’s a pretty significant storage savings if you have a bunch of spreadsheets!
there are a number of benefits to this approach – let’s say i’ve got an add in that only works in excel 2003 – i still have access to excel 2003! let’s say i want to work with a gigantic amount of data – excel 2010 supports over a million rows compared to excel 2003’s 65536
more rows means more data can be crunched in 2010 (and there will also be a 64 bit version available!)