D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Office 2007 – Not *really* OK with Office 2010

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 9:16 AM



I bought into the hype as so many others did: Office 2010 could be installed side by side with Office 2007 on the same machine. I jumped in blindly, hoping beyond hope that there wouldn’t be any issues or weird nuances that typically plague a beta release. What was I thinking?!

First off, Office 2010 and 2007 *can* be installed side by side…except for Outlook which is sort of a big deal. You can only run one version of Outlook on a machine at any given time. So while Word, Access, Excel, and PowerPoint blissfully allow their 2010 counterparts equal billing on your hard drive, Outlook takes an either/or stance.

I took the blue pill (or was it the red one? anyway…) and kicked Outlook 2007 to the curb. For weeks all was well, everything worked flawlessly, and life was good…very good in fact!

But then yesterday I made a mistake…a small, insignificant one that would cause a Tiger-sized blowup between my two Office versions. What did I do to cause so much horror, pain, and suffering? I opened Word 2007.

In that instance a gateway to Office hell was opened. I didn’t think anything of it, but when trying to use Outlook I started to get install dialog prompts, or prompts saying it was configuring Office 2010. Odd.

Then I started to see messages saying that no email program was installed and features couldn’t be used…which was weird since I got this when opening Outlook. And then Outlook broke: I started getting “Not Implemented” dialog boxes when trying to send/receive email, add a new appointment to my calendar, basically anything that Outlook is supposed to do.

I hit the net and discovered that I wasn’t the only one encountering these issues. A thread on the TechNet forums shows that others have run into similar issues. Robert Wray posted on his blog what he did to fix the problem, and it goes like this:

1 - Uninstalled Office 2010
2 - Rebooted
3 - Re-installed Office 2010
4 - Rebooted
5 - Loaded Outlook 2010

I would add one other step, maybe step 0: Uninstall 2007! If opening Word will screw up your 2010 installation, why even bother keeping it around?! After installing 2010, I haven’t used 2007 at all…2010, even as a beta, is that good and that stable!

So consider this a fair warning: yes you can try to juggle both versions of Office, but you may end up doing an uninstall/reinstall dance, quit the sport you love, move to a European country to save your marriage, and lose your endorsement deals.*

*Note: Well, maybe not ALL of those…but the uninstall/reinstall dance for sure.


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