Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

Summary: Office 2010 is out in the market, on Microsoft's volume license price lists and installed (at least in Office Starter form) on many new PCs out there. But there are still a couple of complementary technologies that aren't available yet.


Office 2010 is out in the market, on Microsoft's volume license price lists and installed (at least in Office Starter form) on many new PCs out there. But there are still a couple of complementary technologies that aren't available yet.

I'm not talking about Office Web Apps, the free version of which is still missing some promised functionality, as Microsoft itself has acknowledged. I'm talking about other related technologies of interest to both consumers and smaller business users.

One of these is the Facebook plug-in for the Outlook Social Connector. Microsoft officials said in February of this year to expect that plug-in to be available in the first half of 2010. Yes, we're only one day into the second half of this year, but all I can get (via a spokesperson) is the Facebook plug-in is now coming in the second half of this year.

The Outlook Social Connector plug-in for Windows Live, also doesn't seem to be there yet, either. I would guess that Microsoft may be waiting until it delivers the final version of Windows Live Wave 4 services -- in the fall of 2010, according to the rumor mill.

Another omission is Business Contact Manager (BCM). This feature currently is only available to Office 2010 users who have volume-license agreements with Microsoft.

I've heard complaints about the BCM limitation from a couple of my readers. One of them made an eloquent appeal for the feature:

"As a small-time operator, the most noteworthy aspect of the new (Office 2010) suite -- by far!-- is the total remake of Business Contact Manager. With Office 2010, Microsoft transformed BCM from something that wasn't terribly useful into a truly viable contender, with a much more elegant interface. More than sufficient grounds alone to upgrade to 2010. But rather inexplicably, Business Contact Manager--which seems perfectly suited to micro-businesses and startups -- is only available in quantity licensing direct from Microsoft. Thus, BCM is effectively unavailable to those who need it most, and who would actually use it."

"Business Contact Manager is currently available to volume licensing customers only," a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed.  "We are working on finalizing the plans for non-VL customers." The spokesperson provided no date as to when that might happen, however.

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • hmmm - my complimentary upgrade to Office 2010 Pro

    offered a download for Business Contact Manager. Not wanting to waste BW I ordered the DVD. I wonder if BCM will be on that or if I will be forced to download 380MB or so instead...
    • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

      @jacarter3 380MB install for a contact manager? More bloatware from Microshaft.
      • One man's bloatware....

        @MSFTWorshipper another man's feature. If you need it and want it then its a feature. If you don't need it and/or don't want it, it's bloatware. As long as it's an optional component that you can choose or not choose, why should you care?
  • Outlook Social Connector for Windows Live is available

    When I installed the Beta of the new Windows Live Essentials, it automatically installed the Social Connector for Outlook. But I'm guessing it won't work with Wave 3.
  • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

    Office 2010 is great. I love OneNote :)
    • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

      @shellcodes_coder OneNote 2010 is just flat out incredible. It has finally become everything it was promised to be in previous versions. I too LOVE it.
    • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

      @shellcodes_coder Agreed one awesome piece of software. I got hooked on it during a project - it's is great!
  • BCM is long available

    As mentioned above, my Office 2010 tech guarantee download has a 32-bit and 64-bit RETAIL downloadable version of Business Contact Manager 2010. It is also available on MSDN and Technet (which is never volume license). Few other bits and tools missing which haven't yet been upgraded for 2010 from 2007 are the Calendar Printing Assistant for Outlook 2010, the amazing Search Commands addin from Office Labs, Office 2010 Viewers, Primary Interop Assemblies for Office 2010 and the RTM version of Office Environment Assessment Tool.
    • Not sure how/why you can get it

      MS itself is saying there's no BCM except for volume licenseesof Office 2010... so I am not sure how you got it. Maybe MS is including TechNet/MSDN or tech guarantee programs as being part of the "volume license" groups that can get it....

      Thanks for the update on the other tools... MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Retail products targeted towards individual sales

        @MJ<br><br>If businesses are buying more than one copy, they're better served with volume licensing. The retail products are designed mostly just for independent workers and/or home office or personal productivity. Office Standard is really the suite for small businesses - it's "Office: <i>for the office</i>", and it ships with BCM. Microsoft is pushing volume licensing for all business software purchases with the 2010 release. That's why there isn't a business-tailored OEM software bundle option. All of the messaging for PC Essentials with Office 2010 is for consumers. I asked the OEM team about this, and they confirmed the sentiment that businesses get products that are better tailored for them through volume licensing.<br><br><i>Here's a tip for potential very small business customers:</i> if you can't meet the minimum 5 licenses for just Office, add some licenses for Forefront Client Security antimalware protection ($12/US/ea) or some cheap server CAL's if you need them (~$15-30). <b>You <u>DO NOT</u> need 5 of all of the same license to open a volume license agreement.</b><br><br>FYI: The 2010 "Office Standard" is the same suite as the previous 2007 Office Small Business. Why did they change the name? Well, when you look at the volume licensing suites by themselves you have only these:<br><br>Office Standard<br>Office Professional Plus<br><br>It makes a bit more sense calling it "Standard", than just "Small Business", especially in relation to the "Professional" title. In many cases, office workers may not need Access, Infopath, and SharePoint Workspace, but BCM is a vital marketing tool.
      • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

        @Mary Jo Foley I purchased an Office 2007 Small Business Edition version with the MS Technology guarantee upgrade per @Ed Bott recommendation. My complimentary download offered both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of BCM just like others are saying. My understanding was that it was because Small Business Edition included that and so the upgrade to Office 2010 Professional also offered a complimentary download.
      • I'm seeing it in...

        @Mary Jo Foley vls area, technet, and MSDN. I'm assuming those finding it for download (if they don't have access to VLS) must be seeing the MSDN or Technet downloads.
      • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

        @Mary Jo Foley One further piece of information which seems to support my earlier assumption.
      • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

        @Mary Jo Foley, looks like Microsoft updated Calendar Printing Assistant for 2010 overnight and OEAT release version. Now to wait for Office Viewers, PIA Redistributables and updated Search Commands which is the real crown jewel of add-ins for effectively using the Ribbon.
      • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

        @Mary Jo Foley - My Tech Guarantee from Office 2007 Ultimate for students to Office 2010 Pro included a download for Business Contact Manager. And it works great.

        I don't know why they're not offering it for all owners Outlook ... at least those with Office Pro. Or, hey, if they want to, release it as a for-pay download ... looks like the demand is there...
    • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?


      The menu!?!

      I agree, an updated 2010 version of the "Search" addon would be great.

      As well, since 2010 will be first exposure for many people to the Ribbon gooey (gui) (direct upgrade from 2003 or earlier menu to 2010 bypassing 2007), I would really like to see 2010 versions of the 2003 menu to 2007 ribbon mapping flash applets and spreadsheets.
  • Facebook connector, seriously????

    I thought Office was for people trying to be productive.
    • And these days, how many companies have a Facebook presence?

      Just about everytime I turn on the TV, I see ads for various products, TV networks and such - all with a "Find us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter" blurb toward the end of the ad.

      Kinda sounds like a no-brainer if ya ask me...
  • RE: Microsoft Office 2010: What's still missing?

    My two biggest aggravations with 2010....

    1. Proper iTunes synch... apparently iTunes doesn't recognize 2010
    2. There is an error with the 2007 office word document formats, they don't automatically open with 2010
    C Ragsdale
    • Formats have not changed

      @C Ragsdale between 2007 and 2010.

      iTunes? icare NOT. Same with social network integration. We use Outlook as a work tool and there is no way I'm going to be letting my users connect to Facebook (or iTunes or anything else besides our Exchange servers) with Outlook.