The Active Network
ActiveWin Active Network | New Reviews | Old Reviews | Interviews |Mailing List | Forums


Product: Microsoft Office 2003
Company: Microsoft
Estimated Street Price: $499 (Full Version)
Review By: Byron Hinson


Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Word 2003
3: FrontPage 2003
4: Outlook 2003
5: Excel 2003
6: PowerPoint 2003
7: Access 2003
8: Conclusion

It's usually easy to review the Office updates and state that there is very little new stuff added to the package, but thankfully this year is the exception. There are a lot of new features in Word, PowerPoint, FrontPage and massive improvements in Outlook.

Final Comments

How It Grades
Installation: 91%
Ease Of Use: 83%
Speed: 91%
Features: 92%
Improvements: 82%
Design Ability: 93%
Options: 92%
Manual: 90%
Price: 81%
Overall: 90%

If you held back in upgrading to Office XP, then defiantly go with Office 2003 as there are some major improvements here. But if you already own Office XP, then once again it is hard to fully recommend spending a large amount of cash on the main upgrade simply because only Word and Outlook have had the major changes that most people are likely to make use of. But in saying that, PowerPoint 2003 is also a valuable update for a lot of users. The let downs here are Excel and Access, which don't have the kind of improvements other parts of the package have had, but once again I'll say if you haven't already got the XP versions of them, upgrade.

The reason I have reviewed each component of the pack separately, is so you can get an easy view of which parts you are mostly like to use, and which of them offer the most improvements and new features. The grade here is for the overall package. If you are new to Office and can afford it, you will undoubtedly get a lot of use out of it, especially businesses and students, if you are a home user, I would recommend picking out what you need instead of paying $500 for this package as there is a high chance you won't need all of the programs. But overall, an excellent update this time.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 90%
Version Reviewed Office Systems 2003 - Professional Edition
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 2 CDs
Small Manual
The Good Points Lots of improvements
Easy install
Superb Outlook
Increased security features
The Bad Points Excel & Access lack new features
Reviewers PC Setup Windows XP Service Pack 1
AMD Athlon XP 2100
Asus A7V333 Motherboard
512MB DDR PC2100
Leadtek NvidiaGeForce 4 Ti 4600
Creative Labs Audigy Sound Card (OEM)
100 GB Western Digital Hard Drive 7200 RPM, 8mb Cache
Samsung 16x DVD-ROM
Samsung CD-RW (48x24x48x)
Creative Inspire 5.1 5300 Speakers