Some background. I've used MS Office for years, starting with Word 2.0 for Windows in the early 1990s -- before that, I'd used DOS Wordperfect. Moving to the 32 bit world, I used Office 97 then Office 2000. I never saw much need to upgrade beyond that as Office 2000 seemed pretty feature-complete for my needs in the programs I use most (Word, Excel, and to a lesser extent, Access). However, in 2004 I had a chance to pick up the 3-license Home/Student edition for half price ($80 or so) and did. I've used Word 2003 and Excel 2003 since then -- although I can't see that they are much better than their 2000 editions. As I don't use Access much, I just use Access 2000 when I need it.
I decided that I really should think about upgrading as my current versions are 6 to 10 years old. I noticed that the Office 2010 beta version was available for free, so downloaded and installed the Professional edition beta early in the week. It looks nice, functions well, and the ribbon is okay -- I have other programs that use it and it doesn't bother me as it does some, but it doesn't strike me as a must have improvement either. However, it doesn't seem to offer me much more than my 2003 edition functionality-wise.
Hence, this thread. I don't live in Office like some people do, so I'd like to hear from those who do what is new and truly useful in Office 2010. What should I look at over the next 6 or 7 months before I have to decide to spend money on Office 2010 or just stay with Office 2003? (I'm in a SOHO environment so corporate/enterprise improvements are not compelling reasons to fork over a few hundred dollars.)