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Trying to run two versions of Microsoft Office at the same time usually does not work well. Better to pick one version and stick with it.

Windows 7 Home Premium, Office 2007 Enterprise Edition. I want to upgrade to Office 2010. I seldom use anything other than Excel and Word, so I plan to upgrade to Office 2010 Home and Student, but I don't want to lose Outlook, Publisher, etc. in the 2007 package. I've been told that if I select a custom install and install to a folder I've created, say Office 2010, that I will actually have both versions of Office on my computer and will not lose my 2007 modules. Is this correct?

In this excerpt from Answercast #49, I look at trying to hack around Microsoft limits in running two versions of Office on the same machine. It's just not worth it!

Two versions of Office

It's my understanding (and to be honest, my experience) that different versions of Office cannot be installed on a single machine at the same time. If you end up trying...

  • If you kind-of sort-of hack around it;

  • Maybe by specifying a different install location;

  • Things just don't quite work right.

Stick to one version

The bottom line is - I wouldn't do it. I would either:

  • Go all the way to 2010 with all of your applications;

...and in all honesty, Outlook 2010 isn't that much different than Outlook 2007. You've already taken the big hit when you went to 2007 (I realize that may take a different edition of Office 2010 in order to do that.)

  • Or I'd stick with Office 2007.

To be honest. I'm not sure that there's a really strong, compelling reason, in your case, to upgrade to 2010. But those are the ways that I would approach it. I would do either one or the other, but stay away from trying to do both.

Article C5769 - September 3, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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6 Comments
Mark J
September 4, 2012 9:58 AM

I upgraded from Window 2007 to 2010, only because I got it for $80 with an academic discount. Even at that price, I don't see what I gained except for a slightly more intuitive user interface. I know there are are some new features, but really nothing I've found a use for in the almost 2 years I've been using it.

Dan
September 4, 2012 10:30 AM

If you want to keep the older versions - install a virtual PC and install it on that. You can't use Window's Virtual PC software with Home (I don't think but there are other brands that might work - but I am not up on any of the others so someone else would have to let you know). I have Windows Professional, and installed Virtual XP to run some of my older programs. I installed the new version on Windows 7, and the old version on Virtual XP. You can even have the icon to the XP version on your W7 system and run it directly. That is the reason I got the professional version - might want to look into upgrading W7 as one of your options.

Tom
September 4, 2012 1:10 PM

I currently have both Office 2003 and the version of Office 2010 which came with the Windows 7 OS, running on my Lenovo X201.

I do this because so many of my colleagues and work are using Office 2010 and, whilst I personally cannot see any advantage of 2010, I keep going back to 2003 because I know where everything is in 2003 but both work OK in Windows 7.

The only downside is that clicking on 2003 files often requires a "set-up" function from 2010 but I've worked around this by having all the 2003 "start" icons in a separate toolbar.

Marty W
September 4, 2012 10:08 PM

Running two different versions of Outlook on the same Desktop (i.e. not ind separate VPCs) will be a problem.

But after loading Office 2010, you can uninstall only the Outlook 2010 module, then insert the Office 2007 disk and choose to custom install only the Outlook 2007 module, leaving you with Outlook 2007 running 'next' to Excel & Word 2010 if that's what you want . . .

Because of software program testing I'm running Outlook 2010 'next' to Word & Excel 2003 in this same fashion. You lose some cross functionality between Word & Outlook in the different versions, but I find those to be minor.

Millie
September 5, 2012 10:25 PM

Hi, I am actually running Office Home and Student 2010 beside Outlook 2007. Initially, I'd purchased the 2007 Office Home and Student but was given a free online upgrade to 2010 after a particular month passed. So when I downloaded this upgrade, I inadvertently upgraded Outlook to 2010 as well. At the time I wasn't aware the Outlook, not being part of the normal Home and Student package, was only a trial version of 2010. When it ran out and I didn't want to buy the 2010 Outlook, and wanted to go back to the 2007 version, I kept getting all sorts of error messages and difficulty keeping 2007 running every time a Microsoft Update ran automatically. It tried to do something with the ex 2010 version which blocked the 2007 version from opening. After many calls to Microsoft and two useless patches, I uninstalled all versions of Outlook and reloaded the 2007 from disc. It works perfectly now, still beside Office Home and Student 2010.

Denis Oakley
January 2, 2013 2:23 AM

The benefit of upgrading to Outlook 2010 is that you get to have multiple exchange accounts and can thus have a helpdesk using Outlook.

At least that's why I am doing it. But I can't see the benefit of upgrading Word/Excel etc and so they are going to stay at 2007

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