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Product: Office 2003 Beta 2
Company: Microsoft
Estimated Street Price:
Review By: Lin Jiaqi

Excel 2003

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Word 2003
Excel & PowerPoint 2003
4: Outlook & Access 2003
5: FrontPage 2003
6: SharePoint Portal Server Version 2
7: InfoPath, OneNote & Publisher 2003

Microsoft Excel 2003 is the spreadsheet solution offered by Microsoft. Data within any customer-defined XML schema can now be read by Excel 2003 without having to be reformatted. Manipulating XML-based data in Excel for reuse and analysis is now as easy as selecting from a field chooser. XML also allows Excel to update charts, tables and graphs as changes are made to the underlying XML data store, providing dynamic, real-time information for analysis in any Excel format.


Like Word, Excel does not seem to have a lot of major changes. I noticed that Excel’s support of XML is in no way complete. Complex functions do not work well with XML and users who are anticipating a fully XML-compliant solution may be disappointed. But it does not mean the application does not have its merits. The ability to import XML data and render it as a spreadsheet may be welcomed by a lot of users.

PowerPoint 2003

PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft’s presentation software, allows users to create an impact in person or online. With improvements to the user interface and support for Smart tags, PowerPoint 2003 makes it easier to view and create presentations. Multimedia support in PowerPoint 2003 is also improved. You can easily save PowerPoint 2003 files to a CD. Furthermore, integration with Microsoft Windows Media Player allows you to play streaming audio and video within a slide show.


Version 2003 does not seem to include new templates, something which I hope Microsoft will consider in the retail version. The past templates provided by Microsoft have been really beautiful and professional-looking in my opinion, but the limited variety provided by Microsoft will only seem to make my presentation extremely similar to my colleague’s. There is also an additional function that allows for the copying of PowerPoint files to a CD. PowerPoint viewer is included to make sure that computers without PowerPoint can be used to make presentations. Kudos to Microsoft!

 « Word 2003 Outlook & Access 2003 »


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