Irregular Injection of Opinion
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 Monday, 18 July 2011
64 Bit Microsoft Office vs 32 Bit Office: 64 Bit is not necessarily ‘better’

In my travels I run into lots of people who are running Microsoft Office 2010 but many of them are also running the 64 bit version. I thought I’d do a quick post to discourage this behaviour!

Yes, we’ve had it drilled into us that 64 bit is the future, and, for operating system installs you do indeed want to be running Windows x64 because you’ve probably got more than 4GB of RAM in your machine. However, when it comes to applications that have been specifically compiled for 64 bit I suggest a much greater degree of caution and reflection before diving in. It is basically a trade-off by way of sacrificing raw performance for the ability to use more RAM in that application process. What do I mean by this; Well, there is an overhead in working with 64 bit pointers and this will mean that you take a performance hit in running the 64 bit application- see this article for some simple benchmarks The flip side, however,is that you can then work with a full 64 bit address space and thus your application can use more than 4GB(ish) of RAM.

So, why do I want to discourage you from installing 64 bit office?  

  1. You probably don’t need that much RAM for a individual Office application.
    Unless you are working with extremely large spread sheets in Microsoft Excel it is unlikely you’ll need to use > a couple of GB of ram for a single Office App.
  2. There will be a performance hit.
  3. There are significant compatibility issues
    If you use Office add-ins and other 3rd party extensions you’ll find that compatibility with x64 Office is patchy at best.

So there you have it. The typical person I se running 64 bit office is the ‘IT Guy’ or enthusiast for whom more bits == more power. This just ain’t the case.

Here is the official Microsoft article on the situation:

Office2010 | Windows 7|Monday, 18 July 2011 23:46:41 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Microsoft Office Extensions to the Open XML File Format (ISO29500) Specification

So the question was asked today in my Open XML Development for Office 2010 and beyond as to whether the Word 2010 Extensions documentation was available anywhere.

I had to take an action item to follow up and find this.

It can be found here:

Office2010 | SPC09|Wednesday, 21 October 2009 23:37:28 UTC|Comments [1]|    

 Saturday, 08 August 2009
Rebuild Day: Post #1, software audit and backup

Today is rebuild day for my primary machine, a Lenovo x61t. Moving to Win7 RTM and Office 2010 Tech Preview.

First up is pulling all the Data off my C drive.

This mainly means the data out of my profile folder. A key thing to remember here is to check your filesystem Virtualization folders for stuff that’s been put there by poorly written software. I usually backup to a hard drive but today I’m going to just push it across to my D drive partition- I made the decision last build to run two partitions again which is a move I’m pleased with.

Then it’s time to do an audit of the Program Files folder to determine which of the crap that I’ve installed over the past 7 months I actually need to install again. here is my list, not necessarily in order. Hopefully it might give readers a few pointers.

Polar Pro Trainer
Life Cam
Intelli Point
Live Mesh
Office 2010
VS2k8 + SPs
Expression Studio 3
Star Alliance Travel Desk
IIS + other goodies via Web Platform Installer
SQL 2k8 inc Books online
DevExpress Controls + Addins
Azure SDK
.NET Services SDK
Process Explorer
Sony Vegas
Live Writer/Messenger
eTrust + RAS Bits
K-Lite Codec Pack
Zoom H Series Driver

Office2010 | Windows 7|Saturday, 08 August 2009 22:35:53 UTC|Comments [2]|