Office 365


A while ago, someone asked in the Forum if it was worth upgrading from Office 2010 to the current version of Office 365. The general consensus seemed to be that in a few specific cases there were improvements that might make it worth it, but that, in general, there wasn’t anything overly compelling if you didn’t need those specific improvements.

When I bought a new Windows tablet around Christmas 2015, I got a coupon for a free year of Office 365. Since it was getting close to the coupon’s expiration date, I activated the free subscription last September (intending to install it on the Atom-powered tablet), but I didn’t install it on anything (and still haven’t).

Through the HUP, I got the opportunity to get a cheap copy of Office 2016 Professional a few months ago. I installed it on a PC that had just had a clean Windows 10 install. Previously, I had been using Windows 2010 Professional (also acquired through the HUP years ago).

My experience with Office 2016 has been less than ideal. Office 2016 is so slow compared to Office 2010. I’ve done unscientific side-by-side comparisons of Office 2016 on a quad core desktop and Office 2010 on a dual core laptop (with the same underlying CPU, just one is the quad core version and the other is the dual core version). I mostly use Word, Excel and OneNote, and the Office 2010 version of all three run significantly faster on the laptop than the Office 2016 version on the PC (both devices have SSDs and 4 GB of RAM). I’m assuming the performance degradation is related to the “cloud integration” features of newer versions of Office; although, OneNote in Office 2010 syncs with the cloud and doesn’t exhibit any slowdown like OneNote in Office 2016.

Has anyone else seen this, that Office 2016 is so slow compared to previous non-cloud versions? To me, it seems painfully slow and, as discussed in the previously referenced Forum post, I haven’t run across anything I use in the newer version that didn’t exist in the older version.

Is there some setting I should try fiddling with in order to better optimize performance, or is this just a fact of life with the newer version and something I’ll just have to grin and bear if I want to continue using it? If there’s nothing that can be done, I definitely won’t be installing Office 365 on a low-end Windows tablet. I can’t imagine the performance would be anything other than awful.

Comments (7)

7 responses to “Office 365”

  1. 289

    Interesting.  I move between Office 2010, 2013 and 2016 on a few machines and haven't noticed any real performance difference.  If you think there is some cloud-related performance issue you could try unplugging from the internet then do some more rigorous side by side comparisons.  

  2. 1043

    I'm using the Office365 version of Office 2016 ProPlus with it tied to my Office365 account for OneDrive integration. Launching Word 2016 takes 1.5 seconds on a 2011 Dell Latitude E6420 with 8GB RAM and a 5400RPM HDD running Windows 10 Pro. We've had no issues with performance on any of our Windows 10 machines, even the installation goes quickly. Did you install Office 2016 from a disc or using the downloadable installer from the Office365 site? We just use the downloadable installer. It won't play nicely with 2010 on the same system though and may require 2010 to be uninstalled to install 2016 from the site. 

    • 5615

      In reply to Patrick3D:

      I downloaded the installer. I installed it on a PC with a fresh installation of Windows 10, so there's no contamination from any previous versions.

  3. 461

    Check to see what add-ins are enabled for each version.  You may find that the add-ins in 2016 are the cause.

    • 5615

      In reply to xperiencewindows:

      Interestingly, Office 2010 has one additional add-in enabled; otherwise, they have the same 4 add-ins (same add-in names, that is; I'd assume the underlying code might be different).

  4. 1377

    Re Excel, those of us who prefer MDI for certain tasks definitely prefer Excel 2010 to Excel 2016. For workbooks with mostly behind the scenes calculations, Excel 2010 is superior. The functions added in 2013 and 2016 are nice but have had VBA/UDF or array formula alternatives for decades. That said, all versions after Excel 2003 have an unfortunate tendency to fubar number formatting at unpredictable times, e.g., producing percentages with 15 decimal places. That is, there are bugs which were introduced with Office 2007 which still haven't been fixed.

    • 5615

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Don't get me started on Excel number formatting. I've really grown to dislike scientific notation, which, if you're not vigilant, Excel likes to apply with gusto. We use Excel a lot less than we used to. CUSIPs (and other similar identifiers) and Excel often do not get along. It's almost never our first choice for number crunching, but sometimes we have little choice.