Thanks, Gary. I will be doing some research on my own next week but I thought that I'd ask you just in case you already have had experience with Office 2010. I thought that some of your readers might find tihis topic to be of interest as we discuss it.
This is what I've noticed so far from a brief encounter with Office 2007 Standard on an XP Pro computer with a Core Duo 2.13 GHz processor, 2GB RAM but integrated graphics (don't know the dedicated RAM for the graphics offhand). When opening up Word 2007 it hangs momentarily at its pretty blue background and then it will complete loading the ribbon and blank document. I had a need to install both Access and Powerpoint 2002 on that same computer and they open almost instantaneously. I went back to Word 2007 and tried it several times with the same result so it's not as if a background task was slowing it down when I first tried it.
I'll keep you posted, too, on what I find.