Hi welcome to the forum.
I will attempt to answer you question the best I can. However it may not be the definitive answer/solution.
Your first question relating to Word 2007 dragging or hanging?
I am unsure if it is anything to do with your old server, but the fact that a server, hence templates involved may be a contributory factor to the problem.
Usually one can expect an extra time delay for opening of a document if re-calling from a template/
However, the delay of 20 seconds is maybe a bit much?
But my theory, right or wrong, is somehow connected with server/WorkGroup recall, and templates.
In the past Office has often ignored the changes and referred back to the UNC's.
Check Microsoft for Office 2007 Updates. See if that could make a difference. Check the re-call path.
Please click on this link for more in-depth information on this particular subject:- Word appears to hang when you open some (but not all) documents - documents take a long time to open - Microsoft Office Word Support Topics - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
Your second question re: Excel?
Well I guess many people have been asking the self same question for years.
For this I have not got an answer, just to refer you to the links below, that may go some way to answering your queries. open multiple excel spreadsheets in separate windows by default - ExcelBanter open multiple excel spreadsheets in separate windows by de..
I hope the above information may be of some use and interest to you.