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March 14, 2006

Joint launch for Vista and Office 2007?

Posted by David Hunter at 4:36 PM ET.

We knew that there was going to be a big buzz blitz planned for the launch of Windows Vista, but could the Madcap Microsoft Marketers be planning a joint launch later this year for both Vista and Office 2007? That’s what David Flynn reports at Australian IT in Vista hype-fest planned:

When Microsoft launches Windows Vista on an as-yet-unnamed date towards the end of this year, it is likely that the new Office 2007 suite will touch down on the same day.

The likelihood of a double-barrelled launch was revealed by Dave Block, senior product manager on the Windows Vista marketing team during a presentation at last week’s Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

The company has set aggressive sales targets for Vista and hopes the successor to Office 2003 will benefit from the repetition of the shared launch strategy adopted for Windows 95 and Windows XP and their companion Office editions.

Marc Orchant is entranced by the possibility of geeks dancing in the streets like in 1995.

“Windows Vista will probably go on to 400 million PCs in the first 24 months,” Block says. “That’s both new system sales and upgrades from XP. When you think we’re going to launch Office simultaneously there’s this huge wave of upgrades and opportunities.”

Forget the dubious prospect of a “huge wave” of Vista or Office upgrades. Since PC sales are running well above 200 million a year and growing, if Vista doesn’t go on 400 million new PCs in the first 24 months, it will be a disaster of epic proportions. When you sell new hardware there’s always the opportunity to sell a new version of Office, so the question is how more likely than normal will the consumers be to rise to the Office bait given their new machine has Vista on it?

As far as the dates go, hapless Microsoft blogger Greg Randall let slip the magic words “Yes, Vista will be released in November of this year” and various commentators were all over it. He’s changed it now, but it’s no real surprise that Vista will miss the back-to-school rush, but hopefully make the holiday shopping season. Office 2007 was always planned to precede Vista, but the last rumor was that it was slipping, so it would be natural to align them.

Finally, the rumored technical refresh of Office 2007 Beta 1 was released today to selected testers. It’s the one that introduces the new color scheme.



Filed under Beta and CTP, General Business, Marketing, Microsoft, OS - Client, Office, Office 2007, Public Relations, Windows Vista

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4 Responses to “Joint launch for Vista and Office 2007?”

  1. » Vista and Office launching together? Windows Vista Weblog Says:

    [...] More release-rumours about the launch of Windows Vista; the mad marketers from Microsoft would be planning a joint launch later this year for both Vista and Office 2007! This is what David Flynn reports in Australian IT (via hunterstrat.com): When Microsoft launches Windows Vista on an as-yet-unnamed date towards the end of this year, it is likely that the new Office 2007 suite will touch down on the same day. [...]

  2. Microsoft delays Vista to 2007 -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] The previous November release date always was cutting it rather close for the holidays and the addition of a “few weeks” probably had the OEMs throwing up their hands. But here’s a fine kettle of fish. Who is going to buy a holiday gift PC that one month later will be “obsolete” or require an operating system upgrade? I think Microsoft better launch the marketers on that one post haste. While they are at it, they can figure out if they still want to do a joint launch with Office 2007? Filed under OS – Client, Windows Vista, General Business, Marketing, Microsoft Listen to this article   [Permalink] [...]

  3. Office 2007 follows Vista to 2007 -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Office 2007 was always tipped to be finished before Vista in 2006 and while there were rumors of some delays, it had been expected in 4Q2006. It’s unclear whether there were further delays and/or the idea of a joint launch with Vista was just too enticing to the marketers. Wilcox analyzes why this is likely a smart marketing move. Mary Jo Foley has more at Microsoft Watch in Can Microsoft Make the Trains Run on Time? Filed under Office, Office 2007, OS – Client, Windows Vista, General Business, Marketing, Microsoft Listen to this article   [Permalink] [...]

  4. Not a prank: Barron’s declares Microsoft a growth stock -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] I’ve been through this before, but at the risk of flogging a dead horse, here it is again: [...]

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