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February 16, 2006

Office 12 christened Office 2007 as Office gets a makeover

Posted by David Hunter at 9:00 AM ET.

In line with Monday’s rumor, Microsoft has formally branded the upcoming release of Office that had been codenamed “Office 12″ as “Office 2007″. The press release is here along with Microsoft Word documents with details on the various packages (SKUs) to be offered, and the estimated retail pricing.

Some items of note:

FrontPage is replaced by Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and Microsoft Expression Web Designer which are both said to be based on FrontPage technologies. SharePoint Designer is new and we have previously discussed the Expression products here. I won’t wax nostalgic about the history of FrontPage except to say that I always found it a useful web site file manager and WYSIWYG HTML editor despite its quirks and the disdain of geeks who like to program close to the metal. Even today, most non-Microsoft web hosting packages offer FrontPage support which reflects its popularity and how it managed to retain its cross platform heritage over the years. We’ll have to see how the new tools work out, but my prejudice is against SharePoint for anything except intranet use in an all Microsoft shop, so I expect that my general preference would be Web Designer.

Groove joins Office with the announcement of Microsoft Office Groove 2007, Microsoft Office Groove Server 2007, and Microsoft Office Groove Enterprise Services for hosted deployments. All are only available through volume licensing which seems interesting given that Groove’s original claim to fame was small group collaboration through P2P sharing. There’s also a new Office Live Groove subscription service for SMBs. That would spice up the rather mundane Office Live story.

New Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007. Details are sparse, but presumably these are respectively central servers for InfoPath clients and the project portfolio management technology acquired last year with UMT.

New Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access A web based version of Microsoft’s business IM client.

New Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 and an Enterprise CAL. These new versions have everything but the kitchen sink.

There’s lots to chew on here and I expect a wave of punditry over the next few days.

Update: Jay Greene at BusinessWeek online says that the release of Office 2007 has slipped six to eight weeks to the 4th quarter.

Update: If you don’t want to download Microsoft Word documents, there is now an ordinary web page rendition of the pricing and a comparison chart of the various packages.

Filed under Expression Studio, Expression Web, Forms Server, FrontPage, General Business, Groove, Groove Server, Marketing, Office, Office 2007, Office Communications Server, Office Live, Project Portfolio Server, SharePoint Designer, Tools

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5 Responses to “Office 12 christened Office 2007 as Office gets a makeover”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Fitting Groove into the Microsoft Office picture Says:

    [...] Perhaps one of the least hyped aspects of the Office 2007 announcement was the addition of Office Groove 2007 (acquired with Ray Ozzie’s Groove Networks) to the lineup. John Fontana explains how it fits at Computerworld Australia: A year after buying Groove Networks and its peer-to-peer technology, Microsoft has begun laying out plans to develop the software into the offline client it has been missing in its document collaboration story. [...]

  2. Microsoft pauses Expression Graphic Designer (Acrylic) development -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Frankly, I find this rather odd. All of these products are supposed to ship in some proximity to the Vista launch at the end of the year and the idea that any of the product teams has time to spare is certainly a novelty. Finally, while the March Community Technology Previews of Acrylic and Sparkle were just released there has never been a CTP for Expression Web Designer (”Quartz”) which is supposed to be one of the replacements for FrontPage with Office 2007. Maybe the Acrylic team is over there helping out? Filed under Coopetition, Tools, Acrylic, Technologies, Beta and CTP, Sparkle, WinFX, Quartz, Expression, Adobe, XAML, Microsoft Listen to this article   [Permalink] [...]

  3. Joint launch for Vista and Office 2007? -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] 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. [...]

  4. 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. Filed under Office, Office 2007, OS – Client, Windows Vista, General Business, Marketing, Microsoft Listen to this article   [Permalink] [...]

  5. Expression Web designer goes beta as Expression Web -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Expression Web with Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is supposed to be the replacement for retiring FrontPage, but it looks like it is shrugging off most of the load as Steve Bryant reports: One, the WYSIWYG web design software no longer supports the creation of FrontPage files. And two, Microsoft is changing the name from the incredibly boring “Expression Web Designer” to the incredibly opaque “Expression Web.” … Regarding the removal of FrontPage support, product manager Wayne Smith said MS has “removed from the product is all the entry points that allow people to create new things with FrontPage tech. But the editing tools remain.” [...]

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