Joe Wilcox at Microsoft Monitor – Office 2007 really is 2007:
Today, Microsoft said that, like Windows Vista, Office 2007 will launch in early 2007. The company reiterated commitment to finish the product before the end of year. As with Windows Vista, Microsoft plans to make Office 2007 available to businesses subscribing to volume licensing before the end of 2006.
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?
Update: We’re unlikely to ever know the full story, but Ina Fried at CNET has the official Microsoft spin:
“We have, however, decided to coordinate with Windows Vista to hit retail store shelves in January 2007,” a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail to CNET News.com. “We believe this will provide an easier experience for consumers and retailers alike.”