Microsoft Corp. today announced the completion of the 2007 Microsoft Office system code and confirmed its release to manufacturing (RTM). This gold code milestone concludes the largest Microsoft Office beta program to date, with more than 3.5 million people downloading Beta 2. The unprecedented quantity of feedback from beta testers and customers helped the Office development team effectively validate product quality and optimize performance. Microsoft Office RTM also marks a critical step toward worldwide business availability of the 2007 Office system, Windows Vista™ operating system and Exchange Server 2007 on Nov. 30, 2006. To underscore the significance of this new day for business, Microsoft executives will participate in events around the globe, including an event with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in New York. General availability of the products will follow in early 2007.
Some other items of note snipped from the press release:
Starting Dec. 1 in the U.S. and Canada, and coming soon after to an additional 13 international markets,* Microsoft will make available free, downloadable product trials via Office Online. Expanding on the Online Test Drive already available today, the trials will allow people to try the new desktop programs before they decide to buy or upgrade to the 2007 release.
They will likely need all the jumper cables they can get.
SMS Link for Office Outlook® 2007. This new service allows Outlook 2007 users to connect with friends’, families’ and colleagues’ mobile phones by using SMS text messaging. It allows people to send and receive e-mail, contacts, appointments and tasks as text messages to mobile phones.
The thought of yet another SMS client is frightening, but the Office tie-in likely gives this one a leg up.
Multilanguage support. For the first time, 2007 Office system customers will be able to purchase individual, single-language add-on packs that enable applications and suites to instantly become bilingual. The packs add a secondary localized user interface, help files, dictionary and thesaurus.
I hardly keep track of all the nuances of language localization, but the last bullet looks like Microsoft decided to split the difference between their Multilingual User Interface (MUI) support and regular localized Office versions.
More Office 2007 details at the revamped Office Online.