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Appeared on: Friday, March 24, 2006
Office 2007 Follows Vista's Delay

Following the delay in broad availability of Windows Vista, Microsoft confirmed late Thursday that it is also pushing the mainstream launch of Office 2007 to next year.

As with Vista, Microsoft hopes to finish the code for Office 2007 this year and make it available to some large businesses by the end of December.

Microsoft announced the Vista delay Tuesday. With the twin push backs, the PC industry's holiday season is shaping up to be quite different than the one originally expected. Microsoft has said it doesn't expect the Vista delay to dent PC sales in the fourth quarter, but analysts have largely disagreed.

The Office 2007 is expected to feature an all-new XML-based file formats as well as a completely new user interface, among other changes.

Microsoft in November had released an initial test version of Office 2007, then known by its Office 12 code name. Microsoft plans to release two business editions of Office 2007--Office Professional Plus and Office Enterprise. These will be available to business customers through Microsoft's volume licensing program before the end of 2006, the company said. The OEM edition, Office Basic 2007, also will be available to those partners at the same time.

Consumer versions of Office--Office Home and Student 2007, Office Professional 2007, Office Small Business 2007 and Office Standard 2007--will be sold on retail shelves and through other consumer sales channels starting in January 2007, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft still expects to release a public Beta 2 of Office 2007 by late June, the company added.


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