This article has been updated since release.
Microsoft released to the press information regarding the long-awaited next version of Office, codenamed “Office 12.”
The product will be branded as Office 2007, and available late this year. Prices are not expected to be dramatically different than the current version, however, Microsoft says some changes will be made mainly to the packaging and branding.
The changes demonstrate Microsoft’s newest goal: to make Office more a collaboration suite that connects employees, than a set of productivity applications.
Microsoft Office 2007 will feature a range of seven different version, each targetting a different audience at a different price. Office Enterprise 2007, a brand new package targetting the enterprise productivity market will be added to the spectrum. Office “Professional-Plus” 2007 will be the replacement for Office Pro. Enterprise Edition 2003, Office Home and Student 2007 replaces Office Student Teacher 2003. The rest of the suite will consist of Office Pro. 2007, Small Business 2007, Standard 2007, and the basic, stripped down Office Basic 2007.
FrontPage has been upgraded for standards compliance as well as to become a more sophisticated web-based development tool, and will be renamed SharePoint Designer 2007.
Office Pro. Plus will offer the traditional spreadsheet, word processor, presentations, database and email applications, and one new product: Office Communicator, a corporate instant-messaging product. The new Enterprise edition offers two new products, Office Groove 2007, a peer-to-peer “collaboration technology,” as well as OneNote 2007.
Microsoft says they will not be selling Pro. Plus, or Enterprise 2007 to “regular” customers, and will only offer it through their VLP or, volume licensing program. Prices will not be announced for these products as Microsoft customizes to each customer through the VLP program. Licensing will be handled by a brand new licensing system, however, Microsoft is reluctant to release specifics.
Office SharePoint 2007 is a new addition to the Office family, SharePoint is the new collaboration and content management server.
Microsoft released press information regarding the next version of Microsoft Office: Office 12, or Office 2007
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