Office 2007 (previously codenamed "Office 12") is the next major version of Microsoft Office, and the biggest upgrade ever in this history of this office productivity suite.


Q: What is Office 2007?

A: Office 2007 is the next major version of Microsoft Office and the successor to Office 2003.
 

Q: Why is it better than previous versions of Office?

A: For the first time ever, Microsoft has dramatically changed the Office interface, replacing the standard menu-and-toolbar interface we've known since the earliest Windows applications with a new UI paradigm based on context-sensitive ribbons and tabs. I've written extensively about this new UI in various articles here on the SuperSite for Windows. For more information, please refer to my Inside Office 12 series (parts one and two).
 

Q: What product editions will Microsoft provide with Office 2007?

A: Microsoft is dramatically expanding the Office portfolio in this release. Office 2007 will include the following seven product editions:

Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007
New to this release, and available only to volume licensing customers. This version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, Office Communicator (instant messaging), InfoPath, OneNote, Office Groove 2007 (peer-to-peer collaboration), and server-based content management, forms management, and information rights and policy capabilities.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 - Available only to volume licensing customers. This version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, Office Communicator, InfoPath, and server-based content management, forms management, and information rights and policy capabilities.

Microsoft Office Professional 2007
This version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, and Publisher.

Microsoft Office Small Business 2007
This version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, and Publisher.

Microsoft Office Standard 2007
This version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Microsoft Office Basic 2007
This version includes Word, Excel, and Outlook but is available only with a new PC purchase.

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
- Replaces Student and Teacher Edition 2003, and is now available to all home users and can be installed on up to three PCs. This version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. (Note that the previous version included Outlook and not OneNote.)
 

Q: What about pricing? Is Microsoft raising the prices with this version?

A: No, pricing remains the same as comparable Office 2003 editions. Here's how the pricing breaks down:

Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 - Volume licensed
Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007
- Volume licensed
Microsoft Office Professional 2007
- $499, upgrade is $329
Microsoft Office Small Business 2007
- $449, upgrade is $279
Microsoft Office Standard 2007
- $399, upgrade is $239
Microsoft Office Basic 2007
- Available only with new PC purchases, no upgrade pricing available
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
- $149 with 3-PC family license; cannot be upgraded from prior versions
 

Q: What about individual Office 2007 applications?

A: All of the standard Office applications are represented, with a few changes and even a few new additions:

Microsoft Office Access 2007
Desktop database solution.

Microsoft Office Communicator
Enterprise-class instant messaging.

Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Spreadsheet solution.

Microsoft Office Groove 2007
New to Office 2007, a peer-to-peer collaboration solution. This product was previously sold as Groove Virtual Office.

Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007
A forms solution; first appeared in Office 2003.

Microsoft Office OneNote 2007
A note-taking solution; first appeared in Office 2003.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
A enterprise-class email and personal information management solution.

Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
A presentations solution.

Microsoft Office Project Standard 2007
A desktop project management solution.

Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007
An enterprise-class desktop project management solution.

Microsoft Office Publisher 2007
A desktop publishing solution.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007
New to Office 2007, this application replaces Microsoft FrontPage but is virtually identical.

Microsoft Office Visio Standard 2007
A business and technical diagramming solution.

Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2007
An enterprise-class business and technical diagramming solution.

Microsoft Office Word 2007

The world-standard word processing solution.
 

Q: What will the pricing be on individual Office 2007 applications?

A: As with the full Office suites, pricing on the individual Office 2007 remains about the same as with previous versions:

Microsoft Office Access 2007 - $229, upgrade is $109
Microsoft Office Communicator 
- Volume licensed
Microsoft Office Excel 2007
- $229, upgrade is $109
Microsoft Office Groove 2007
- Volume licensed
Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007
- $199, upgrade is not available
Microsoft Office OneNote 2007
- $99, upgrade is not available
Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
- $109, upgrade is not available
Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
- $229, upgrade is $109
Microsoft Office Project Standard 2007
- $599, upgrade is $349
Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007
- $999, upgrade is $599
Microsoft Office Publisher 2007
- $169, upgrade is $99
Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007
- $299, upgrade is not available
Microsoft Office Visio Standard 2007
- $259, upgrade is $129
Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2007
- $559, upgrade is $349
Microsoft Office Word 2007
- $229, upgrade is $109
 

Q: You previously wrote that Microsoft would be shipping a variety of Office servers alongside this release. What are those servers?

A: Microsoft is indeed providing customers with a number of Office Server products this time around. There are five, all of which will only be made available to enterprise customers via volume licensing:

Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007
New to Office 2007, this server helps enterprises centralize control and management of electronic forms via a common Web interface.

Microsoft Office Groove Server 2007
New to Office 2007, this server provides IT organizations with an enterprise-class server solution for deploying, managing and integrating Office Groove 2007 throughout an organization.

Microsoft Office Project Server 2007
This server-side Project offering helps enterprises manage projects of all sizes, from ad-hoc, one-person projects to complex projects that involve numerous individuals.

Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007
New to Office 2007, this server is a portfolio management governance solution that will help organizations gain visibility, insight and control over their project, program and application portfolios.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
Rebranded for this release, Office SharePoint Server 2007 unifies Microsoft's previously separate portal and content management tools and provides IT workers with Web-based collaboration facilities.
 

Q: What about Office Live? How does this connect to Office 2007?

A: Office Live is a set of online services aimed at small businesses that need to establish an online identity with a domain name, Web site and company e-mail accounts. There are free, advertising-supported services as well as subscription-fee services. For more information, please see my Office Live Preview. Also, Microsoft is offering two Groove-based Live services, Office Groove Enterprise Services (volume licensing only) and Office Live Groove, which will cost $79 per year on a subscription basis. Office Groove Enterprise Services provides Web-based services for managing smaller Office Groove 2007 deployments without any on-site technical requirements. Office Live Groove is aimed at small businesses and workgroups.
 

Q: When will Office 2007 be released?

A: Microsoft is planning to ship Office 2007 in the third quarter of 2006. The final release will be preceded by a Beta 2 release in Spring 2006 and various release candidate (RC) builds in Summer 2006.