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9/26/2006
09:39 PM
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Microsoft Hammers Out Office 2007 Delivery Plans

The Office client-side suites may mimic Vista in that all bits may ship on one DVD. Customers can "turn on" higher-level and pricier versions with a key.

Microsoft is sorting out delivery details for the various Office 2007 versions.

The Office client-side suites may mimic Vista in that all bits may ship on one DVD. Customers can "turn on" higher-level and pricier versions with a key.

Microsoft acknowledged last week what CRN reported nine months ago: That it will ship all Vista bits on one DVD, with users paying for -- and unlocking -- advanced features as needed.

A company spokeswoman outlined the basic Office 2007 game plan. Some things are still being finalized, but "in general, the SKUs that were announced back in February are a fairly good indication of what final packaging will be like -- e.g. if you buy Office Pro Plus, then you'll get all the things that are in that SKU in a single CD/DVD," she said via e-mail.

Stand-alone Office-labeled offerings, such as Visio, would be a separate purchase and get their own CD. "Core CAL stuff would be distributed together, though how many CDs it would be for all the server stuff is still being nailed down," the Microsoft spokeswoman said.

Office 2007 will bring more server SKUs than before, including a Forms server.

"Convertible trials" are a big deal, said one source. In such trials, customers might download what they want initially and unlock it with a digital key. That key would likely come directly from Microsoft, which may worry resellers who rely on upgrade revenue.

Office 2007 is due to be available to volume licensees before the year's end and to everyone else early next year.

For more information on the Office 2007 deliverables, see this Microsoft site.

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