11:49 AM

Review: 2007 Microsoft Office Beta 2 Is Up And Running

Beta 2 of Microsoft's upcoming Office suite is out. It's bigger and better, but still a bit strange.

Eight Suites
The various applications will appear in eight different Office versions, ranging from an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink enterprise suite to a bare-bones OEM iteration for new PCs:

Review: 2007 Office Beta 2

•  Introduction

•  Packages And Pricing

•  Inspecting The Interface

•  More Interface Fun

•  Open XML And Conclusions

•  Image Gallery

Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007: The most application-complete of the seven, Enterprise will offer the full package, including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, Communicator, Groove, and various integrated solution capabilities such as enterprise content management (ECM), electronic forms, and information rights and policy capabilities. It will be available only through volume licensing.

Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007: A last-minute addition to the list, Ultimate gives retail customers almost the same package offered in the Enterprise suite. It does not include OneNote Mobile 2007 or Communicator, but does include Business Contact Manager, which adds complete small-business contact management capabilities to Outlook. The cost is $679.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007: Also available only through volume licensing, this slightly smaller package lacks Groove, OneNote, and Business Contact Manager.

InfoPath lets you create and work with forms.
Click image to enlarge and launch image gallery.

Microsoft Office Professional 2007: This is the highest level of Office that will be available on store shelves. It will come without Communicator, Groove, InfoPath or OneNote, and will sell for $499 (upgrade price $329). It will include Business Contact Manager.

Microsoft Office Small Business 2007:
The small business version, at $449 ($279 upgrade) will include Word, Excel, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, PowerPoint, and Publisher.

Small businesses will make good use of Microsoft Publisher, a desktop publishing app included with the Office Small Business 2007 edition.
Click image to enlarge and launch image gallery.

Microsoft Office Standard 2007:
The standard edition of Office will include Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. It will list for $399, with an upgrade price of $239.

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007:
This bargain-basement retail version will ship with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and it replaces Outlook with One Note, presumably under the impression that students need a note-taking application rather than a personal information manager. The cost is $149; there is no upgrade price.

In the low-cost Office Home and Student 2007 edition, Outlook is replaced with OneNote, an application for taking notes and keeping journals.
Click image to enlarge and launch image gallery.

Microsoft Office Basic 2007 (OEM only):
Last, and also least, is the OEM-only version of Office, which comes with only Word, Excel, and Outlook.

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