2007 Microsoft Office System Is Golden

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 6, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the completion of the 2007 Microsoft® Office system code and confirmed its release to manufacturing (RTM). This gold code milestone concludes the largest Microsoft Office beta program to date, with more than 3.5 million people downloading Beta 2. The unprecedented quantity of feedback from beta testers and customers helped the Office development team effectively validate product quality and optimize performance. Microsoft Office RTM also marks a critical step toward worldwide business availability of the 2007 Office system, Windows Vista™ operating system and Exchange Server 2007 on Nov. 30, 2006. To underscore the significance of this new day for business, Microsoft executives will participate in events around the globe, including an event with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in New York. General availability of the products will follow in early 2007.

“We’ve crossed the development finish line, and the team deserves to celebrate,” said Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division. “The 2007 Microsoft Office system RTM completes the most significant improvements to the products in more than a decade. It’s rewarding to be able to send this release off to our customers and help them take the next big leap forward in productivity.”

Today’s RTM begins the delivery of new tools and resources that will allow customers to learn about, try and buy the next release of Microsoft Office:

  • Learn. Microsoft Office Online has been redesigned to help people learn about what’s new in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Through the new enhancements, information workers can easily determine which products are best for their needs and find related productivity resources — whether it is assistance from one of the nearly 50,000 new help articles, a how-to refresher through one of the 35 new demos, online training through any of the 24 new courses, downloading one of the more than 400 new templates, or accessing other product downloads and tools.

  • Try. Starting Dec. 1 in the U.S. and Canada, and coming soon after to an additional 13 international markets,* Microsoft will make available free, downloadable product trials via Office Online. Expanding on the Online Test Drive already available today, the trials will allow people to try the new desktop programs before they decide to buy or upgrade to the 2007 release.

  • Buy. To support purchase and adoption, the 2007 release of Microsoft Office includes the largest investment in deployment and management tools in the product’s history. IT professionals can significantly reduce the cost and complexity of desktop deployments and upgrades by utilizing resources such as the Office Migration Planning Manager, Open XML Formats Conversion Toolkit, the Business Desktop Deployment 2007 Solution Accelerator, the Office Resource Kit, and more.

Beyond overall code quality for RTM, other notable updates include the following:

  • SMS Link for Office Outlook® 2007. This new service allows Outlook 2007 users to connect with friends’, families’ and colleagues’ mobile phones by using SMS text messaging. It allows people to send and receive e-mail, contacts, appointments and tasks as text messages to mobile phones.

  • Localization. Most desktop application products in the 2007 Office system will be comprehensively localized in 38 languages.

  • Multilanguage support. For the first time, 2007 Office system customers will be able to purchase individual, single-language add-on packs that enable applications and suites to instantly become bilingual. The packs add a secondary localized user interface, help files, dictionary and thesaurus.

More information about the 2007 Microsoft Office system and trying the new SMS Link service can be found by visiting the new Office Online at http://office.microsoft.com.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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