Microsoft Announces New Technologies to Ease Rollout and Administration Of Next Version of Office

SEATTLE, July 23, 1997 — At the Microsoft® Windows® Platform Briefing here today, Microsoft Corp. demonstrated key technology investments aimed at reducing the total cost of rolling out and administering the next version of Microsoft Office. This announcement shows tangible steps toward meeting Microsoft’s stated goal of lowering total cost of ownership (TCO), which encompasses the costs to deploy and administer applications, by 50 percent.

“Feedback from our customers has indicated that managing TCO is becoming even more important and has to be a key priority for us moving forward,” said Jon DeVaan, vice president, desktop applications division at Microsoft. “We’ll achieve our goal of cutting total ownership costs of Office in half by making Office the premier example of how an application can take advantage of the Zero Administration initiative for Windows.”

Specific planned capabilities that take advantage of the new Windows-based technology include the following:

  • Self-repairing applications. Future versions of Office will be able to replace missing system files and “self-repair” even if a user has deleted a critical file. This capability will help users by letting them remain productive and will reduce help-desk calls, further lowering the costs to use and support Office.

  • Installation-on-Demand. This feature will ensure that users have access to the tools they need by intelligently installing application files from a server as needed. For example, a user can start with only a minimal installation of Word but will be able to have additional templates or proofing tools installed as needed.

  • Support for roaming users. With system preferences such as toolbar settings and passwords stored on the server, users will be free to log on to any terminal in a network and see their own personalized settings, rather than being limited to using a single workstation. This enables roaming users, such as help-desk staff, to work more efficiently by having settings follow them as they work in different locations.

  • Enhanced run-from-server configuration. Future versions of Office will allow a run-from-the-server configuration without any Office application files installed on the local machine. By eliminating the local footprint, organizations can more easily enable updates via the server, thus reducing administrative costs.

In addition, today Microsoft gave a first look at some of the new technologies that will shape the future of productivity applications. Prototypes demonstrated how future versions of Office will apply intelligence and integration to collaborative scenarios, making it easier for users to work together. Scientists from Microsoft’s natural language research group also demonstrated next-generation natural language processing that will enable future applications to better understand the meaning and context of human language.

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