NEW YORK, October 7, 1998 — In an effort to meet the diverse needs of its customers when Office 2000 is released in the first quarter of next year, Microsoft this week unveiled a new suite, “Office 2000 Premium,” and announced the products included in the four other Office 2000 suites.
“There’s a very broad, diverse group of customers for Office,” said John Duncan, product manager for Office. “We want to provide each set of customers with a unique set of tools that is designed specifically for their needs.”
The new Premium version of Office joins the four Office 2000 suites previously available with Office 97-Standard, Small Business, Professional and Developer. Premium is designed for software enthusiasts, users in large organizations and IT professionals who want to not only create content for the Web, but also to create and manage the Web sites that house that content. The suite includes the FrontPage 2000 Web site creation and management tool and PhotoDraw 2000, Microsoft’s new business graphics software, as well as the applications included in other editions of Office.
Turner Broadcasting Sales, Inc. is among many organizations planning to deploy the new Premium edition of Microsoft Office 2000 when it becomes available next year.
Office 2000 Premium will enable Turner Broadcasting Sales’ 1,000 employees to share information over the company intranet, according to Andrew B. Drooker, Director of Technology and Infrastructure for Turner Broadcasting Sales. It will provide employees with the tools they need to be as productive as possible.
“The more tools you present users, the more options they have to present their work,” Drooker said. “If you give them all the tools at once, they’ll have many different tools to choose from to accomplish their jobs. You’re not limiting them.”
In addition to offering a new Premium edition, Microsoft announced that it has restructured its Office product line to ensure customers using the core Office 2000 Standard and Office 2000 Small Business products will not have to give up the tools available in these suites when they trade up to Office 2000 Professional or Office 2000 Premium.
With Office 97, for example, a user who upgraded from Small Business edition to Professional was forced to give up Small Business Tools and Publisher. But with Office 2000, users making this upgrade will receive both of these applications in Office 2000 Professional.
“We want to allow people to trade up to the higher-end versions of the product without giving up the tools that are available in the other versions,” Duncan explained.
Microsoft outlined its Office 2000 line of products Wednesday at Internet World in New York. Office 2000 will be available in five different suites, each of which will be designed to fit the specific needs of different Office users. By offering five options, Microsoft’s goal is to help customers receive the most value for their Office investment.
Microsoft plans to ship the Office 2000 product line in the first quarter of 1999, with pricing comparable to that of Office 97. To help users choose the most suitable version of Office, Microsoft has created a new Web site called, “It’s Up 2U 2 Choose.” The Web site, which is available at www.microsoft.com/presspass/chooseoffice , allows users to enter information about their usage needs and obtain a recommendation of which version of Office best fits their needs.
Following is the intended audience for each Office suite, and the applications it contains:
Premium : Microsoft Office 2000 Premium will serve the needs of software enthusiasts, corporate users and IT professionals. It provides the most comprehensive set of tools to create and manage Web sites, and to enhance those Web sites and printed documents with rich graphics. The Premium edition includes the FrontPage 2000 Web site creation and management tool and PhotoDraw 2000, Microsoft’s new business graphics software, as well as the applications included in the Professional, Small Business and Standard editions.
Professional : Office 2000 Professional is designed for organizations that need a wide range of productivity tools for publishing and sharing documents on the Web. This suite features Word 2000, Excel 2000, Outlook 2000, PowerPoint 2000, Access 2000, Publisher 2000, and Microsoft Office Small Business Tools.
Small Business : Office 2000 Small Business provides small businesses with a core set of tools to help them manage their businesses more effectively. This suite includes Word 2000, Excel 2000, Outlook 2000, Publisher 2000 and Microsoft Small Business Tools.
Standard : Office 2000 Standard is designed for customers with basic computing needs. It provides customers with a core set of Office applications including Word 2000, Excel 2000, PowerPoint 2000 and Outlook 2000.
Developer : Office 2000 Developer is targeted at the more than 2.6 million developers building solutions with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office components. It includes all the applications contained in Office 2000 Premium as well as Visual Basic 6.0, more than 600 programmable objects, and tools and documentation for building, managing and deploying solutions with Microsoft Office.