Posted by: kurtsh | June 30, 2006

NEWS: Office 2007 delayed by a few months

Microsoft Office 2007 was slated for release early Q4 2006, but we’re having to delay the "release to manufacturing" (RTM) date to early Q1 2007 – meaning somewhere between January and March of next year.  It looked like we weren’t going to hit the quality metrics we wanted by RTM so they pushed out the completion/release date out by a little for another test pass.
To be clear, this means that the day the "finalized" Office 2007 family software will be declared finished and available to our early adopters will be around the end of the year… probably mid December-ish, I were a bettin’ man.  This has no affect on the release date for Windows Vista family of software, which I would guess remains late October-ish, early-November-ish… again, if I were a bettin’ man.
And Office 2007 is a REALLY COOL release.  To those of you who’ve pooh-poohed Microsoft major releases as ‘unnecessary’ and ‘just fodder to fuel the great evil empire’, this will hopefully change your mind – because it has for many of my more ‘skeptical friends – a few of them being Mac users.  (who will undoubtedly benefit from Office’s new functionality in Office 2008 or whatever the heck their release is)   For example, the contextual spell-checking engine (the ability to highlight word misspellings for the context they are being used in, like the misuse of "their" vs "they’re" vs "there") is a realy leap forward in auto-proofreading. 
It’s not only really useful to me personally, there’s some really impressive business value elements to it that will make it very attractive to corporations looking at the new release as the target for their next Producitivity Suite upgrade. 
Bottom line:  It’s important we get this right.
It also means that the "launch events" (the big shindigs that we do for the launch of a product) will be delayed as well since we’re doing Windows Vista, Office 2007, Exchange Server 12, Sharepoint Server 2007, Forms Server 2007, Project Server 2007, etc. etc. etc.  It’ll be a little weird throwing a launch event for Windows Vista so long after it’s actual release in 2006… but oh well.


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