2007 Microsoft Office system (aka Office ’12’)

Today we are announcing the details behind the upcoming 2007 Microsoft Office system products. We had previously been referring to it as Office "12", but we now have an official name and there is a ton of other information now available about the packaging options too. We've been blogging about this stuff for a long time now, and I think most of you (especially those on Beta 1) realize how huge this upcoming release is. This really is the most significant release of Office in over a decade (and it's been awesome to work on over the past several years). So now for those of you who were wondering when we were going to stop calling it Office '12' (I've also seen people making fun of us for always putting the 12 in quotes) can be satisfied. :-).

There are already a lot of folks using Beta 1, and I've had a ton of great questions from people building solutions on top of the new file formats. If you are interested in learning more about the 2007 Microsoft Office, you can go to the Office preview site: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/default.mspx That's a great place to get more information, and you can even sign up to receive the Beta 2 when it comes out later.

One of the key points that you'll notice is that the 2007 Office system release has some updates to the packaging options available. The big goal in this was to really target and help out specific audiences. For instance, there are specific options for enterprise customers and others for home users, all based around their needs (instead of the "one size fits all" approach).

There are 3 new offerings that I wanted to call out:

  • For volume license customers new capabilities in Office Professional Plus 2007 (an updated release of Pro EE) will include e-forms and ECM support, as well as the addition of Office Communicator
  • Another option for volume license customers is the new Office Enterprise 2007 will build on the Professional Plus and integrate Groove and OneNote to deliver advanced collaboration and mobility solutions
  • For the retail folks, the new Office Home and Student 2007 (an updated release of Student & Teacher Edition) don't require a student or teacher in the household and will replace Outlook with OneNote

There are also two new applications that you might have already heard about:

  • Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is a new offering that will help people create and customize SharePoint Websites and it also is great for building workflow-enabled applications on the SharePoint platform (This is cool, it's is partially based on FrontPage technologies)
  • Office Groove 2007 which is an updated release of the Groove Virtual Office software. If you aren't familiar with Groove, you should really check it out. It helps enable teams to work together inside collaborative workspaces, regardless of their location or connectivity.

We have the Office developer conference coming up in a month, and the Beta 2 release coming up as well, all leading into the release. And with all of that, we also have all the work we're doing in Ecma to standardize the XML formats and to ensure that the file formats are fully documented and there are no barriers to entry. It's going to be a really exciting year.


Comments (29)
  1. PatriotB says:

    Ok…. the individual product naming is fine.  (Office Professional 2007, Office Word 2007, etc.)  But the system: "2007 Microsoft Office System"?  Why in the world is the 2007 first?!

  2. Jim says:

    OK, I’m finding your packaging to be very frustrating.  First, since I’m a student, I get OneNote (good) but not Outlook?  What’s the reason for that?  I mean, admittedly I’m not connecting with an Exchange server, but I do like to have a good quality calendar, especially one that syncs with my phone.  

    Second, why aren’t you providing OneNote to a larger number of people?  This is a really good app, and not just for students.  In the next year or two, you’re going to have the first set of students to use OneNote moving into the working world.  I, for one, will be demanding that my employer provide it for me.  Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that by including it in more packages?  

    Or are you just hoping that we’ll all pay extra to fill in the gaps?

  3. David says:

    I can only agree with the comment that taking out Outlook from the student version is a big mistake. And a bad deal as well. When I bought my current student version, I got a voucher to get OneNote for 20 Euro in the box. So, essentially the new packaging is worth less than the old one. What is the reason to remove Outlook from the student version?!?

  4. How will people in a heterogenous environment make use of Groove?

  5. BrianJones says:


    I’m not on the marketing team so I can’t really comment on how they arrived at the naming. As is usually the case, the naming is based on research developed by our branding team, and that’s the naming convention they decided to go with.


    Jim and David,

    I’m primarily focused on the XML file formats, so I’m probably not the best person to answer those questions, but I’ve looking into this a bit and talked with some folks more directly involved. From what I’ve read there was a good amount of research that went into the decision to include OneNote in the Home and Student package as opposed to Outlook. The research showed that the vast majority of Student and Teacher edition users used Web-based email applications such as hotmail – in fact Outlook usage was in the single digits.  The effort around Home and Student was to deliver the most compelling set of tools for home users as well as students and in our consumer research One Note bubbled up as a great app value add to the product.  Additionally, the offering has been broadened so that you no longer need to have a student or a teacher in the home to use this product.  Up to three installations are still allowed and the price point remains the same.

    For people who still want Outlook, it’s also available stand alone, or included with the Standard Edition.  The focus was around providing a raft of choice for people to choose the edition, apps, etc  to best meet their needs it looks like that’s what will be accomplished in the 2007 release.

    Also, to your question about One Note availability, it too is available as a standalone app (and as you pointed out, it is an awesome application).  You should check out Chris Pratley and Owen Braun’s blogs for more information on OneNote:





    Marc Olson has a bunch of great content on Groove. His latest post talks about how we’re using Groove internally at Microsoft:



  6. Whick Wherther says:

    No Outlook in the home/student edition removes me from the potential buyer list — it’s as simple as that.

  7. meneame.net says:

    Si que en Microsoft saben darle nombre a sus productos, ahora pueden ver cómo se llamará la próxima versión de Office… Leido en Channel 9 (http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=163362) y despuecito en NewWin (http://www.neowin.net/index.php?act=view&id=32329

  8. PatriotB says:

    "I’m not connecting with an Exchange server, but I do like to have a good quality calendar, especially one that syncs with my phone."

    Maybe this is one of the reasons that Windows Vista includes a new Calendar program: to help get home users off of Outlook…

  9. My thought on Outlook not being part of the Student/Home Edition is to help drive adoption of Vista.  My understanding is that Outlook Express has been updated in Vista and includes a new Calendar application.  While this may not make much sense *now* (before Vista is released), in 2+ years it might not look so bad.

    So Vista+S/H Office 2007 == XP+S/T Office 2003

  10. Brian, I’ve no doubts as to how useful Groove is.

    But, contrary to what Microsoft would probably prefer, the entire corporate world does not in fact, use only Windows, hence my question about *heterogenous* networks.

    Even Exchange isn’t a single platform solution anymore.

    What good is Groove to my non-windows users?

  11. If you’re a technical writer, and you haven’t registered as a beta participant for what was formerly called Microsoft Office "12", I can only ask – why???It’s a revolutionary step forward in the way Office works. I’ve been working with..

  12. The removal of Outlook from the only reasonably-priced edition of Office makes me furious.

    I’m a newer-shinier-better type. I always buy upgrades to Office, for both Mac and Windows. I was previously a student, I’m not just a home user, so this new edition should make me happy — I still get to pay $150. Except that that $150 now gives me a piece of software for which I have no use, and which seems mostly useful to those who buy "tablet" computers, and I DON’T GET THE EMAIL CLIENT.

    Microsoft Outlook is the piece of software I use MOST on my computer. I have seven email accounts, and the only three programs I’ve ever encountered that could handle the amount of stuff I get sent and send out every day are Apple Mail, Microsoft Entourage and Microsoft Outlook.

    To tear Outlook away from me and demand a ridiculous $110 tribute to get back the functionality I rely on most is a kick in the stomach.

    I won’t buy Office 2007. In fact, this might just be enough to pull me completely away from my Windows computer.

    Stupid move. God, this makes me angry.

  13. Mark Capaldi says:

    When & where is the Office Developer’s Conference?

  14. wks says:

    R. Kirk McPike:  Buy the upgrade version of Office 2007 Standard.  It costs about $90 more than Home & Student 2007, sure, but you’ll get Outlook.  You’ll be paying for four years worth of Office development & new features, instead of the typical 18 months of the previous few versions.  Seriously, man, take that into consideration before going ballistic.

    If you really use Outlook that much, you can justify spending the money on it.  Measure it out in your head how many hours a day you use Outlook, vs. the cost.

    Oh, and, furthermore, there’s nothing stopping you from using Outlook 2003 in conjunction with Office 2007.  Take that into consideration, too….

  15. Raf says:

    I’ve tried to register several times. I always got this page not found error. (after the first fill-in page).


    It seems to be looking for the thankyou page, but I’m not sure if I am registered.

  16. parol says:

    Kjempe kuuuul hjemmeside du har.

  17. james says:

    fuk yall

  18. Microsoft programs are bug-ridden ,over-bloated,and over -priced.

    We need Microsoft to go back to basics.and build a much simpler version of Windows.

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