It’s not uncommon for businesses to stay “one version behind.” The release of Windows 7 may prompt many organisations to consider upgrading their aging Windows XP fleet. Other companies may be disinclined to upgrade at all due to present economic concerns but Microsoft has provided an inducement to encourage up-take.
Microsoft announced the price of the Windows 7 Professional upgrade version will be reduced by 15% or more compared to the Windows Vista upgrade price. This offer lasts for just six months (until 1st March 2010.)
Meanwhile, the Microsoft Office 2010 line up has been reduced from eight versions to five to help people choose the right edition. Of these, one is not available to business and two are not available for consumers.
From the lowest end up, Microsoft Office Home Student 2010 will be licensed for non-commercial use. This is the typical academic licensed release.
Next, Microsoft Office Standard 2010 will, for the first time, only be available via volume licensing. Typically, the standard edition does not include Microsoft Access or Microsoft Publisher and ought to be suitable for most corporate desktops, with essentials Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook bundled in.
Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 is a new edition, although is expected to follow on from Office Small Business 2007 which is bundled with Business Contact Manager to facilitate very basic CRM functionality within Outlook.
Microsoft Office Professional 2010 is the premium retail edition with Access and Publisher, while enterprises also have Microsoft Professional Plus 2010 available via volume licensing only. Professional Plus includes InfoPath, Office Communicator, integrated enterprise content management and forms and facilities for enforcing information rights.
There is no Office Enterprise release so it is possible Professional Plus may also include Groove and OneNote.
Additionally, 400 million Windows Live consumers will have access to Office Web Applications at no cost and which will be available at the launch of Office 2010.
The Office 2007 user interface will also be now rolled out to all Office 2010 applications including Visio 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010. Other new features include Microsoft Office Backstage View, multi-media editing in PowerPoint, co-authoring in Word and Sparklines in Excel.
Microsoft also announced the Microsoft Partner Network, updating its existing Partner Program.