2007 Microsoft Office System

Latest Update: Just noticed what’s missing from the cheap edition – see note further down…


Plenty of information has been flowing around the tech blogs about Office 12 for a while now, but Microsoft’s Marketing people have just announced the name the product will be released under, and they’re rearranging the word order again. It’s now “2007 Microsoft Office System”.

(Sorry, there’s news about OneNote on the way, I just have to bitch about the name first…)

History

Long ago, Microsoft Windows went from version 1 to version 2, then version 3. They improved it a bit and released version 3.1, then added some workgroup networking, and made it Windows for Workgroups 3.11.

Then they announced that this versioning was too complicated for consumers to understand, so they were going to simplify things for everyone by releasing the next version as Windows 95. The problem for the ‘simplification’ argument was the versions then went – Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, and finally Windows XP. See how much simpler that is?

No?

Nope, that’s because marketing name the products anything they like if they think it will sell more copies. Word order keeps changing too – Windows 2000 Server was followed by Windows Server 2003. Now, it looks like they’ve decided that the year should be at the start of the name.

The most sympathy goes to the version of Windows on my computer – “Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005”. For short. If you want to be exact, the system properties actually adds “Version 2002 Service Pack 2” to that.

Then Apple call their update “Tiger”, and Microsoft wonders why nobody thinks they’re cool.

Microsoft 2007 Office System Affordable Home Student Cheapskates Edition Version 2007 12 Home

…or something like that. Anyway, the point is that there’s now going to be a ‘Home and Student’ edition, along with the usual ‘Standard’, ‘Professional’, ‘Small Business’, and such like. It will retail for $150, and will consist of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote.

Yes. OneNote. That sounds like a nice package to me, at a good price. And if the name is anything to go by, you won’t have to actually be a student any more to qualify.

Anyway, for more details, read…

Update: I didn’t notice until Marc Orchant pointed it out, but that list of apps in the home and student edition is missing one important item – Outlook. Er, what? Do home users and students have no requirement for email and calendars? Would a todo list not be kind of handy for a student? The argument seems to be that Windows Vista will include email and calendar apps anyway, so Outlook isn’t needed, which is ok for those that buy a new computer or are upgrading their OS, but if you’re planning to stick with Windows XP, this new version doesn’t sound as appealing as I thought.

And if the Windows Mail app turns out to be anything like as horrible as Outlook Express that it’s replacing, it will be no substitute for a real email app.