Print 51 comment(s) - last by FITCamaro.. on Jun 21 at 6:44 PM

Microsoft's says goodbye to Office 2003

Office 2003 has been around for nearly four years and Microsoft feels that it's time to send the old mare off to the glue factory. According to Microsoft, OEM versions of Office 2003 will no longer be available from Microsoft after June 30.

For those that still wish to use Office 2003, Eric Ligman -- Microsoft US Senior Manager for Small Business Community Engagement -- offers this bit of advice: "Remember that for your clients wishing to run Office 2003 still today, by taking advantage of the downgrade rights included in the Volume Licensing versions of Microsoft Office 2007, they can utilize Office 2003 today and then move to Office 2007 when they are ready without having to re-buy their Office license like they would with OEM.  Remember that OEM Microsoft Office does not have downgrade rights."

Microsoft is now encouraging its OEMs to make the transition to Office 2007. Microsoft released Office 2007 for volume licensing on November 30 and made retail versions of the productivity suite available to customers on January 30.

Prices for retail copies of Office 2007 range from $149 for Office Home and Student 2007 to $499 for Office Professional 2007.

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RE: Mutter mutter
By TomZ on 6/20/2007 11:24:34 AM , Rating: 4
I have the same complaint, why can't I go to the Ford dealership and buy a new 2003 F-150 pickup? I mean after all, I like the 2003 model better than the 2007, and so Ford should still let me buy that, right?

RE: Mutter mutter
By crimson117 on 6/20/2007 11:28:19 AM , Rating: 2
If it cost Ford just a few pennies to make a copy of a 2003 Ford F-150, and they could sell it to you for full price, then you can be sure they'd do it. What possible reason would they have to limit choice, when they have virtually unlimited stock?

Besides, it's not like MS would need to produce and sell retail boxes of Office 2003. They could just sell licenses and let you download the install files.

RE: Mutter mutter
By TomZ on 6/20/2007 11:34:30 AM , Rating: 2
One word: support. It costs Microsoft a lot more money to support old versions of the software in addition to the newer versions. This is why they "retire" the older software versions.

RE: Mutter mutter
By othercents on 6/20/2007 11:42:08 AM , Rating: 2
Office 2003 isn't retired it just isn't available in OEM. Microsoft is still supporting Office 2003.

I had this same issue with the switch from Office XP to 2003 because some of the software we use at my office would not work with Office 2003 but only Office XP. Volume licensing is good for those people replacing computers every 2 years, but if your cycle is 3 or 4 years the OEM costs less. However it only costs less if you can use it.

Not many people know, but you can get a volume license key for OEM products within 30 days of purchase. Check with your volume license vendor to see what stop gap options are for your business.


RE: Mutter mutter
By TomZ on 6/20/2007 12:40:00 PM , Rating: 1
I realize they still support Office 2003, but my point is that this announcement is one of the steps towards no longer supporting it.

RE: Mutter mutter
By PrinceGaz on 6/20/2007 2:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
Well given that Office 2003 is to be still fully supported until Jan 2009, and extended support (which is all most users need) will last for a further five years after that into 2014, I see little need to discontinue its availability.

Of course every OEM system built today can run Office 2007 easily so provided it costs no more than Office 2003, it makes sense to choose the later version.

RE: Mutter mutter
By vanka on 6/20/2007 10:52:23 PM , Rating: 2
Of course every OEM system built today can run Office 2007 easily so provided it costs no more than Office 2003, it makes sense to choose the later version.

Does it though? Remember that Office 2007 has a vastly different interface from all previous versions of Office. I work in the IT department of a medium size manufacturing company and we still want to use Office 2003. A couple of our users who always want the latest toys (the president and some of the sales guys) asked for and were given Office 2007; you can't imagine the pain IT goes through for them to do some mundane task.

RE: Mutter mutter
By Chernobyl68 on 6/20/2007 1:21:10 PM , Rating: 2

Yahoo still doesn't support all the features of Frontpage 2003!

RE: Mutter mutter
By spillai on 6/20/2007 12:39:28 PM , Rating: 1
Well Said. cant the users use the old version without support.
Or they have Alternatives to Office Applications. The average user may not need the Bells and Whistles of teh Office 2003 can opt for, and a lot of opensource and free applications.I myself is using OpenOffice for 2 years for writing articles.


RE: Mutter mutter
By omnicronx on 6/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: Mutter mutter
By Proteusza on 6/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: Mutter mutter
By TomZ on 6/20/2007 12:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
I use Office 2007 all day, every day. The new UI takes a little getting used to, but once you get past that, I like Office 2007 a lot better - it is faster and easier to use, especially Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Outlook 2007 is basically the same as 2003, in my experience.

In software, newer usually is better - there are exceptions of course, but that generally is the case.

RE: Mutter mutter
By Spivonious on 6/20/2007 1:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't seen a reason to upgrade my Office since 2000 came out, but I did check out the beta of 2007 and I loved the new UI. Once I found where everything was, I found it much easier to do things than before. I also found a few features that had been in previous versions but I never knew they existed. Anything that gets rid of mazes of convoluted menus and dialogs is good for me.

I just wish my company would upgrade from 97!

RE: Mutter mutter
By FITCamaro on 6/20/2007 3:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
Man I thought my company was bad. We're just now moving from Office 2000 to Office 2003. I can't imagine still using Office 97.

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