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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 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!

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