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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: Not backwards compatible.
By TomZ on 6/20/2007 2:14:08 PM , Rating: 4
Office 2007 needs no "patch" to read and write files in the same file format as older versions. The "patch" you're referring to is a forwards compatibility patch available for older versions of Office that allows them to read and write files in the new Office 2007 XML/ZIP file format.

For normal workers, the learning curve is not "huge" - a person can use it immediately and get real work done, and there will be a few days of slight slow-down discovering the new buttons to click, but once you do that, you're all set and the program is easier to use. After all, the new UI is basically an extension of toolbars which have been in apps for many years already.

People need to be able to cope with change - that's life. It's not like Microsoft invented the ultimate and perfect user interface with previous Office versions to where it never could be or should be improved.

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