Office 2007 Unveiled

Microsoft unveiled its new Office suite with a nod toward improved collaboration and sharing.

Previously known as Office 12, Office 2007 provides enterprise users with a new interface and enhanced integration of recently-acquired applications.

Office Professional Plus 2007 includes integration with Microsoft new Web server, Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Microsoft Office Communicator, Redmond’s office corporate instant messaging application, is another new feature of Office Professional Plus 2007.

Also, a more expansive Microsoft Enterprise 2007 is built upon Office Professional Plus 2007 for improved collaboration and mobility.

Office Enterprise 2007 includes collaboration application Office Groove 2007, a byproduct of Microsoft’s purchase of Groove Technology last year.

Also part of the new enterprise package is Office OneNote 2007, which is expected to replace Outlook’s e-mail and calendar features.

Slated for beta release in the first half of the year, Office 2007 will go on sale in the second half of 2006.

Office 2007 Standard will be priced at $399, while Office 2007 Professional will cost $499. Pricing for Office 2007 Enterprise edition has not been made public.

“The 2007 release is the productivity breakthrough that customers have been asking for,” according to a statement from Chris Caposella, vice president, Microsoft’s information worker product management group.

Office 2007 comes on the heals of the introduction of Microsoft Office Live, a collection of Web-based applications tailored for small businesses.

Designed to compete with similar offerings from Yahoo and Google, three versions of Office Live were unveiled: Office Live Basics, Office Live Collaboration and Office Live Essentials.

During the beta period, the three versions of Office Live will be free.

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