Not so long ago it appeared there would be a cold day in Hell before Office 2007 saw the light of day. Well, Satan has clearly had problems with the central heating because the much delayed suite has finally gone gold.
If you aren’t in the know regarding this phrase it simply means that the code is now locked down and that no further changes will be made to it before release. Once software has gone gold a company can start mass production and get it into stores.
“We’ve crossed the development finish line and the team deserves to celebrate,” chirped Jeff Raikes, President of the Microsoft Business Division, clearly forgetting the suite is many months overdue. “The 2007 Microsoft Office system RTM completes the most significant improvements to the products in more than a decade. It’s rewarding to be able to deliver this amazing set of products to our customers to help them take the next big leap forward in productivity.”
Well Jeff me old mucka the proof will very much be in the testing but hats off to Microsoft for opening the beta code up to a record 3.5m people en route. Speaking personally from what I have seen during my fiddling with Office 2007 Beta 2 it is certainly a far more powerful product than Office 2003 and – when run on Vista – it looks fantastic.
The other side of the coin however is whether people really need a great deal more functionality than they already have now and, vitally, if they are prepared to pay a few hundred pounds for it when a newbie like Tesco is suddenly serving up a Word, Excel and Powerpoint compatible suite for under 20 quid…
All will be revealed come January.
Update: In anticipation of the New Year release Microsoft has launched an updated website of “Office Live”. Check it out from the link below.
Update 2: Office has officially been released to manufacturers (RTM-ed). Expect P2P listings any moment!