February 15, 2006 9:00 PM PST

Microsoft announces Office 2007 pricing, details

Microsoft on Wednesday offered further details on the next version of Office, announcing plans for a new home version as well as new server-based products and a new high-end enterprise edition of the desktop suite.

The software maker also offered pricing details for some, though not all, of the new products. In general, Microsoft said both businesses and consumers should expect to pay about the same for the new Office as they have paid for past versions.

"We do not expect our customers to notice any significant change in our pricing," said Parri Munsell, a group program manager in Microsoft's information worker unit. Office Standard, for example, will sell for $399, while Office Professional will sell for $499. Also, as widely expected, the version formerly code-named "Office 12" will be known as Office 2007 when it ships in the second half of this year.

Munsell said the new Office will offer a bevy of new features, including an all-new user interface and new XML-based file formats.

"There's a tremendous amount in the new Office 2007," he said. "We do believe this is the most significant advance in over a decade."

Microsoft released an initial beta of Office 2007 in November, with a second beta planned for this spring.

In the biggest change for consumers, Microsoft is replacing its Student and Teacher edition with a $149 Home and Student edition that can be used by all home users. Microsoft is also removing the Outlook e-mail and calendar program from that edition and instead is including its OneNote note-taking application. As with the Student and Teacher edition, the home version of Office can be used on up to three PCs in a home, but cannot be upgraded to a future version of Office.

On the business side, Microsoft is offering two high-end collections in addition to its professional and standard editions, in keeping with CEO Steve Ballmer's statement to analysts last year that there would be new premium versions of Office.

The "professional plus" and "enterprise" editions can only be purchased by businesses through Microsoft's volume-licensing program, and Microsoft did not detail the cost for those options. With the Professional Plus version, the standard Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook applications are augmented with the Access and Publisher products that come with the professional edition, the Office Communicator instant messaging program, InfoPath form-creation software, and server-based content management and forms management capabilities.

The enterprise version adds Groove, the collaboration program--developed by Ray Ozzie--that Microsoft acquired last year. Users who get the Groove desktop software have the choice of running their own Groove server or subscribing to a hosted service. For small businesses and others, Microsoft is also offering a Groove Live service for a $79 annual subscription per user.

Microsoft has also been showing off new server-based abilities for Office, but had not detailed how those would be made available. Many of the new capabilities will be included in SharePoint Portal Server, which has been expanded from a tool for handling portals to one that also handles other Office tasks, including forms management, spreadsheet hosting and content rights management.

"We think Office SharePoint is going to be the heart of the Office system," Munsell said. For those who don't want the full abilities of SharePoint, Microsoft also plans a server program aimed solely at forms hosting and management.

As it does with other server-based programs, Microsoft is requiring customers to also purchase a license for each PC that accesses the new Office servers. Microsoft is offering two bundles of those so-called client access licenses (CALs). The "Core CAL" combines licenses for Windows Server operating system, Exchange Server, Office SharePoint Portal Server and Systems Management Server. The new "Enterprise CAL" includes those licenses, as well as Microsoft Operations Manager, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server as well as rights-management and security products.

Microsoft is also using the SharePoint brand for a new Web site-development program. Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007, like Microsoft's Expression Web Designer software is based in part on its current FrontPage web-authoring tool, though that program is being phased out. Microsoft said it will sell the SharePoint Web design program for $299, while pricing and availability for Expression will be announced "in the near future."

Although both programs are based on FrontPage, Microsoft said that they serve different audiences. Expressions is more for professional Web designers building standards-based sites, while SharePoint is aimed more at typical cubicle dwellers looking to post information on internal Web sites and automate business processes.

See more CNET content tagged:
Groove Networks Inc., Office 12, Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Office, pricing

41 comments

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As a student...
As a student, I hate the fact that MS is removing Outlook from the student package. I use that more than Word... :/
Posted by noahk (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So then use Mozilla Thunderbird
Supports POP and IMAP email server types, the only thing it doesnt have in it that I would think of that Outlook has is a calendar, but I do believe there is another Mozilla app that is a calendar - alternatively, you could find an extension that adds a calendar - also, you can apply themes the way Firefox does.
Posted by tech_junky (56 comments )
Link Flag
Or
Use outlook express. It comes with Windows.
Posted by Wildcat0695 (22 comments )
Link Flag
Open Office = free, just as many features
Why use MS products that are over charged and still have tons of bugs and quirky little things you have to do to get things to work decently when Open Office is FOSS (free open source software).

Reads and writes to and from MS Office format documents, and if you email a document to a client - you dont have to worry if they have MS Office since open office is a free 70 to 80 megabyte download.

Heck, theres even one or two features native to open office that MS office doesnt have like a one-click button on the main toolbar (with save, print, ect) to export the document as a .PDF
Posted by tech_junky (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
QFT
You took the words right out of my mouth. :free:

support open source and the future will look a heck of a lot brighter.
Posted by christoff619 (5 comments )
Link Flag
good for home
Open Office is good for home or a small buisness.

However MS Office in a large company that has Active Dirctory, Exchange 2003, Sharepoint and Live communications server is way....way better.

If you have never seen the above combination working together you need to to understand what I am saying. The colaberation is over the top...and Open Office cant tie into that kind of wordl right now.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Wrong
By saying that that Open Office has just as many features as Office 2007, all you've done is show your ignorance.

As one small example, you can export to PDF right from Office 2007, even though you clearly say that you can't in Office 2007.

In fact, Office 2007 doesn't even HAVE toolbars anymore, something else you cite in your comment which shows you clearly don't know what you're talking about.

Do you research and base your comments on the facts, not your jaded opinion of how you want the world to look.
Posted by basil_x_fawlty (10 comments )
Link Flag
You've got to be kidding
I downloaded OO 2 when it came out. After firing up a couple times, I deleted it from my machine and reverted back to their older version. What a piece of over-bloated garbage the new OO is!

Open Office is good for the casual user such as myself that makes a document or looks at a spreadsheet a couple times a week (at least, the older one is). But heavy users of office applications will find that the increased productivity they get out of MS Office makes up many times over for the cost of the product. Remember, to a business $500 is not a lot of money when compared to the cost of employees. So even if it takes 10% less time to do something in MS Office than OO, it will add up to a good return.
Posted by (402 comments )
Link Flag
Obviously you've not seen Office 2007
OpenOffice can in no way be compared to Office 2007.

You're still focused on content creation, not content collaberation like you should be. It's now possible to access all data through one interface, via XML....

Office is no longer for creating spreadsheets, and word documents (however it can still be used for these functions), Office is now a solution for companies that access multiple systems or applications via a myrad of 3rd party applications, the idea is to be able to connect all of the data through one interface that ignorant users are familiar with. When you ask someone if they know how to use Microsoft Word, they say 'Oh, yeah!', if you ask them how to use some off the wall named application they are going to say 'Huh?'....When I tell the customer that they don't have to juggle between 3 applications to complete thier proposal, they're like, 'Way cool!' So they go and buy new lisences of Office 2003, well 2007 now with software assurance and then recieve a services voucher that they can spend with me to create this solution for them, and then they also get training vouchers so I can train them on the new solution I just created for them. Now they don't have to spend an hour juggling information and putting it on paper for every proposal, they save 45 min per proposal which saves them a lot more money than they spent on licenses and my services.

Microsoft pwns n00bs like you all day. Stop hating, drink the MS juice!
Posted by Mr. Network (92 comments )
Link Flag
OO is lacking an important feature
Macro viruses. ;)
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Standards based Web Sites?
Since when was Microsoft's software designed to do standards-
based websites? I guess you have to use the word standards with
tongue firmly planted in cheek?

Why call something "standards-based" when it is specifically
designed to exclued any web browsers besides IE?

Please, how about a little challenging of the "party line" C|Net?
Posted by ewelch (767 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I am not one to bash MIcrosoft
Microsoft does, at least in my book, a few things right. But I do not see any real reason to upgrade to Office 2007. OpenOffice has come a long way, so has Linux and the Open Source community, for me at least it is getting hard to just to spend $400 bucks on basic Document, Spreadsheets and Emailing. Yes integration is near for the enterprise as it helps many employees collaborate. But again, realistically how many features do you need. The one thing that Microsoft really has the market on is on Active Directory. I have tried Ldap and am currently trying Fedora Directory Server, and I have to stay, the open source has definitely a long way to go in this field. There use of Group Policy is really something that should be applauded. Of course all this works in an all Microsoft environment. Which means paying for Office, Windows Desktops, Windows Servers, and Windows Licenses......you better have lots of mula. But the simplification and intergration of all this is great. I do not see this in a Linux based System. If you want something similar you might be able to get it from Novell. But hey they are not cheap either. I do see some potential on Fedora Directory Server project. I think it will be interesting to see where it goes now that it is open sourced. Still I think the issue with Linux is the intergration with other components.
Posted by nknk417 (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What about MS ACCESS
I have used Access for years and last upgrade put out for the
Professional just to get it. Now I can't upgrade because I am not
a Business. That is crap. I guess they will probably make me
buy it separate or something. Well guess what. I only
purchased MS Office for it and now it is gone I will happily go to
using Open Office and Filemaker. Bye Bye MS. I think I will buy
a Mac while I am at it. Those iMacs look great. Well I will at least
look at it. I am just ticked off that I have to change becauses Mr
BIG thinks I don't deserve his app anymore or that he is worried
that I will run a buisness off of it without pay
Posted by ALPICH (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What about MS ACCESS
I have used Access for years and last upgrade put out for the
Professional just to get it. Now I can't upgrade because I am not
a Business. That is crap. I guess they will probably make me
buy it separate or something. Well guess what. I only
purchased MS Office for it and now it is gone I will happily go to
using Open Office and Filemaker. Bye Bye MS. I think I will buy
a Mac while I am at it. Those iMacs look great. Well I will at least
look at it. I am just ticked off that I have to change becauses Mr
BIG thinks I don't deserve his app anymore or that he is worried
that I will run a buisness off of it without paying for it
Posted by ALPICH (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Please at least read the article before you rant
>>With the Professional Plus version, the standard Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook applications are augmented with the Access and Publisher products that come with the professional edition

note the 'come with the professional edition' part of that.
Posted by catchall (245 comments )
Link Flag
Office 2007
The reason the prices are high is that we as consumers will blindly pay for the product so they will charge those prices. When it comes to products and prices it takes one person to buy it at that price to set the market. It will happen with office 2007 someone will rush and buy it just for a few upgrades they will never use
Posted by timmonsjt (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Don't call it Office 2007...
It'll seem obsolete by mid-2008......
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Naming scheme
I swear they change the naming scheme every few years. Personally, I'm a fan of versions, instead of years.
Posted by dewalt25 (57 comments )
Link Flag
No MS Outlook
As a student, I am dependent on MS Outlook...I use it more than I use MS Word.
Posted by unitycentral (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Pricing is still too high!
As a user of Office XP, 2003 the quoted $399.00 MSRP for the Office 2007 Standard Edition is IMHO still too high for a popular office suite eventhough Microsoft states that it won't change in Office 2007. Why should we have to pay that price when all packaging is just a slim cardboard box, a software DVD in a slim DVD jewel case and the documentation is on the DVD!? Or for that matter they should just skip the box and just sell the software in the DVD case and the case can sell the product itself.
Why the heck would Microsoft decide to remove Outlook from both the Teacher and Student Editions of Office 2007 is way beyond me. I'm sure they do user studies to confirm that Students use Outlook the most than the other office suite apps in the entire suite!? Well Duh!I'm dumbfounded as to how Microsoft could actually do this.
Outlook is the main reason why besides the Student Edition being the cheapest of all the other editions is why students buy the Student Edition for $147.00. Especially when they have a big tuition bill that's due the Student Edition fits the bill.
But without Outlook in Office 2007 Student and Teahcer editions they'll look at either Corel Office 12 or Open Office and skip Office 2007.
Why buy the cow (MS Office) when you can get the milk (Open Office) for free. ;)
Posted by msims (66 comments )
Reply Link Flag
microslof windoze office!
Don't waste your money on this crap. OOo, gnome office, KDE office, Applix, all as good or better than windoze over-priced slofware bundle which does not support (ODF) open document format.
Posted by solarflair (35 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Timmy
You attitude does not help the open source community at all. You sound like a broken record&.and a rude, disrespectful, un-intelligent one at that.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
No outlook in Student edition....
At first glance, no full version of Outlook sucks. However, since Microsoft is integrating into OneNote all is not lost. If you are a student at the high school or college level, then OneNote is a must have. Spend an hour using it, and you'll be convinced. All all things considered it's fairly inexpensive.

www.microsoft.com/onenote
Posted by gbedford (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Looks like a trojan designed to sell servers
"...the new Office will offer a bevy of new features..." (most of which will never be used by most people) and which will require a high maintenance, expensive to license Windows server to fully function.

Add to that an "an all-new user interface" that will require retraining users, and you have one more MS Office rev that offers nothing for the average user that already has Office 2000 or newer.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agree
I love open source software, but dont tell me it does everything as well as commercial software. If you want to be intelligent about it, then do it. But I got to tell you - documentation for open source sucks. It reads like you know the code.

I'm just pointing out how OSS can improve. Dont start a bash on how idiots all use MS, etc etc.
Posted by dewalt25 (57 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Outlook the most valuable component
Microsoft's removal of Outlook from the Student edition is consistent with actions to exploit MS's understanding of the value of Outlook as the central organizing application.

Articles in January Comm of ACM show how email is the central organizing tool for communications, tasks, calendars and contacts. MSN search reinforces this.

And, Microsoft Dynamics (CRM, ERP, etc.) are being tooled to run all transactions and workflow through Outlook.

You can bet Outlook will NOT have XML files. Word, Excel and PowerPoint are being tossed over to compete in open source world. MS is consolidating behind Outlook for its value proposition.
Posted by raderfamily (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Office Pro and Outlook
As a home user, I have been buying Office Pro since 94, and have gone through a number of renditions of the product, but admittedly if MS is dropping the Outlook/calendaring features I may have to give the 2007 product some second thought. Yes I know there are many other products out there that do the same jobs, but personally I like scheduling birthdays, anniversaries, and their associated e-mail reminders in outlook. I guess MS feels it not necessary to keep home users happy and put their money more in business applications.
Many will knock MS, but they have forced many vendors both software and hardware to make their products compatible across operating systems.
I would hate to see us go back to Franklins, Atari's, trash 80's etc.
Posted by sandkicker (69 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"We do not expect our customers to notice any significant change in our...
I thought the next word was going to be software and at least they were being honest. I only use Excel and Word and cant think of any major changes in Excel since V2.

Microsofts idea of innovation is a new interface and even the interface shows no innovation, just changing the look of the application but not the way users interact with it.

Just look at this video here for possible interface innovations:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVI6xw9Zph8" target="_newWindow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVI6xw9Zph8</a>

Why haven't Microsoft licensed the technology? Instead they just release the same thing over and over again.

I'm not saying Office is bad, just that it's a con to keep selling the same product to users for astronomical prices.
Posted by Hummer2097 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"I'm not saying Office is bad, ....
... just that it's a con to keep selling the same product to users for astronomical prices"; I am supposing that it would have been a good thing if you had read an interesting article on develoments with regards to "web-based applications", an area in which I am not quite sure Office is going quite soon; and, the thing is, this is where most of the actions will be in the very near future. I personally find it incomprehensible that a company that has been reported to command in excess of 90% of the "Office" Productivity Suite market is still lagging behind smaller companies like the one run by "VisiCalc creator Dan Bricklin" who has had the innovative foresight in bringing "collaborative spreadsheet" programs to the web. You can read the article that I am referring to right here on this C/NET News site: "Software pioneer Bricklin tackles wikis" --
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Software+pioneer+Bricklin+tackles+wikis/2100-1032_3-6040867.html" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Software+pioneer+Bricklin+tackles+wikis/2100-1032_3-6040867.html</a>
Posted by Captain_Spock (894 comments )
Link Flag
so what?
oh wow! same pricing! I bet that it'll be the same thing??? instead of paying for $400-$600 software and using just one, why not try the open source office called openoffice.org? created by google and sun microsystems (two public companies that we all know) and it's for free.
Posted by 1337rice (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Google created OO.o?????
I am sure that this is news to the rest of the world, including Google.
Posted by Milly Staples (24 comments )
Link Flag
 

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