Microsoft Launches Office System
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of the new Microsoft® Office System which includes six suites, 11 products, four servers, one service and Solution Accelerator. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 versions of the core Office suites and programs; updates to other information work programs such as Visio®, FrontPage®, Publisher and Project; two completely new programs, Microsoft Office OneNote and Microsoft Office InfoPath; and four servers, including the new Office Live Communications Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003.
"The new Office System is a major leap forward for information workers," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft. "It makes information work more productive — and more profitable — by offering innovative new ways to communicate, to find and share information, and to manage complex projects."
Six Office System bundles will be available, including a new addition for small businesses and another to be installed on new PCs. The bundles are:
- Office 2003 Basic Edition - Only bundled with new PCs and includes Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook
- Office 2003 Standard Edition - Available at retail. Includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
- Office 2003 Professional Edition - Available at retail. Includes all of the Standard Edition plus Microsoft Access, Publisher, and Business Contact Manager1 for Outlook
- Office 2003 Professional Enterprise Edition - Only available through volume licensing (the primary way that large enterprises purchase software) and will include all the applications from the Professional Edition, plus Microsoft InfoPath2
- Office 2003 Small Business Edition - Available at retail. Includes all of the Standard Edition plus Microsoft Publisher and Business Contact Manager1 for Outlook
- Office 2003 Students and Teachers Edition - Available through academic volume licensing and retail. Same as Standard Edition, lower price
1 Business Contact Manager is an extension of Outlook that ads customer relationship management (CRM) information to contacts, calendars and e-mail.
2 Microsoft Office InfoPath streamlines the process of gathering information by allowing users to create and complete dynamic forms and submit them to the XML-enabled systems and business processes that need the information.
Pricing and Availability
Estimated retail pricing (ERP) for the Microsoft Office 2003 Editions is unchanged from Office XP. A sampling of the U.S. ERP for the full product packages includes Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003, $149; Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003, $399 (upgrade $279); Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, $499 (upgrade $329) and Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003, $449 (upgrade $279). Prices for stand-alone programs inside the suite are unchanged at $229 (upgrade $109) for Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office Access 2003 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, and $109 for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. The U.S. ERP for InfoPath 2003 is $199. OneNote 2003 has a U.S. ERP of $199, with a $100 mail-in rebate available for qualifying customers in North America.
A full price list for the products and servers in the Microsoft Office System is now available on the Microsoft Office Web site.
Microsoft is offering Microsoft Office System Product Evaluation Kits. These trial kits are available worldwide and cost $7.95 US for the first kit and $4.95 US for each additional kit. The cost of the kits includes shipping and handling (some are available for free download).
For additional information on the Evaluation Kits, see the Microsoft Office Web site.
Microsoft Updates Patch
This week, Microsoft revised one of the patches it released in its October 2003 bulletin, the first monthly security advisory offered by the company. Affected by the revision is the MS03-045 patch, "Buffer Overrun in the ListBox and in the ComboBox Control Could Allow Code Execution". Subsequent to the release of this bulletin and the associated patches, Microsoft was alerted to a compatibility problem with some third party software with a set of language specific versions of the Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 patch. This problem is unrelated to the security vulnerability discussed in the bulletin. No further details were released on which third-party software had compatibility issues.
Microsoft has developed a fix for this issue and is re-releasing the bulletin to reflect the new updated patches. The compatibility problems only affect some language versions of the patch and only those versions of the patch are being re-released.
The language versions affected include Brazilian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
For more info, or to download the updated patch, see MS03-045.
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