Office 2007 Gets 'Ultimate' Edition

Just as it is doing with Windows Vista, Microsoft announced this week at WinHEC it would add an Ultimate Edition to its Office 2007 lineup. The retail package is intended for customers who don't want to deal with the hassle of choosing specific Office components they may need, as it includes everything for $679 USD.

Office 2007 Ultimate will include the standard Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook applications, along with Microsoft Publisher, OneNote, InfoPath, Access and the new Groove collaboration suite. The suite is essentially a version of Office 2007 Enterprise that will be available to all customers, not just large businesses.

A Microsoft representative said the new SKU was created based on customer feedback.

Office Professional 2007, meanwhile, features the typical array of Office applications: Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Access, and Publisher for $499 USD, or $329 USD when purchased as an upgrade. Office Small Business 2007 offers a similar lineup without Microsoft Access for $449 and $279 USD.

Office Standard 2007 will include the four basic applications as before: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook for $399 and $239 USD. However, Microsoft has changed the SKU targeted at students and teachers, naming it Home and Student 2007 and replacing Outlook with OneNote. That version will now be available to all users for $149 USD.

On the operating system side, Microsoft will offer Windows Vista Ultimate, which combines all of the features of the Home Premium and Enterprise editions with even more functionality. Ultimate will feature Windows Media Center, Tablet PC support, integrated search, BitLocker disk encryption, Virtual PC, multi-language user interface support, and Services for UNIX.

Windows Vista Ultimate is expected to cost around $450 at retail, potentially increasing operating system revenues for Microsoft if customers opt for the complete package.

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