The WorkerThread Blog

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2009 For Office vNext?

Posted by workerthread on August 22, 2008

According to this post from Mary-Jo Foley, Office 14 will be in alpha testing before year-end (Office 2007 was previously known as Office 12, so they’re skipping unlucky Office 13).   Office 2007 has been around for a fair while now with a second service pack already in the works.  Many of my own clients are only just beginning to think about when and how (or even if) they move to 2007 – when budgets get tightened, it becomes very difficult to justify an upgrade of hundreds or thousands of desktop licences. 

For me, the two most compelling reasons for upgrading to Office 2007 are:

1. The tighter integration with SharePoint 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – if you are using or planning to use SharePoint, you will find a whole host of features in Office 2007 that make life easier, such as PowerPoint slide libraries, tighter Outlook integration, workflows, Excel publishing and much more.  For a detailed breakdown of how different versions of Office work with SharePoint, I would recommend downloading the Fair, Good, Better,Best white paper from Microsoft.

2. The Business Intelligence features in Excel 2007.  For a lot of users, this is the only client they will need to connect to and query Analysis Services cubes in SQL Server 2005/8.  And now there’s also the Data Mining Add-in for Excel 2007 which comes with lots of useful wizards for help with pattern and relationship discovery when working with large sets of data (if you regularly analyse large sets of data in Excel, I would definitely take a look at this – even if you don’t have access to an Analysis Services server you can try it out by running SQL Server Developer Edition on your desktop).

Back to Mary-Jo’s post, there’s one quote which shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly if you are planning your SharePoint implementation and thinking about future-proofing your investment – ‘Please note that Office “14” servers are 64-bit only’. Bear this in mind when you are setting up your SharePoint server farm!

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