Microsoft has now officially announced more information regarding the next Office suite, previously dubbed Office 12. Office 12 will be known as Office 2007 when it is released later this year and both businesses and consumers should expect to pay about the same for the new Office as they have paid for past versions. Office Standard will sell for $399, while Office Professional will sell for $499. 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.
The new Office will offer new features, including an all-new user interface and new XML-based file formats. Microsoft released an initial beta of Office 2007 in November, with a second beta planned for this spring.
“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.”