Microsoft Office 2007 is the latest upgrade for the Microsoft Office family of products, and brings new productivity and application integration features.
Many organisations are currently planning to upgrade, and install Microsoft Office 2007, despite the software being available since November 2006. This is mainly down the fact that the software brings a huge range of new features.
To migrate to Microsoft Office 2007 successfully, users must ensure they are using the right Windows operating system, which means Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1, or Windows Vista.
Microsoft Office 2007, officially called 2007 Microsoft Office system, was released around the same time as Windows Vista. As a result, many business users have been evaluating the office productivity software throughout 2007, alongside Windows Vista, in order to manage the volume of change that the software would bring to their organisations.
The new features of Office 2007 include an entirely new graphical user interface called the Fluent User Interface, also known as the Ribbon User Interface, which replaced the menus and toolbars of previous versions of Office.
Microsoft Office 2007 also includes new applications and server-side tools. Among these are Groove, a collaboration and communication suite for smaller businesses, which was originally developed by Groove Networks before being acquired by Microsoft in 2005.
Also included is Office Sharepoint Server 2007, a major revision to the server platform for Office applications. This supports "Excel Services", a client-server architecture for supporting Excel workbooks that are shared in real time between multiple machines, and can be viewed and edited via a web page.
Microsoft FrontPage has been replaced by Microsoft Office Sharepoint Designer, which is designed to develop Sharepoint portals.
Microsoft and other third party organisations have a number of migration tools and documents available to help IT managers with their Office 2007 upgrades.
Office documents have a new default format, Office Open XML, which uses the smaller XML file format, and free add-ons are available that let older Office editions open documents created under the new Office 2007 format or convert between file formats.
Then there is the Office Migration Planning Manager, an executable that surveys the Microsoft documents on an organisation's desktops, and reports to a central server, colour-coding a report to highlights particular issues.
Another tool is Local Installation Source (LIS) which uses the Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) to "drizzle" code onto desktops over a network over a long period of time - even months.
This enables the IT department to prepare desktops for the upgrade by delivering new Office applications and features incrementally before going live 'en masse'. For many larger organisations, this is a preferable option.
Microsoft Office 2007 upgrade news stories/features
October 2007: HSE improves information management >>
September 2007: SP1 to drive uptake of Vista in 2008 >>
July 2007: Case study: Portsmouth Cathedral overhauls IT on a budget >>
May 2007: SAP and Microsoft to duet in June >>
February 2007: The time has come to upgrade to Vista >>
February 2007: Staffordshire postpones SAP duet implementation >>
June 2006: Migration decisions: timing is everything >>
January 2006: Plan ahead for a major Office move >>
December 2005: Fears on standards as Microsoft pushes Office Open XML >>
September 2005: Office 12 will complicate Windows Vista migrations >>
August 2004: Windows XP SP2 distribution gets underway >>
Microsoft Office 2007 upgrade on the rest of web
Microsoft Office 2007 upgrade tools and guides
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This was first published in November 2007