Microsoft set to announce Office System pricing, RTM

Microsoft is finalizing work on its Office System products, an announcement on pricing and release to manufacturing (RTM) is imminent, sources familiar with the company's plans said.

The announcement could come as early as this week and will include most of the Office System applications, these sources said. RTM takes Microsoft to the final stage before commercial launch of the software scheduled later this quarter.

The Office System, a term introduced earlier this year, includes the 2003 editions of the Office Suite products Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Access, as well as the 2003 editions of FrontPage, OneNote, Publisher, Project, Visio, InfoPath, SharePoint Portal Server, Live Communications Server and Live Meeting.

RTM does not apply to Live Meeting because it is a service, not a software. However, a new version of the service will be released in the fourth quarter. Pricing for Office Live Communications Server 2003 will actually be announced on Monday, a person close to Microsoft said.

RTM is when Microsoft freezes the code and deems the software ready for customer use. Analysts have been expecting Microsoft to announce RTM, otherwise the company would miss its self-imposed deadline to deliver it before the end of September.

"It would not surprise me to see RTM announced soon, it is certainly due," said Ken Smiley, an independent analyst in Overland Park, Kansas.

Joe Wilcox, a Washington, D.C.-based Jupiter Research senior analyst, agreed. "Microsoft has always said that the product would RTM in the summer. An announcement next week would not be surprising at all."

While Microsoft in the past announced pricing for Office when it detailed the bundles, this time the company has not done that with Office 2003. Pricing will be in line with Office XP, is all that Microsoft has said. However, analyst Paul DeGroot, with Directions on Microsoft Inc., in Kirkland, Washington, thinks Microsoft may cut pricing.

"This is a really late time to announce pricing. That raises in my mind the possibility that Microsoft may lower volume prices, which would probably fuel a lot of upgrades," he said.

By announcing RTM and pricing for the all Office System, Microsoft hopes to underline Office as a system of applications designed to work together. "It is certainly part of Microsoft's strategy to portray Office as a one big overarching information worker solution," Smiley said.

Although RTM is imminent, plans could change if last minute bugs are discovered.

Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, declined to comment for this story.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?