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!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

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?