Several versions of Office 2007 will be available, including Office 2007 Enterprise and Office 2007 Professional Plus, both of which will be available through volume licensing only. Available through retail outlets are Office Ultimate 2007 (priced at $679, or $539 for an upgrade), Office Professional 2007 (which costs $499, or $329 for an upgrade), Office Small Business Edition ($449, or $279 to upgrade), Office Standard ($399, or $239 to upgrade), and Office Home and Student (priced at $149, with no upgrade option). During tests, we installed Office 2007 Enterprise (comprising Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Access, Groove, Communicator, OneNote, InfoPath and Publisher) on a Toshiba Tecra A8. We also installed the suite on a Micron desktop with Pentium 4 processors and an Nvidia GeForce FX5920 Ultra video card running the RTM code of Windows Vista.Users visual experiences with Office 2007 will depend on the operating system they are running. Office 2007 running on Windows XP SP2 will have a default blue theme, while the productivity suite running on Vista will automatically default to Vistas black, or Obsidian, theme. A silver theme is also available with Office 2007.
With the proximity of the Office 2007 and Vista operating system releases, it comes as no surprise that Office 2007 takes advantage of Vistas Aero Glass capabilities. Users will see a remarkable difference, particularly in the ribbon, when running Office on Vista. Whether the glass is a distraction that hampers productivity, though, will depend on the individual user.
With Word 2007, users will find increased control over their data, whether theyre trying to encrypt documents or checking a document to ensure that revisions and comments are inaccessible before sending it to someone.
Word 2007s Document Inspector allows users to inspect a document for comments, revisions and versions; document properties and personal information, such as hidden metadata; hidden text; and headers, footers and watermarks.
Under the Office Button, the handy Prepare menu allowed us to get documents ready for distribution by restricting who could and could not edit, copy and print the documents. We also were able to add a digital signature, view and edit the document properties, and make the document read-only. To securely redact information, however, we had to turn to Adobe Systems Acrobat 8 to make sure we could black out sentences in our document and ensure the text underneath could not be seen.
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While the first thing users will notice in Word 2007 is the new UI, they will also notice the introduction of a new default font called Calibri, which replaces Times New Roman. Users also will notice the handy word counter at the bottom of the screen, and bloggers will likely appreciate a tool that allows them to compose a blog post in Word and then post directly from Word to a blog. Word 2007 supports direct posting for multiple blog providers, including Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, TypePad and WordPress.
When opening a .doc file created in Word 2003 or earlier without converting it to a .docx file, Word 2007 operates in Compatibility Mode, which makes it impossible to use features that are not found in earlier versions of Word to ensure compatibility between the versions.
To gain more work space for our Word documents, we were able to minimize the ribbon whenever we didnt need it. We could quickly restore the ribbon by clicking on a tab related to what we wanted to do.
While we eventually became accustomed to the new ribbon interface, some parts of Word still puzzled us. For example, the longer our documents, the worse the disappearing text problem. Whenever Word did an automatic justification, the text display wasnt in sync with where the characters actually were in the file. As a result, if we were to go back to insert a word in a sentence, that word might wind up in the middle of another word. Weve had this experience with Word 2003 as well, but the issue seems to be a bigger problem in Word 2007.
Another thing we hoped to see in Word, and in Excel, was some sort of online component that would allow us to access our documents without having to e-mail them to ourselves or deploy SharePoint Server. Unfortunately, such a capability still does not exist.
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Office 2007 requires Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or Windows Server 2003 with SP1. The suite also can be installed on systems running Windows Vista Beta 2 or later, but not earlier prerelease versions of Vista.