So Far, So Good

By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2003-10-06 Print this article Print

So Far, So Good
At the University of Minnesota, Crookston, Brorson said that a team has been testing Office 2003 Beta 2 since March and that team members have liked what theyve seen so far. The redesigned Outlook client, which is now equipped with a spam filter and a "research task pane" to parse data quicker, is a main driver for the upgrade, he said.

Despite migrating his users to Office XP a mere two years ago, Brorson said his volume licensing agreements with Microsoft make the upgrade to Office 2003 economical, and the enhancements in the new suite are important enough to justify the migration.

Brorson said he expects to migrate 1,200 students and approximately 350 faculty and staff members from Office XP to Office 2003 Professional Edition during the December break or at the end of the school year in May.

Many other organizations are biding their time. At the Public Broadcasting Service, in Alexandria, Va., Kenneth Walters, senior director of enterprise platforms and enterprise technology, said an IT team is testing Office 2003. Because PBS headquarters recently migrated its 500 users to Office XP, however, Walters said its likely that PBS will bring Office 2003 into its computing environment only as new desktop machines are leased.

Some enterprises question whether theyll get added value from Office 2003. Inks said Atlantic Researchs use of basic word processing and spreadsheet applications means there is little, if any, incentive for him to jump-start an upgrade to the new release. "We use only basic functionality from our Office software," he said. "In fact, were it not for keeping up with the Joneses, we could probably live with Office 97 for a long time."

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As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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