High Praise for Office

Opinion: Of the three betas Microsoft released at WinHEC, Office 2007 Beta 2 gets the highest marks.

Now that the fever of Microsofts weeklong "beta bonanza" has subsided, we will return the IT industry to its regularly scheduled programming. Actually, one final note. Of the three betas released May 23 at WinHEC—Microsoft Office 2007, Vista and Longhorn Server—it was Office Beta 2 that earned the highest marks from beta testers, eWEEK Labs analysts and eWEEK Corporate Partners.


Though the new edition will require some extra training costs, the features should make the upgrade worthwhile for those shops running older versions of Office. Power users will enjoy Outlooks enhanced collaboration capabilities and Excels new charting and pivot table features, analysts said. You can hear a full rundown on the three betas in eWEEK Labs TestRun podcast at go.eweek.com/podcasts.

Seemingly not-so-exciting topics, such as supply chain logistics, turn downright gripping when looked at through the lens of our latest eWEEK Road Map feature. Senior Editor Kevin Fogarty traces military contractor Lockheed Martins initiative to convert its supply contracts with the Department of Defense to a PBL (performance-based logistics) model, which is made up of SLAs (service-level agreements) between the DOD and its contractors.

Under the PBL model, military suppliers are given financial incentives to reduce redundancies and make the supply chain more efficient because theyre responsible for how well it works. How well? Try about $80 billion in potential business for DOD contractors, according to Joe Grosson, managing director of Lockheed Martins Enterprise Logistics Technology Office, in Gaithersburg, Md. "The number was so staggering I didnt want people to hear it because they would think I was nuts," Grosson said.


The winners of the sixth annual eWEEK Excellence Awards were recognized May 23 for excellence in all facets of IT. Go here to find a list of winners.

Proceeds from the awards banquet were donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of America groups in Lawrence, Mass., New York and San Francisco, and to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Look for an eWEEK Labs special report on the winners in the June 19 issue.

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