Office 12 to Anchor Microsofts Business Intelligence Strategy

Microsoft has been talking around its plans to deliver information in a faster, easier-to-consume way. The forthcoming Office 12 desktop and server products are the missing links. (Microsoft Watch)

Microsoft Corp. is hot to change the perception that Office is just a desktop suite.

With the Office 12 release, due out next year, the company will make another move in that direction by positioning the desktop applications, as well as the new Office 12 servers, as the cornerstones of the companys integrated business intelligence platform.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about PDF support in Office 12.

Some Microsoft watchers are expecting Microsoft executives to begin explaining Redmonds business intelligence vision on Monday.

That day, Microsoft has scheduled a Webcast with its customers and other company watchers to detail "new Microsoft Office system technologies designed to help information workers access and work with business information so they can make faster, more informed decisions and drive improved business performance."

While Microsoft officials did not respond to a request for more information on Mondays Webcast, some Microsoft partners said they expected the company to use the Oct. 24 event to detail the different components of the companys business intelligence play.

Microsoft already offers a number of products that it touts as "business intelligence" vehicles. These include Excel, SharePoint Portal Server, SQL Server, SQL Server Analysis Services and SQL Server Reporting Services.

But the company has not done much to articulate its comprehensive business intelligence vision, partners said, which includes a number of still-unavailable products, including Office 12 desktop and servers, as well as a new financial-management application, code-named "Biz#," that is akin to the Business Scorecard Manager product that Microsoft delivered earlier this year.

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