Feeds

Reasons to be cheerful about Office 12?

Low-cost intelligence for the masses

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

One of the “opportunities” that awaits resellers in 2006 is the release of Microsoft Office 12 (O12); that’s if Microsoft’s timescales don’t go haywire (so no promises). Is there anything to get excited about or this going to be just another expensive upgrade with all the menu options moved around and plenty of new features you won’t know about and if you did wouldn’t use anyway?

Well that’s the cynical bit over with. But it is safe to say that although Microsoft Office is used by 95 per cent of European businesses as their main tool for document creation and editing O12 will not be an option on a huge number of desktops where businesses are still using pre-Windows XP versions of the Microsoft operating system. So, there is a pragmatic reason not to get too excited.

But if there were some compelling benefits coming with O12, that might just be the motivation the laggards need to upgrade the operating systems as well as their office tools. There are indeed two broad areas of benefits where reseller might persuade their customers to take notice.

The first is collaboration. Nothing new here, businesses already have plenty of ways for their employees to collaborate, but given that 95 per cent of business are using Microsoft Office on the desktop the ease of collaborating with its component tools has been pretty limited to date (with the obvious exception of emailing each other from Outlook via the Exchange server).

O12 aims to change that. The level of collaboration between users of Word, Excel and PowerPoint will be raised to a new level. That is because all the sharing of templates, libraries etc. will be done via Microsoft’s Sharepoint Portal server. Another cost for businesses (or opportunity for resellers) perhaps, but on the plus side, Sharepoint is already widely used. Over the last few years it has established a clear lead and the only vendor keeping up with it is IBM, the independent portal companies all now having disappeared. So, for many it will be an upgrade cost rather than a new licence.

The second area where O12 offers new opportunities and businesses may be tempted to upgrade is in the area of business intelligence (BI). In the past BI vendors have seen their users as being a rather select bunch – a few high brow managers, for who the business will pay over the odds to give the right BI tools to enable decision making. But all employees have to make decisions. O12 aims to democratise BI by making it available to the masses at low cost. It will be embedded as part of the O12 suite. Decisions lead to survival, so enabling better decisions to be made at a lower level in organisations has to be seen as a good opportunity by right-minded management.

So, perhaps O12 should not be dismissed as just another upgrade, but, at least in two areas discussed above, a quantum leap forward by Microsoft in enabling the humble worker. Of course, you could argue all this should have been done years ago and Microsoft has been holding them back until now. Power to the people!

Bob Tarzey is a service director at Quocirca focussed on the route to market for IT products and services in Europe. Quocirca (www.quocirca.com) is a UK based perceptional research and analysis firm with a focus on the European market.

Copyright © 2006,

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.