Office 2003 beta released!

  User-367759E1-9114-481F-B005EBD0DB666035 21:20 10 Mar 2003

Office XP beta released, just when you thought it safe to put away your credit card!!

click here

  Forum Editor 22:57 10 Mar 2003

the beta one version of this new Office suite for a while now, and am looking forward to receiving the beta two CDs. To be honest the beta one version is so stable that it could be a final release, and the bug fixes contained in the new beta should make it even better.

It's a superb edition of Office in my book, and has some excellent new features.

FE - looking at the spec, its very different from XP (2002). Would you in SOME way (I realise the restraints) say that it is an "essential" upgrade from 2002 or merely "desirable". Obviousely, it would depend on price etc, but having just had 2002 for just under a year........

  Taran 03:20 11 Mar 2003

A lot depends on how and where you work and what you work on. In a networked environment, say your typical busy office, the current beta is a tiny kick in the pants away from a godsend. Some of its features and developments can greatly improve efficiency, while increased or more convenient output via communication/collaboration is superb.

If you type letters in Word, use Outlook for emails and do your household accounts in Excel, stick with what you have and enjoy it. you're already vastly over-gunned if that's all you do with Office XP 2002.

All upgrades should be done in response to need or where new features offer greater output and/or security. I can't think of a single software upgrade I've ever gone through that could have been accurately termed essential.

Yes, Office is going in the right direction. Yes, the new release, when it hits the shelves, will cause quite a stir. Yes, many of its new features are fantastic. Yes, there will still be many companies who will continue to run Office 97 or 2000 for the next few years until a sufficiently juicy carrot tempts them to upgrade. No, if you are a home user or even a small business, I don't think that there is sufficient grounds to get your wallet out. I think it's the bigger businesses that will benefit more from its capabilities.

This is obviously a very general commentary. Your own preferences and/or needs will dictate your upgrade path.

  Forum Editor 06:53 11 Mar 2003

When you begin the beta testing you enter into an agreement with Microsoft which says that you will not discuss the product's new features. I'm not going to break that agreement, but in general terms I would say that the new suite will mainly be of interest to professional users and those who must have the latest thing.

There's no doubt that anyone who works collaboratively over a network or via the Internet will want the new Office software, and the new version of FrontPage is streets ahead of the previous edition.

Time will tell, and there will no doubt be the usual round of discussions as the new suite enters its final beta stage and details are leaked. In the meantime Taran's right - anyone who uses Office for the occasional letter/email/spreadsheet will be more than happy with Office 2000.

  skeletal 10:00 11 Mar 2003

I wonder if it will be more stable and have all the oddities and bugs fixed (I use Office 2000 SP3; the SP3 upgrade I did a few weeks ago did not cure "my" bugs", nor did it improved stability. Of course XP may help, but my company hasn't even made that upgrade yet! Not as bad as an Institution I work with: they are still on Office 95!).

Does Access still alter the HTML underlying hyperlinks for example?!!

Trouble is, Office is so complex there is bound to be someone somewhere doing something that causes a crash!


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