Office delay could hurt Software Assurance users

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Office delay could hurt Software Assurance users

A delay in the release of Microsoft Office 2007 could problems for businesses wanting to upgrade under the software giant's Software Assurance licensing scheme.

A delay in the release of Microsoft Office 2007 could problems for businesses wanting to upgrade under the software giant's Software Assurance licensing scheme.

Microsoft sent an email missive last week blaming on a revision of the technology following trials.

"Based on internal testing and the beta 2 feedback around product performance, we are revising our development schedule to deliver the 2007 system release by the end of the year 2006, with broad general availability in early 2007," Microsoft said.

The company has previously promised Office 2007 will be available for all customers by January, but says feedback on quality and performance will determine exact dates for the future launch.

David Bradshaw, principal analyst at Ovum, said: "If businesses Software Assurance is close to expiring, the delay could mean they won’t get Office 2007."

The Microsoft website states: "All Software Assurance benefits terminate with expiration of Software Assurance coverage."

But Bradshaw says Microsoft may be negotiable to whether or not users get the upgrade to Office 2007.

"If an organisation’s subscription is ending, it could be a lever to get them to sign up again," he said.

Microsoft says more than 2.5m people have downloaded beta 2 which is "proving to be the most poplar beta version of Office to date."

"In just one month, we have had three times as many participants as the 2003 beta 2 release," it said.

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