Microsoft is making Office 2007 its default productivity suite for system builders, less than five months after the suite's full-scale launch.
Microsoft will stop supplying OEM Microsoft Office 2003 from June 30, Microsoft exec Eric Ligman wrote yesterday on the company's blog for small businesses.
The declaration means that Microsoft partners without inventory of Office 2003 must ship Office 2007 from July onwards.
Microsoft is making a heavy push for Office 2007 and seems to be now using OEM partners in the vanguard for driving sales.
Previous editions of Office have sold relatively slowly during the last 10 years, with a sizeable percentage of the customer base clinging to increasingly out-dated editions. That's a problem for Microsoft, as it means a key product in its core business isn't growing as it should.
Office 2007 is relatively early in the Microsoft lifecycle, having officially launched in January following limited availability in November, while Office 2003 was launched in October 2003. The older product still enjoys mainstream product support from Microsoft and partners, while also being well within its extended lifecycle support.
Customers on volume licensing agreements can still run Office 2003 by activating the downgrade rights in their contracts from Office 2007. OEM Microsoft Office does not have downgrade rights.
Microsoft is running a webcast on June 21 to explain licensing options to resellers for Windows, Office and Server products. ®