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Microsoft Office 2007: 10 things you need to know

10 burning questions about Office 2007

It's hard to believe that it's almost a year since we were immersed in our review of Microsoft Office 2007. Microsoft was about to release Office 2007 to corporate users, and so began the slow and methodical evaluation of the software by the unwashed masses (unless, of course, you were an early adopter, a PC Advisor reader or both). Here are 10 questions that you should ask before you decide to upgrade.

Are there bugs?

It's not like Office is comparable to a warm summer evening in the Scottish Highlands, but yes. Even though Office 2007 was one of the first products that went through Microsoft's Security Development Lifecycle, it only took until February (following a January launch) for EEye Digital Security to find the first Office 2007 remote code vulnerability.

In August, a vulnerability was fixed that could allow remote code execution in Groove Server 2007. A similar vulnerability was patched in various Office System 2007 pieces in May and July. In October, Microsoft patched Excel to fix a bug that produced multiplication errors, and Microsoft issued a patch for vulnerability in SharePoint Server 2007 that would let an attacker run arbitrary code.

What's next and when might we see it?

Most of what is known about future Office versions falls squarely in the speculation realm. The Windows enthusiast website AeroXperience reports that the next version will be code-named Office 14. Since Office 2007 was code-named Office 12, it appears Microsoft has Triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13. AeroXperience, citing internal Microsoft documentation, says

Office 14 focuses on productivity, communication and collaboration, enterprise content management, business process and bausiness intelligence, manageability and security.

Translation: No details are available. Ship dates for 14 include first half of 2008 for Beta 1, second half of 2008 for Beta 2 and first half of 2009 for final shipment. Microsoft, not surprisingly, denies the validity of the report and would love to have everyone else do the same and buy Office 2007 instead.

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