Microsoft made software more secure -- for
The high-tech office column
Business in Vancouver,
July 11, 2001
by ALAN ZISMAN
Deciding to upgrade to a new version of Microsoft
isn't just a question of looking at features, as we did last week. It's
also a question of economics and politics.
First, the cost. The new Office XP comes in a range of
Standard, with the new versions of Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint,
is $749 for new copies and $379 for upgrades. XP Professional adds the
Access database to the mix, upping the price to $899 and $529 for
XP Developer is the Professional package plus
Frontpage Web creation
program and Sharepoint Web services, priced at $1,169 and $809.
XP Professional Special Edition is a limited-time offer, adding
Publisher, Sharepoint and a mouse for $709.
There's no longer a retail Small Business version,
bundled Word, Excel and Outlook with Microsoft's Publisher page layout
program for the same price as the Professional version. This package is
only available preinstalled on new hardware, as is a version that
Access, Powerpoint and Publisher. Prices for them are set by the
Office 95 users are left out in the cold. If you've
put off upgrading
that long, Microsoft will make you pay full price for this
Large corporations may also feel pinched.
As previously, they can get deep discounts when buying
large numbers of installations. This time around, though, they have to
upgrade by October 1 in order to qualify. Moreover, the discounted
have to be installed onto computers either running Windows 2000 or
to be upgraded to Windows XP (due out October 25). Companies wanting to
stay current can opt for Software Assurance, paying an annual fee that
will give them access to ongoing upgrades, sort of software by
Corporations not signing on at this time, however,
will have to pay
full upgrade costs if they choose to upgrade later.
Microsoft Canada's director of channel sales, David
suggests licensing changes offer "a good balance between simplification
and choice." He added company studies indicate 50 per cent of licence
will see no change in price and the 30 per cent with "a big commitment
to Microsoft technology" will see costs go down. The 20 per cent of
customers "who purchase upgrade licenses infrequently... will see their
licensing costs increase."
Individual and small business users get another
their copies of Office XP require product activation via a Registration
After installing XP, these users are required to
activate it by contacting
Microsoft, typically over the Internet. The Registration Wizard sends a
summary of the computer hardware it is installed on, along with
personal info, and Microsoft sends back a registration code. This
reinstallation on the same hardware (up to two times), but will make it
more difficult to install the same copy of Office onto a different
Users needing to reinstall Office more than twice,
crashes or buying new hardware, will need to contact Microsoft to
their situation. Microsoft hopes this will help minimize widespread
What's in the name, by the way?
At first, Word, Excel and the Office bundle were sold
with version numbers:
Word 6, Office 4.2 and so forth. Along with the Windows 95 release,
switched to year-based versions of its Office products.
This time around, Microsoft has switched again, to
"XP": Office XP and
Windows XP. Presumably, XP stands for "eXPerience," as Microsoft claims
these versions will improve the experience of using these products.
are welcome to suggest other meanings for XP.
I wonder what Microsoft will use to name the versions
Office YQ? Windows GTO?
(See Michael Parks column for more on
Microsoft, page 9.)