Microsoft Office 2007 review

Price when reviewed

Wikis, Blogs and Workflow are just some of the new features in both WSS and MOSS. MOSS costs money to deploy, depending on the number of features and licences you want, but WSS is a free add-on to Windows Server 2003.

Which edition to buy?

it_photo_4786There are now seven different editions of Microsoft Office, from the very basic Basic all the way to Ultimate, which may as well come with a free plug to go in the kitchen sink. Most of the applications can also be bought individually, though if you need two or more, you’re likely to find it cheaper to buy one of the suites.

There are four ways to buy Office. You can buy the full packed product (FPP) retail from a shop or website; you can buy an upgrade from a previous version the same way; you can buy Office preinstalled on a new PC, the so-called OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) licence; or you can buy multiple licences through one of the volume licence programmes. FPP is the most expensive because it gives you the most rights. You can install the applications on a new PC when you buy one, and there’s telephone and email support direct from Microsoft. If you have a previous version (Office 2000, XP, 2003, any individual Office application (2000, XP or 2003), Works 6-10 or Works Suite 2000-2006), you can buy an upgrade instead of paying the new user price. This means users of Word 2000 or Works 6 can buy any edition of Office 2007 and pay only the upgrade price. You can’t get the upgrade pricing if you have Office 95 or 97. If you haven’t upgraded since then, you’ll have to buy Office again.

You receive an OEM licence when buying Office with a new PC. The price is much less than the FPP or Upgrade price for two reasons: If you want telephone or email support, you have to ask your computer manufacturer rather than Microsoft, and the licence for Office is tied to that one PC. When that PC is retired, you can’t legally install its copy of Office onto another PC. You effectively have to buy Office with every new PC. This also affects the availability of upgrades. If you bought a PC with, for instance, Office 2000 preinstalled and have since upgraded it to Office 2003, you can upgrade it again to Office 2007 but you can’t then transfer Office 2007 to a new PC you buy next year. The original licence was an OEM version, so it dies with the PC – no matter how many times you’ve paid to upgrade it.

There are several volume licence programmes available from Microsoft, and you only need to buy a minimum of five licences to qualify. Volume licences are cheaper than retail pricing and can give extra benefits such as training courses and the rights to install Office on users’ home machines, as well as office desktops and laptops. The price you pay depends on how many licences you buy and whether or not you take Software Assurance (SA) as well. SA is effectively a way of paying for upgrades before you get them, giving you the right to upgrade to the next version the moment it’s released. Open Value licences let you spread the purchase price and software assurance cost over three years, giving you predictable expenditure that can be cheaper than buying the equivalent software any other way.

The cheapest retail edition is the Home & Student edition. This contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote and will probably cost between £80 and £100, depending on the exchange rate. Anyone can buy this edition, whether they’re in full-time education or not and it allows for the software to be installed on three different PCs in a single household. University students away at college during term-time still count as being part of their parent’s household so this edition is perfect for many families. If one person in the family needs one of the other Office applications, just buy that one application rather than upgrading to a larger suite. Home & Student edition doesn’t include Outlook, so you’d have to make do with a web mail product, Outlook Express or the new Windows Mail that comes with Windows Vista. Home users can also consider Office Basic, Standard or Small Business.


Software subcategory Office software


Processor requirement 500MHz processor

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? no
Other operating system support None

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