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Microsoft Adds "Ultimate" Office To Line-up

Microsoft has quietly added a high-end retail edition of Office 2007 to the suite's stable, the company confirmed Thursday.

The new Office Ultimate -- the name identical to Vista's Ultimate edition -- will be priced at $679 in retail channels, and will include all the applications scheduled to ship within Office Enterprise 2007, the top-end corporation version to be available only to volume license customers.

Microsoft said Ultimate came out of customer requests. "Based on customer feedback received, we understand that some people working at home need to have access to the full line-up of 2007 Microsoft Office applications so they can create, find, manage and share information across boundaries using the toolset they’re familiar with at the office," said a company spokesperson.

Ultimate will include core applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, but will also offer Access, Publisher, InfoPath, Groove, OneNote, and integrated functions such as content management, electronic forms, and rights management. All of those pieces are also in the Enterprise bundle.

The Redmond, Wash. developer has taken a similar tack with its Vista Ultimate edition, a superset of all features and functionality in the top-end consumer and business SKUs.

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