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Office 2007 Delay Leaves Some Companies Out In The Cold

Microsoft's announcement last week that it will delay Office 2007 one or more months means that some enterprise customers will have to do without the new suite, a pair of analysts have said.

Gartner analysts Michael Silver and Alvin Park, writing in an online research note, argued that the push-back decreases the value of long-term licensing agreements, particularly Microsoft's Software Assurance and Enterprise Agreement programs.

Both plans give customers the right to upgrade to the next version of Microsoft software in exchange for a fee paid out over a two- or three-year period.

"At this point, customers that renewed their Enterprise Agreement (EA) or SA for Office in September, October and likely November of 2003 will not get a new version of Office for the approximately $240 to $300 they paid for each PC, although they may have made use of other SA benefits during the term," wrote Silver and Park.

Earlier this year, Microsoft said that it would roll out Office to volume license customers in October (and others in January 2007); last week, however, it cited a need to dive back into the code as the reason for the release being delayed until "before the end of the year" for corporations (and "early in 2007" for others).

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