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Office Server Salvo

Stay tuned for more Microsoft Office servers.

The Office System lineup, which includes mostly client offerings such as Word, Excel and Visio, is slated to get an InfoPath server in the Office 12 2006 time frame, sources said. An InfoPath server, which would ease forms distribution among far-flung users, likely will be just one in a series of server-side offerings carrying the Office moniker.

It is no secret that Microsoft wants to refresh its Office franchise. While the desktop applications have a stranglehold on the market, many users remain on old versions--and still see no reason to upgrade a year into Office 2003's release.

By putting more capability into servers that could be tapped by the applications, Microsoft hopes to push upgrades and milk more revenue out of the Office cash cow, sources said.

They're "working hard on the notion of an Office Server," a Microsoft source said. The team already fields SharePoint and Project Servers but needs to better package capabilities so people can buy and use them easily, this source said. "If you have stuff on the back end that can be used with Word, Excel, etc., the idea is it will pull through more Office revenue and give Microsoft a reason to charge even more for clients that hit these servers."

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