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Office System Servers, Services Coming Up

The Microsoft Office System doesn't stop here.

The current Office System lineup--including the various Office SKUs, Live Communications Server, SharePoint Portal Server, Project Server, Content Management Server, etc.--is just the beginning of an array of planned Office System-labeled servers and services, Chris Capossela, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Information Worker Product Management Group, said in an interview Wednesday.

CRN last month reported on plans for an upcoming InfoPath Server to ease forms distribution, as well as additional Office servers in the Office 12 timeframe around 2006. (Office 12 is Microsoft's internal name for the successor product to Office 2003. It will run on Windows XP, Windows 2000 and leverage "some features" of the promised Longhorn version of Windows.)

Office 2003, which shipped almost exactly a year ago, exemplified Microsoft's first concerted attempt to extend the Office franchise beyond the Word/Excel/PowerPoint desktop powerhouse into a software suite with more functionality, much of it doled out by back-end servers.

Capossela declined to further detail upcoming products but said the "concept of the Office System, of programs, servers and services organized around productivity needs" will continue. "We're not ready to talk about the next versions, about packaging and products. It's too early to see how that will shape up," he said.

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