Microsoft's Office 2010 Pro Plus: What's inside?

Microsoft's Office 2010 Pro Plus: What's inside?

Summary: A month ago, Microsoft officials acknowledged the name and one feature of the company's forthcoming Office 2010 Pro Plus SKU. Thanks to a new slide from an alleged Microsoft presentation, now we know a bit more about what's likely to debut in that version.

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A month ago, Microsoft officials acknowledged the name and one feature of the company's forthcoming Office 2010 Pro Plus SKU. Thanks to a new slide from an alleged Microsoft presentation, now we know a bit more about what's likely to debut in that version.

Microsoft admitted in May -- after word leaked via Twitter that the company was renaming its Groove online/offline synchronization capability to "SharePoint Workspace Manager" -- that the newly minted SharePoint Workspace and OneNote would be part of the Office 2010 Pro Plus SKU. Company officials refused to say anything more about which other applications and features will be part of that SKU.

On June 18, on his UX Evangelist blog, Stephen Chapman has posted a slide, allegedly from Microsoft, that shows what other features are slated to be part of this new Office 2010 SKU. The feature set for the Pro Plus SKU looks like this:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • OneNote
  • Publisher
  • Access
  • InfoPath (electronic forms client)
  • Communicator (corporate instant-messaging client)
  • SharePoint Workspace

Office 2010 Pro Plus will add tighter server integration, according to the slide. Not only will the desktop client include more direct ties to SharePoint Server, but it sounds like it also could add deeper links with Office Communications Server and Microsoft's IP Rights Management technology.

The slide also includes acknowledgement of yet another alleged Office 2010 SKU, which Microsoft has yet to announce officially: Office 2010 Enterprise. That SKU will include the identical line-up of features as to what's in the Office 2010 Pro Plus SKU, according to the slide. If it is anything like Windows 7 Enterprise, Office 2010 Enterprise will be available to volume licensees with Software Assurance only.

(Given Chapman's past track record unearthing Microsoft presentations, I'm pretty confident this slide is real. I've asked Microsoft whether officials willl acknowledge that this slide and the information on it is real. I'm not hopeful that they'll do so, but I'll update this post if and when I hear back. Update: Microsoft officials declined to comment on the slide and information on it, beyond the fact that OneNote and SharePoint Workspace will be part of an Office 2010 SKU known as Pro Plus.)

Microsoft is planning to roll out invitation-only Community Technology Previews (CTPs)  of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 in July. A leaked CTP build of the Office 2010 client suite leaked to the Web in mid-May, and was widely downloaded from torrents.

A public Office 2010 beta is slated for later this year. Microsoft is aiming to deliver the final Office 2010 in the first half of 2010, company officials have said. Microsoft still has yet to unveil the planned Office 2010 SKU line-up or pricing.

Topics: Collaboration, Microsoft, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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43 comments
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  • Pro Plus and Enterprise versions

    Both of these are volume/enterprise license SKUs only so should be of little concern to non-corporate users.
    Confused by religion
    • both are volume skus?

      Hi. If both are volume SKUs and they have identical feature sets, what is the difference? Why have both? (MS won't comment on either right now, so I can't ask them...) Thanks. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Unlikely identical

        With Office 2007 Pro+ you don't have to get SA to have it. Enterprise will require SA and probably include better deployment and management tools. Just a guess.
        LiquidLearner
      • My guess is that ...

        Office 2010 Pro Plus will be the consumer version and office 2010 Enterprise will be the volume SKU of the same thing - a la "Windows 7 Ultimate" and "Windows 7 Enterprise".
        M Wagner
  • Is it x64?

    Is office 2010 x64 or is it x86 only still??
    NoThomas
    • Yes....

      Office 2010 will have a 64bit version and a 32bit version. I don't know how the distribution will be handled (i.e., one DVD wit both, or two, or order 64bit), but I know that it will be available.
      rs_jr
    • Both. (nt)

      .
      No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Office 2010

    It's the same as 2007 except addition of Groove and OneNote to Pro Plus which brings it to parity with Enterprise. Like Windows 7, they are probably doing successively higher SKUs (one is a superset of the lower priced one). Ultimate will probably go away then. Enterprise will surely have Volume Activation 2.0 (so no activation-less Office now). Pro Plus will be available as retail as well as volume license. I hope they kept Ultimate and added Visio at least as well as Project to Ultimate, as well as both Outlook & OneNote in Home & Student besides Word, Excel, PowerPoint. And Semblio too. Currently for 2007, Enterprise is the higher SKU than Ultimate (Enterprise and other VLK SKUs-Standard, Small Business and Pro Plus contain the Office Customization Tool (OCT) and don't require activation).
    anonymous
  • RE: Microsoft's Office 2010 Pro Plus: What's inside?

    Will it provide support for visual basic (VBA)?
    RonPmn
    • was that a serious question?

      If so, yes, it will continue to support Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) - which is not the same as your straight Visual Basic but a subset thereof with some other important limitations (eg, can only run from inside an Office file) . Office has included VBA since... office XP maybe? At least since 2002 (that's when I started using it).

      If you are referring to a Mac version, then the answer is no. MS has dropped support for VBA in Office for macs with the 2008 version.

      "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
      gnesterenko
    • VBA

      Yes the technical beta includes VBA. Microsoft has no plans to scratch VBA or else it's partners will dump Office. Also, Office vNext for Mac (2011?) will bring back VBA.
      anonymous
    • Will it provide support for visual basic (VBA)?

      I should have changed the subject. Sorry about the confusion
      RonPmn
    • Yes it will, however...

      You are going to see less and less of the object model exposed in VBA and the general coding moving to Visual Studios and .NET programming in order to recieve the security of managed code.
      No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Microsoft Office 2010 bad for the health?

    MS marketing team goes from strength to strength. Fresh from launching a soft porn "decision engine", they have now made an office productivity pack that will stop you from sleeping and make you irritable.

    I know in MS they don't like to admit other solutions exist outside of their own, but they should have tried Googling "Pro Plus" before putting that name on it.

    Maybe the marketing team is getting tired...
    putt1ck
  • Why bother?

    Unless I am a corporate buyer, I cannot see anything compelling me to upgrade. If there is a beta, I will try it out, but I just upgraded to 2007 from 97. I am positive there are more enhancements than the few I have noticed, but as with most things, they are likely unrelated to my own uses of Office. I like Office 2007 (after the week-long learning curve of finding the new locations of everything), and I would consider myself more advanced than the average user (likely below the level of many here, though). If I cannot, at least from Mary Jo's comments, see anything vastly new and different with 2010, I cannot imagine the average user of Office 2007 would upgrade either.
    Citizen Gkar
    • Tired of all these upgrades as well.

      "Show me something I can use".

      For my company, the practice of automatically upgrading (and $paying) to any new version is over. Period. Support? Who needs it.
      nizuse
      • Tired of all these upgrades as well - aren't we all

        I think in general the days when everyone queued up to buy every new MS upgrade are over.
        Generally most peoples' requirements from an office suite are fairly basic, write letters, build relatively simple spreadsheets etc. After a few expensive upgrades we realise that we're just paying for new features we don't need, so why bother?
        AndyPagin
  • Publisher mentioned twice in product list

    Must think it's so nice that it's mentioned twice.
    sean_hando@...
    • thanks. fixed

      typo is now gone. mj
      Mary Jo Foley
  • I'm not cool enough to be an Office 2010 person

    iWork '09.
    HollywoodDog