Even though all the Web 2.0 crowd seems to think matters are Web-based office suites/services, there's still a lot of life left in client-based productivity software from Microsoft and others.
On the Microsoft front, the Mac Business Unit released to manufacturing last week Office 2008 for Mac, and plans to launch the product at Macworld in mid-January 2008.
The 2008 release of Office for Mac is optimized to take advantage of Leopard. From the Microsoft Mac Mojo blog:
"We’ve made some tremendous architectural changes to the (Office 2008 for Mac) product to take advantage of newer technologies in Mac OS X that have come out since Office 2004 was released to run on Mac OS X 10.2. Because of those changes, we’ve given seeds of Mac Office 2008 to Apple so that they can run their own tests against it. ... We’ve been able to use this seeding time to make sure that Mac Office 2008 looks great on Leopard (picking up the new Leopard UI theme), works with new Apple technologies like Time Machine, Spaces, WebKit 3, AppleScript (ok, AppleScript isn’t new itself, but Apple made some big changes under the hood), and cooperates with lots of other smaller changes in various parts of the OS."
Meanwhile, on the ABM (Anything But Microsoft) front, Sun is going to start offering paid support for OpenOffice. Sun's support plan, which starts at US$20 per user per year, will be offered to companies that distribute OpenOffice.org, not directly to end-users, according to a PC World report.
Until now, Sun supported only StarOffice, which is based on the OpenOffice code base, but not identical to it. Under the new support deal, which is slated to be announced on December 17, Sun is not offering to indemnify OpenOffice.
Will Sun's support plan give the same kind of boost to OpenOffice that Microsoft's technology deal with Novell gave to SuSE Linux? I'm doubtful. You?