Online retailers early with Office 2003 details

First, the British arm of Amazon.com leaked details about the release date and pricing for Office 2003. Now a U.S.-based e-tailer has followed suit with a list of what one reseller will charge for the newest version of the popular suite of desktop applications. Look for it in mid-October.

It appears that online retailers can't wait to get Microsoft's Office 2003 pricing information out to customers.

Late this week, it was online retailer Amazon.com that leaked pricing and availability for Office 2003 on its site in the United Kingdom. Now it is comparison-shopping site PriceGrabber.com, based in Culver City, Calif., that is spilling a price list.

This site hosts an offering from DirectDeals.com, a Round Rock, Texas-based reseller that lists Office Professional Edition 2003 at $469.95 and the upgrade to Office Pro 2003 at $299.95. Office Small Business Edition 2003 is $419.95, and the upgrade version sells for $269.95. Office Standard 2003 is $369.95, and the upgrade for Office Standard 2003 is $229.95.

A customer service representative from DirectDeals.com said these are pre-order prices and anyone who places an order will get it at this price regardless of what Microsoft's actual selling price is. The final prices from Microsoft should be a bit higher than these discounted figures, the representative said.

Office 2003 is expected to go to manufacturing by early next week, said people familiar with the company's plans. On Wednesday, Microsoft will host a webcast to discuss architectural changes in Office 2003 and Exchange 2003.

The official launch date for Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 is expected to be in mid-October. Microsoft has declined to comment on any details about the products.

The newest version of Outlook has much appeal. It adds e-mail filtering, an improved user interface, mobility features with Cached Exchange Mode, better connectivity features and secure connections on HTTP, among other things. Outlook with Business Contact Manager is a feature to help small business more closely track customer accounts.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Article: Final version of Office 2003 near

News: E-commerce blunder reveals Microsoft pricing plans

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