Microsoft Office 97/98 Resource Kit Foreword by Jon DeVaan Previous



Today, more than 40 million people around the world use Microsoft Office applications. If you are responsible for rolling out the newest version of Office to some of these 40 million people, or if you administer the networks to which they connect, or if you provide them with technical support or training, then you’ve found the right book. The Microsoft Office Resource Kit contains information and tools to help you install, configure, and support Office in your workgroup. It’s written for the administrator in a large organization, but any Office power user will find it useful.

I’ve been involved with Office from the beginning, and this is the most significant release of Office since we created the product more than six years ago. The first version of Office, released in 1990, was little more than an easy way to purchase the individual applications: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. In 1993, the Office product came into its own with the release of Office 4.0. In Office 4.0, we saw the beginnings of the integration and user interface consistency that we’ve taken much further in Office 97 for Windows and its counterpart, Office 98 Macintosh Edition.

In Office 97, you’ll find major updates to Microsoft Access (Office Professional Edition only), Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and a brand new member of the Office for Windows family, Microsoft Outlook. Outlook is an integrated application that manages e­mail, calendars, contacts, files, and tasks all in one place. If you work with Office in a workgroup, I think you’ll be very interested in Outlook.

If you work in a mixed Windows and Macintosh environment, you’ll appreciate the new Office 98 Macintosh Edition, which contains versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that are on par with their Office 97 for Windows counterparts (and with identical file formats for easy exchange of documents across environments). Also included in the Office 98 Macintosh Edition: a new e­mail client called Outlook Express and the Macintosh edition of Microsoft Internet Explorer.

We took three years to develop Office 97. In that time, we visited more than 500 customer sites and did more research and usability testing than for any previous version of Office. We evaluated hundreds of ideas from users like you who gave us feedback. We learned a great deal about the issues and costs that large organizations face in setting up, configuring, and supporting Office. We learned, for example, that large organizations often spend as much money rolling out new desktop applications as they do purchasing those applications. So for Office 97, we focused on making installation and customization easier and more flexible.

The Network Installation Wizard for Office 97 for Windows, which is included on the Tools and Utilities CD that comes with this book, is one of the tools we developed to make your Office installation easier. Use the wizard to select the installation options you want for your workgroup — the wizard creates the required installation scripts. In this book, you’ll find several chapters that describe your options for rolling out Office 97 to your workgroup. Drag­and­drop installation, and applications that "self repair" if key files are deleted or moved, ease the burden of deploying and maintaining Office 98 Macintosh Edition.

During our Office 97 research, we also learned that almost half of our users in large organizations run Office from a server. So we improved Office 97 for server­based use. Office 97 can now run more than 90 percent of its code from a server, reducing the hard disk footprint significantly. Not only that, Office 97 applications share more than 50 percent of their code and have the same hardware requirements as Office 95.

Simultaneous with the evolution of Office, we’ve seen the growth of LANs, workgroup collaboration, and the World Wide Web. Today, most computers in your organization probably have high­bandwidth network connections to other computers in the organization, and perhaps to intranet servers and the Web. Maybe you’re planning for intranet or Web connectivity now. With Office 97, your workgroup can take advantage of today’s level of connectivity as users publish information and coordinate their work.

As you make the move to Office 97, you’ll find the Microsoft Office Resource Kit useful in several ways. Use it to help you plan your Office 97 deployment — including which components to install, and where and how to install them. If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Office or switching from other applications, use this book to help you convert file formats and understand the differences between your old and new applications. Use the Microsoft Office Resource Kit to take advantage of the considerable workgroup and intranet support available in the Office 97 applications and to increase your knowledge of how the Office applications work individually and together.

I hope you’ll find the Microsoft Office Resource Kit a valuable tool. Our goal was to create nothing less than the ultimate "shop manual" for Office administrators and support professionals. Thanks for choosing Office!

Jon DeVaan
Vice President, Desktop Applications Division
Microsoft Corporation
November 1997

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