The launch of Microsoft's Office 2003 applications suite means a new upgrade cycle, but resellers are not expecting a rush of interest from corporates.
Office 2003 includes upgrades to the existing applications, and new XML applications based around information sharing and collaborative working.
The launch is vital for Microsoft since Office sales account for over a quarter of the company's revenue, but resellers do not believe that there will be a spike in upgrade interest.
John Taylor, marketing director at Trustmarque Solutions, a major Microsoft reseller, said: "Some large companies may decide to upgrade immediately, but in general you'll see a slow but steady rise in companies making the switch.
"The product has improved but I'm not sure if it's improved enough to be an essential upgrade."
Office 2003 is tightly integrated and, in some cases, requires users to run Microsoft's server software to get full functionality.
Its information rights management technology, which controls who can open, copy or print specific documents, requires the use of Windows Server 2003.
Collaborative working tools have been built into existing applications as well as new ones. Word and Excel now have shared working facilities, and InfoPath is a new application that allows users to create their own XML forms and share the data with others.
"The Office applications integrate beautifully. However, in order to get the benefits everyone has to have the latest upgrades," said Angela Ashenden, senior analyst for Ovum.
"If you are upgrading there are significant costs before you get full functionality. This tight integration makes a lot of sense for Microsoft."
Other new features include a panel that allows Word users to view research data stored on the internet, and a note taking application called OneNote 2003 that allows users to take notes in synchronisation with recorded audio.
Spam filters have been built into Outlook and the whole package reflects Microsoft's new approach of turning off most features by default to reduce the chances of malware exploits.
Prices will be in line with Office XP with similar discounts for academic institutions.
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