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  1. #1
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    How Many Are Still Using Office 97 (97)

    I'm not sure that this is the right forum but a Mod will no doubt move it if it isn't.

    As a manager of a small business I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has been able to justify upgrading Office from the 97 version. In using the word 'justify' I'm referring to a business case or cost benefit analysis that would justify the not inconsiderable expense of upgrading (and I'm not impressed by Microsoft-funded studies by academics into the so-called Total Cost of Ownership). We have four computers in our office and we have had no problem in justifying the upgrade in hardware (and, of course, new operating systems have come along for the ride). But I have not been able to see any reason to upgrade the application software. Office 97 does all that we want, has now been fully de-bugged and does not require activation everytime we upgrade the hardware.

    I have fully followed all of the reviews by Woody and others as each new version of Office has been released, been amused by the trauma created by the bugs in each (the =rand() fiasco in the latest version of Excel, for example), not impressed by what seem to me to be increasingly arcane new features, and wonder why should I spend good money on what seem to me marginal benefits, if any.

    I'd be interested in getting any stats available on the proportion of Office users that are still on 97 and any comments that might cause me to review my decision to stay with the completely mature and stable version I have.

    Cheers

    Bambara

  2. #2
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    Re: How Many Are Still Using Office 97 (97)

    Our company will be staying with Office 97 and Windows NT4SP6a workstation until we implement an XP desktop build (2500-odd PCs for our part, and about 100K machines in the parent company) with what was going to be Office XP but may well turn out to be Office 2003 by the time things get on the desk. I can't see this happening until mid/end 2004. The only reasons for the move will be:

    a) no support for NT drivers any more on laptops (nor for the last year or so)
    [img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] very little support for security fixes to NT (we have had to move to IE6 because some new programs/systems need it)
    c) you can't stay with a non-Microsoft-supported operating system for too long because all the third-party programs/systems are developed for the latest OS version

    If all you need to have is Office 97, there's no obvious need to go to a new version of Office. But reason may get you in the end...

    PS Of course us techies have had Office 2000 and Office XP, as "pioneers", for years now on the latest versions of the Windows OS!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
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    Re: How Many Are Still Using Office 97 (97)

    I support John's comment that if '97 does all that you require then save our dollars.

    The only reason our company upgraded was a compatibility issue with our accounting package. The Finance Department uses Excel to import and export and "massage" data.
    Granville

  4. #4
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    Re: How Many Are Still Using Office 97 (97)

    I think that the biggest changes in Office (besides Speed! - my copies of Word, Excel, etc 2003 open in less than a second!) are in online connectivity. If you are not actively interacting with the web (research online, etc), then I agree, why change?! I would think that the one exception to that would be Outlook. If you use Outlook at all, the newer versions are Much Better than Outlook 97. I really like Outlook 2003, but some are complaining about the changes between OL XP and 2003. Now that I write this I am suspecting that PowerPoint may be also quite a bit better post '97. For Word and Excel, though, at some point there's not a lot of difference. They were fairly mature systems to start with (hey sometimes I miss Word 5.0!)

    In my own case I am an avid 2003 user, but I wouldn't think of changing my 77 yr old father's system from '97. It works just fine for him, and more bells and whistles would mean more confusion. I do remember seeing some stats in conjunction with the MS decision to pull support for their earlier products, and Windows 98 and I believe Office 97 usage was substantial still, but I don't have any stats at my fingertips (not the kind of thing MS promotes, they want you to believe that Everybody Upgrades!!!)

    kip

  5. #5
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    Re: How Many Are Still Using Office 97 (97)

    Just a comment on the speed issue. I have Word 2000 & find that once Word's in memory (after starting it once), Word opens in under 3 seconds. I still have a 600 MH Win 98SE. I have 2 startup templates & a modified normal.dot which slow Word's starting time. While I don't dispute your findings, <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> I think that speed has to do a lot with customization, as well as the OS.

  6. #6
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    Re: How Many Are Still Using Office 97 (97)

    On my 1.7 g w/ 1.5g pc2700 ddr (granted fairly quick), opening any of the Office 2003 apps w/ no macros etc running is almost instantaneous. I migrated from Office '97 on this machine, and the apps open MUCH faster. I can't comment on how it compares to 2000, having only used PowerPoint 2000. My unscientific observation is that it is not so much customization or the OS, but that the structure of the Office apps themselves (and/or the way they work with XP) has improved significantly.

    kip

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