Microsoft Office 2010 is already available for enterprise customers, while users of the home edition will have to hang on until June 15. Microsoft promises to make Office our constant companion – but just how compatible is the software with SAP systems?
The current SAP GUI 7.20, which SAP launched in April 2010, supports both the latest Microsoft operating system Windows 7 and the new Office package. But while the SAP GUI runs easily on the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of Windows 7, SAP is only giving the go-ahead for the 32-bit version of Office. Why is that?
Microsoft now offers a 64-bit version of its Office suit. However, SAP GUI 7.20 is not compatible with the 64-bit Office version. This is because the SAP GUI is a 32-bit application. When it runs on Windows 7 (64-bit), the operating system’s integrated emulation mode kicks in. But the 32-bit SAP GUI and plug-ins such as Outlook integration cannot communicate with the 64-bit Office version. SAP is aware of the incompatibility and is currently examining two different approaches to address the issue. The result will probably be a 64-bit SAP GUI – but there is currently no indication of when this might become available.
Collaboration, smartphones, and the Web office
Microsoft promises those who buy the new Office suite that it will be their constant companion, wherever they go. According to Ralph Haupter, the new head of Microsoft Germany, a tailored version of Office 2010 will be available for all the major platforms (PC, smartphone, and Web). Thanks to the new Office Web Apps – online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – files can be processed, downloaded, and published using the Web browser.
In combination with Microsoft SharePoint 2010, which was launched at the same time, Office 2010 is slated to strengthen its position as a collaboration platform. Several people can work on opened files at the same time, while social networks such as Facebook and the Microsoft service Windows Live can be integrated using Outlook Social Connector.
Haupter predicts that most companies will upgrade to the new Office version in the medium term. His confidence stems from the fact that the Office version was already very stable when it hit the market – thanks to the biggest beta test of all time (8.6 million users worldwide, 520,000 in Germany) – and the license model adopted. Haupter says that 50% of large companies in Germany can upgrade to Office 2010 with no additional costs, because their enterprise license agreements already include the licenses required.
Anyone who would like to try out Office 2010 can download a 60-day version of Office Professional Plus from the Microsoft Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/download-office-professional-plus/default.aspx). The beta version for private customers will expire in October 2010.