I know, I know, as bloggers we've really fallen off the wagon. I could bore you with my excuses but I don't want to test your patience any further!
This is however the last official post of the Office Pioneers. From today, the 2007 Microsoft Office system is now publically available to companies and consumers worldwide. If you've enjoyed the Beta experience then you can now either run out and buy a copy for yourself or sign up for a free 60 day trial.
A couple of technical things to note:
1. You'll need to re-save any document created by the Beta products in the 97-2003 format. The 2007 release is NOT able to open documents created by the Beta code.
This is a pain, but essential because of point 2:
2. Uninstall the Beta code before trying to install the 2007 trial.
The catch of course is, if you skip step 1 and go straight to step 2, you can't open any of your Beta documents and unless you've kept your Beta installation files, you've got no way of reinstalling it. Don't say you weren't warned!
You also need to act quite fast on this - the Beta program starts to "time-bomb" on Thursday 1 February. If you didn't install the Technical Refresh patch, then your Beta products will only operate in reduced functionality after this date. And among the other things that "reduced functionality" won't let you do, you can't save documents. So don't delay!
If you did install the Technical Refresh patch, then you have until the end of March before your product time-bombs, so you've got a bit longer - but to be honest, now that the finalised product is available as a free trial, I'd be switching over straight away.
Biased though I might be, the completed product is a joy to use. I've been running the 2007 release (in one form or another) since November 2005 and, while there have been plenty of ups and downs on the journey, I wouldn't go back to Office 2003.
If you've enjoyed the postings from our blog, please sign up to the free Microsoft "At Work" newsletter - it's published monthly and is full of hints, tips and how-to articles to help you get more out of Microsoft Office (whichever version you have).
Thanks for joining us on this journey into the unknown! Today the Office Pioneers reached their destination.