Office 2005 To Be Available Before Office 2003

Fake News written by John Elfrink on Thursday, September 23, 1999

from the i-am-still-really-really-confused dept.

REDMOND, WA -- In a move that has been declared "unfortunate but necessary", Microsoft today announced that its productivity suite Office 2003 will again have its shipping date pushed back 3 months. This puts the shipping date on Office 2003 later than the estimated release of 2005.

"It's really not that big a deal," a spokesman for Microsoft said at a press conference today. "From the very beginning of the Office 2003 project in the mid 90's we have known that its shipping date would be in 2004. That has not changed nor do we expect it to change." Nevertheless, Microsoft must take care if it plans to keep the release date in 2004 because today's announcement places the release date for mid-December of that year.

While this move has been expected for some time, it did cause much discussion among industry experts. It was an anonymous user on the Internet that first pointed out that the new shipping date would be after the November 2004 date that Office 2005 will be available for beta testing in.

The spokesman defended the beta test, saying, "It's important to Microsoft to keep the release date for Office 2005 on schedule. In order to do this we need feedback from the users as early as possible telling us what improvements over Office 2003 they most liked." In order for the feedback on Office 2005 to be collected, analyzed, and implemented the estimated release date of Office 2005 must be eight months before the shipping date.

The obvious difficulty in this is that there is no way for the beta testing to show improvements over Office 2003 if Office 2003 is not yet in use. To work around this problem Microsoft has announced that a special beta-testing team is being put together.

"Because the release date for Office 2003 is still 30 days before the shipping date there will be a short window of opportunity for special high profile users to get Office 2003 a month before it is available to the public at large," the spokesman explained. The special beta-testing team will be part of that special high profile user group.

Craniates for the group are being selected currently. Training for the group will begin before year's end based on the advanced projection from the beta test. Once the beta test for Office 2003 is released to the public the special group will already be training on the production version. Once the production version of Office 2003 is released to the public the special group will be fully trained in its use and ready to beta test Office 2005.

"Our estimates of the projection of the beta testing of the pre-release of the release of Office 2005 will go hand in hand with the post shipping release's projected estimate of Office 2003. The final release shipping of Office 2005 will implement our projection of what the beta testing group will estimate since a full estimate is not projected to be done in time," said the spokesman to a perplexed audience.

Update from the Editor:

Just as this article was going to press, a member of our Vast Spy Network(tm) informed us of the major new feature that is planned for Office 2003... a Dancing Billionaire Office Assistant.

Our informant sent us a preliminary screenshot showing a character resembling Bill Gates dancing on an Excel spreadsheet. The new Office Assistant will, according to our source:

  • Walk around the screen while wads of cash fall out of his bulging pockets.

  • Stomp on bugs that will occasionally crawl across the screen while saying "You didn't see that."

  • Erase any text that is negative towards Microsoft or Bill Gates.

  • Insert trademark symbols next to words like "Microsoft", "windows", and "internet" in your document.

  • Respond with "This feature requires Microsoft Office 2003 Plus Pack! available for $129.95 at your neighborhood Microsoft Store" if you attempt to access the Help menu.

  • Randomly insert Microsoft advertisements in your documents.

Stay tuned for future updates about this rapidly unfolding situation.

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