Monday, June 17, 2024

Microsoft to Release Office in Two Flavors: 64-bit and 32-bit

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Microsoft Office will come in 32- and 64-bit editions, according to the company, which on Tuesday confirmed recent rumors surrounding the possibility of two versions.

“Office 14 will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions,” a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) spokesperson told in an e-mailed statement.

The rumors originally surfaced last month, when Windows enthusiast site said that information found in leaked alpha code for the release — which has not yet received an official moniker beyond “Office 14” — contained references to a 64-bit edition.

“This is great news for users that can take advantage of the 64-bit flavor and should come as welcomed news that Microsoft is expanding support for 64-bit,” Neowin blogger Brad Sams said in a March 24 post. “One day soon we will hopefully be able to drop 32-bit forever.”

Microsoft has been in the process of moving its major operating system platforms and its servers, including Exchange 2007 and SQL Server 2008, to 64-bit code. There are already 64-bit editions of Windows XP and Windows Vista, but Microsoft has yet to release 64-bit editions of its Office productivity applications. Windows 7, due out later this year, will also come in a 64-bit edition.

The company’s spokeswoman, however, declined to confirm whether Office 14, when it’s released next year, will follow the product line’s current naming scheme and be dubbed Office 2010.

Regardless of its name, the release will be closely watched as Microsoft plans to roll out some significant changes in Office 14. Among the new features are Web-based versions of the main applications, called Office Web, that can run in the Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

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