Mendocino ‘won’t be affected’ by Microsoft Office delay

No delays, vendors say

Delivery of Mendocino, the joint integration product from Microsoft and SAP, won’t be affected by the delay in Microsoft’s next Office productivity suite, says SAP.

Mendocino will ship as scheduled towards the end of the second quarter of the year, according to SAP’s Astrid Pölchen.

“Our first joint product will be based on Microsoft Office 2003 and, as such, won’t be affected by any delays with the new Office version,” she says.

Microsoft has said it will push back the broad availability of its new Vista operating system and its Office 2007 productivity suite until next year. Both products will be available to business customers by the end of 2006 through Microsoft’s volume licensing programme, but will not be sold to consumers until January 2007.

Polchen says SAP isn’t concerned that organisations could hold off purchasing Mendocino until a new version designed to run on Microsoft Office 2007 is available, because businesses tend to be slower at purchasing new software releases than consumers.

SAP and Microsoft have yet to set a date for when they intend to make Mendocino available on Office 2007, Pölchen says. Mendocino is the code name for the product, which doesn’t yet have an official name.

Since December, 25 customers from SAP and 25 from Microsoft have been testing a pre-release of Mendocino, Pölchen says.

“Based on their feedback, we’ll issue a second pre-release in April or May before making the product generally available by June,” she says.

Mendocino sparked intense customer interest after SAP unveiled the project plans at its Sapphire show in April 2005. The software is intended to link SAP’s back-office ERP systems with Microsoft’s Office software, allowing customers to use the familiar Microsoft user interface to work with back-office corporate data from systems such as accounting and human resources.

SAP is concentrating initially on enabling a small number of business processes, including time and leave management, organisational management and budget monitoring.

Analyst firm IDC says Microsoft’s delay in shipping Vista won’t put a big dent in PC sales.

“Some consumers will certainly delay PC purchases until Vista is available, but we expect the delay to shift only moderate volume from the fourth quarter of 2006 into 2007 and will not cause a loss of sales,” says Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

However, the Vista delay will probably drive up marketing costs for Microsoft and for PC makers this year, as they try to attract consumers and adjust to the new schedule, she says.

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