|Initial release||November 19, 1996|
Service Release 2 (SR-2)
|Operating system||Windows NT 3.51 SP5, Windows NT 4.0 SP2, Windows 95|
|Platform||IA-32, DEC Alpha (partial)|
|License||Proprietary commercial software|
Microsoft Office 97 is a major milestone release of Microsoft Office, which includes hundreds of new features and improvements over its predecessor, Microsoft Office 95. Office 97 introduced "Command Bars," a paradigm in which menus and toolbars were made more similar in capability and visual design. It also featured natural language systems and sophisticated grammar checking. It was published on CD-ROM as well as on a set of 44 3½-inch floppy disks. Released on November 19, 1996, it was the last version to support Windows NT 3.51 on i386 and DEC Alpha computers. (Only Word and Excel were available for the Alpha.) Two service releases (SR-1 and SR-2) were released for Office 97. SR-2 solved the year 2000 problem in Office 97.
Microsoft Office 97 is the first version of Office to feature the Office Assistant, a feature designed to assist users by the way of an interactive animated character, which interfaced with the Office help content. The default assistant was "Clippit", nicknamed "Clippy", a paperclip. The office assistant feature was also included in its successor, Microsoft Office 2000, as well as in Office XP (hidden by default) and 2003 (not installed by default).
Assisted support options and security updates for Office 97 ended on January 16, 2004. Mainstream hotfix support for Office 97 ended on August 31, 2001. Extended hotfix support ended on February 28, 2002.
Office 97 was released in five editions. They are as follows:
|Office programs||Standard Edition||Professional Edition||Small Business Edition||Small Business Edition 2.0||Developer|
|Developer Tools and SDK||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Small Business Financial Manager 97||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Automap Streets Plus 1997||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Small Business Financial Manager 98||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Direct Mail Manager||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Expedia Streets 98||No||No||No||Yes||No|
Some additional programs were branded as a member of the Office 97 family but were not included in any of the editions:
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