Office 2007 boxes revealed

Office 2007 retail boxes revealed – complete with ‘dimensional stability’.

Microsoft has released images of the retail packaging for Office 2007. 

Clearly this plastic box is designed to look good and stand out on the retail shelf. 

Office Professional 2007 image from Office 2007 boxes revealed at Office-Watch.com

click here to see a full size image

So far it’s been described as looking like a 50’s toaster among many things.  The similarity with the Office 2004 for Mac retail box is obvious to anyone who has seen both.

According to Microsoft:


” Designed to be user-friendly, the new packaging is a small, hard, plastic container that’s designed to protect the software inside for life-long use.  It provides a convenient and attractive place for you to permanently store both discs and documentation.

The new design will provide the strength, dimensional stability and impact resistance required when packaging software today.”

Now that’s some fancy marketing speak there ….

Using a plastic box might look good on the shelf but the benefit to customers is questionable.  Protecting the software from ‘life-long use’ – does that mean Microsoft is expecting you’ll never upgrade or replace Office 2007? – I don’t think so.

A convenient place to store documentation – what documentation?  A few slips of warranty and licence paper and maybe a brief ‘starters’ guide.  Office hasn’t come with any paper documentation worth mentioning for years.  Like most software the box will be mostly packing and air.

As to storing the disks, even that’s a little ironic since Microsoft is moving towards more download delivery of software and we’ll definitely see that with Office 2007 (see the recent announcement with Digital River which explicitly includes Office)

Office Home and Student 2007 image from Office 2007 boxes revealed at Office-Watch.com

click here to see a full size image

While some customers might be demanding “dimensional stability” in their packaging I suspect others are more concerned about the environmental impacts of moving to plastic.  At least cardboard boxes are more easily recycled.  Most people could not care less about the packaging.

And what is ‘dimensional stability‘ anyway?
Does it mean the box is stable in our time-space continuum and won’t drop through to an alternate universe? More likely it’s a fancy way of saying the box will stand upright.

I’d love to know why customers are thought to covet a software box that has ‘impact resistance‘.

In the end, the new boxes are style over substance – but that’s OK since most marketing is style over substance.

Yeah I know – I’m cynical.  I keep forgetting to drink my “Microsoft Kool-aid”