Microsoft Office 2003 is an office suite written and distributed by Microsoft for their Windows operating system. Released to manufacturing on August 19, 2003 and launched on October 21, 2003, it was the successor to Office XP and the predecessor to Office 2007. It is the first version to officially work on Windows 7.
A new Office logo was debuted as part of a rebranding effort by Microsoft, as well as two new applications: InfoPath and OneNote. OneNote is a note-taking and organizing application for text, handwritten notes or diagrams, recorded audio and graphics, and InfoPath is an application for designing, distributing, filling and submitting electronic forms containing structured data. Office 2003 was the first version to use Windows XP style icons, visual styles and colors.
Office 2003 runs only on NT-based versions of Windows; it is not supported on Windows 98, Windows Me, or Windows NT 4.0. It is the last version of Office compatible with Windows 2000, as Office 2007 requires Windows XP or Vista. It is listed as being "Not Compatible" with Windows 8 by the Microsoft Windows 8 Compatibility Center, although some users have claimed it is compatible.
Service Pack 1 for Office 2003 was released on July 27, 2004, Service Pack 2 was released on September 27, 2005, and Service Pack 3 was released on September 17, 2007. The last cumulative update for Office 2003, Service Pack 3 resolved several compatibility and stability issues with Windows Vista and later operating systems. Mainstream support for Office 2003 ended April 14, 2009, and extended support April 8, 2014.
The core applications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, had only minor improvements from Office XP. Outlook 2003 received improved functionality in many areas, including better email and calendar sharing and information display, complete Unicode support, search folders, colored flags, Kerberos authentication, RPC over HTTP, and Cached Exchange mode. Another key benefit of Outlook 2003 was the improved junk mail filter. Tablet and pen support was introduced in the productivity applications. Word 2003 introduced a reading layout view, document comparison, better change-tracking and annotation/reviewing, a Research Task Pane, voice comments and an XML-based format among other features. Excel 2003 introduced list commands, some statistical functions and XML data import, analysis and transformation/document customization features. Access 2003 introduced a backup command, the ability to view object dependencies, error checking in forms and reports among other features.
Office 2003 features improvements to smart tags such as smart tag Lists, which are defined in XML, by using regular expressions and an extended type library. Smart tag recognition was added to PowerPoint and Access. FrontPage 2003 introduced conditional formatting, Find and Replace for HTML elements, new tools for creating and formatting tables and cells, dynamic templates (Dreamweaver), Flash support, WebDAV and SharePoint publishing among other features. Publisher 2003 introduced a Generic Color PostScript printer driver for commercial printing. Information Rights Management capabilities were introduced in document productivity applications to limit access to a set of users and/or restrict types of actions that users could perform. Support for managed code add-ins as VSTO solutions was introduced.
Office 2003 was the last version of Microsoft Office to include fully customizable toolbars and menus for all of its applications, the Office Assistant, the ability to slipstream service packs into the original setup files, Office Web Components, and the Save My Settings Wizard, which allowed users to choose whether to keep a locally cached copy of installation source files and several utility resource kit tools. It was also the last Office version to support Windows 2000. A new picture organizer with basic editing features, called Microsoft Office Picture Manager, was included.
Only basic clipart and templates were included on the disc media, with most content hosted online and downloadable from within the Office application. Microsoft advertised Office Online as a major Office 2003 feature "outside the box". Office Online provides how-to articles, tips, training courses, templates, clip art, stock photos and media and downloads (including Microsoft and third-party extensibility add-ins for Microsoft Office programs).
Office 2003 features broad XML integration (designing customized XML schemas, importing and transforming XML data) throughout resulting in a far more data-centric model (instead of a document-based one). The MSXML 5 library was introduced specifically for Office's XML integration. Office 2003 also has SharePoint integration to facilitate data exchange, collaborated workflow, and publishing. InfoPath 2003 was introduced for collecting data in XML-based forms and templates based on information from databases.
Teacher Edition **
|Standard||Small Business||Professional Edition|
with Business Contact Manager
with Business Contact Manager
|InfoPath||No||No||No||No||Volume edition only|
* Available only in OEM installs (typically in new computers)
** Eligible for academic pricing