Microsoft Office 97 was a version of Microsoft's Office line of productivity software. It is the successor to Microsoft Office 95 and is the predecessor to Microsoft Office 2000. It is the last version of Microsoft Office to run on Windows 3.1. It was published in CD-ROM and floppy disk variants, with the floppy disk variant containing 44 floppy disks (which is double the amount of floppy disks used to install Windows NT 4.0 Workstation).
It was a very popular version and a milestone release; it contained hundreds of new features. Notable features were the Office Assistant (mostly known as Clippy or Clippit) and Command Bars. It was also the first product from Microsoft to feature Product Activation in the Brazilian versions of Microsoft Office 97 Small Business Edition and Publisher 98, which was and still is a feature to help prevent piracy of the software (though people were able to circumvent it).
Two service releases, SR-1 and SR-2, were released. Microsoft Office 97 became year-2000 safe with SR-2.
This version of Microsoft Office was released on November 19, 1996. It was designed for Windows 95 despite the fact it is Office 97 which is very similar to Windows 98. Although designed for Windows 95, it runs on Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows Me. It will run on Windows XP, Vista and 7 with Program Compatibility mode but if installed on Windows 7 it destroys UAC completely.
Microsoft Word 97 included a pinball game easter-egg and Microsoft Excel 97 included a flight simulator easter-egg.
Microsoft Office 97 came in 5 editions:
- Standard Edition, which includes Word 97, Excel 97, PowerPoint 97 and Outlook 97
- Professional Edition, which includes Word 97, Excel 97, PowerPoint 97, Outlook 97, Access 97 and Bookshelf Basics
- Small Business Edition, which includes Word 97, Excel 97, Outlook 97, Small Business Financial Manager 97 and Publisher 97
- Small Business Edition 2.0, which includes Word 97, Excel 97, Outlook 97 (can be upgraded to Outlook 98), Publisher 98, Small Business Financial Manager 98, Direct Mail Manager and Expedia Streets 98
- Developer Edition, which includes Word 97, Excel 97, PowerPoint 97, Outlook 97, Access 97, Developer Tools, SDK and Bookshelf Basics.
Additionally, on June 20 1998, Japanese and Korean versions Microsoft Office 97 were revised being called Microsoft Office 97 Powered by Word 98. It was the same as the above listed editions except Word 97 and Outlook 97 are updated to Word 98 and Outlook 98. In the Small Business Edition, Publisher 98 is included in place of Publisher 97.