Microsoft has officially unveiled Mac Office 2001 by demonstrating new E-mail editing features and a brand spanking new PIM (Personal Information Manager). Microsoft touts the new features as a linking feature around which the rest of Mac Office 2001 will revolve. According to Microsoft:
Microsoft Corp. today announced a new integrated e-mail and personal information manager for the upcoming release of Office 2001 Macintosh Edition. The new application is designed to make communication effortless with industry-leading e-mail editing and management tools. The new program will help users centralize personal information and manage their time. Tight integration with Microsoft Office 2001 Macintosh Edition will enable people to use the tools in Office to get more out of their personal information. Office 2001 Macintosh Edition, the world's most popular productivity suite for the Macintosh, is scheduled to be available in the second half of this year.
Effortless Editing and E-Mail Management
With Office 2001 Macintosh Edition, Microsoft introduces new features that make it easier to compose e-mail messages. The improved Address AutoComplete feature saves the most recently used addresses, giving users access to those not previously saved. In addition, Microsoft Word-like editing tools have been integrated into the new application, enabling customers composing e-mail messages to enjoy the powerful, familiar editing functionality found in Microsoft Word. For example, misspelled words are visually highlighted and common errors are simultaneously fixed with the AutoCorrect feature. Customers can define words and view spelling suggestions with the click of a button, using the built-in Microsoft Encarta World English Dictionary.
Flexible tools in Office 2001 Macintosh Edition help make e-mail management effortless. The Flag for Follow-up feature helps users organize their e-mail and set automated reminders, and Custom Views enables them to see only the information they want, such as unread messages, or messages from a specified sender.
Taking Control of Personal Information
For the first time, Macintosh customers will be able to centralize their contact information, schedule and to-do list in Office. "Our customers have told us they currently use multiple applications to manage e-mail and personal information. That's just too cumbersome," Browne said.
The new, comprehensive Address Book includes a Summary view, which displays all contact information at a glance. With the click of a button, common tasks such as locating an address or finding driving directions from Expedia.com can be automated within the Summary view. In addition to using separate tabs in the Address Book for home, work and personal data, customers can further organize their personal information by applying their own color-coded categories to e-mail messages, contacts, appointments and tasks. The integrated Calendar enables customers to better organize their schedules and set reminders for important events, dates and projects from any Office 2001 Macintosh Edition application. A new Task list with built-in reminders keeps track of multiple projects. In addition, the personal information manager synchronizes with 3Com Palm Organizers so customers on the go can access their Calendar, Address Book, Tasks and Notes from wherever they are. The new application also integrates with MSN Hotmail accounts so customers can manage their e-mail with the tools of this new application.
"Integration makes this new application the hub of Office 2001," Browne said. "Customers can access the Calendar and Address Book from any Office application." For example, users can track Office projects by flagging the file for follow-up with an automated reminder, which makes the Calendar the Office-wide timekeeper. And because the Address Book is accessible from any Office application, it is easy to use contact information for tasks such as performing a mail merge in Microsoft Word. Further, the Links feature lets users better manage tasks and organize information by linking together items, such as any e-mail message, task, calendar event, contact or any files. According to Browne, "Integration will not only make this new application more powerful, it will help people get more out of Office and their Macintosh."