Microsoft Makes Five-Year Commitment to Office on the Mac

| Macworld/iWorld Expo

SAN FRANCISCO -- As mentioned during Apple CEO Steve Jobsi Macworld keynote, Microsoftis Macintosh Business Unit (MBU) formally announced Tuesday morning a new five-year commitment to deliver new versions of Office for Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. The MBU plans to deliver improvements to Entourage 2004 and Messenger for Mac in March and will build converters that read Microsoftis new Office Open XML file formats.

Scheduled enhancements to Entourage 2004 include syncing Entourage calendars, address books, notes and tasks with handheld devices that support Sync Services. In addition, support for Spotlight searches in Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" will be added, and the MBU will enhance Smart Card technology for users who require digitally signed and encrypted e-mail.

Messenger for Mac 5.1 will enable secure file transfer with users outside a firewall, and it will offer an improved ability to figure out where a user is located if they are logged into Microsoft Office Live Communications Server at more than one computer. In addition, IT managers will have more options for saving IM chats at an organizational level.

Finally, the MBUis converters for reading Microsoftis new Office Open XML file format will be released after the next version of Office for Windows (Office 12) comes out. Office 12 is scheduled for release late in 2006, approximately the same time Windows Vista is expected to be released.

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