Microsoft Releases New Tools for Office for Mac

| Macworld/iWorld Expo

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Microsoft announced Tuesday four new tools for Office 2004 for Mac that are aimed at both corporate and professionals users of the productivity suite. The company released .PST Import Tool to migrate data from Outlook 2001 for Mac to Entourage 2004, updates to Entourage 2004 and the next version of MSN Messenger for Mac that Microsoft said will make collaboration in the enterprise easier, and new templates for Office documents.

"Once we launch a product, our job as developers doesnit stop. We spend an incredible amount of time talking to our customers," said Roz Ho, general manager of the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft Corp. in a statement. "In the six months since we launched Office 2004, our customers told us they needed deeper Exchange support. We heard them, and itis coming."

.PST Import Tool - Microsoft released a public beta of .PST Import Tool, which facilitates migrating Mac users from Outlook 2001 to Entourage 2004, the companyis latest e-mail client for the Mac. The company said that input from IT pros that test the product will influence the direction the final product takes.

Increased Exchange Support for Entourage 2004 - Microsoftis biggest effort to boost its Mac tools for the corporate space was Entourage 2004, which included some compatibility with Microsoftis very popular Exchange Server. The update enhances that support, making the Mac that much more compatible with many corporate networks.

Mac users can view multiple calendars, and the update includes better integration with Global Address List (GAL). The company said that the update includes better synchronization between client and server. Microsoft said the update will be available sometime in the second half of 2005.

Improved Communication With MSN Messenger for Mac Version 5.0 - Microsoft has made it possible for Mac users of MSN Messenger to communicate within corporate Windows networks. Like the Entourage update, MSN Messenger includes improved support for GAL address lists. Lastly, the update allows users to view both personal and corporate messaging accounts from one location. This update will be released sometime in the first half of 2005.

Job Tools - Microsoft also launched Job Tools, a free online resource for job-specific tips the company said includes expert articles and customizable templates to further extend Office 2004. Phase one of the program delivers resources for K–12 teachers, marketing professionals and small-business owners. Additional occupations will be added as Mac BU gathers input from users.

The changes announced today come at the same time that Apple announced iWork, its own, more limited productivity suite with Pages, a word processing app, and Keynote, Appleis presentation software. The updates announced by Microsoft, however, further enhance the Macis presence in the corporate market, a market segment Apple does not appear to so far be targeting with Pages. You can find more information on iWork in TMOis full coverage.

You can find more information on Microsoftis announcement at the companyis dedicate Mac portal, Mactopia.

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