Office v. X arrives

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Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) today officially announced the release of Office v. X, the much-anticipated suite of applications built for Mac OS X. Office v. X includes Entourage X, Word X, Excel X and PowerPoint X, as well as many extras like Windows Media Player X and an Import Mail to help users transition from Apple's built-in Mail application.

"We're delighted to bring our award-winning set of productivity tools to Mac OS X," said Kevin Browne, general manager of the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft Corp. "Office v. X delivers on the promise of Mac OS X by taking full advantage of the new operating system, and by adding many new and improved features as well. When our customers pick up their copy of Office v. X this week, they will finally be able to work full time in Mac OS X."

Office v. X takes advantage of many of the built-in technologies of Mac OS X like the Aqua interface, Sheets and the Quartz graphics engine. Sheets have replaced select dialog boxes and alerts in Office v. X, enabling users to multitask within or between applications. When a user clicks to save a Word document, for instance, a Sheet appears in place of a dialog box. The user can choose to open a different Word document or continue working in another application, without having to complete the save first.

Quartz graphics technology in Office v. X makes it possible to create graphically rich documents. It allows users to add anti-aliased lines and shapes to give documents a smooth and finished appearance. Quartz also enables true transparency, so shapes, objects and pictures can be layered to reveal items behind them.

"Microsoft has created the new benchmark Mac OS X application -- Office v. X -- and Mac users are going to be thrilled with it," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "Now users of Mac OS X can seamlessly exchange documents with users running Office on Windows."

Office v. X will be available as an upgrade for an estimated retail price of US$299 and as a standard version for $499. Until January 18, 2002, users of Office 2001 for Mac, Word 2001 for Mac, Excel 2001 for Mac, PowerPoint 2001, Word + Entourage Special Edition (SE) can upgrade for $149 directly from Microsoft. Between now and Dec. 31, Microsoft is offering a Technology Guarantee to customers who have acquired Office 2001 for Mac or an individual application such as Word 2001 for Mac. The Technology Guarantee makes these customers eligible for a free copy of Office v. X for Mac. For details and to download the coupon for the Technology Guarantee, customers can visit the MacBU Web site or their nearest reseller.

Related Links:

Hands on with Excel, PowerPoint and Word X

Hands on with Office v. X: Entourage X

Hands on with Office v. X: The Extras

This story, "Office v. X arrives" was originally published by PCWorld.

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