Expo Notes: Microsoft goes big on Office for Mac 2011 promotion

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Macworld Expo without Apple is a strange enough concept, but Macworld Expo with Microsoft as one of the largest and most visible companies present? It may seem like something out of Bizarro World, but Microsoft had one of the most prominently displayed booths on the Macworld Expo floor last week.

The hulking Microsoft banner in the middle of the expo floor was hard to miss

With a massive 3D banner hanging in the middle of the building, and full time mascots dressed up like Office icons roaming the floor, the message was crystal clear: Office for Mac 2011 is coming soon, and Microsoft wants you to know about it.

The Office icon mascots were seen spreading cheer and frightening small children throughout the day

The sizable Microsoft booth was well attended throughout the week, and featured a large, illustrated timeline that followed the history of Microsoft's involvement with Apple. The booth also featured large display screens that showed off the features of Office 2011, which include the new Outlook for Mac—set to replace the Entourage e-mail client—.PST file support, and a number of collaboration tools. There will also be some major compatibility improvements for users of both Mac and PCs.

While much has been said about the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple, this much seems clear: Microsoft is finally ready to play nicely, at least when it comes to its Office software.

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