Office 2004 for Mac Hits Store Shelves

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-05-19 Print this article Print

Microsoft makes the next Office release for Mac OS X generally available, though the edition bundled with Virtual PC 7 remains delayed until the fall.

Microsoft Corp. will announce on Wednesday that its Office 2004 for Mac has reached store shelves. As planned, the Redmond, Wash., software maker is releasing its Mac productivity suite in the third week of this month, following its unveiling in January during the Macworld Conference & Expo. While the standard and the student and teacher editions will be available Wednesday, Microsoft has slowed the release of the professional edition of the suite. Thats because, as previously reported, Microsoft hit a snag in releasing Virtual PC for Mac Version 7, its Windows emulation software that is included in the professional edition. Virtual PC 7 and the Office professional edition should be ready in the fall, said Mary Starman, lead product manager in Microsofts Mac Business Unit.
For insights on Macintosh coverage around the Web, check out Executive Editor Matthew Rothenbergs Weblog.
Virtual PC 7 is the first release of the software since Microsoft acquired it last year from Connectix Corp. The later release schedule is the result of the need to do a thorough security audit of the software and delays in Windows XP Service Pack 2, Starman said. Office 2004 for Mac is Microsofts second Mac OS X-native Office version, following the release of Office v. X for Mac in 2001. The suite includes Word 2004 for word processing; Excel 2004 for spreadsheets; PowerPoint 2004 for presentations; Entourage 2004 for e-mail, contacts and calendaring; and MSN Messenger Version 4.0 for instant messaging. Click here to read more about Microsofts update earlier this month of MSN Messenger for the Mac. In the new release, Microsoft has added a feature called Project Center for managing files, e-mails, meetings and tasks associated with a particular project and for sharing project information with others. It also is providing new compatibility reports to pinpoint possible compatibility problems when sharing files between Mac and Windows platforms and with older Office versions. Other features range from an enhanced Scrapbook for storing commonly used text and images in Office documents and a page layout view in Excel that previews a printed document. Next page: Still missing ...

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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