Twenty years ago, Microsoft Corp. was one of the first companies to create software for the Mac. Today at the Macworld Conference & Expo, Microsoft and its Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) celebrate two decades of innovation, customer research and testing to ensure an unparalleled experience for its customers. Now Microsoft is helping Mac users work smarter than ever before by announcing its intent to deliver Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac and Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 during the first half of 2004.

“When I first joined Microsoft 13 years ago, I worked on Office 1.5 for Mac. I’ve seen the evolution of our products firsthand, and Office 2004 is our proudest accomplishment to date,” said Roz Ho, general manager of Microsoft’s Mac BU. “I’m using Office as it’s being developed and am constantly amazed at how the new features help me work more effectively, letting me focus on the really fun part of my job—developing software. I know our customers will feel just as passionately about Office 2004 as I do when it launches later this year.”

Today’s Macworld keynote address revealed just how Microsoft is helping Mac users work smarter—and now buy smarter. Not only did Microsoft preview a few new features in Office 2004, it also announced a promotion in which, starting Jan. 6, anyone who licenses Microsoft Office v. X for Mac will receive a free* copy of Office 2004 when it ships.

“Microsoft’s new Office 2004 for Mac includes many Mac-first features and is the best version of Office yet,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing at Apple. “Office is a must-have productivity suite for many Mac users, and we’re pleased that the Microsoft Mac BU continues to show its dedication to the Mac platform by delivering great products for Mac users now and for years to come.”

Microsoft conducted extensive customer research to determine what enhancements to make to Word, Excel, PowerPoint® and Entourage®. As a result, Office 2004 for Mac is packed with new tools to help Mac users better manage, create and share information. Following are a few key features of Office 2004 for Mac—all of which are Mac firsts that Microsoft delivered first for the Mac platform. Additional details will be unveiled in the coming months.

Manage Information Efficiently

*Project Center. Finally, there is one simple way to view and stay on top of all e-mails, files, contacts, meetings and tasks related to a particular project. Users can share project information with others to keep them just as organized.

*Word Notebook Layout View. Designed to look like ruled notebook paper, this tool allows users to quickly take notes, search and flag relevant information and even record audio directly into a Word document.

Create With Confidence

*Scrapbook. This feature allows quick access to things that consumers need most often—including text, logos, favorite pictures of Fido and more—right at their fingertips.

*Excel Page Layout View. This allows users to view and manipulate directly in the spreadsheet exactly what they will see on paper, including margins, headers, footers and page layout.

Share Ideas

*Compatibility Reports. Share information and ideas seamlessly with nearly anyone on any platform. These reports detail issues that may be problematic on another platform or with older versions of Office, giving you the option to fix them.

Buy Office v. X, Get Office 2004 Free

Consumers who pick up a copy of Office v. X for Mac any time from today until 30 days after the availability of Office 2004 for Mac can obtain the new product for free, plus shipping and handling. The promotion also provides inexpensive upgrades to the Office 2004 Professional Edition: $90 estimated reseller price (ERP) (U.S.)* from Office v. X Standard Edition and $129 ERP (U.S.)* from Office v. X Student and Teacher Edition (reseller prices may vary). The promotion is valid throughout the United States and Canada, as well as internationally. (For details specific to each country, consumers should check with their local Mac reseller.) Additional details and redemption coupons are available at

Office 2004 for Mac Product Lineup

There will be three versions of Office 2004 for Mac:

*Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Standard Edition. This includes Word 2004, Excel 2004, PowerPoint 2004, Entourage 2004 and MSN® Messenger Version 4.0.

*Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Student and Teacher Edition. This is the same offering as Standard Edition, but is available for a discounted price for qualified students and teachers.

*Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition. This is the same offering as Standard Edition, but also includes Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 with Windows® XP Professional.

All editions of Office 2004 for Mac will be offered in English, with certain editions localized in French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish. For the first time since Office 98, Office for Mac also will be localized in Italian. Users should check with local resellers for more information.

Introducing Virtual PC for Mac Version 7

Mac users who need a bridge to the Windows world can benefit from Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac Version 7. It provides access to Windows-only software, networks and devices—without users having to leave their Macs. Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 with Windows XP Professional will ship for the first time as part of Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition and as a stand-alone product in the first half of 2004. Virtual PC 7 will be available with other guest operating systems a few months after this debut. Customers can look forward to key enhancements over the current version 6.1, including performance and usability improvements, as well as compatibility with the Macintosh G5.