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RealTime IT News

MacOffice 2004 Previews

Microsoft wants Mac users to get in touch with their inner business suits by upgrading to Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, released today.

To woo the loyal band of Apple Computer owners, the Redmond, Wash.-based software vendor is offering a free 30-day "test drive" of the software.

Office 2004 for Mac Standard and Student and Teacher editions include collaboration features, so Mac users can share documents among themselves or with those who use other platforms.

New Office features include enhancements to the Track Changes feature and instant messaging (IM) integration, so that users can launch conversations directly from a comment in Microsoft Word. MSN Messenger also has improved file sharing, so users can send and receive files even through a corporate firewall.

An Office Project Center manages e-mail messages, files, contacts, meetings and tasks related to a particular project, and the information can be shared with others. A cut-and-paste Scrapbook offers access to the most-often-used text, logos and pictures; it can be accessed from all four Office programs A Project Palette within the Toolbox provides at-a-glance access to key project information, while the Project Gallery now includes tabs that divide it into distinct sections.

Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition, which includes Virtual PC for Mac Version 7, will be available in the second half of 2004, the company said. International editions will be rolled out in the next month and a half.