RealTime IT News

Microsoft Office XP Goes for the Test Drive

Microsoft launched today an extensive trial program of it Office XP. Over 1 million individuals from Seattle to Sydney will be given the opportunity to test drive the product before it officially hits the stands in late May.

The Redmond-based company is specifically offering users an opportunity to order a 30-day trial kit of Office XP. The kit includes the actual product and a demonstration CD. The trial program is not totally free. U.S. customers, for example, will be expected to pay $9.95 for shipping and handling costs.

"We think seeing is believing, and we're confident our customers will find this is the best version of Office yet," says Microsot Office Senior VP Steven Sinofsky.

In related news, Microsoft also provided details today regarding the Office XP Product lineup and the product's technology gaurantee.

There are four versions of Office XP, ranging from Microsoft Office XP Standard for the user requiring a core set of desktop productivity tools to Microsoft Office XP Developer for those of you out there that are professional software developers.

The most complete solution, appears to be, the Microsoft Office XP Professional. It offers, for example, new features in Word 2002, Excel 2002, PowerPoint 2002, Outlook 2002 and Access 2002.

Hardware manufacturers are already gearing up to offer Office XP preinstalled on new PCs. Case and point: Houston-based Dell Computers.

"We think Office XP will be an extremely popular product with our customers, and we look forward to offering Office XP with Dell computer systems," says Bill Amelio, senior vice president and co-general manager of corporate business for Dell.

Customers interested in purchasing a new PC with Office XP preinstalled will be able to choose from two Office XP suites: Office XP Small Business and Office XP Professional with Publisher.

As regard the technology guarantee, Microsoft announced today that customers who obtain the Office 2000 suite or individual applications between April 2 and June 30, 2001, are eligible to receive the corresponding Office XP suite or application free of charge (shipping and handling charges may apply, and the technology guarantee dates may vary for different geographies based on product availability).

John Lostroscio, vice president and general merchandising manager for CompUSA, for example, anticipates great demand for Office XP at CompUSA's stores.

"The Office XP Technology Guarantee program will enable our customers to take advantage of Office 2000 productivity enhancements now, and then get the additional value with Office XP when it is available".