“Microsoft said Monday that it has wrapped up development work on Office 2004–the latest Macintosh version of Office–with the software slated to hit stores next month. The company said it will start mass-producing copies of the software next week, intending to have it on retail store shelves by the third week of May. As previously reported, Office 2004 adds a number of new features, including a new note-taking mode within Word and a project center for improved collaboration,” Ina Fried reports for CNET News. “Microsoft had promised that the software would debut in the first half of this year.”
“‘Things have gone really well,’ said Jessica Sommer, a project manager in Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit. ‘The bug counts have been very low.’ Microsoft is not making any pricing changes with Office 2004. Last year, the company cut the price of Mac Office by $100, to $399, for the standard version. The company also has a $149 student and teacher version and a $499 ‘professional’ version that includes Virtual PC for the Mac,” Fried reports.
“Although Microsoft was initially disappointed with sales of the Mac OS X version of Office, Sommer said sales have improved, as more Mac users have switched to new versions of the Mac OS,” Fried reports. “‘We’ve seen stronger sales in the past year than in the first year,’ Sommer said. ‘That’s pretty obviously due to OS X adoption.'” Full article here.
“According to Jupiter Research, 11 percent of businesses with $50 million revenue or greater, report running Office v. X, while another 8 percent plan Office 2004 upgrades this year,” Jim Dalrymple writes for MacCentral. “‘Without Mac Office, Apple would have a harder time selling systems to companies where the productivity suite is essential; considering Macs are often run in shops where Windows dominates, cross-platform availability is a major consideration,’ Joe Wilcox, senior analyst at Jupiter Research, says. ‘About 90 percent of business users run Office, so the Mac version is a must-have product in Apple’s catalog.'”
“Apple and Microsoft have been friends and rivals since the companies first began. Over the years, features and the look and feel of products tend to be similar after application revisions, and as Wilcox points out, even Microsoft’s upcoming Longhorn operating system has some familiar features,” Dalrymple writes. “‘People forget that Microsoft’s early application success was on the Macintosh first, with Excel and Word, long before Windows,’ says Wilcox. ‘No operating system is successful without good applications, so, from that perspective Apple owes much to Microsoft. Over the years, Microsoft has taken many cues from Apple, starting with the graphical user interface adopted for Windows. Apple’s mark is on forthcoming products, too–a number of Longhorn’s publicly showcased features bear striking resemblance to Mac OS X.'” Full article here.
Related MacDailyNews article:
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software – May 16, 2003