Microsoft preps Office 2004 for Mac OS X; plans to ship in May

“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

33 Comments

  1. >>”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.”<<

    Is this 11% of ALL businesses with $50 million revenue or greater? I would assume so, since I dare say Mac businesses running Office X should be much higher than this. So the myth of 2% marketshare dismantled again.

  2. 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.

    yiak! Microsoft cannot come up with anything noble…
    It’s taking them ages to copy OS X, therefore Longhorn is delayed…

  3. This just in:
    In a press conference at the company’s headquarters in Redmont, Oregon, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced a surprise deal with the Cupertino, California based computer maker Apple. According to Mr. Ballmer, Microsoft has decided to discontinue the development of its next major operating system version, codename Longhorn. Instead, Mircrosoft will license Apple Corp.’s operating system MacOSX. The system will be adapted to support Intel based computers by Apple’s own software department.
    “Hey, we looked at our options,” Mr. Ballmer is quoted, “and we are nowhere near producing a competitive and secure operating system. We therefore decided to rather market the leading operating system under our own brand name.”
    The new system, named Windows X, will appear in stores in late summer. Older applications will run in a classic environment, named VPC, an application produced by a recently acquired Microsoft subsidiary.
    Analysts were surprised by the move but noted that it will allow Microsoft to close down its problem ridden Windows development unit. Stock prices for both companies went up in trade, although one brokerage house adamantly refused to remove AAPL’s stock from the sell list. Analysts Enderle and Thurott were quick to point out that the evolving deal will be the final blow to straggling computer maker Apple.
    Apple CEO Stephen Jobs was seen laughing wildly while on the way to his bank.
    More at 11.

  4. I get by just fine using TextEdit or AppleWorks, both of which came free with my lovely eMac.

    I’m a graphic designer, what the f**k do I need a glorified typewriter for? All I do is write simple letters to clients, I don’t need anything else.

    Micro$oft Word $ucks.

  5. allgood, note that “considering Macs are often run in shops where Windows dominates, cross-platform availability is a major consideration”…..meaning that although 11% of big companies use office for mac, not all of their computers are necessarily macs. The market share myth lives.

    Also, are we not supposed to NOT include “dumb terminals” in the equation anyway?

  6. As someone gradually switching my small business over to Macs, I can tell those making negative comments about Word that it would have been completely impossible without Word on the Mac. Our research consultancy sends documents back and forth that must be read and often edited. With Word so widely used–regardless of its flaws–very few businesses could ever consider buying Macs without it.

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