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Microsoft Commits to New Versions of Office for Mac OS
Posted on 11-Jan-2006 10:17. | Tags Filed under: News.

Microsoft Corp.'s Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) has announced a formal five-year agreement that reinforces Microsoft's plans to develop Microsoft Office for Mac software for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

The Mac BU outlined several upcoming improvements to Entourage 2004 for Mac and said it plans to build converters to read the new Microsoft Office Open XML Formats.

Microsoft is putting the final touches on a number of Entourage 2004 enhancements scheduled for delivery in March 2006. Since the release of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), the Mac BU has worked with Apple to enable Sync Services integration with Entourage information and data.

Customers will soon be able to sync their Entourage calendar, address book, notes and tasks with handheld devices that also work with Sync Services. Support for Spotlight, another Tiger feature, will allow customers to more effectively search Entourage e-mail messages, as they are already able to do with their Office 2004 for Mac Word, PowerPoint and Excel files.

The Mac BU has enhanced Smart Card technology for customers who need to send digitally signed and encrypted e-mail messages.

The Mac BU will release new features to Messenger for Mac as well. While the current version of Messenger for Mac provides more secure messaging and file transfers within the firewall, Messenger for Mac 5.1 will allow users to send files more securely to external contacts.

The updated Messenger for Mac version also will be better able to determine a user's location and where to send the message if the user is logged into Microsoft Office Live Communications Server on more than one machine. In addition, IT managers will have improved control over how they save chats at an organizational level. Messenger 5.1 is expected to be released in March 2006.

The Mac BU will issue converters that let Office for Mac users read the new Microsoft Office Open XML Format. These downloadable converters will be released for current versions of Office for Mac following the availability of the next version of Office for Windows.

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