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Office 2004 for Mac Hits the Street

Microsoft on Wednesday announced the general availability of Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac.

The product suite, one of the most important applications for the Apple Macintosh platform, got an endorsement from Apple. Vice president of Apple's worldwide developer relations, Ron Okamoto, called Office 2004 for Mac "the most innovative version of Office yet." In a statement, Okamoto said, "Office 2004 offers many Mac-only and Mac-first features."

Some of the highest profile new features include change tracking enhancements such as comment balloons, quick change accepting or rejecting and integration with MSN Messenger to allow the launch of an instant message session directly from a document comment. The new version also features unicode support and long-file name support.

Microsoft is offering what it calls the Office 2004 Test Drive, which allows a 30-day free trial. A Flash demo of the new Office 2004 for Mac features is available at www.microsoft.com/mac/.

The English and Japanese versions are the first to hit the market. Next month, Microsoft plans to ship French, Italian, Swedish, German and Spanish versions. A professional edition that includes Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 will be available after Virtual PC for Mac 7 ships sometime in the second quarter.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.