Microsoft Announces the Immediate Availability of Office 97

NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of Office 97, the new version of the world’s best-selling productivity suite, which integrates the ease of intelligent applications with the power of the Web. Microsoft launched Office 97 with a worldwide, 30-city tour and a customer event today in New York that includes a keynote address by Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates and a special guest appearance by NBC broadcaster Bob Costas.

Over 80 percent of the improvements in Microsoft® Office 97 result from direct customer feedback. Using a variety of research methods, Microsoft designers and developers gathered and analyzed information from thousands of software users worldwide, including interviewing more than 5,000 people. Microsoft managers also participated in 1,000 on-site visits with customers to observe their work habits and software usage. Nearly 25,000 hours were spent in usability testing and research to ensure the product’s intuitive operation. Available in stores today, Microsoft Office 97 delivers hundreds of innovations to enhance productivity and lower the cost of licensing software.

“Our investment in understanding the needs of customers and our continued ability to deliver exciting enhancements are the cornerstone of Office’s ongoing success,”
said Gates.

Customers will be very pleased with the Internet integration, the new collaboration capabilities of Outlook
97, and the IntelliSense
™technology featured in the Office Assistant.”

Momentum Building

The 55 million users of Microsoft Office applications indicate the popularity of the product; the availability of Office 97 has been eagerly anticipated. Microsoft has received advance orders of 500,000 copies to fulfill initial demand from the nearly 10,000 retail outlets offering Office 97, and 3 million copies have been presold through corporate licensing agreements.

“Office 97 is the most significant software release since Windows® 95,”
said Larry Mondry, executive vice president of merchandising for CompUSA.
“We will be supporting its launch at retail with an exciting exclusive promotion targeted at small-business and home-office customers, as well as with prominent displays and periodic in-store demonstrations.”

Since its unveiling at COMDEX/Fall 96 in Las Vegas, Office 97 has garnered numerous industry awards including COMDEX 96 Best of Show (November 1996), PC Week Analysts Choice (December 1996) and BYTE Magazine’s 1997 Editors Choice. In a recent PC Magazine article titled
“What’s New for ’97,”
columnist John C. Dvorak said,
“Office 97 is going to be a huge success. Office 97 should be the hot seller among software in 1997. The product has megawinner written all over it.”

The popularity of Microsoft Office is at an all-time high and shows no signs of slowing. With leading sales in all customer segments, Microsoft has high expectations for Office 97. In its year-end market report, market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) showed Microsoft Office with 90 percent of the overall suite category.

New Versions of Individual Office Applications

Office 97 includes significant new versions of its component applications, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, the PowerPoint® presentation graphics program and Microsoft Outlook. New in Office 97 is the Microsoft Outlook desktop information manager. Outlook provides a powerful means for users to manage information, track documents and communicate with others. Integrating e-mail, scheduling, contact management, task management and a journal module for tracking documents and events, Outlook operates as the central
of activity for Office 97 users.

New collaboration and communication tools implemented throughout the Office suite help users easily create and share information with others. Users can work on the same spreadsheet simultaneously, store multiple versions of documents in a single file, and manage revisions to documents made by multiple users.

Internet technologies in Office 97 make it simple for users to create hyperlinks, publish content on the Web in HTML or Office file formats, find Office or HTML documents on their organization’s network, and even edit Office documents live inside their Web browser.

“With Office 97’s Web awareness and VBA functionality, development and integration of incredibly robust and quickly engineered Office intranet solutions becomes conceivable,”
said Nicole Vogel, manager of systems integration at Turner Broadcasting Sales Inc.
“Our solution, TurnerActive, allows our interactive and cable sales forces to keep ahead of the Internet curve in this ever-emerging and increasingly powerful medium.”

With approximately 50 percent of the code in Office 97 shared across all the applications, users will be able to take advantage of many new tools, such as the Office Assistant and Office Art in each. The Office Assistant is a new animated help system that unifies online user assistance, lets users ask questions in their own words, and interactively provides suggestions to help users get more out of their software. Office Art is a new set of powerful drawing tools, designed to help users create professional, appealing graphics in all Microsoft Office documents.

New and improved capabilities in each application include the following:

  • Microsoft Outlook 97. Outlook 97 makes it easier for users to communicate with others by integrating e-mail, scheduling, contacts, tasks and access to documents. Innovative e-mail functionality such as AutoPreview displays the first three lines of each e-mail message so users can quickly prioritize which messages to read or delete. Message Flags allow users to mark e-mail messages to help prioritize follow-up actions. The breakthrough technology of Outlook Journal helps users find a document by when it was created, not just by what it was called or where it was saved. Outlook is well-integrated with Office 97 and provides WordMail 97, Word mail merge with Outlook Contacts, AutoJournal Office documents and the ability to create Outlook tasks from Office applications. Outlook e-mail will work with the Internet, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Mail Server, MSN
    , The Microsoft Network, CompuServe and cc:Mail.

  • Microsoft Word 97. Word 97 gives users everything they need to create professional-looking documents, communicate their ideas and share information on the printed page, across intranets or on the Internet. The Letter Wizard structures the layout of a letter and inserts dates and addresses automatically, and Grammar Check proofreads documents for grammatical errors as users type. The new Table Drawing Tool allows users to use an on-screen pencil to easily create tables to fit any data needs. Workgroup collaboration tools such as Track Changes records changes made by multiple users, and In-Place Comments allows users to add notes to a document without altering the original text. Versioning allows users to track and store all previous versions of a document in one file. Hyperlinking, Save as HTML and a new Web Page Wizard make it easy for users to create documents for intranets or the Internet.

  • Microsoft Excel 97. Microsoft Excel 97 includes new analysis tools that make it easy to turn numbers into answers. Formula AutoCorrect automatically fixes common formula mistakes as users make them, and natural language formulas let users build formulas using their own words. New formatting tools, such as Rotated Text and improved charting, and features such as PivotTable® dynamic views allow users to produce better-looking output in print or electronic form. New collaboration tools such as Shared Workbooks allow multiple users to edit the same spreadsheet simultaneously and Track Changes records changes made by multiple users; New Web technologies such as Web Queries and URLs in Formulas bring information from the Web directly into Microsoft Excel for rich analysis and presentation.

  • Microsoft Access 97. Microsoft Access 97 builds upon its rich tradition of innovation by extending the role of desktop databases to the Web. Microsoft Access 97 integrates data from a wide variety of formats, including HTML. Users can create Web pages that contain live views of their data so that Web browsers can interactively query, update or add information. In addition, Microsoft Access 97 offers greatly enhanced 32-bit performance including smaller forms, more efficient compilation and enhanced data management technology such as partial replication. Regardless of users’ database expertise, Microsoft Access 97 provides tools to get them started and help them use data to make better decisions.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 97. PowerPoint 97 delivers numerous innovations that enable presenters to easily organize, powerfully illustrate and flexibly deliver their ideas in the office, on the road or on the Internet. To help users organize presentations, Custom Shows allows them to store several versions of the same presentation in one file, while Slide Finder simplifies the locating and recycling of old slides for use in new presentations. New animation effects, sounds, clip art, drawing and charting capabilities bring presentations to life. The Save as HTML Wizard automatically creates complete Web presentations including navigation controls, frames and animations that take advantage of the PowerPoint Animation Player browser extension. Users can even record and add their own voice to these online presentations. PowerPoint 97 also provides major performance improvements, with 50 percent smaller files and faster opening and saving of presentation files.

Experience Office 97 in a City Near You

Kicking off a 30-city world tour today at the Lincoln Center in New York City are Bill Gates and Bob Costas. The Experience Office 97 Tour is a no-charge, two-hour event designed to give users who work with desktop applications a detailed tour through the new features and capabilities of Office 97. Attendees will also learn more about the latest version of the complete line of Microsoft desktop applications including the Microsoft FrontPage
™Web authoring and management tool, Microsoft Team Manager and Microsoft Publisher. In addition, the events will feature the 32-bit Windows 95 and Windows NT® Workstation operating systems, plus demonstrations of Office 97 used with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. To find out when the Experience Office 97 Tour is scheduled to appear in your area, please call (800) 613-6103.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Outlook, IntelliSense, Windows , PowerPoint , MSN, PivotTable, FrontPage and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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