REDMOND, Wash., June 15, 2000 — Microsoft today underscored its long-term commitment to Macintosh users by announcing several innovative new features, included in the upcoming release of Microsoft Office 2001 Macintosh Edition, that will make the applications easier to use and help Macintosh users increase their productivity.
“An Apple customer is a Microsoft customer,”
said Irving Kwong, product manager in Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit.
“With that in mind, we’ve strived to make Microsoft’s products complement Apple’s products with the end goal of creating a really great computing experience for Macintosh users.”
Scheduled for release later this year, the new suite introduces new features and tools designed to help Macintosh users simplify tasks in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint 2001.
“The new suite fulfills the everyday computing needs of Macintosh customers by offering unsurpassed compatibility and features that appear first on the Macintosh platform,”
“This suite of applications is designed to increase productivity for the user. We thought there was plenty of room to innovate in productivity applications, which we’ve made simpler to use and to learn. New features, like the Project Gallery, are going to make it a snap for people to get started on their projects, while List Tools will make list management simple.”
List Tools, included in Excel 2001, anticipates the user’s intention to create a list and automatically offers to convert relevant cells into a manageable and sortable list. It also addresses the common problem of headers not being persistent as a list is printed or scrolled on a monitor. List Tools keeps list headers at the top of the screen or page as a user scrolls through a document or prints a multiple-page list.
Project Gallery provides a common starting point for each Office 2001 application. It also offers a central access point for new customizable templates and wizards for any Office application, enabling users to easily browse document samples such as business cards, greeting cards and calendars. Projects are organized in user-friendly folders that, once selected, expand to large preview icons, making it easy to find and view the right document.
As a result of Macintosh customer-specific research showing that current applications are overly complex and features are too difficult to find, learn and use, Microsoft redesigned Office 2001 features to mirror the ways in which Macintosh users are using Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint to accomplish everyday tasks. Both new and pre-existing features have been simplified, according to Kwong, and made more intuitive and less cumbersome.
“It’s a fact that the promise of the Macintosh has always been simplicity,”
“First and foremost, that’s exactly what we’re delivering in Office 2001. From start to finish, the concept of simplicity is embraced throughout the suite of applications.”
Color-rich customizable templates and wizards, for example, will help users quickly start and complete professional-looking documents such as catalogs, photo albums, newsletters and greeting cards. And the Formatting Palette simplifies common tasks by adapting and showing the appropriate tools for a particular job as a user works on different parts of a document, liberating the user from having to search for commands on toolbars and drop-down menus.
Office 2001 also introduces updated graphic features. Image Effects will allow users to make a photograph look as if it were sketched in charcoal, or appear as a mosaic by using the powerful Picture Effects filter that can, with the click of a button, change the entire look of an image. PowerPoint Movies can be viewed by anyone with the QuickTime player installed — regardless of whether they are using a Macintosh or have PowerPoint 2001.
One feature that developers expect users to be very pleased with is the Click-n-Type, which allows users to insert text into a document by simply double-clicking where they want to type, eliminating the time-consuming and cumbersome nature of inserting text, tables and graphics in exact locations in order to create professional-looking documents.
“This feature makes it easy to center-align titles, create indented paragraphs, or create a single line with text in different places,” said Kwong, “by showing users what formatting will be applied through simple cursor hinting and the automatic application of appropriate formatting, such as extra lines, tabs, alignment and text wrapping.”
According to Kwong, Microsoft’s commitment to Macintosh users is nothing new. As far back as 1983, Microsoft has been developing applications for the Macintosh, including numerous releases of Microsoft Excel, Word and Office.
“We were a leading developer of applications for the Macintosh back then, and we’re a leading developer now,”
And it’s no surprise, said Kwong, that Microsoft has won numerous awards for its development of Macintosh-specific applications — including best-of-show awards at every Macworld Expo since 1998.
“Microsoft strives to meet the needs of its customers worldwide,”
“The proof of this is the existence of the Macintosh Business Unit. Day in and day out, we eat and breathe the Macintosh. All our products are built from the ground up for the Macintosh and with Macintosh tools. We create products that provide customers a choice, and if customers choose to use a Macintosh, it’s important that they have access to the most popular applications.”