Release the Bits! Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Nears Completion

REDMOND, Wash., April 6, 2004 — Somewhere in the United States, a PowerBook’s heart skipped a beat in anticipation. On a small island in Japan, the Mac OS X Finder’s smile flashed to a full-toothed grin. The word is out: In eight short days, on April 14, Microsoft®
Office 2004 for Mac will be released to manufacturers (RTM) for production, marking a milestone in the delivery of the best version of Office for Mac ever. And starting today, eager Mac users can preorder Office 2004.

“Customer feedback on early versions of Office 2004 for Mac has been overwhelmingly positive; we are really excited to get it out the door and into the hands of our customers,” said Roz Ho, general manager for the Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) at Microsoft Corp. “The entire Mac BU has been working hard through research, development and testing to build a new version of Office for Mac that meets our customers’ evolving needs. I couldn’t be more proud of the talented team of Mac users in the Mac BU.”

Office 2004 for Mac will be available by the third week of May. Customers who want to be among the first to license Office 2004 can easily do so — no camping equipment required. Starting today, customers can preorder the newest version of the leading productivity suite for the Mac platform from The Apple Store online, MacConnection, MacMall and MacZone. Customers can check for more information and links to these resellers.

Developed specifically for Mac users, Office 2004 is designed to help customers work smarter, providing new tools to help users effortlessly manage information, share ideas and create with confidence. More Office 2004 features also were announced today and are designed to help Office users create stunning documents. An online Flash demo of the tools listed below, as well as other Office 2004 features, can be accessed at .

  • Charting improvements in Excel 2004. New charting tools make quantum leaps in helping create amazing charts and graphs.

  • Smart buttons in Word and Excel 2004. Smart buttons give unprecedented control over powerful automatic functions in Word or Excel documents.

  • New design templates, animations and transitions in PowerPoint

    Office 2004 features more than 100 brand-new design templates and new, smoother transitions and animations.

  • Save as Picture in Office. This feature allows users to save objects drawn in Office as separate graphics files.

  • Soft Shadows in Office. New, fully adjustable Soft Shadows add a measure of elegance to every document.

In the weeks to follow, six localized versions of Office 2004 for Mac will be released to manufacturers: French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish.

About Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit

The Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft is a leading developer of software and online products for the Macintosh platform. With the largest Mac-focused development team outside Apple Computer Inc., the Mac BU comprises approximately 160 full-time Mac product experts. Committed to the Macintosh platform since 1997, the Mac BU delivers award-winning products developed to meet the unique needs of Mac users. Current products include Microsoft Office v. X for Mac, a productivity suite that includes the e-mail application and personal information manager Entourage® X, Word X, Excel X and PowerPoint X; Internet Explorer 5.2 for Mac; MSN®
for Mac OS X; MSN Messenger for Mac Version 3.5; and Virtual PC for Mac Version 6.1. Office 2004 for Mac will be available in May 2004. More information about the Mac BU and Microsoft Macintosh products is available at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, PowerPoint, Entourage and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Apple, Mac and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer Inc.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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