SAN FRANCISCO — Jan. 10, 2006 — Microsoft Corp.’s Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) today announced at Macworld Conference & Expo 2006 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. The commitment agreement and product announcements emphasize the cooperation between the two companies and serve as significant indicators of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to the Mac platform.
“Microsoft has a history of successful collaboration with Apple, and this agreement underscores our commitment to the Mac platform,” said Tom Gibbons, vice president of the Consumer Productivity eXperiences Business at Microsoft. “We’ve had many years of success with Office for Mac, and this formal commitment confirms that we’re in the Mac business for the long haul.”
For more than 20 years, the Mac BU has collaborated with customers, other Microsoft teams and Apple Computer Inc. to deliver leading-edge productivity software. The agreement paves the way for the two companies to combine talents to meet the needs of Mac customers now and in the future.
“Microsoft’s Mac BU continues to be a great Mac developer, bringing innovative and compatible versions of Microsoft Office to Mac customers,” said Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing at Apple. “The Mac platform has never been stronger, and we’re pleased that Microsoft is committed to delivering great Mac products for many years to come.”
Entourage 2004 Delivers on Customer Requests
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.
Messenger for Mac Meets Enterprise Needs
The Mac BU will release new features that continue to make Messenger for Mac an ideal messaging application for Mac enterprise customers. 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 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.
Mac BU Focuses on Cross-Platform Compatibility
Seamless cross-platform compatibility is of prime importance to Mac users and remains a key focus of the Mac BU. To ensure that Office for Mac customers receive the highest level of compatibility, 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®. The Mac BU partners daily with many groups at Microsoft to help ensure that its software operates smoothly with software on the Windows platform. Through this ongoing collaboration, the team is well positioned to continue identifying new and creative ways to help Mac users work smarter.
About Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit
The Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft is a leading developer of software and online products for the Macintosh platform. The group comprises more than 180 full-time Mac product experts and is dedicated to creating innovative software for Mac customers worldwide. For more than 20 years, Microsoft has developed award-winning software for the Mac. Current products include Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, a productivity suite that includes the e-mail application and personal information manager Entourage 2004, Word 2004, Excel 2004, PowerPoint 2004 and Messenger for Mac 5.0, and Virtual PC for Mac Version 7.0. More information about the Mac BU and Microsoft Macintosh products is available at http://www.microsoft.com/mac.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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