Microsoft Announces Enhanced Microsoft Office for Macintosh

New Tools Designed to Help Small Businesses

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 7, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a new release of Microsoft® Office for the Macintosh, version 4.2.1, now enhanced to meet the specialized needs of small businesses. This new Office release combines the best-selling business productivity applications Microsoft Word 6.0.1, Microsoft Excel 5.0 and the Microsoft PowerPoint® presentation graphics program 4.0, with powerful tools to help businesses take full advantage of the power of the Internet, improve their productivity, save time and money, and project a professional image. The collection of business tools available with Microsoft Office for the Macintosh includes 43 new Office small-business templates, the Microsoft Business Guide, Microsoft Bookshelf® 1996-97 CD-ROM reference library, Microsoft Internet Explorer and the Internet Assistants for Microsoft Excel and Word.

The enhanced release of Microsoft Office for Macintosh is currently available as a standalone product; in addition, it will be packaged with future Macintosh products geared to the needs of small-business customers. This OEM agreement marks the first time that a Microsoft Office product will be shipped with an Apple computer in the United States.

"This new release of Microsoft Office with small-business tools demonstrates our ongoing commitment to this platform and our Macintosh customers," said Richard Fade, vice president for desktop applications at Microsoft. "Microsoft Office and the small-business tools provide ready-to-use solutions that help businesses develop high-quality marketing materials, plan for the future, explore and create content for the Internet, and much more."

"We are excited to offer Microsoft Office with small-business tools to our customers," said Greg LaPorte, manager of small-business marketing at Apple Computer Inc. "We will soon be announcing products designed to fit the needs of small businesses that will combine the power and flexibility of Microsoft Office and the Macintosh platform to give small businesses the tools they need to be successful."

Contents of the Suite

Microsoft Office for Macintosh, now with essential tools for small businesses, includes the Microsoft Word 6.0.1 word processor, Microsoft Excel 5.0 spreadsheet, Microsoft PowerPoint 4.0 presentation graphics program, and a client license for Microsoft Mail or Quarterdeck Mail for AppleTalk networks. In addition, this enhanced release of Microsoft Office also includes the following small-business tools:

Simplifying Business Tasks

The new tools and templates included with Office for the Macintosh simplify the often time-consuming and complicated tasks associated with business planning, finance, management, marketing, operations and sales:

Research on Small-Business Computing Needs

Microsoft drew from its own primary research with hundreds of small-business owners, as well as research performed by AT & T Corp. and others to determine the most common computing needs of small businesses. These include the following:

In addition, better planning tools are important, especially for younger small businesses and business start-ups. According to a study conducted by AT & T Corp., the most common reason for small-business failure is insufficient funding due to poor business planning. The small-business templates included with Microsoft Office address this problem by simplifying and automating the process of business planning.

Microsoft Office, Standard Edition for Macintosh with essential tools for small business includes features and tools that address these important small-business computing needs. First, full-featured versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel are included to provide the powerful word processing and spreadsheet programs that small-business owners requested. In addition, many Word and Microsoft Excel templates are included to help small businesses use these programs to their greatest capability.

Second, Microsoft Office with essential tools for small businesses includes Microsoft Internet Explorer, the Internet Connection Wizard, and the Internet Assistants for Microsoft Excel and Word, which provide the Internet tools and accessibility small businesses need.

Finally, the collection of Microsoft Office small-business templates contains a number of planning tools to help small businesses plan for the future and prepare documents necessary to acquire financing.

Pricing, Availability and System Requirements

The new, enhanced release of Microsoft Office for the Macintosh is scheduled to be available in stores Dec. 26, 1996, for approximately $499.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT" ) 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, PowerPoint and Bookshelf are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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