Microsoft Announces March Availability of Office 98 Macintosh Edition

25,000 Hours of Customer Research and Over 1 Million Wish Line Requests Shaped Product Tailored to Macintosh Customer

SAN FRANCISCO - Jan. 6, 1998 - At MacWorld Expo today, Microsoft Corp. publicly unveiled Office 98 Macintosh® Edition, the most significant upgrade to date of the world's most popular productivity suite for the Macintosh. Office 98 Macintosh Edition sets a new standard for what a business application for the Mac should be, from its true Macintosh appearance and behavior to its deep intelligence and integrated Web collaboration tools.

"Customer input has played a critical role in shaping a product tailored for the unique needs of a Mac user," said Ben Waldman, general manager of the Macintosh business unit at Microsoft. "Office 98 Macintosh Edition is the culmination of three years of development, 25,000 hours of customer research and over 1 million feature requests on Microsoft's Wish Line, making it the most researched and customer-tested release of Office for the Macintosh yet."

Anticipation has been building for the release of Office 98 Macintosh Edition among the current 8 million users of Microsoft® Office applications for the Macintosh. Apple Computer Inc. Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki said, "Microsoft has successfully developed the most impressive release ever of Office for the Macintosh. Office 98 demonstrates a true commitment to Macintosh customers and results from the reinvigorated relationship between Microsoft and Apple."

"Motorola is looking forward to the release of Office 98. We've been working with the beta, and we think it's a great product," said Mike Kotwica, manager of the Semi-Conductor Sector, Certification and Test Laboratory at Motorola.

Setting a New Standard for Applications for the Macintosh

By working closely with Apple, Microsoft has helped ensure that Office 98 sets a new standard for applications for the Macintosh by providing deep integration with the operating system. By incorporating new Mac OS 8 visuals and by supporting key Apple technologies such as Macintosh drag-and-drop functionality and QuickTime VR as well as providing font menu previews, Office 98 will allow customers to work in a familiar environment. In addition,
Office 98 offers breakthrough simplicity by providing new technologies only found in the Macintosh version of the product, such as drag-and-drop installation that requires users simply to drag a folder from their CD to their hard drive to install Office 98. Other landmark innovations include self-repairing applications that replace accidentally deleted system files, keeping customers productive and preventing help-desk calls to troubleshoot their software.

Making cross-platform sharing as simple as possible is another helpful application for the Macintosh. Because Office 98 Macintosh Edition and Office 97 for the Windows® operating system share the same file formats, no document conversion is required for customers sharing information in a cross-platform environment.

Deep Intelligence Makes Office 98 Automatic, Discoverable

Office 98 has built-in intelligence that automates routine tasks and intuitively introduces new features to the Office user. The Office Assistant allows users to get the help they need by asking questions using their own words and proactively offers tips based on application usage. Common tasks such as the checking of spelling, grammar and punctuation are handled automatically, so customers can focus on creating their documents rather than correcting them. The intelligence built into Office 98 extends to all the Office applications, even correcting common formula errors in Microsoft Excel 98 as users make them, and provides the color-coded Range Finder in Excel to take the mystery out of auditing spreadsheets.

Communication, Collaboration and Internet Technologies Let Users Work Together

Office 98 builds collaboration tools into the applications, allowing users to simultaneously edit the same spreadsheet, even across platforms, as well as manage revisions made by various users.

"Functionality such as the capability to track changes, share workbooks and maintain version control allows people to work together more easily and makes a very compelling case for people to move over to Office 98," said Bill Brawley, director of user communications, computing services at Dartmouth College. "It's a whole new approach to how people work on a common document."

Office 98 also integrates Web functionality into each application so users can easily save Office 98 documents in HTML, publish documents directly to their intranet, insert hyperlinks into their documents, and use the new Web Toolbar to navigate between Office documents.

Pricing and Availability

Office 98 Macintosh Edition includes new versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and the PowerPoint® presentation graphics program. Also included is Outlook™ Express, an Internet e-mail and newsgroup client, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 for Macintosh, the best-of-breed Internet browser for the Macintosh. Estimated retail prices are as follows:

Office 98 Macintosh Edition system requirements are as follows:

Microsoft plans to release Office 98 Macintosh Edition to manufacturing this month; widespread product availability is expected in March. Microsoft is protecting customer investments today by providing a technology guarantee that allows customers who acquire Office 4.2.1 for Macintosh between Jan. 1, 1998, and April 30, 1998, to receive a free upgrade to Office 98 Macintosh Edition Standard (does not include shipping). In addition, customers can place their orders for Office 98 Macintosh Edition with online resellers starting today. For more information, visit

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