Microsoft said yesterday that it would start selling a new version of its Office e-mail, document, spreadsheet and presentation software suite for Apple Computer's Macintosh personal computer during the first half of 2004.
Microsoft, which dominates the PC industry with its Windows operating system software but also develops applications for the Macintosh, unveiled Office 2004 for Mac at MacWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco.
Among the new features in the latest Mac version of Office are a project manager that allows users to track e-mails, documents, contacts and meetings related to a project and also take notes within Word, the document program.
Microsoft has promised to continue development of Office for Mac, which counts 7 million users, although the world's largest software maker has already said it will phase out another Mac program that it makes, Internet Explorer for the Mac. Apple is working on its own Web browser, called Safari.
The software will cost the same as Mac vX, the current version of Office for Macintosh computers, at a retail price of $360, or $140 for academic buyers.
Buyers of Office vX for Mac will be able to upgrade to Office 2004 for free, Microsoft said.
The Professional version of Office 2004 for Mac, which is marketed toward businesses, will also include Virtual PC for Mac Version 7, the latest version of the software that allows users to run Windows and Windows programs on a Macintosh.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said it will launch the latest version of Virtual PC during the first half of 2004 as well.