Five years ago: Microsoft fires Office 97 into retail channel

Micrsoft last night chose a haunted house in Kennington, London for the press launch of its Office 97 office software package, which has had advanced orders of 500,000 copies, according to the firm

The Gates empire said nearly 25,000 hours had been spent on usability testing for the product which is now available for retail. The package features closer Internet integration, IntelliSense intelligent help technology and updated versions of Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Microsoft Office 97, Standard Edition retails at £350, and has an upgrade price of £170. The Professional Edition is £450 with an upgrade price of £280. An upgrade version of Professional Edition with Microsoft IntelliMouse is also available for £300.

Next Friday, Microsoft's Bill Gates will start a 30-city tour of the UK to promote the product.

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