MS shows Office for Mac OS X

In a Macworld Expo keynote presentation, Microsoft's Mac team leader offered the first public demo of the Carbonized productivity suite. "Microsoft loves OS X, at least our division does," Browne said. "Other people in the company may be sweating a little bit."

SAN FRANCISCO--Kevin Browne, general manager for Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit, took the Macworld Expo keynote stage Wednesday to offer the first public demonstration of Office 2001 running native on Mac OS X, Apple Computer Inc.'s next-generation operating system.

The company also demonstrated, Outlook 2001 for Mac, a new version of the e-mail client that is now available as a public beta on Microsoft's Web site. The final version of the program is expected to ship this summer.

Browne showed attendees of the annual Mac gathering working versions of Microsoft Word and the company's new Entourage PIM that have been tuned for Mac OS X's Carbon APIs. Although the versions shown today were not feature-complete, Browne told the crowd that Microsoft (msft) is "spending money in a huge way" on its Mac products.

Explaining the development process to bring Microsoft products to OS X, Browne said the MacBU was porting 200 components and applications to Apple's next-generation OS.

"Please put out of your mind the question of whether we're committed, we are investing tremendous resources to bring our products to OS X," Browne said.

Browne showed the crowd how Entourage and Word minimized in Mac OS X's Dock, and he also showed the Open and Save dialog boxes. The Word demo also included a document with an embedded QuickTime movie that continued playing while minimized in the Dock.

"Microsoft loves OS X, at least our division does," Browne said. "Other people in the company may be sweating a little bit."

Browne said Carbonizing Office 2001 "will give us the opportunity to make the programs work much better on the Mac OS," adding that the development team is "stoked" about creating the "aesthetics" of OS X interface for the next Office.

Indeed, with the Aqua interface, the Carbonized version of Entourage sports a smarter look than the current version. Browne said the next version will also include several new features, but he would not specify what they were.

"We're going to do some great things with OS X," he said. "We're also going to put a lot of effort into performance."

Browne said that Office for OS X would be available in the fall. Users who purchase Office 2001 now will be able to upgrade for $149, 50 percent off the normal upgrade price of $299.

Browne was joined at the keynote event by Jensen Harris, Microsoft program manager for Outlook 2001 for Mac, who showed Outlook for Mac and Windows displaying the same data. Featuring fully compatible integration with Exchange Server, Outlook for the Mac interfaces seamlessly and uses the same data file formats as Outlook for Windows, Harris said.

One Mac-only feature in the new program, which blends the look of Office 2001 and the OS X Finder, is a simple installation process. "Macs may are not heavily supported by IT," said Harris, "so we wanted to make it absurdly simple."

Installing the software requires only that you type in a user name and server location. Pushing Test Settings button then performs 10 separate network tests to see if the configuration is correct. If not, a troubleshooting wizard helps pinpoint the problem. The program can also securely store a user's password.

The program also features a redesigned preferences panel based on the Internet Explorer interface. Users can also allow people to share their Outlook account by setting varying levels of access to e-mail, calendar and scheduling information.

For up-to-the-minute Mac news, check out MacCentral.com. SAN FRANCISCO--Kevin Browne, general manager for Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit, took the Macworld Expo keynote stage Wednesday to offer the first public demonstration of Office 2001 running native on Mac OS X, Apple Computer Inc.'s next-generation operating system.

The company also demonstrated, Outlook 2001 for Mac, a new version of the e-mail client that is now available as a public beta on Microsoft's Web site. The final version of the program is expected to ship this summer.

Browne showed attendees of the annual Mac gathering working versions of Microsoft Word and the company's new Entourage PIM that have been tuned for Mac OS X's Carbon APIs. Although the versions shown today were not feature-complete, Browne told the crowd that Microsoft (msft) is "spending money in a huge way" on its Mac products.

Explaining the development process to bring Microsoft products to OS X, Browne said the MacBU was porting 200 components and applications to Apple's next-generation OS.

"Please put out of your mind the question of whether we're committed, we are investing tremendous resources to bring our products to OS X," Browne said.

Browne showed the crowd how Entourage and Word minimized in Mac OS X's Dock, and he also showed the Open and Save dialog boxes. The Word demo also included a document with an embedded QuickTime movie that continued playing while minimized in the Dock.

"Microsoft loves OS X, at least our division does," Browne said. "Other people in the company may be sweating a little bit."

Browne said Carbonizing Office 2001 "will give us the opportunity to make the programs work much better on the Mac OS," adding that the development team is "stoked" about creating the "aesthetics" of OS X interface for the next Office.

Indeed, with the Aqua interface, the Carbonized version of Entourage sports a smarter look than the current version. Browne said the next version will also include several new features, but he would not specify what they were.

"We're going to do some great things with OS X," he said. "We're also going to put a lot of effort into performance."

Browne said that Office for OS X would be available in the fall. Users who purchase Office 2001 now will be able to upgrade for $149, 50 percent off the normal upgrade price of $299.

Browne was joined at the keynote event by Jensen Harris, Microsoft program manager for Outlook 2001 for Mac, who showed Outlook for Mac and Windows displaying the same data. Featuring fully compatible integration with Exchange Server, Outlook for the Mac interfaces seamlessly and uses the same data file formats as Outlook for Windows, Harris said.

One Mac-only feature in the new program, which blends the look of Office 2001 and the OS X Finder, is a simple installation process. "Macs may are not heavily supported by IT," said Harris, "so we wanted to make it absurdly simple."

Installing the software requires only that you type in a user name and server location. Pushing Test Settings button then performs 10 separate network tests to see if the configuration is correct. If not, a troubleshooting wizard helps pinpoint the problem. The program can also securely store a user's password.

The program also features a redesigned preferences panel based on the Internet Explorer interface. Users can also allow people to share their Outlook account by setting varying levels of access to e-mail, calendar and scheduling information.

For up-to-the-minute Mac news, check out MacCentral.com.