Microsoft has moved to ensure that copies of its Office productivity suite for the Apple OS X operating system continue to sell in the shadow of a new version due for release in the coming months.
The vendor will provide any Microsoft or Apple reseller a new option for those customers who wish to buy a Microsoft productivity suite prior to the new release. Anybody that buys the current version (Office Mac v.X) between now and June 30, 2004 can upgrade free (plus $9.95 postage and handling) to Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac about eight weeks after the product becomes available.
The vendor is also trying to convince those that purchase the standard or student and teacher editions of Office Mac v.X to upgrade to the professional edition of Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac for an additional $99.95.
The professional edition includes Microsoft’s first version of Virtual PC (version 7.0), based on software technology it gained from the acquisition of Connectix.
A spokesperson for Microsoft said that the current version of Virtual PC was shipped with the Professional edition of Office Mac v.X, but that the new version had been adapted and integrated by Microsoft’s developers.
Product marketing manager in Microsoft’s Home and Entertainment division,Cynthia Kouvatas, said the offer would particularly suit customers buying a Power Mac G5 who wanted to ensure compatibility with the new version of Virtual PC for Mac.
A Microsoft spokesperson said the offer was not available to volume licensing customers nor for individual stand-alone applications or Virtual PC 6.1 for Mac.