Office XP coming in June

The Standard edition of the product, which includes Word 2002, Excel 2002, Outlook 2002 and PowerPoint 2002, will have an estimated retail price (ERP) of $534 for a version upgrade from previous Office editions and $1072 for new users. The Professional edition's ERP will be $749 for version upgrades and $1288 for new users.

The suite includes many features for collaborative working. The software is further integrated with the Web and services like Microsoft's own Hotmail Internet mail service and the MSN Messenger instant messaging application. Features with names like SharePoint Team Services and Task Panes have been designed to allow users to find, share, and publish information to an Intranet or the Internet.

Work on the new software suite started about two years ago. The first beta was sent out to 3000 testers in August 2000, followed by an expanded test including 10,000 users in September.

Joris Evers in IDG's Amsterdam bureau contributed to this report.

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