The desktop application suite, designed to have a more Mac-like look and feel and work better with other Mac software applications, is being released on schedule according to a deadline Microsoft set in July at the Macworld trade show.
The local launch will take place on October 26. The Australian pricing will be $380 for the academic version, $554 for the upgrade and $914 for the full version (all prices include GST).
The Office 2001 Macintosh Edition suite contains word processor MS Word, spreadsheet Excel, presentation software PowerPoint and a new mail client and PIM (personal information manager) called Entourage 2001 for accessing personal information. Entourage 2001 supports Palm handhelds, but it can't synchronise data with the rival Microsoft Pocket PC. Among the suite's other new features is a new Project Manager, which is a centralised location that will offer users access to most Office functions. In addition, Office 2001 Macintosh Edition has 400 customisable templates and wizards, more than double the 150 that are part of the Office 98 Macintosh edition.
The new software will run on any PowerPC or Mac OS-compatible system. Apple Computer recommends that the software be used with machines with a minimum processor speed of 120MHz and version 8.5 or later of the Mac OS.