Microsoft has launched its new Office suite of products to much fanfare and as usual New Zealand is the first country in the world to get its hands on a copy.
Today is launch day for the Office XP and Microsoft assures users the new package will help "boost productivity, simplify collaboration and find better ways to meet their business needs". Chief among the changes has to be the announcement that the animated help facility will no longer default to "On" and that the paper clip assistant is no more.
Collaborative tools are the name of the game for the new suite - users can still use Word or Excel but it's the ability to share work online that is paramount in the latest version.
"New features like Smart Tags and Task Panes make it easier for users to retrieve information and complete tasks, while SharePoint Team Services give colleagues the tools they need to share knowledge and work together," says Bridget Reeves, Microsoft New Zealand's senior product marketing manager, who is a veteran at Office launches - this is her fourth.
Once again the Office product range is divided into three categories - Standard, Professional and Developer. While all versions have the four basic components - Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint - the Professional version includes Access, and the Developer version comes with FrontPage and Microsoft's Office developer tools, all in Microsoft 2002 versions.
Recommended pricing for Office XP Standard is $1379 including GST or $689 for an upgrade. Professional Office XP is $1659 or $969 to upgrade.