Office 97 heading downunder first

New Zealand users will get their hands on Microsoft's Office 97 a month before the rest of the world with a pre-Christmas release expected downunder.

New Zealand users will get their hands on Microsoft's Office 97 a month before the rest of the world with a pre-Christmas release expected downunder.

Microsoft New Zealand marketer Steve Jenkins says a firm release date is not yet available as that depends on when the product ships and passage through New Zealand customs, but he expects it to be in stores about a week before Christmas.

Office 97 Standard Edition includes upgrades of Word, Excel and PowerPoint and also has a new application, Outlook, designed to help users to organise their desktop. The suite’s Professional Edition also comes with Microsoft’s Access database.

There is also a developer edition.

In addition to the standard Office applications, Microsoft is now bundling FrontPage, Team Manager and Publisher as well.

The initial release will be for Windows 95 and NT and a Mac version will follow in mid-1997. Macintosh users will be pleased to hear that this version has been developed natively for the Mac but there will be no Access or Outlook in the Mac version as these are Win 32 native.

New Zealand estimated retail pricing is $879 for the standard version, with an upgrade at around $439. The professional edition is $1049, with an upgrade at $609. The professional bundle including IntelliMouse is $659 for the upgrade and $1089 for new users. All prices are excluding GST.

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