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MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF SIX OFFICE-CENTRIC SOLUTIONS DESIGNED TO IMPROVE BUSINESS AGILITY.

In conjunction with the Microsoft Office XP product launch in New York, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) has announced the public availability of six Office family productivity solutions designed to give knowledge workers better ways to manage and leverage data to increase business agility. FrontPage 2002, MapPoint 2002, Outlook Mobile Manager, Publisher 2002, SharePoint Portal Server 2001 and Visio 2002 all share tight integration with Office XP and are designed to enhance the Office desktop experience for knowledge workers at companies ranging from small businesses to enterprise organizations. Each of the six solutions is now available to customers, developers, industry partners and systems integrators (SIs) worldwide.

"Microsoft productivity software gives businesses the tools to succeed in a fast-paced digital economy and turn the accelerating pace of change into a competitive advantage," said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of the Productivity and Business Services Group at Microsoft. "Each of the solutions available today is designed to effectively meet the needs of the most demanding businesses."

The FrontPage 2002 Web-site creation and management tool delivers a complete solution engineered to provide business users with the Web-site design and creation features they need and want most. The new features enable the creation of sophisticated Web sites, precise and flexible Web-site management, and the ability for Web experts to import, edit and format HTML the way they want, all through a user-friendly interface familiar to Microsoft Office users. In addition to being Office-intuitive through the inclusion of Office XP smart tags and a new streamlined Office-like interface, FrontPage 2002 incorporates SharePoint Team Services technology to better assist teams in Web-site collaboration and information exchange. Small-business users will also be pleased to hear that FrontPage has teamed up with the Microsoft bCentral small-business service to provide e-commerce functionality, incorporating bCentral products and services to help small businesses improve marketing effectiveness, respond faster to customers and increase sales. All in all, Microsoft FrontPage 2002 is a major upgrade to FrontPage. The majority of additions and improvements are targeted to the professional and small-business user. Microsoft FrontPage 2002 is now available for an estimated retail price* of $169 (U.S.) and an upgrade price of $89.95.

Microsoft research estimates that about 80 percent of most companies' data has a geographic component, but a majority of companies do not have any way to assess that data. MapPoint 2002 business mapping software provides rich location and demographic data to customers, allowing them to take advantage of geographical data and analyze their business information more effectively to make more-intelligent business decisions. MapPoint 2002 is tightly integrated with Office XP, so customers can transform geographic data from Office applications such as Word or Excel into data-rich maps. This means there is little to no learning curve for users of the Office suite. In addition, MapPoint functionality can be embedded into customized solutions and line-of-business applications to meet specific business needs. MapPoint 2002 is available at major outlets and will retail* for $249 (U.S.). Current license holders of MapPoint 2000, MapPoint 2001 or Office XP (any suite) are eligible for a $50 (U.S.) or $75 (Canadian) rebate when they acquire MapPoint 2002.

Outlook Mobile Manager is a breakthrough application that extends the power, reach and functionality of the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client to a wide variety of mobile devices. Using technologies such as artificial intelligence, natural language processing and customizable priority profiles (all developed by Microsoft Research), Outlook Mobile Manager helps users live a more efficient and enjoyable mobile lifestyle. Version 1.0 of Outlook Mobile Manager, which also offers tight integration with the new Mobile Information 2001 Server product ( http://www.microsoft.com/miserver/ ) is available now as a free (connect-time charges may apply) download at http://www.microsoft.com/outlook/mobile/ and as a free add-on for Office XP.

As the Microsoft Office desktop publishing solution, Microsoft Publisher 2002 provides business users with the option to design and create in-house publications and business collateral such as newsletters, catalogs, brochures and Web sites without the high learning curve of a professional desktop publishing program. Increased integration with Office XP, including the new streamlined interface, task panes and smart tags, allows users to quickly and easily access important tasks in a single integrated view, simplifies the way people work, and reduces users' need to learn new skills when working between Office applications.

Publisher 2002 includes popular Office productivity features such as headers and footers, Print Preview, customizable toolbars, Office Clipboard, OfficeArt, thesaurus, AutoRecover, and simultaneous access to multiple documents. In addition, the new Import Word Options task pane lets users open, edit and format a Word document within Publisher and apply Publisher designs. Publisher 2002 expands its commercial printing support with support for additional spot colors and combined spot plus processing printing. Also, the Publisher Service Provider Program continues to assist Publisher users in finding an outside printer or service bureau prepared to output Publisher files. Microsoft Publisher 2002 is now available for an estimated retail price* of $129 (U.S.) and upgrade price of $99 (after in-box $30 (U.S.) mail-in upgrade rebate). Publisher can be acquired through major retail outlets or online at http://www.shop.microsoft.com/. More information about Publisher is available at http://www.microsoft.com/publisher/ .

SharePoint Portal Server 2001 is a flexible portal solution from Microsoft that allows companies to easily find, share and publish information. SharePoint Portal Server provides seamless knowledge portal integration with the Microsoft Office and the Windows operating system productivity desktop environment, allowing enterprise customers to integrate robust search, document management, subscriptions and inline discussions into their document collaboration process. All of the document management functionality within SharePoint Portal Server is accessible directly from within Office XP applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. As documents are saved to SharePoint Portal Server, Office XP users can check in and out, track versions, classify (tag) and set up approval routing processes around them. In addition, Office XP documents can be saved as Web Parts, making the document content available directly from a corporate portal. SharePoint Portal Server will retail at a list price of $3,995 (U.S.) per server and $72 per user. An evaluation edition of the product is available at http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/ .

Today's business professionals face serious communications challenges. Using Microsoft's new business diagramming software, Visio 2002, users can make their communications come alive through professional-looking diagrams. Customers who are new to Visio drawing and diagramming software but familiar with other Office family applications can begin using Visio almost immediately. Visio 2002 incorporates many of the features customers expect of Office family applications, such as personalized menus, spell checking, AutoCorrect, keyboard shortcuts, Answer Wizard Help and task panes from Office XP. Estimated retail pricing for Visio Standard 2002 and Visio Professional 2002 is $199 (U.S.) and $499 (U.S.), respectively. The cost to upgrade from Visio 2000 will be $99 for Standard and $249 for Professional. The product is available at major retail outlets and can be ordered online at http://www.microsoft.com/office/visio/.
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Comment:MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF SIX OFFICE-CENTRIC SOLUTIONS DESIGNED TO IMPROVE BUSINESS AGILITY.
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Article Type:Product Announcement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 4, 2001
Words:1175
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