Microsoft said its word processing and email bundle for Mac users would ship next week.
The Word + Entourage Special Edition bundle is designed for users who do not need the full power or spreadsheet and presentation applications of Microsoft Office.
The special package will be available for a limited time only.
Similar to the full Office suite, Word + Entourage is compatible with Word 98 Macintosh Edition and Word 2001 for Mac. It is also cross-platform compatible with Microsoft Word 97, Word 2000 and Word XP.
Word + Entourage 2001 SE bundles Microsoft's word processor together with its integrated email and personal information management application.
Microsoft said that in addition to the Word and Entourage, the package includes a Project Gallery feature that allows users to start projects with its customisable templates for resumes, catalogues, newsletters and calendars.
The bundle also comes equipped with a Clip Art Gallery that provides tools to make it simple to work with graphics and organise art.
Some advanced tools such as menu and toolbar customisation, support for scripting, synchronisation with Palm handhelds and business templates are not included but will be provided in the complete Office 2001 for Mac suite.
US pricing is $149 for Word + Entourage SE, substantially less than the full Office 2001 suite which sells for an average $425 for the full version and $258 an upgrade.
Kevin Browne, general manager of the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft, said Microsoft's target customer is someone who needs word processing and email, but not necessarily the full-blown suite.
"Combine that with the fact that Word + Entourage SE users will also qualify for the special upgrade price to Office 10 for Mac. Those buying the package would pay only $149 for the Office 10 for Mac OS X upgrade," Browne said.
Microsoft is expected to reveal the name of the new Mac Office, codenamed Office 10, and to firm up a delivery date in the Autumn.
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