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Microsoft boosts Mac's self-esteem

Microsoft engineers say they are empowering the Macintosh with new software.

Microsoft engineers may have been reading too many self-help books: the company says it's empowering the Macintosh with new software.

The Empowerment Pack for the Mac, available for free downloading from the Microsoft Web site, comes with Internet software and a software update for version 6.0 of Word for Mac, which had been sharply criticized for being slow and buggy.

The pack includes the following freebies:
--a collection of Microsoft Internet programs including Internet Explorer 2.0 for Mac and two add-on programs for saving Word and Excel documents as HTML files, Internet Assistant 2.0 for Word, and Internet Assistant for Excel
--Microsoft Word 6.0.1a Update for Mac, a software refresher for Word 6.0 that improves the application's performance and stability, font handling, and resolves extension conflicts
--Apple Computer's System 7.5 Update 2.0 and System 7.5.3 Revision 2, two updates to the Mac operating system that boost performance and application start-up time.
--an offer from Kingston Technology of 8MB of memory for $69.