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Microsoft details desktop publishing update

Microsoft Publisher 2000 lets users create marketing and sales materials, like newsletters, brochures, or Web sites.

Microsoft today detailed the latest version of its desktop publishing software.

Priced at $99 as a standalone, Microsoft Publisher 2000 lets users create marketing and sales materials, like newsletters, brochures, or Web sites.

Publisher 2000 also offers tighter integration with Microsoft Office that makes the product even easier to learn and use. Publisher 2000 also provides a publishing product with print-to-Web design features that makes it a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.

New publication types in Microsoft Publisher 2000 allow business customers to create Quick Publications--single one-page designs--and Catalogs, and also allow customers to make professional design content.

In addition, ten all new Design Sets will also help businesses create a consistent look across all their publication types, from newsletters and brochures, to business cards and Web sites. Users who want to reuse printed content for their Web sites can transform it into Web site designs without recreating the content.

"Publisher is a product that has been built from the ground up to meet the needs of the business desktop publisher," said Craig Cline, vice president of Strategic Alliance and Program Development, program director, associate editor, and consultant of Seybold Publications. "With every version, Microsoft has focused on ease of use while adding [features like] Microsoft Office integration and commercial printing support to Microsoft Publisher 2000. It only makes sense that Publisher customers continue to be happy with the product."

In addition, a Printer Advisory Council (PAC), which is comprised of commercial printers and professionals, are helping to identify and define the commercial printing features in Publisher 2000.

PAC members provided input from the earliest stages of the design process through the alpha and beta releases of the product, helped shape priorities for the product, define features, and develop Publisher 2000.

New features that support outside printing include a Pack and Go wizard which bundles all files, fonts, and graphics for efficient transfer and successful printing at commercial print shops or copy shops.

Microsoft Publisher 2000 now supports four-color process separations and printing.

Company executives said Microsoft Publisher 2000 will be available in the second quarter of this year for a retail price of $99.95. Current Publisher customers are then eligible for a $20 mail-in rebate.

In addition, Publisher 2000 will be available in Office 2000 Premium, Office 2000 Professional, and Office 2000 Small Business.