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Office 2001 for Mac to hit the market next month

Microsoft confirms that its upgrade to Office 98 for Mac, a productivity software suite, will come out in mid-October.

Microsoft will release Office 2001 for Mac next month, the company has confirmed.

Microsoft plans an Oct. 11 release date, according to a company representative.

Last month, Microsoft completed the final version of the code for the new productivity software suite, which usually indicates that the final release date is six to eight weeks away. In July at Macworld, Microsoft had announced that the new applications for Apple computers would be available in October.

The retail version of the product, an update to Office 98 for the Mac, includes Word 2001, Excel 2001, PowerPoint 2001 and Internet Explorer 5. Microsoft has also added Mac-only features to the Apple version of its software.

For example, Mac users can convert PowerPoint slide presentations into Apple QuickTime movies. Office for Mac also includes document and spreadsheet templates not found in the Windows version, as well as an Outlook-like contact and email management tool called Entourage 2001.

Microsoft also released the system requirements for Office 2001. The new software requires a Mac OS-compatible system, running on a PowerPC-based processor of at least 120 MHz. Most PC users will also need at least 32MB of memory and 160MB of hard disk space.

The full version of Office 2001 for Mac will be priced at $499. Office 98 upgrades will cost $299.