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Microsoft ships Office 2004 for Mac

The newest version of Microsoft's productivity suite for Apple computers is out in English, with editions in other languages to follow.

Microsoft on Wednesday said two editions of Office 2004 for Mac are now available. The standard edition and the student and teacher edition of the software are now out in English, with versions in other language slated to be available next month. The professional edition, which includes Virtual PC 7, has been pushed back until the second half of the year because of a delay in that product.

A free, 30-day "test drive" of the new Office is available from Microsoft's site. Among the new features in Office 2004 are a note-taking view in Word and a compatibility checker that flags potential problems if a document is opened in another version of Office. The company is also including with Office the recently released MSN Messenger 4.0 for Mac.