Microsoft officials have announced that Office XP, the next version of its productivity suite, will be widely available on May 31, but users can get their hands on a trial version before that for free – in the UK.
The software giant expects some one million users to take advantage of the 30-day trial version, which will be available for download for free for UK consumers but for which it will charge US customers $9.95. The trial version of Office XP Professional will be available on April 30.
The standard version of Office XP includes Word 2002, Excel 2002, Outlook 2002, and PowerPoint 2002. Office XP Professional adds the Access database to the package. An Office XP Professional Special Edition will also be launched, which also includes FrontPage 2002, as will Office XP Developer, which includes FrontPage, SharePoint Team Services, Publisher 2002, and other development tools.
Microsoft has also released a new service pack for Mac Office 2001. The Office 2001 for Mac Service Release 1 is available for download immediately, Microsoft said.
The service release includes updates for applications found in Office 2001 for Macintosh users, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage e-mail manager, Microsoft said in a statement. The service release supports the Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OSX operating systems, Microsoft said.