updated 03:05 pm EST, Tue January 10, 2006
MS commits to Apple,
today announced a formal five-year commitment to develop Microsoft Office for the Mac platform. The company said it would continue to develop versions for both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs as well as announced several upcoming improvements to Entourage 2004 for Mac. It also announced plans to build converters to read the new Microsoft Office Open XML Formats. The agreement, which includes the sharing of technologies needed to build and maintain compatible versions of Office for the Mac, is a formalization of the ongoing relationship between the companies "The commitment agreement and product announcements emphasize the cooperation between the two companies and serve as significant indicators of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to the Mac platform." The company promised future Universal Binary versions of Office and Messenger, but did not provide a solid release date.
"Microsoft has a history of successful collaboration with Apple, and this agreement underscores our commitment to the Mac platform," said Tom Gibbons, vice president of the Consumer Productivity eXperiences Business at Microsoft. "We've had many years of success with Office for Mac, and this formal commitment confirms that we're in the Mac business for the long haul."
For more than 20 years, the Mac BU has collaborated with customers, other Microsoft teams and Apple Computer Inc. to deliver leading-edge productivity software. The agreement paves the way for the two companies to combine talents to meet the needs of Mac customers now and in the future.
"Microsoft's Mac BU continues to be a great Mac developer, bringing innovative and compatible versions of Microsoft Office to Mac customers," said Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing at Apple. "The Mac platform has never been stronger, and we're pleased that Microsoft is committed to delivering great Mac products for many years to come."