Microsoft announced this week that it will port its Mac:Office 2001 suite to Mac OS X, the upcoming new release of Apple's operating system. Office for OS X will ship this fall, according to Kevin Browne, the general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MBU), all will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage. The existence of Office is, of course, crucial to the success of the Macintosh platform, and Apple was able to convince Microsoft to continue its development after Microsoft considered killing the product in the late 1990's. Since then, Office:Mac has sold well, largely because of the success of the iMac two years ago.

"Microsoft loves OS X, or at least our division does," Browne joked during his keynote presentation at MacWorld this week. "Other divisions might be sweating a bit." Office 2001, which has sold over 250,000 copies since its release last fall, will be the first major OS X-compatible product released. OS X is due to be released in late March after a two-year delay. "\[OS X\] is going to give us both the requirement and the opportunity to rework our applications so they work much, much better," Browne said. "We are spending money in a huge way. Please set out of your mind the question of whether or not we are committed \[to OS X and the Macintosh\]."

Additionally, Microsoft introduced the beta release of Outlook 2001 for the Macintosh, its Exchange client for Mac systems