Yesterday, Microsoft announced that the company will release its Macintosh (Mac) OS X version of Office:mac, now dubbed Office v. X, in November. The Office v. X suite includes new versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which the company showed this summer at MacWorld New York, as well as a new version of its email/personal information package (PIM) called Entourage, which Microsoft is now previewing for the first time. The Office v. X applications require Mac OS X version 10.1, which is due late this month, and take advantage of Apple's new OS by incorporating all the UI widgets and effects that Mac users expect.

"We wanted to make our \[applications\] a great expression of OS X," said Kevin Browne, general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MBU). "This release of Office X is about showing our customers we are committed to them."

Microsoft will label each application with the "X" naming scheme, and the company has refocused Entourage as the center of the suite. "\[We designed Entourage X\] to deliver a world-class communication experience on Mac OS X," said Browne. "As the cornerstone of Office v. X for Mac, Entourage X offers users many improvements and feature enhancements. In addition, Entourage X has received the same deep Mac OS X development work common to all the applications in Office v. X. Whether it's for the improvements to Entourage X or the great Mac OS X features throughout the suite, come this November no Mac user should be without Office v. X."

Microsoft also announced pricing for the suite. For a limited time, licensed users of Office:mac 2001 or Word+Entourage 2001 will be able to upgrade to Office v. X for $129, or $299 thereafter. The full cost of the suite is $499.