Research Brief

Microsoft Reaffirms Commitment To Macintosh:

Creates Dedicated Product Unit


Þ Microsoft Corp. recently formed a product group specifically chartered with the development of Macintosh compatible software. Part of the Microsoft desktop applications division, the Macintosh Product Unit is headed by Ben Waldman and currently employs about 100 people. The new unit will enhance Microsoft’s Office product suite and other Macintosh applications and ensure complete file format compatibility between the Macintosh and Windows versions of Microsoft Office. At the time of the announcement, Microsoft also released three long awaited software applications for the Macintosh; Microsoft Office for the Macintosh v 4.2.1, Internet Explorer 3.0 for the Macintosh. and FrontPage version 1.0 for Macintosh.


Workgroup Strategic Services’ Analysis


Announcement Highlights

Microsoft Office for the Macintosh v 4.2.1

The new Office includes Word 6.0.1, Excel 5.0, PowerPoint 4.0, Bookshelf, Internet Explorer and 43 new small-business templates for Office. Office for the Macintosh is currently a standalone suite but will be included in future Macintosh systems targeted for small business users.


Internet Explorer 3.0 for the Macintosh

Microsoft announced the worldwide availability of its Internet Explorer 3.0 for the Macintosh at MacWorld Expo recently. At this time IE 3.0 for the Macintosh will only run on PowerPCs with 4 MBs RAM or better. Apple has a dedicated team of engineers working to deliver the 68K version of Internet Explorer in the near future. Microsoft also announced the beta version of Personal Web Server (PWS) for Macintosh is available from its web site located at PWS allows any Macintosh system (68030 processor or better) to be used as a web server. PWS is designed to run on only 1 MB of RAM, allowing the servers to run continuously without performance degradation.


FrontPage version 1.0 for Macintosh

Microsoft’s FrontPage version 1.0 for Macintosh, an Internet home page authoring and management tool is currently available from Microsoft’s web site, located at FrontPage will be available in the retail channels in March 1997.