Microsoft's Mac Business Unit has launched its Compatibility Center for Mac users.

The site offers case studies, how-to articles and results from a recent survey looking at cross-platform compatibility issues researched on behalf of the company by Answers Research.

A Microsoft representative told Macworld: "I'm sure you've noticed that the word 'compatibility' has been tossed around a lot in the Mac community. It's pretty intuitive that the ability to open or share documents between Windows and Mac platforms is important, even expected, since Mac users are rarely able to deal exclusively with other Mac users. What may surprise you is the frequency and depth of compatibility Mac users say they need."

The Microsoft-sponsored survey found that 92 per cent of Mac users said the ability to communicate and share files with Windows users is very important.

The survey results also claim that: "Compatibility is more than just opening a file: 81 per cent of Mac users edit and save documents started on another platform and nearly two-thirds change the layout."

And also that "Eighty per cent of Mac users perform functions requiring cross-platform compatibility at least once a week."

Microsoft's research firm also found that: "While virtually all Office for Mac users rate it as the best in cross-platform compatibility – 71 per cent of non-Office users feel that it's the choice for when compatibility really matters."

Microsoft's compatibility Web site also offers access to an IDC report – 'You can travel between worlds' – by IDC's vice president of client computing Roger Kay, who writes: "Increased cooperation and openness between Apple and Microsoft means that Mac users will continue to have the latest features in Office, and a more seamless, collaborative computing experience with clients, friends and colleagues."