Kevin Browne, general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit, delivered Macworld Expo New York 2001's second major keynote address – one days after Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new Macs and previewed Mac OS X 10.1 and iDVD 2.
Browne offered a sneak peek at the forthcoming release of Office 10 for Mac OS X. Office 10 is a fully native Mac OS X productivity suite that features X's new Aqua interface, offers "complete support" for Mac OS X's modern architecture, and provides several new feature enhancements – most noticeably Quartz-based transparency that transforms Excel charts into great-looking graphics.
Browne also announced that MSN Messenger 2.0 for Mac is now available, and previewed an OS X 10.1 revision to Microsoft Windows Media Player.
Office 10 is "best of show" Designed to run exclusively on Mac OS X, Office 10 is being hailed by Apple as "a poster child for Mac OS X. Macworld awarded the future product a Best of Show award.
"What we're delivering here is a brand new experience for the Mac user," says Browne.
Office 10's Aqua interface makes functions and navigation features easier to find and use. All four of Office's applications - Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage - have been given what Microsoft calls "a complete Aqua overhaul".
"By adopting Carbon and Aqua, and by using Quartz to enhance the graphics capabilities throughout Office 10, we've integrated system capabilities more deeply than ever," said Kenny Wolf, Development Manager for Office 10.
Components - such as toolbars and navigation buttons - have been redesigned for greater readability, and to help you quickly move from one feature to the next. Over 700 new icons have been added, using anti-aliased graphics for a cleaner appearance, and these icons have Aqua-enabled mouse-overs for enhanced usability.
All Office 10 applications - and supporting features such as the much-improved Formatting Palette - provide Genie-style visual feedback.
New features With the Clear Formatting feature in Word, you can easily reset character and paragraph formatting, set the default text style, and restore hyperlinks throughout your documents. You can now command click multiple selections throughout Word documents to apply formatting, spelling, searching or any other operation that wasn't previously applied to the sections.
In Excel, a new AutoRecover feature lets you set specific time intervals to automatically save the latest version of the spreadsheet you're working on. You can now also customize your keyboard.
In PowerPoint, you can copy and collect links in one PowerPoint Package, which allows you to easily transfer intact movies, sounds, and images to other computers and electronic media. The QuickTime Movies feature in PowerPoint has been improved to allow you to incorporate animation for richer video clips.
Sheets have replaced select dialogs in Office 10. The way sheets work eliminates the need for you to react immediately to a dialog, giving you greater flexibility in the way you work.
Office 10 for Mac OS X will be available this autumn. Pricing will be announced at a later date. Users who have purchased Office 2001 for Mac, Word + Entourage 2001 Special Edition, or any individual Office 2001 for Mac application (Word or Excel), can upgrade to Office 10 for Mac OS X for the special upgrade price of £149, available directly through Microsoft only.
Other announcements Microsoft has also improved MSN Messenger 2.0 for Mac, which runs on both Mac OS 9.x and OS X. With new features such as Native OS X support, and an Aqua-fied and more intuitive user interface, the company claims that MSN Messenger is "a great way to communicate easily and quickly".
Microsoft also showed an OS X version of its Windows Media Player for Mac OS X. The company claims that this rival to Apple's QuickTime offers "the best audio and video". No availability date has been announced.