Microsoft is celebrating twenty years of developing software for the Mac with the launch of new versions of Microsoft Office 2004 and Virtual PC for Mac version 7.

Microsoft Group Marketing Manager Jonathan Hulse said: "Microsoft has conducted extensive customer research to determine what enhancements to make to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage. As a result, Office 2004 for Mac is packed with new tools to help Mac users better manage, create and share information."

Key features in Office 2004 for Mac include: a Project Centre offering a "simple way to view and stay on top of all emails, files, contacts, meetings and tasks related to different projects". Project information can also be shared with others.

A Notebook Layout View now features in Word. It looks like ruled notebook paper and lets users take notes, search and flag relevant information and tag recorded audio directly into the document.

Scrapbook gives users access to the things used most often. These could be text, logos, or, says Microsoft, "favourite pictures of Fido".

An Excel Page Layout View allows users to view and manipulate on screen exactly what they will see on paper. This includes margins, headers, footers and page layout.

Compatibility Reports give details of issues in Word, Excel and PowerPoint that may be problematic on another platform or with an older version of Office – and can automatically fix them.

Three versions of Office 2004 for Mac will be available: Standard Edition includes Word 2004, Excel 2004, PowerPoint 2004, Entourage 2004 and MSN Messenger Version 4.0.

Student and Teacher Edition includes all of the above at a discounted price.

Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition also includes Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac Version X with Windows XP Pro – the first time it has shipped as part of a Microsoft bundle.

Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 provides access to Windows-only software, networks, and devices via the Mac. Enhancements to this version include compatibility with the Macintosh G5.

UK pricing is to be confirmed.