Where next for Microsoft Entourage? A look at the next Windows version of Microsoft Office (code-named Office 11) suggests the email program may be turned on its side when the company updates its Macworld Award-winning Office v.X for Mac.

The Windows-based Office 11 will be released next May, Microsoft's Jeff Raikes, vice president of productivity and business services, announced at the PC Expo/TechXNY conference in New York.

Office product manager Nicole von Kaenel said most of the details of the desktop software won't be available until the end of the summer, but she did point out areas where Office will be upgraded.

The user interface in Outlook, the email client software that comes with the Windows Office suite, has been changed to split its window vertically, instead of horizontally, as it is now. That way, von Kaenel said, users can read emails like a sheet of paper in a frame on the right side of the window. They will also be able to set their own taxonomies for how emails are sorted and filed.

Whether Microsoft offers us such email interfaces in the next version of Office for Mac (likely due 2004) is unknown, as its Macintosh Business Unit is separate from the Windows Office engineers.

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