Microsoft has released three new editions of Office v.X for Mac, improving its cross-platform compatibility thanks to assets recently-acquired from Connectix.

The company has introduced Office for Mac Student and Teacher Edition, Office for Mac Standard Edition, and Office for Mac Professional Edition.

The Student and Teacher edition costs £120, and is specifically for the education market. The Standard Edition costs £369 (down from £429), and is an upgraded version of the existing Office release, while the Professional Edition ships with Connectix's Virtual PC 6.1 for Mac and a copy of Windows XP Pro. It costs £479.

Virtual PC 6.1 will offer Mac users "around 80 per cent" of the performance of Microsoft's Windows-only products on Mac OS, the company said.

Exchange support has also been introduced, meaning Entourage users can access its powerful workgroup collaboration features.

Virtual PC 6.1 is available in a variety of configurations and as an upgrade for existing users. Virtual PC 6.1 upgrade costs £99, while Virtual PC 6.1 without a Windows OS costs £139. Versions with Windows OS's in the box are available as follows: Windows 2000 Professional, £229; Windows XP Pro, £229; Windows XP Home, £199.

All the new versions will be available in early September. Prices include VAT.