Office 2000 Heading For February Release

Microsoft will officially launch Office 2000 to retail in February, according to retailers briefed on the company's plans. The Internet version of Office, which was first previewed at PC Expo in June, features native support for HTML documents, Web collaboration features and the ability to cut and collect multiple pieces of data on the clipboard. The software went into beta testing in late July.

Next week, Microsoft plans to debut another upgrade to its Office family -- FrontPage 2000 -- its Web-site creation and management software title, which will be bundled with select versions of Office 2000, officials said. Microsoft is preparing another new Office product, a graphics title called PhotoDraw 2000, which will also be tightly integrated with Office 2000, officials reported.

Retailers expect the retail rollout of Office 2000 -- the highest-grossing business software title aside from Windows -- to be a major event. "Once 2000 is announced, you'll begin to see sales of Office 97 taper off," said a retailer briefed on Office 2000 plans. "From an upgrade standpoint, Office 2000 will be bigger than Windows 98."

Computer Retail Week

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