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July 17, 2002—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Microsoft Announces MSN 8
- Mac Triple Header Softens Microsoft Stance on OS X
- Register Today for Our Win2K Migration Web Seminar!
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3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
Microsoft announced this morning that its next-generation Internet-access client, MSN 8, will ship later this year. A limited Beta 1 release is due this week. (Whether the MSN 8 beta software will be available to the public or is intended only for the product's beta testers is unclear.) Microsoft will make MSN 8 available free to existing MSN modem- and broadband-based Internet-access customers; other users will be able to subscribe to the service for an as-yet-undisclosed fee. This unexpected cost (previous releases were free) is necessary because of the product's extra services, the company says. "MSN 8 will be the most significant version of MSN we have ever released due to the thousands of hours of feedback we are gathering from people about their everyday problems using the Internet," said MSN Vice President Yusuf Mehdi. "Armed with this feedback, we are building MSN 8 to make the Web a more useful place. Our goal is to deliver a service that consumers will want to graduate to, and with the first beta of MSN 8, we're on track to surpass this goal by delivering excellent services that leapfrog other competitive offerings."
Based on customer feedback, Microsoft dramatically improved the feature set in this release, adding virus-protection software, advanced and flexible parental controls, junk-mail filtering, new email-management and -creation tools, and access to Microsoft-exclusive online content such as MSN Money Plus, MSN Photo Plus, and MSN Learning & Research Plus. MSN 8 customers will be able to use as many as nine email addresses and synchronize their online personal information manager (PIM) data with handheld devices such as Pocket PCs and Palm devices.
Just hours before Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs took the stage to address the Mac faithful at MacWorld New York, Microsoft announced a Mac "Triple Header" that seems designed, in part, to quell criticism of Microsoft's recent complaints about the Mac OS X adoption rate. The three-pronged OS X lineup includes a Palm OS synchronization conduit for Entourage, Microsoft's Outlook-like OS X email/personal information manager (PIM) client that was actually released earlier this week; an OS X promotion in which users can save $50 to $100 on Office v. X; and a Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) client for OS X that will let Mac users remotely access Windows desktops and servers.
"\[Microsoft's\] Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) is constantly searching for opportunities to meet and exceed our Mac customers' needs," said Tim McDonough, marketing director of Microsoft's MacBU. "We are delighted to \[make these announcements\]."
Microsoft and Apple got in a little flap earlier this week when Kevin Browne, MacBU's director, criticized Apple for not adequately promoting OS X. Microsoft released an OS X-only version of Microsoft Office, dubbed Office v. X, but it has sold less than half as many copies in the same period of time as its predecessor, Office:mac 2001, which runs on older releases of the Mac OS. Jobs reiterated this morning, however, that OS X sales are on track. He noted that OS X now has 2.5 million active users, and the company expects that number to grow to about 5 million by the end of the year.
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