According to software retailers which were recently briefed on Microsoft's plans for the next version of Office, the company's flagship Office 2000 suite will launch in February 1999. The suite, which entered beta testing last summer, incorporates Web file formats such as HTML and XML into its components, treating them as native file formats. FrontPage 2000, the next version of Microsoft's wildly popular Web development software, will also be released in February and will be included in certain versions of Office as an integral part of the suite. Another new addition to Office, PhotoDraw 2000, will also be released in February and be tightly integrated with the suite.
Office is responsible for almost half of Microsoft's revenues and most people are expecting the release to be responsible for monumental retail sales. The previous version of Office became available in February 1997