Microsoft launched the latest version of its bread-and-butter desktop application Office 2000 last week with the familiar promise that it will work smarter, faster and more efficiently.
The sales spin this time is the promise of improved Web collaboration capabilities, easier management of enterprise-wide deployment and improved integration.
With the launch of Office 2000, the world's most popular desktop suite now comes in five different flavours.
Office 2000 Standard, at $459 (estimated retail price) for an upgrade, offers the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Also ringing up $459 at the till is Office 2000 Small Business, which adds the desktop publishing and Web authoring tool Publisher 2000, and a sub-suite called Small Business Tools. It doesn't, however, include the PowerPoint presentation package.
Wearing a price tag of $589 is Office 2000 Professional SKU, which is currently the most popular version. It is basically the same as Office 2000 Standard with the Publisher 2000 and Access 2000 tools on top.
It also includes the Small Business Tools bundle.
Top of the range for the desktop offerings is Office 2000 Premium (ERP $699) which offers all the components found in Professional with FrontPage 2000 and PhotoDraw 2000 thrown in for good measure, or for $110 as the case may be.
The fifth version is Office 2000 Developer, which at $999 includes additional tools which allow for the development, management and deployment of customised applications by programmers for either resale or internal use.
Microsoft products are distributed by Tech Pacific, Express Data and Ingram Micro/ERA, as well as Dataflow until June 30.
Drew Sharp, Microsoft's product marketing manager, desktop applications, said the Office 2000 product line is designed to cater for individual customer needs.
"We designed the Office 2000 product line in response to current demands and future expectations of our customers and their increasingly Web-focused work environment," he said.