Redmond, Wash. (Oct. 22, 2003) -- Microsoft Corp. launched the newest version of its Office software Tuesday with a $150 million ad campaign and a splashy New York City press conference.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates hopes that the new software will help workers collaborate better on projects and increase business productivity.

"There's no doubt that first version was a little clunky, a little bit too much of a technologist's dream .... But we listened hard. People asked us to change it and we drove it forward," Gates said at the event.

Word for writing documents, Excel for spreadsheets, PowerPoint for presentations, and Outlook for e-mail and calendar management still make up the core applications in the new Office, which will retail for between $150 and $500 per copy.

Gates is also pushing the overall system behind the new Office – server software that runs in the background to power features on desktop computers or wireless phones.

For further details on the new product, go tohttp://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/officesystemlaunch

-- WebCPA staff

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