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Aptec partners get inside track on Office XP

Microsoft revealed some details of the latest version of Office, Office XP, to resellers and partners at the Aptec University, held at the start of the week.

Resellers got an early opportunity to quiz Microsoft about its new productivity suite at the Aptec University earlier this week. Partners were curious to learn more about Office XP, the latest version of Office, and some of its features.

The new offering is being heavily promoted around the region, with expenditure doubled from the promotional budget for Windows 2000, according to Mazen Shehada, product marketing manager for Office XP. In the UAE Microsoft is advertising Office XP on billboards, and is running a competition with partners.

“We are going to give away a GM car, under the ‘Use Office and drive into a new eXPerience’ banner, and we will also have some giveaways from Siemens and from Compaq,” said Shehada.

Among the features of the new suite is a Product Activation Wizard, to prevent copying. With the full packaged product available for retail, customers will have to enter the usual encryption key, and then will only be able to launch Office applications fifty times before they have to activate the product. Activation can be done using the Internet, or by toll-free phone number. A database will track encryption keys and locations and will alert the company to suspicious amount of activations.

“It is not silver bullet technology,” Shehada explained. “It is meant to target casual copying, somebody who buys one CD for his company and then installs it on each standalone PC in his office – it makes it difficult to do this.”

The Aptec University was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dubai, and offered Aptec’s partners and customers the chance to discuss and learn about number of subjects in the field of mobility and security. Over 200 partners attended the event, with speakers present from Aptec partners including Compaq, 3Com, US Robotics, D-Link, Lotus, IBM, and Microsoft.

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