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Office XP arrives tomorrow

Microsoft will officially launch Office Xp tomorrow, as the Middle East gets both English and Arabic versions of the world's most popular productivity suite ahead of the US.

Microsoft is set to officially launch Office XP tomorrow. The latest version of Office features a number of enhancements to functionality, as Microsoft seeks to improve productivity for individuals, workgroups and organisations.

Among the features of the new package are smart tags to link data between different applications, speech recognition functions, improved data recovery and more collaboration functions. A fully Arabised version, featuring complete Arabic support for all Office applications is also available immediately.

"Seeing is believing, and we are very confident that Microsoft Office XP will be an extremely popular product with our customers,” said Andy Abbar, Group Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation. “This latest version will empower individuals to experience and control the full functionality of the product, improve team communication and collaboration, and expand solution opportunities for organizations.”

Office currently accounts for over one third of Microsoft’s revenues, and analysts say that the new version could be worth up to $3 billion to the company. Over 90% of all businesses use Office as their main productivity package. Some analysts, however, are sceptical that businesses will be rushing to update to XP, when many have yet to even change to Office 2000. Changes to the licensing program also mean that some businesses could see the cost of licences rise by over 100%, also this is dependent on how frequently they chose to upgrade their software.

“Microsoft is committed to providing its customers with excellent and compelling solutions, and we're pleased to offer best-in-class technology," said Mazen Shehadeh, Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft GEM. “We anticipate great demand for Office XP due to the product's breadth of new capabilities and experiences it offers customers."

An individual user copy of the complete Office XP suite, including a Microsoft intellimouse, will sell for approximately $479. Purchasers in Dubai have the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win a GM car. More details and registration for the launch event, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on 31 May, are available at www.Microsoft.com/middleeast/officexplaunch

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