Microsoft has frozen the price of its latest Office XP software at the same level as Office 2000, and hopes the move will encourage more resellers to push the system to their customers.
The software giant will release the product globally on 31 May. UK stores will carry 160,000 copies of the software available throughout June priced at £199 including VAT.
The standard edition of Office XP (including Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint) will be sold at about £429 for new users and £199 for those upgrading from Office 97 or 2000.
The operating system will need a minimum of 128Mb of memory and a 300Mhz processor to run, compared with the 133Mhz processor and 64Mb of memory required to run Windows 2000. However, Microsoft declined to comment on whether users will have to upgrade their systems.
A Microsoft spokesman said that the price freeze will help resellers encourage their customers to upgrade to Office XP.
"We are hoping to encourage people as far as possible to try out Office XP. By introducing a price freeze, those who have maybe been holding back on purchasing the product will hopefully reconsider," he said.
The freeze has been well received by resellers, which will be able to value-add extras onto the software at a competitive price for their customers, the representative claimed. "We are hoping the channel will make Office XP one of the key focuses of the year," said the spokesman.
Microsoft also announced that it has signed a number of UK partners that are developing new applications using Smart Tags for the Office XP platform.
Smart Tags automatically link content in Office-based documents to related content, which can be hosted on servers and websites and in files. The partners signed include ICS Solutions, Gael and Conchango.
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