Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it will include Outlook, a popular e-mail and calendar program that's ubiquitous on its Windows computers, in the next version of its Office suite for Apple Inc.'s Mac computers.
The current Mac version of Office includes Entourage, a program for sending e-mail and organizing appointments and contacts. The new version, which will be available in time for the 2010 holiday buying season, will replace Entourage with Outlook.
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Microsoft's Mac unit is building the software from scratch, so Outlook will work with the Mac's backup and hard-drive search features.
Apple recently said the next version of its Mac operating system, called Snow Leopard, will include support for Microsoft Exchange Server, the behind-the-scenes software that makes Outlook work.
Microsoft also said it will change how it packages the currently available Office for Mac 2008 starting in September.
The cheapest option, the Home and Student Edition, will remain priced at $150. But it is eliminating the $400 standard version and the $500 Special Media Edition; a $400 Business Edition, available for $240 as an upgrade, will replace those two.