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8/1/2007
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Microsoft Releases Mac-Friendly Tools For Vista, Office 2007

The file converter software lets users of the Mac version of Microsoft Office open files created in Microsoft's new Office Open XML format.

Microsoft on Tuesday released trial versions of software designed to make life easier for Mac enthusiasts that also use Microsoft products.

The first piece of software is a file converter that lets users of the Mac version of Microsoft Office open files created in Microsoft's new Office Open XML format, which is native to the Windows-only Office 2007.

The software -- Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 0.2 -- offers a number of enhancements over existing converters, Microsoft said.

Among them: improved conversion of Word documents that contain XML content, inline graphics, and hyperlinked graphics. It also adds support for opening PowerPoint files stored in Office 2007's .pptx PowerPoint format, and PowerPoint shows stored in the .ppsx format. The converter is aimed at users of Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac and Microsoft Office v. X for Mac, Microsoft said. The company warns that the software is a beta release and "might be unable to convert all the data in Office Open XML files."

The second file available for download is a beta version of a connectivity utility that lets Mac users access files on Windows XP Professional-based PCs and PCs running the Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate versions of Windows Vista. It will also connect Mac computers to machines running Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac 2.0 will run natively on both Intel-based and PowerPC-based Macs, Microsoft said. It lets users access files on multiple Windows PCs from a single Mac client. The utility is currently only available in English.

The downloads are available at Microsoft's Macintosh page free of charge.

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