Microsoft takes centre stage at Apple user group event

To be held at Swinburne University on April 5, 2008

Microsoft will be a special guest at an Apple user group event to be held in Melbourne next month.

Microsoft's Australian product manager, Julia Nicolls, will demonstrate the features of the latest major update to its flagship product, Office 2008 for Mac, at the Apple Users Society of Melbourne (AUSOM) meeting on April 5, 2008.

Asked about Microsoft's participation, AUSOM president, Dick Johnson, said the software giant is no newcomer to speaking engagements for the group.

'I'm delighted that Microsoft has agreed to attend to give our members and visitors an insight to this significantly upgraded software package," Johnson said.

'It's part of AUSOM's philosophy that we regularly touch base with information sources and resources in the Apple and computing industry to keep our members up to date."

Only last February, Johnson said the company addressed the Microsoft Office Special Interest Group about the new Open XML standard for document interchange between operating system platforms.

Office 2008 for Mac is the core suite that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage and Microsoft Messenger for exceptional productivity on the Mac.

All versions of Office 2008 for Mac support the new Open XML file format and are Universal applications that will perform natively on Power PC- and Intel-based Macs.

The presentation will be held at Swinburne University and entry is free.

AUSOM is the largest Apple user group in Australia with almost 1000 members and may now be the largest in the world, according to Johnson.

It hosts over 20 Special Interest Group sessions on subjects such as iPod and iTunes, digital video, digital photography, Microsoft Office, genealogy, Mac news and gossip, Filemaker, iWork, Web authoring and operating systems.

Only last week Microsoft patched the latest version of Office for Mac to fix more than two dozen problems, including a security snafu revealed just days after the suite launched in mid-January.

Separately, security researchers said this week they have found a way of locally bypassing the security of Mac OS X's Keychain password system.

Apple confirmed a security bug that could allow local users to get access to a Mac OS X user's passwords.

The problem was discovered by programmer Jacob Appelbaum, one of the researchers who has published methods for cracking hard disk encryption systems.

The password problem, which is specific to Mac OS X, is down to a programming error that stores the user account password in the computer's physical memory even after it's no longer needed.

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