Microsoft plans SMB version of Office

When Microsoft releases in June the next update of its Microsoft Office suite, a new version tailored for small and medium businesses (SMBs) will be added to the product line, according to Microsoft.

Few details were forthcoming about the new version from Microsoft, which confirmed that an SMB edition of Office 2003 is in the works, but declined to comment on the software's anticipated functionality or pricing.

Microsoft's current Office suite, Office XP, has three versions. The Standard edition, priced at US$479 for new users, includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Office XP Professional, which also includes Microsoft's Access database software, retails for $579. The Developer version adds to the suite several development products such as FrontPage, and costs $799.

Pricing for Office 2003, now in beta testing, has not yet been announced.

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