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Microsoft says the final version of Office 2008 for the Mac will be able to export PowerPoint presentations to the iPod or iPhone.
According to the Microsoft Mac Mojo blog, the feature will work with iPod models that support pictures. Those include the iPod Touch, iPod Classic, and the current generation iPod Nano. Office-for-Mac 2008 users also will need iPhotos 2006 or later.
The way the process would work is Office would export the PowerPoint presentation either directly to iPhotos, or to the pictures folder in iPhotos. From there, the pictures would be synchronized to the iPod or iPhone through iTunes. Users would then use the built-in photos or slideshow program in the iPod or iPhone to show the presentation.
PowerPoint slides can be projected on a big-screen digital TV through an Apple component AV or composite AV cable plugged into an iPod or iPhone. The same setup is used for showing any picture on the devices on a TV.
Microsoft plans to ship the Mac version of its new Office productivity suite on January 15th. The software is a version of the Windows-based Office 2007 rewritten for Apple computers. The suite includes Word 2008, Excel 2008, PowerPoint 2008, and Entourage 2008, which is a contact and scheduling application.
Microsoft is expanding the capabilities of Office for the Mac at a time when its dominance on the desktop is under pressure from rivals. IBM is among its most formidable challengers. In September, IBM said it would offer a private-label version of the OpenOffice productivity suite called Lotus Symphony as a free download. The product, however, only runs on Windows and Linux PCs.
The full retail version of Mac Office 2008 is priced at $399.95, while the upgrade version for Mac Office 2004 users is $239.95. The Media Edition costs $499.95.