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Microsoft enhances three productivity apps

Microsoft has released tools intended to help businesses get more return on investment with three of its productivity applications: FrontPage 2002, Project Standard 2002 and Visio 2002.

Microsoft's Right Tools Toolkits are aimed at human resources, accounting and finance, sales and marketing, government, and projects and process management, and are intended to help them get more use out of their software.

Each toolkit includes templates that make it easier to create Web pages, charts and other documents related to the particular field, as well as "cheat sheets" that show how to perform common tasks faster.

For people working in human resources, for example, the toolkit for FrontPage includes templates for building Web sites that provide information about benefits, recruiting or compensation. The toolkit for Project includes templates for managing a recruitment campaign and other relevant tasks.

Microsoft will offer five kits in all, each of which includes tools, templates and other resources. Many customers may already own licences to these applications through volume licensing agreements but may not know it or may not be aware of what the applications can do.

The toolkits also give Microsoft a way of providing new features that are relevant to particular lines of business without having to cram more features into the standard versions of its applications.

The toolkits are based on the 2002 versions of the applications, but for the most part they are "version agnostic", meaning that most templates can be used by customers with older versions of the software.

New and existing customers can register for the Microsoft Right Tools Toolkit free of charge at www.msrighttools.com. New customers will receive a 90-day evaluation licence for each of the three applications.

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