Microsoft Corp. launched the newest version of its Office software, kicking off a $150 million ad campaign in hopes of convincing customers that the upgrade is worth the cost despite a skittish economy.

Investing in the new Office software will help workers better collaborate on projects and increase business productivity without requiring serious hardware upgrades, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Read more: [URL=http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/biztech/10/22/microsoft.office.ap/index.html]CNN[/URL].