“Microsoft’s next-gen Office suite for the Mac is being given a top-to-toe refit in readiness for its debut in the third quarter of 2007,” David Flynn reports for APC Magazine.
“On the surface is a revised interface which borrows ideas from the Office 2007 for Windows ‘ribbon’ and has already been radically changed due to user feedback. The new versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint will all adopt the native XML file formats of their Windows siblings,” Flynn reports. “And, the program is of course being rebuilt as an Intel-friendly Universal Binary application.”
Flynn reports that Mary Starman, group product manager for Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU), said, “‘Typically we release about 6-8 months after Windows Office, and they’ve announced general availability in the January timeframe, so we would be 6-8 months after that.’ If her timetable holds firm, the program that will likely be christened as ‘Office 2007′ will touch down between July and September of 2007 — around three and a half years since the arrival of Office 2004 in March of that year.”
“’We will be doing a UI refresh,’ Starman confirms, ‘but it won’t be exactly like you see in Office 2007. It just wouldn’t make sense. Apple has got their own very specific set of user interface guidelines and we try to first and foremost to follow those guidelines. If we can innovate on top of that and do some interesting things to make sure that the interface is really discoverable for the Mac user, then we’ll look at doing that. We can get some ideas (from the ribbon) but it still has to fit within Apple’s UI guideline, that’s what a Mac user wants to see’ Starman says,” Flynn reports.
Full article here.
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