Microsoft’s Mac BU announces intent to deliver Office 2008 for Mac

Microsoft Corp.’s Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) have revealed at Macworld Conference & Expo 2007 that a new version of Office for Mac is on its way. The Mac BU announced its intent to deliver the first Universal version of Office for Mac for PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs — Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. Scheduled to be available in the second half of 2007.

“For more than two decades, Microsoft has been committed to delivering quality and innovation on the Macintosh platform while retaining unparalleled compatibility with PCs,” said Roz Ho, general manager of the Mac BU at Microsoft, in the press release. “Office 2008 is, by far, the most comprehensive, Mac-complementary productivity suite we’ve developed to date. I’ve witnessed firsthand the progression of this product, and am excited to think about the possibilities that soon will be available to our customers when Office 2008 launches later this year.”

Office 2008 for Mac shares a new graphics engine with Office for Windows. Office Art 2.0 provides users with the ability to add professionally designed graphics with a simple click of a button. Like the 2007 Microsoft Office system and its new user interface (UI) with the Ribbon, Office 2008 has its own new UI that introduces Elements Gallery, a feature that emphasizes discoverability and gives users quick access to tools and Mac-specific features within applications. According to Microsoft, both features leverage Mac OS capabilities to retain a Mac-like look and feel users are familiar with while taking advantage of new technologies.

Part of the Elements Gallery is a tool called Document Parts. Documents Parts simplify and automate some of the most common, but often difficult and tedious, document tasks — such as adding a table of contents or headers and footers — so users can produce manuscripts and papers that look professional.

Microsoft says Office 2008 for Mac “continues to deliver new Mac-first, Mac-only features aimed at providing customers with a unique, engaging and definitively Mac experience. Office 2008 for Mac will carry on the tradition of Mac BU’s productivity software, helping users get organized and work smarter through these features”

Micrsoft’s press release describes the features as follows:
• Publishing Layout View lets users create incredibly layout-rich documents such as newsletters, fliers and brochures by uncovering desktop publishing layout tools and providing text box entry.
• Ledger Sheets enable anyone to use Excel to handle common financial management tasks. Home and small-business users can balance checkbooks, track accounts or manage investment portfolios more easily than ever.
• My Day allows users to track priorities and stay on top of daily activities no matter what application they’re currently working in. My Day is a stand-alone application that doesn’t take up much screen space, offers at-a-glance schedule and task viewing without launching Entourage, and lets users color-code everything for visualizing daily priorities.

According to Microsoft’s press release:

To improve collaboration between Mac customers and their Windows-based PC counterparts, the Mac BU has continued to make compatibility with Office for Windows a key priority. Like the 2007 Office release, Office 2008 for Mac will use the Office Open XML Formats, which were just approved in December by standards body Ecma International as an international standard. In spring 2007, Microsoft plans to release a public beta of the file format converters for the current version, Office 2004 for Mac, so users can read and write the new Office Open XML Formats. Six to eight weeks after Office 2008 for Mac is launched, the Mac BU intends to ship final versions of the converters.

The Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft is a leading developer of software and online products for the Macintosh platform. The group comprises approximately 180 full-time Mac product experts and is dedicated to creating innovative software for Mac customers worldwide. For more than 20 years, Microsoft has developed award-winning software for the Mac. Current products include Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, a productivity suite that includes the e-mail application and personal information manager Entourage 2004, Word 2004, Excel 2004, PowerPoint 2004 and Messenger for Mac 6.0.

More information about the Mac BU and Microsoft Macintosh products is available at http://www.microsoft.com/mac

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Beginning of the end for Office for Mac? Microsoft drops Visual Basic support in Mac version – December 09, 2006
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software (or hardware) – May 16, 2003

27 Comments

  1. It’s hard to see this as a negative story. However when the only reason to ever upgrade to a new version of ms office is to fix bugs and deliberately introduced incompatibilities, one could ask why should I give MS my cash? When you’ve effectively bought the same expensive piece of software 3 times, maybe Limewire starts to look compelling! or indeed alternatives.

  2. Without Visual Basic this version of Office will never be compatible with the Windoz version. This means big problems for the Mac in the Corporate environment. I think MS knows this and figured this was the easiest way to sabotage the Mac resurgence in the Corporate environment.

  3. Office 2004 works just fine on my macbook pro. It’s really no slower or faster when run on my G5. I see no reason to shell out hundreds of dollars for a release that will have cross platform compatibility issues from the start.

    iLife has yet to fully mature as a viable alternative just yet. But, I imagine in time it will be a compelling solution. Also, there are certainly free legal office alternatives to download.

  4. I think the posters who mentioned iLife are referring to iWork. iWork with a apreadsheet will be great, but it’s good to have at least one more major release of Office, especially since this will be the first universal version. If the previous timetable holds (Office 2000, 2004, 2008), the next major release will be Office 2012, and Microsoft may not be interested supporting Mac by that time. Who knows… Long live the Mac BU (the largest collection of Mac programmers outside of Apple).

  5. I agree with Ken1w, it’s been great that Office has been on the Mac since the beginning. I feel that less and less the Mac needs the credibility that Office provides though, and hopefully both PC and Mac users will soon stop having to shell out over the odds for a product that hasn’t really evolved usefully for many a year.

  6. Without Macintosh computers to run this on, who needs it?

    From yesterday – Steve’s own words: “We are done with Macintosh”.

    And, “We have dropped ‘Computer’ from our name so there will be no confusion that we are any longer in the computer business.”

  7. “To improve collaboration between Mac customers and their Windows-based PC counterparts, the Mac BU has continued to make compatibility with Office for Windows a key priority.”

    What a crock of horseshit.

    Corporate Mac User, I agree.

    Without VBA it is definitely *NOT* compatible. VBA is critical to many medium to large corporate environments. M$ knows this. Eliminate VBA and keep Apple out of the corporate environment. Period.

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