“Office 2008 for Mac has gingerly stepped out of the alpha phase of its development as Microsoft works towards a late 2007 release of its overhauled Macintosh suite.
‘We’re in private betas right now’ confirmed Sheridan Jones, Lead Marketing Manager for Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit (MacBU), during an exclusive interview with APC magazine.
While Jones was unable to speculate on the timetable for any public beta or the targets for RTM (release to manufacture), a demo of an alpha build showed the revised user interface is moving in a very appealing and Mac-like direction,” David Flynn reports for APC Magazine.
Flynn reports, “Our peek at the alpha build, which Jones cautioned was still in the very earliest of stages of both the UI and backend development, showed hints of a streamlined look with a modern black sheen, at times similar to the elements in recent Apple applications such as iTunes 7 and iLife 06. Rest easy, Mac-fans — this is not Office for Windows.”
“Parts of the redesign are peeking through almost every application, as well as application modules such as the notebook view in Word, and Jones promises that there’s plenty to share in the months ahead.” Flynn reports.
“While there’s no Office 2007 ribbon in sight, one inheritance from its Windows counterpart is the ‘Escher’ graphics engine which is responsible for Office 2007’s dramatically improved art and charting capabilities,” Flynn reports. “All of the Office 2008 for Mac applications, most noticeably Word and PowerPoint, can conjure graphics with elegant visuals such as 3D effects, mirroring, glass effects, glows and shadows.”
Full article with screenshots here.
MacDailyNews Take: Thrilling. Hey, have you seen? NeoOffice 2.1 is out! NeoOffice (screenshot) is a fully-featured set of office applications (including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing programs) for Mac OS X. Based on the OpenOffice.org office suite, NeoOffice has integrated dozens of native Mac features and can import, edit, and exchange files with other office programs such as Microsoft Office. Released as free, open source software under the GNU General Public License (GPL), NeoOffice is fully functional and ready for everyday use. The software is actively developed, so improvements and small updates are made available on a regular basis. More info and download link: http://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/download.php
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