Office 2008 for Mac: It's coming this year

by admin January 11, 2007 at 1:12 pm

And “it’s very Mac-like”, says Microsoft…

Putting lingering questions about update timing to rest, Microsoft has announced the new version of Office for Mac will arrive in the second half of this year.

Office 2008 for Mac – as the product is being dubbed – is a universal binary, the company said. That means the software runs both on Macs with Intel chips and on those with PowerPC chips. In addition, it is compatible with the new XML file formats used by Office 2007 for Windows, which hits retail shelves this month.

As with that Windows-geared update, much of the focus on Office 2008 for Mac has been on revamping the user interface. The new Mac software, though, will not use Office 2007’s “ribbon” user interface but will instead have its own look, dubbed the “element gallery”.

Microsoft’s Sheridan Jones, a group marketing manager in Redmond’s Macintosh Business Unit, said: “It’s very Mac-like. It’s not an incredibly abrupt change for our users.”

The software has taken somewhat longer to arrive than the 18 to 24 months that typically elapse between releases. The current version, Office 2004 for Mac, debuted in the spring of 2004.

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