Next version of Microsoft Office for Mac due by end of 2010

Both Macworld and CNET are reporting that the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac will be due by the end of 2010.

The next version of Office for Mac will include Outlook and will replace Entourage, the current e-mail and calendar program in the Mac Office suite. This new version of Outlook will add support for more Exchange features such as public folders.

"We'll bring forward all the functionality from the Entourage Web Services Edition, including public folders, managed folders, and category syncing, but with Outlook we're going even further and building a whole new application," said Microsoft Mac Business Unit general manager Eric Wilfrid. He also adds that Microsoft will create Outlook for Mac using Apple's modern Cocoa development frameworks. Microsoft will also bring back Visual Basic in the next version of Office for Mac, which was removed in the 2008 version.

When asked about rumors that Office may be coming to the iPhone, Wilfrid said, "No, there is no news today about any iPhone work." We've reported that Microsoft announced a partnership with Nokia, and that the company would be creating mobile versions of the Office applications for Symbian phones.

In a separate announcement Microsoft said it would launch a new Business edition of its Office for Mac software. This will replace the $399 Standard Edition and $499 Special Media Edition and join the existing Home and Student edition. This will reduce the number of Office for Mac product editions from three to two.

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16 Comments

Si_ said,
How about those mac guys at MS actually get to work getting this fabled new version of MSN Messenger out the door first!

MSN Messenger 8 beta is out now (google it), so I'm pretty sure that Office 2010 for Mac will include the final version, IMO they're gonna release MSN 8 for Mac before the release of Office 2010 for Mac

And guess what? It will include the so awaited features: Audio/Video support, so if Apple wants us to use iChat they're gonna need support MSN accounts on it, I use iChat for my MSN account via Jabber and I like it!

@Si_ : Totally agree with you.

MS is so much of a letdown on the Mac side of things at least. I mean, when Apple releases a new iTunes or Safari or QuickTime for the Mac, it also gets released on the same day on the Windows platform. But we have to wait for a whooooole year before getting the half-assed product that Office 2010 Mac will be compared to Office 2010 on Windows.

I tried the beta of MSN 8 for Mac and it's not even worth trying. It's more than an Alpha than a Beta. In fact, it's like the previous version, but with a crashy Audio / Video. I mean, I'm really happy that we'll finally get it, but they're taking sooooooo much time I cannot even believe it.

I would use iChat if it had a proper support for a few MSN features like Audio / Video, Custom Smileys and Handwriting. It doesn't look like it, but these are actually useful features (unlike Winks, ... Nudges are helpful but damn annoying, Apple should just send a growl notification in iChat if Growl's installed)

Pretty quick turnaround from 2008 if this is true. Wonder if they're gonna try and get the Windows and Mac versions to line up version-wise? So they're both 2010.

Please get a better UI The half-arsed ribbon didn't work in 2008.

Not so sure. I think the only thing prompting them to scrap Entourage is the fact that Snow Leopard is including the basic Exchange support into Mail, Calendar, and Address Book; pretty much all that Entourage does. So if they want people to buy Office for their email, including Outlook would probably be the only way.

No, the ribbon is crap. It's just stuck onto bottom of the (perfectly adequate) standard toolbar and none of its functions are ones you use all the time.

The current "ribbon" in Office:mac defeats the purpose of the ribbon. It only contains stuff like wordart, templates, etc., rather than the formatting tools that should be in the ribbon and are in the ribbon in Office for Windows. I hope they fix this in the next Office

what said,
No, the ribbon is crap. It's just stuck onto bottom of the (perfectly adequate) standard toolbar and none of its functions are ones you use all the time.

I couldn't agree more with you concerning the Ribbon they tried to do on the Mac. I mean, look at this, you have features :
- In the usual menus at the top
- In the inspector on the right
- In the toolbar at the top of the application
- In the ribbon interface

This is becoming too complex. And each of those areas have different features that you don't get elsewhere.

Personally, I always disliked these little inspectors on the right, because they're too small, the icons are too small, and they're cluttered. They should just remove all the menus like on Windows and work a finely-tuned Ribbon interface like on Windows! I mean, the design of the current interface fits the Mac perfectly IMO, but it's more harmful than helpful at the moment. As mindscape said, the purpose of the Ribbon is defeated because it contains just styles instead of the whole interface. And guess what? It still has a lot of tabs and looks quite full, but in fact it doesn't contain anything...

Plus, the Ribbon's sluggish. Put everything in Cocoa and it's gonna help (I know they'll do this for 2010 though - no worries).

They really need to tune the performance of Mac Office.. BIG time. I simply could not believe how slow to load it was on my now sold iMac - that was a 2.4GHz iMac with 4GB of RAM and it was literally 15 seconds or something to load the main applications. Assuming they follow Apples lead on Snow Leopard and make the binaries Intel only, it'll help a lot.. but it's impossible not to draw comparisons to the PC counterpart which loads exponentially quicker!

When asked about rumors that Office may be coming to the iPhone, Wilfrid said, "No, there is no news today about any iPhone work." We've reported that Microsoft announced a partnership with Nokia, and that the company would be creating mobile versions of the Office applications for Symbian phones.

Microsoft Office on Symbian? That sounds horrible!

I'm not really a fan of Office on Mac, I much prefer it on the Windows platform.

Hope they include the other canonical Office apps like OneNote, Publisher, etc., or at least stop trying to cram them together with Word (i.e. publishing and notebook views)

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