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Office for Mac 2011 To Be More Similar to Office on Windows

Microsoft partners supporting customers on Apple Macs have a new version of Office coming from the Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU). Today at Macworld 2010 in San Francisco, the MacBU provided some details about Office for Mac 2011, which is supposed to be available later this year.

Certain elements of the Office suite should be especially attractive to partners supporting customers with Office on both Windows and Mac platforms. The high-level changes coming in Office for Mac 2011 are new connections to Microsoft services, an updated UI that sounds like a half-step toward the ribbon interface, document compatibility and the replacement of the Entourage e-mail client with Outlook for Mac.

While Microsoft has previously discussed Outlook for Mac, which will leverage Exchange Web Services protocols, Microsoft announced at Macworld that users of Outlook for Mac will be able to import .PST files from Outlook for Windows.

The Office for Mac ribbon seems to acknowledge some of the user pushback on the ribbon interface. In a release, Microsoft stated, "We took your feedback and haven't completely rearranged what you know and love: the new design is an evolution of the Office 2008 Elements Gallery and uses the classic Mac menu and the Standard Toolbar giving you the best of both worlds." The MacBU also promises that power users will have the option to collapse the ribbon and Toolbar for more screen space.

Office 2011 will also bring to the Mac platform the Microsoft Office Web Apps that Microsoft introduced to PC users in Microsoft Office 2010.

There's more detail on the Office for Mac 2011 announcement in this news story.

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 11, 2010 at 11:58 AM