Next Version of Office for Mac Drops in 2010

In time for the holiday shopping season

Microsoft is not only hard at work cooking the next iteration of the Office System for Windows users, but also the next version of Office for Mac. In this regard, the Redmond-based company has announced that the successor of Office 2008 for Mac will be offered to customers next year, ahead of the holiday season. Office 2010 for Windows is also planned for release in 2010, however, ahead of the general availability of the next iteration of Office for Mac, namely in the first half of the coming year. With the successor of Office 2008 for Mac, Microsoft will kill the Entourage for Mac email client, which will be replaced with Outlook for Mac.

“It is an exciting time for the MacBU [Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit] with updates to our current products and the first public announcement about the next version of Office for Mac. For several years we have focused on providing the best Microsoft Exchange client for the Mac, and the Web Services Edition delivers that today for Entourage users,” revealed Eric Wilfrid, general manager for the MacBU at Microsoft. “Outlook for Mac will bring features our customers have long requested — such as Information Rights Management — that make working across platforms even easier. I think people will see that this move to Outlook for Mac is more than just a name change.”

In a move designed to simplify the Office for Mac SKU lineup, MacBU informed that it would introduce the Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition on top of the current offering of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition. The software giant explained that Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition would be available for purchase come September 15, 2009, with customers being able to pre-order it on August 18. The new SKU will cost $399.95 and $239.95 for Version Upgrade. For current Entourage users, the Redmond-based company is already offering Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac, Web Services Edition today.

“Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Server have been a cornerstone of communications and collaboration for our enterprise customers,” added Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of the Office product management group at Microsoft. “Today’s release of the Web Services Edition strengthens Exchange connectivity for Entourage customers and sets the stage for the move to the new application — Outlook for Mac. These updates continue Microsoft and the MacBU’s tradition of delivering the most complete solution to help customers manage their time, and better share their information and collaborate with others.”

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