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Microsoft Details Shift From Entourage to Outlook for Next Major Release, Announces Office 2008 Business Edition

Microsoft today announced that the next major version of Office for Mac will see the replacement of its Entourage for Mac e-mail client with Outlook for Mac. The company has also deployed a Web Services Edition of Entourage 2008 for Mac beginning today, offering users the ability sync Tasks, Notes and Categories.

Outlook for Mac will bring to the next major version of Office for Mac a number of new features, particularly targeted at enterprise users, designed to enhance productivity.

- Cocoa. Built from the ground up using Cocoa providing users with improved integration with the Mac OS
- New database. A high-speed file-based database with support for backing up files with Time Machine and Spotlight searching
- Information Rights Management. Helps prevent sensitive information from being distributed to or read by people who do not have permission to access the content

The Loop reports that the next version of Office for Mac is scheduled for launch in the "Holiday season 2010."

Microsoft also announced the introduction of Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition, scheduled for release on September 15th. The new edition will replace the existing Standard Edition and Special Media Edition packages with a single suite offering support for Microsoft Exchange. New features in the Business Edition include:

- Entourage 2008 for Mac, Web Services Edition. Improves performance, brings new features and support for the latest version of Exchange Server
- Microsoft Document Connection for Mac. Helps improve access and browsing to documents on SharePoint Products and Technologies and Microsoft Office Live Workspace
- New art. More than 200 business-related templates and professional clip art
- lynda.com training. Training for beginning to advanced users by lynda.com Inc.

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition will be available for pre-order beginning August 18th at a price of $399.95 for the full version or $239.95 as an upgrade. The existing Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition will continue to be offered at $149.95.