Microsoft Announces Mac Office 2008

Microsoft announced today Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. While not scheduled to ship until the second half of 2007, the company overviewed some of the major new features.

Office 2008 will share the same graphics engine as Office for Windows, and include Office Art 2.0. Office 2008 will also gain new interface features from Office for Windows 2007 like the Ribbon.

Also mentioned are new Mac-only features such as a Publishing Layout View that will allow Word users to create layout-rich documents (newsletters, fliers, and brochures), Ledger Sheets in Excel, and "My Day" priority tracking in Entourage.

Office 2008 will use Microsoft's new Open XML format, and Microsoft has pledged to provide beta file format converters for users of Office 2004 by Spring 2004. Also, Office 2008 will be the first version of Office to be a Universal Binary.

Microsft has not yet released pricing information, however current versions range from $149 for the Student and Teacher Edition to $399 for the Standard Edition (Professional Edition is likely to be discontinued with the next version of Office since Microsoft's decision to stop developing VirtualPC for Mac).

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