updated 04:25 pm EST, Tue January 9, 2007
Office 2008 to ship in '07
Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) today revealed that a new, Universal version of Office for Mac is slated for shipment in the second half of 2007. Office 2008 for Mac shares a new graphics engine with Office for Windows, and Office Art 2.0 enables users to add professionally designed graphics with one click. Office 2008 features a new user interface that introduces an Elements Gallery, emphasizing discoverability while providing quick access to tools as well as Mac-specific features within applications. Document Parts -- a tool that comes as part of the Elements Gallery -- enables users to simplify and automate some of the most common document tasks, such as adding a table of contents or headers and footers. [corrected]
Mac-only features include a publishing layout view to support layout-rich documents such as newsletters, fliers, and brochures; ledger sheets for handling common financial management tasks in Excel; and 'My Day' which allows users to track priorities while staying on top of daily activities. Mac BU will use the Office Open XML formats which were just approved in December by standards body Ecma International as an international standard, and in the spring Microsoft plans to release a public beta of the file format converters for Office 2004 for Mac, enabling users to read as well as write the new Office Open XML formats. The Mac BU plans to ship final versions of the converters six to eight weeks after Office 2008 for Mac launches.