updated 11:50 am EDT, Thu August 13, 2009
New Office for Mac planned
Microsoft on Thursday announced plans to release a new version of Office for Mac sometime late in 2010. The update will feature a new application, Outlook for Mac, that will serve as a replacement for Entourage. The company is also set to include Visual Basic support once again, after the feature was removed from the Office 2008 release.
The new Outlook component will utilize an improved database compared to Entourage. MacBU general manager Eric Wilfrid claims it will provide "incredible reliability, better performance and better integration with technologies such as Time Machine for backup and Spotlight for search."
Wilfrid noted that the Mac version of Outlook will differ in many ways from its Windows counterpart. The two applications will, however, "work great together" and enable cross-platform management of sensitive and confidential materials.
Apple's upcoming Snow Leopard operating system promises expanded Exchange support. Microsoft declined to comment on how Outlook for Mac will compare, as the OS X update has not yet been released.
Rumors suggested Microsoft's press conference might involve an announcement regarding Office for the iPhone, as the company on Wednesday announced a new alliance with Nokia to bring the software suite to the Symbian platform. Wilfrid admitted the idea has been a "popular question," but the company did not have any announcements to make regarding Office on the iPhone. He did not explicitly deny the company was working on such a project, however.
The Office for Mac update is allegedly "on track" for release sometime near the holiday season in 2010.