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Microsoft debuts Office for Mac 2011

updated 12:20 pm EST, Thu February 11, 2010

To integrate Outlook, ribbon interface

Microsoft has formally unveiled Office for Mac 2011, the next version of its work suite. The software makes a variety of major changes, for instance incorporating the ribbon interface now standard in Windows versions of Office. On the Mac however the interface should still incorporate elements of the Office 2008 Elements Gallery, as well as the traditional Mac menu and the Standard Toolbar. Both the ribbon and the Toolbar are collapsible.

Entourage is meanwhile being replaced with Outlook for Mac, which is written in Cocoa and supports Exchange Web Services. It can also import PST files from the Windows version of Outlook, and use locks to prevent e-mail from being read by users without the right permissions.

New co-authoring tools have been integrated for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, allowing people in multiple locations to work on the same documents. Users can set meetings, keep track of multiple versions, and learn when other members of a team are working on a file. The suite similarly integrates access to Office Web Apps, making it possible to grab files remotely.

No precise release date for the 2011 Mac software has been announced, but it should be available "later this year," according to Microsoft.

by MacNN Staff



  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I will be optimistic and say I look forward to more enhanced Office for Mac, especially w/ Outlook and hopefully the return of Excel macros.


  1. GPotvin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Data corruption on OS X Server network

    Yeah, but will Outlook get corrupted like the Entourage database when on an OS X Server network? Will file permissions continue to be corrupted on an OS X network? It is an absolute support nightmare as it stands.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Those screenshots show exactly why Office 2011 (and Office 2008) is useless to me - look how much screen space is taken up by the ribbon and the toolbar. You get less than a half page of the document on the screen.

    Compare that to Office 2004, where I have more than 50 tools in my toolbar (two rows), and it's less than an inch high.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Even a non-designer can see right off the bat what's wrong with this interface.
    Screens are wide(r than ever) and paper is still tall for the foreseeable future.
    Relegate tools to the sides - at least as an option if not with an inspector like the Mac apps do.

  1. SaudiMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No RTL languages

    Nothing about Arabic/Hebrew language support.. ugh

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Data corruption on OS X Server network

    I second that. Entourage 2004 and 2008 has been nothing but a thorn in my side. Rebuilding DB's every 3 months due to "corruption" seems to be a standard feature. After a rebuild, you can be guaranteed that old, already sent emails will be sent again because they were "recovered". not to mention the "your database is corrupt and needs to be rebuilt" message you get AFTER you just rebuilt the d*** thing.

    I also hate the fact of having all of your eggs in one basket. One file. one single point of failure. Plus the gigs of data which are being wasted on backups, since the file changes daily hence, needs to be backed up daily...

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh well...

    At least it's not the totally hideous interface of Office 2007. On my work computer, I have it not show the ribbon unless I want it. Then I've got more screen real estate.

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'll add to the comments already here with that title. Maybe somebody at MS will see this...

    With all the widescreen computers, this should be an option.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Old Reliables

    I abandoned Word for Mellel about three years ago and am still using the version of Excel that came with Office V.x The safest thing to do as far as Microsoft is concerned is stick with what works and ditch what doesn't.

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Data Corruption

    Given how PSTs and OSTs on Windows aren't exactly paragons of robustness, you can probably give up hope that the Outlook Mac DB will be any better.

    As for backups, I put my Entourage Data on a sparsebundle disk image which is mounted at login. As far as the OS is concerned, that breaks it up into small (8MB, I think) chunks and backup operations only copy the chunks that changed. Just put a shortcut to the mounted disk in your ~/Documents folder and name it "Microsoft User Data"

    I do the sparsebundle trick for my VMs too, so they can also get backed up more quickly.

    It might be kind of a high-maintenance thing to do for all users on a large network, but for individual users it'll get the job done.

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