Microsoft Corp.’s Macintosh Business Unit today announced the official availability of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac at the Macworld Conference & Expo 2008. Office 2008 for Mac is significantly enhanced to provide a simplified user experience that helps beginners and longtime experts alike deliver professional documents that are compatible for co-workers and friends on Macs and PCs. The suite provides the Office tools Mac users rely on, with a Mac-like approach and style. In addition to Office 2008, the Mac BU Web site, Mactopia (http://www.microsoft.com/mac
), features a dramatic transformation to provide an even more resourceful hub for all things Mac BU.
“We developed Office 2008 for Mac as a comprehensive productivity suite that also helps people simplify their work,” said Craig Eisler, general manager of the Mac BU at Microsoft. “To complement the deep set of new and improved features, we redesigned the interface so that it is truly easier to use. Even Office beginners can create great-looking documents very quickly. And, at the core, we focused on delivering reliable compatibility so that users can confidently share documents across platforms.”
“Office 2008 is the latest in a long line of great Office for Mac releases that get better with every version,” said Ron Okamoto, vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple Computer Inc. “It has many new features that help you work faster and with more ease, and Mac users will also love how seamless it is to share Office 2008 files with PC users.”
Key to Compatibility: Keeping Mac and PC Users Connected
Mac users require the ability to share their documents with confidence; they also need a consistent look to their output on both PCs and Macs. Office 2008 for Mac is the most compatible suite on the market, sharing core technologies with the 2007 Office system such as Open XML File Formats and the graphics engine, OfficeArt, to ensure consistency in graphics rendering when they are shared. Office 2008 for Mac is also compatible with earlier file formats so that users can continue to use the older DOC, XLS and PPT binary formats. The updated suite is Universal and runs natively on Intel- and Power PC-based Macs.
Office 2008 also makes great strides to meet the needs of users in cross-platform organizations. The most complete Exchange client on the Mac, Entourage 2008 in Office 2008 for Mac and Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition delivers improved reliability and time management tools with updates for calendar management and Out of Office Assistant to keep users connected and productive. IT managers also will benefit from new tools for customized deployment.
Increased Discoverability: The Tools You Need When You Need Them
Office 2008 for Mac offers a streamlined and intuitive new user interface that lets users immediately jump in and start working. The updated suite keeps the traditional drop-down menus but adds the new Elements Gallery row of tools in Word, Excel and PowerPoint to unlock the power of Office. With the Elements Gallery, key features and functions are more discoverable and accessible so that users can efficiently tackle their work with the tools they need right at their fingertips. An example of the content in the Elements Gallery is Document Elements in Word 2008, which provides a thumbnail catalog of content and functions that simplify some common yet tedious tasks, such as inserting a table of contents or producing a professional-looking cover page.
Throughout the suite, users will find a revamped Toolbox that is now a true one-stop destination to find some of the most useful tools in Office for Mac: the Object Palette, Animation Settings and the new Citations function, which makes it a cinch to create citations and bibliographies. The Toolbox also features the contextual Formatting Palette, which adjusts its content for each application to truly make it more intuitive to create great-looking documents.
In addition, the new stand-alone My Day application allows users to track professional and personal priorities to stay on top of daily activities regardless of which application they are working in. Although My Day is connected to Entourage, users do not have to open the application to get a quick look at the day’s tasks, upcoming meetings and items on their To-Do List. When users do enter Entourage, they will enjoy a new simplified interface where they can customize the Toolbar, color-code their calendar appointments and easily add travel time to meetings.
Grows With You: The Perfect Product for Every User
For a casual or seasoned user, Office 2008 for Mac provides the right tools to complete any project. Excel 2008 is a prime example, with new features for all users, even those with “grid fear.” Ledger Sheets provide beginners with the prebuilt worksheets they need to easily master budgets, invoices and financial portfolios. Formula Builder walks users through the steps needed to confidently create accurate formulas. Advanced users can take on PivotTables and benefit from Formula AutoComplete, a drop-down menu that provides a variety of computation options. For power users, Excel 2008 introduces increased rows and columns that match the Windows-based 2007 Office system to ensure that users on Macs and PCs will have access to up to 16,000 columns and more than 1 million rows.
PowerPoint 2008 and Word 2008 both feature new design elements that give users as much help as they need. In either application, users can choose to start with a blank canvas or select from hundreds of new templates and themes to give their work a jump-start to polished perfection.
Professional Output: Your Ideas Look as Good as They Are
When ideas look good, they get the attention they deserve, and Office 2008 for Mac delivers new tools and functionality to create great-looking charts, graphics and professional documents with ease. A key component is SmartArt Graphics, another suitewide feature providing a wide range of professionally designed graphics that can be added to any document, spreadsheet or slide show with just the click of a button.
Publishing Layout View in Word 2008 is a new specialized work space where users can simply create and edit layout-rich documents. Newsletters, fliers and brochures are a snap to design with layout tools such as Zoom Loupe and color-coded, linked text boxes to flow columns of copy between pages. Updates to Notebook Layout View will help students stay organized with quick note-taking capabilities that let them search and flag relevant information.
PowerPoint 2008 is also packed with tools that produce professional-looking results. The new Thumbnail View provides a side navigation pane that makes it easier to ensure design consistency while improving the flow of slides. The Object Palette offers quick access to shapes, art, symbols and pictures, including iPhoto images, while Dynamic Guides help users quickly align text and graphics for a crisp, clean slide design. The improved Presenter Tools in PowerPoint 2008 become even more useful, now featuring both elapsed and actual time indicators for greater control over timing and pacing. And to help share slides on-the-go, new integration with iPhoto lets users share professional presentations from a Mac to an iPod by saving as a PNG or JPG file.
Even data can impress with new graphic capabilities in Excel. Excel 2008’s Building Charts utilize the new OfficeArt graphics engine, giving users a helpful tool to create polished, modern charts and modify their look and feel with a single mouse-click.
Mactopia Makeover: One Stop for Your Mac BU Needs
In addition to Office 2008 for Mac, the Mac BU today delivers an updated Mactopia site to help Mac users find the right products for their needs and to learn how to successfully use them to simplify their work, produce outstanding results and collaborate more effectively. Mactopia is the ultimate destination for Office for Mac and Mac BU content, including the team’s popular blog, Mac Mojo, and Office for Mac product forums. Directly connected to Office 2008 for Mac, the site will host the new online Help tool that features continuously updated content, including troubleshooting information, training courses and user-rated help articles. In addition, the site will feature an IT Pro page featuring resources and guidance, including the new Office 2008 for Mac Administrator’s Guide. The redesigned Mactopia can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mac
Office 2008 for Mac Options
Today marks the availability of Office 2008 for Mac in most regions worldwide, with full global availability by the end of the first quarter 2008. Microsoft Volume Licensing will be available for customers in the United States starting on Feb. 1, 2008. Customers with any previous version of Office for Mac are eligible for upgrade pricing. The three versions are as follows:
- Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. The core suite includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage along with Microsoft Exchange Server support and Automator tools for the ultimate Mac productivity experience. The estimated retail price is $399.95 (U.S.)* for the full retail version and $239.95 (U.S.) for the upgrade version.
- Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition. This specially priced version delivers three licenses for home and students with basic productivity needs and consists of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and a non-Exchange Server-enabled version of Entourage. The estimated retail price is $149.95 (U.S.) for the full retail version.
- Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition. This special new edition combines Office 2008 applications with the Microsoft Expression Media digital asset management system and is geared toward professional users who need Microsoft Exchange Server support and Automator tools and are looking for one product to meet their productivity and digital asset management needs. The estimated retail price is $499.95 (U.S.) for the full retail version and $299.95 (U.S.) for the upgrade version.