Mac users who have been waiting for a new release of Microsoft Office for Mac will not have much longer to wait. Microsoft has confirmed today that it will be released a little ahead of schedule when it arrives on October 26th.
The big draw of the new version of Office for Mac 2011 has to be the tighter Windows version compatibility, along with the replacement of the Entourage Email client with the first ever version of Outlook for Mac with total Exchange integration and support. With more Mac systems being used in enterprise IT environments, the addition of Outlook with Exchange support is actually a very big deal.
The latest version will rip a page out of the Office for Windows playbook and be available in two flavors, which are the “Home and Student Edition,” “Home and Business Edition,” and Excel/PowerPoint/Word will be available for a la carte purchase.
Early reports peg this as the best version of Office on the Mac yet, with a better look and feel as well as much better performance than previous versions, with tighter Apple integration. Users who purchase the Mac Office 2008 version between now and the release of the 2011 version should be able to get a free upgrade to 2011 once it is released through the Microsoft promotion that they are currently running.