Microsoft will be releasing the first update to the Office suite for Mac with the Office:mac scheduled for release on January 15, 2008.

An excerpt from Macworld:

When it arrives on U.S. retail shelves later this month (with international sales to follow), Office 2008 will sport a number of new features, not the least of which is the ability to run natively on Intel-based Macs. But from Microsoft’s perspective, some of the most important features in the latest version of its massive productivity suite have already been in place for some time.

Office for Mac will ship in three versions:

  • Office 2008 for Mac ($400; $240 upgrade)
  • Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition ($150)
  • Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition ($500; $300 upgrade)

The pack will include:

  • Word 2008
  • Excel
  • Entourage 2008
  • PowerPoint
  • Messenger for Mac
  • Support for Open XML format

The Office for Mac does look like it has been crafted for more attractive document creation and sports several features making it better than the Windows version.

More information:

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac (PC Mag)

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac: a first look (ZDNet)

With release near, Microsoft previews Mac Office 2008 (ComputerWorld)