Microsoft has finalized the details of the product lineup and the pricing for its Mac Office 2008 Suite, due on the January 15, 2008. The suite will consist of Word 2008, Excel 2008, PowerPoint 2008, and Entourage 2008, which is the equivalent of Microsoft Outlook for the Windows platform.
Office 2008 will feature new, larger toolbars and buttons, though not the "ribbon" interface as with Office 2007 for Windows.
Some of the other new features, according to eWeek:
In addition, Office 2008 will include the following new features: Ledger Sheets for Excel 2008, a Publishing Layout View in Word 2008 (perhaps to compete more directly with Apple's Pages application), new SmartArt graphics capabilities and a My Day schedule widget for Entourage 2008.
It appears that Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support has been dropped in favor of automation through AppleScript. This is really the result of Office 2008's move to being a Universal Binary application, which should provide a speed boost compared to Office 2004 on Intel-based Macs.
Office 2008 will come in three versions. The "core" version, Office 2008 for Mac, which includes all of the applications plus Automator and Microsoft Exchange Server support, will cost $399.95, with a $239.95 upgrade price.
Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Student Edition allows three user licenses but does not include the Automator and Exchange Server support. The cost for this retail version is $149.95, with no upgrade pricing announced.
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.