Microsoft said Monday that it was expecting to release Office for Mac 2011 in October, while at the same time cutting the price as much as 50 percent to bring pricing in line with its Windows counterparts. Two versions of the software would be made available, one directed at academics and the other for business.
Mac Office 2011 will ship worldwide “at the end of October,” the company said in a statement Monday. Most consumers will have a choice between two editions—Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 and Office for Mac Home and Business 2011.
Mac Home and Student edition will cost $119 and include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Messenger for Mac – a 20 percent reduction from Office for Mac 2008′s $149.95 price. The Home and Business Edition will cost $199 and adds the Outlook email and collaboration app. That edition is significantly down from $399.95 for its predecessor version.
A $99 version of the business suite would also be made available, but only to those in higher-education. Proof of employment or enrollment in an academic institution would likely be required to take advantage of the discount.
Microsoft is also offering a Technology Guarantee Program for Mac Office. Under the program, consumers who purchase Mac Office 2008 starting Monday will be offered the chance to upgrade to Mac Office 2011 for free, when the latter becomes available. The company also announced that anyone purchasing the current Mac Office 2008 suite starting today would be entitled to a free upgrade to the 2011 version through its Microsoft Office for Mac Technology Guarantee Program.