Today, Microsoft announced that Office 2011 for Mac is now available. The update to the ubiquitous productivity suite includes a number of major additions, including the return of Visual Basic scripting, the replacement of Entourage with a Mac version of Outlook, and integration with Microsoft’s online collaboration tools.
In addition to adding Outlook for Mac, Office 2011 adds a new focus on cloud-based creation and collaboration. It meshes with Office Web apps, SkyDrive, and SharePoint, and brings new co-authoring tools that let users simultaneously edit documents or share presentations with remote users through their browser. With this increased focus on collaboration, users will be sharing the Office experience across Mac OS and Windows machines, so Office 2011 for Mac also focuses on file format compatibility and homogenous experiences.
Eric Wilfrid, general manager of the Microsoft Office for Mac team, said though his company and Apple compete, there are still customers on the Mac platform who need to use Microsoft Office in a Windows-centric world. “As someone who works at Microsoft and deals with Apple often, I acknowledge that our companies compete,” Wilfrid said. “Some people choose Windows, and some people choose Mac. That conflict tends to get a lot of attention, but I deal in the reality that there are customers who love their Macs and also love using Office.”
Those who choose Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac will get the latest versions of Microsoft’s well known office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, as well as Outlook – for the first time. The new Office suite is compatible with Microsoft Exchange and offers its users the possibility to work with Microsoft’s online cloud-based suite, Office 365, allowing them to create, edit and update documents simultaneously.
Additionally, Office 2011 supports Microsoft’s online collaboration tools such as Windows Live SkyDrive, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Office Web Apps. Office 2011 users and Office 2010 users on Windows can simultaneously edit documents from any location with an Internet connection. The return of VBA scripting means complex documents with special forms, macros, and other features from Windows colleagues will be completely accessible. And, new photo editing and layout tools also make it easier to create visually rich documents without having to rely on other apps.
Microsoft announced the pricing for Office for Mac 2011 back in August: Home & Student Edition costs $119 for a single license and $149 for family pack; Home & Business Edition costs $199, and $279 for a 2-license “multi-pack,” and Academic Edition costs $99. Buy Office 2011 Mac from Amazon.