Microsoft introduced Office Business Edition for the Mac on Thursday, and also offered a little peek into what users can expect from the next version of the Office Suite. The new Business Edition will be available on September 15.
The new Business Edition of the Office for Mac Suite will replace the Office 2008 and Office 2008 Special Media Editions. The new bundle will also include Entourage Web Services Edition, along with over 200 additional templates, Microsoft Document Connection support, and training from Lynda.com.
The Home and Student Edition of Office for the Mac will still be available, so users will still be able to choose from student and business versions of the application suite.
Office for the Mac Business Edition will be priced at US$399.
Along with the Business Edition of the Office Suite, Microsoft's Mac BU General Manager Eric Wilfred also offered a brief glimpse into what users can expect when the next version of the Mac Office Suite will offer when it ships in late 2010.
The next version of the Office Suite will include Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but Entourage will bow out in favor of a Mac native version of Outlook. Outlook for the Mac will be a Cocoa application, will include Microsoft Exchange support, and will also sport a redesigned database file format.
Mr. Wilfred reconfirmed that the next version of Office for the Mac will reintroduce Visual basic support, a feature that's missing from the current Office 2008 Suite for the Mac. Bringing back Visual Basic support will let Mac work with documents that contain VB-based automated functions, and to share those files with Windows users -- something they haven't been able to do with the current version of the Office Suite.
The next major version of Office for the Mac is due "in time for the holiday season" in 2010. Mr. Wilfred didn't offer a more precise time frame, or an idea on how much users can expect to pay for the suite.