Microsoft Announces Office Business Edition, New Office for Mac

| Product News

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

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.



Maybe this means that the next version of Outlook for Mac will finally bring parity with the Windows version.  I’m not holding my breath however.


They would have done better to port Entourage to Windows. Outlook is a beast.


It’s moot! By that time most Mac users at work will have already switched to Apple Mail. The only exception will be departments that use Entourage’s Project Center (if that feature survives in Outlook) and, oh yes, the Mac IT department, who will still need Outlook functions to create and edit mail groups, public folders, etc. (That was the main reason to run Parallels at my last job!)


Magic 8 Ball says: Outlook not so good.


Obligatory Reference to Free OpenOffice


Wow! This is horrible news!

I can’t believe that MS is vacating Entourage.
It is the best product ever! 
I use it every day all day long….and never need to use Apple’s iCal, address book, etc. (which don’t have as much integration and capability).

Why?  Because Ent has everything I need in one program (except for Accounting) and all the components are integrated with each other and/or allow linking of records between each other (and also linking to WORD and EXCEL files).

This connected functionality has existed for years.
No other product does it as well.
Email, Contacts, Calendars, Projects, Notes, Word docs, Excel docs are all connected together—all the info is share-able between them.

I’ll have to completely change my daily operation.
And it will be harder to duplicate.
Entourage has been so under-used and under-appreciated by the Mac community (because most novices never look beyond Address Book and iCal).

Not a good move, MS.  Just add Outlook to the existing Office for Mac package and leave Entourage in there.

The iSync syncing ability could have been better (as Ent essentially has to push its info into and out of Address Book and iCal—which don’t have exactly matching cells).


Entourage is no Outlook.  It’s got some features that make it at least use-able in a corporate environment, but it’s a long way from feature parity.

Apple Mail is way too light weight to even get close to Entourage, let alone Outlook.  It’s a consumer tool, not a professional corporate mail client.


As a former IT Director, who used Entourage myself for the last 7(?) years, I found that Entourage was the source of many of our support calls. Did you ever see someone with a 20GB Main Database, because no one told them that email is a “communications tool”, not a “file storage tool”? I have, just before he lost ALL HIS MAIL (as the database got too corrupt to fix).

As I say to users: “if you know you are the type of person who can be trusted to remove all attachments you get or send, then you can use Entourage”. Otherwise use Mail/Address Book/iCal. I switched after many struggles to sync with MobileMe/iPhone - it was just easier.


I don’t use Exchange services and doubt I will for some time, so the Entourage/Outlook label is largely irrelevant to me, but of course I’m always happy to get more for my money.  What I REALLY want to see is the ability to sync with all calendars in Mac’s Sync Services.  I have a bad feeling that’s not gonna happen, but a boy can dream, can’t he?

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