Microsoft Ships Office 2011 for Mac

| Product News

Microsoft officially released Office 2011 for Mac on Tuesday, with several new features as well as the return of support for macros. Microsoft was the target of criticism for dropping macro support in Office 2008 for the Mac.

The latest Office productivity suite dropped Entourage in favor of a Mac OS X-native version of Outlook for managing contacts, calendars and email messages.

Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Messenger to handle user’s word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and instant messaging needs. It doesn’t, however, include Outlook.

Excel 2011

Office for Mac Home and Business Edition 2011 will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Messenger and Outlook.

Licensing for the Office suite has changed, too, because it binds an installation to a single computer. Previously, users could install the same copy on two computers as long as they didn’t launch the applications on both machines at the same time.

The Home and Student Edition is priced at US$119 for installation on a single Mac, or $149 for installation on three Macs. The Home and Office Edition costs $199 for installation on a single Mac, or $279 for installation on two Macs.

Academic pricing for the Home and Business edition comes in at $99 for installation on a single computer.

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Is there upgrade pricing?

Jeff Gamet

Is there upgrade pricing?

I don’t see any upgrade pricing options on the Microsoft Web site, but customers that bought Office 2008 on or after August 1 can upgrade to Office 2011 for free.

Lee Dronick

I don?t see any upgrade pricing options on the Microsoft Web site, but customers that bought Office 2008 on or after August 1 can upgrade to Office 2011 for free.

That is the situation with the wife and I. When we bought and registered Office 08 in September we got confirmation email with a code to be used when upgrading. They are supposed to send us an email telling us where to download the software and how to redeem the code, still waiting on that. 

Sidebar - I saw in the Apple Store that the Home and Student Edition 08 was $129 for the family pack and included a free upgrade to Office 11. We thought, okay let us walk our Liberal talk and buy it at the MicroSoft Store a few doors away from the Apple Store. However, the software was $149 in the MicroSoft Store and when I asked they told me that there were no discounts and never has been. So we moseyed back to the Apple Store to make our purchase.


Is there upgrade pricing?

There is a questions and answers section on the Apple Store website for Microsoft Office, the first question of which is this. The answer provided is that there is no upgrade price. Everyone (new and previous owners) are being charged, apparently, the same $199.95 price. There also does not appear to be a family license, but one is allowed a two-pack (e.g. desktop and laptop owned by the same party) for $279.95. 

This is my understanding, anyway.

Lee Dronick


This afternoon I get an email from MicroSoft saying I that I can now get my free upgrade to Office Mac 2011 and to click on a link. I clicked on the link, followed their prompts which included painstakingly entering the long series of product codes only to be told at the end that those codes have previously been used. The error message also told me I had to wait 24 before trying again. I sent customer care an email, no response as of this time.


NEWS FLASH: Outlook CAME WITH my copy of Home & Student.

According to the Microsoft tech support guy, it’s part of this version of the software, despite all the advertising and reviews to the contrary. (My husband could have saved money by not buying Home & Business, apparently.)


Got home and business on academic buy - dramatically cheaper than retail. Using it now. First attempts to buy it found digitalriver’s site down. it worked early this morning, though. Using it now - so far, so good.

Lee Dronick

I am still waiting for a response from MicroSoft’s Customer Care. Perhaps they are busy. Not too much of a rush, Office Mac 2008 is still working for my wife. I just don’t want to the offer to expire.

Maybe I will go down to the MicroSoft Store and talk to a clerk about the upgrade situation.


Thanks for the input everyone.  Wow, it sure seems odd that they are not offering an upgrade version (or at least discount) for all of us long term users and enterprise users!

Lee Dronick

Well I am downloading the upgrade now. The instructions in the email that they sent and on the web page linked from the email were not very clear. At least they were not clear to me, but I finally outwitted them.

This morning Customer Care sent me an email with instructions to call them at an 800 number. That was the wrong number, but the tech gave me another one. I called that number and talked to someone who wasn’t any help. I went back to their web page, started poking, and around finally got to the download link.

I will have my wife try out the new version using my MacBook. If she is happy with it then I will install it on hers. She uses Word for her college classes and doesn’t want to take a chance on having any problems.

Lee Dronick

I have Office 11 installed and took a quick look, it seems quite nice. I like the ribbon icons though of course icons are not the most important thing about a program, just that they are a nice design.

The installation process kept my Office 08 version intact, I tried it. I will install Office 11 on my wife’s MacBook Pro and let her decide which version that she wants to use.


oh wow, Arabic/Hebrew right to left support is still missing on Created documents, but open a doc already made on Windows and it displays RTL/Arabic and write correctly!!!!

Thomas King

Unable to download Microsoft Office 2011. Customer #1140065625

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