The Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) today detailed how Mac users can create and share their ideas using Office for Mac 2011, the next version of the leading productivity suite on the Mac.
The company announced the new version of Office for Mac 2011 at Macworld 2010. The suite has new connections to Microsoft services so users can work together more effectively, an updated user interface and essential compatibility.
New Co-Authoring Tools and Office Web Apps
The new co-authoring tools in Office 2011 give users and their teammates the ability to work on a file from Word, PowerPoint or Excel from different locations, brainstorm ideas, and stay on the same page regardless of time, geography or platform. Co-authoring improves the processes of working together, removing the pain and frustration of multiple versions, lost edits, or even trying to set a time for the group to meet. With this new feature users can keep track of their team with the Presence Everywhere feature that gives real-time status updates on who is working on the document directly in the application.
Office 2011 also delivers a connection to Microsoft Office Web Apps from the application, giving users a simple way to access and share Office documents from any machine with an Internet connection. Similar to the experience in Microsoft Office 2010 for PC users, the Office Web Apps make it easy to get work done virtually anywhere. Currently in beta, Office Web Apps are available to both home and business users (across platforms) and allow documents to be stored via your Windows Live ID account or on Microsoft SharePoint Technologies.
Another big addition to the Office 2011 suite is a ribbon that?s at the core of the next-generation Office for Mac. The new design is an evolution of the Office 2008 Elements Gallery and uses the classic Mac menu and Standard Toolbar giving users the best of both worlds. Users can even collapse the ribbon and the Toolbar for more screen space or for the more advanced users who rely on keyboard shortcuts. Together these tools make it easy to find and discover new and frequently used commands.
Along with the updated user interface and quick access to the Office Web Apps, the MacBU announced last August that Outlook for Mac is coming to Office 2011, replacing Entourage. Outlook for Mac is a new application that leverages the Exchange Web Services protocol and is being built using Cocoa, allowing for improved integration with the Mac OS. Microsoft also announced that Outlook for Mac will import .PST files from Outlook for Windows. In addition, as announced last year, Outlook for Mac features a high-speed, file-based database with Spotlight search and back-up support from Time Machine. Outlook for Mac also provides Information Rights Management to help prevent sensitive information from being distributed to or read by people who do not have permission to access the content.
Office for Mac 2011 will be available later this year.