Microsoft touts Office 2011 for Mac OS X

Microsoft has confirmed that it will be releasing an updated version of its Office suite for the Mac sometime during 2010.

According to company spokesperson Eric Wilfrid, Office 2011 boasts “new connections” to Microsoft services, an updated UI and “essential” compatibility to ensure the absolute uniformity of shared documents between various platforms.

“You, the Mac community, have a voice — and at the Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU), we listen. Together with your team — officemates, family or classmates — you are part of the community that helps shape each version of Office for Mac,” said Wilfrid.

“You’ve told us that working together across platforms is a priority to you and that’s why we are making Office for Mac 2011 the best, most compatible productivity suite on the Mac.”

Wilfrid explained that Office 2001 features new co-authoring tools which provide users with the ability to “work on a Word, PowerPoint or Excel file from different locations, brainstorm ideas, and stay on the same page regardless of time, geography or platform.”

In addition, the upgraded suite offers a direct connection to Microsoft Office Web Apps and sports a retooled “ribbon” interface based on the classic Mac menu and standard toolbar.

Finally, Wilfrid noted that Outlook for the Mac – which is integrated with Office 2011 – will be 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,” added Wilfrid.

“[And], we are also announcing that Outlook for Mac will import .PST files from Outlook for Windows. Outlook for Mac features a reliable, high-speed, file-based database with Spotlight search and back-up support from Time Machine.”