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Office 2008 for Mac succumbs to Redmond disease

Delays, delays, delays

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Mac fans looking to Microsoft to deliver them from a three-year-old desktop productivity suite will have to wait a little longer.

Office 2008 for Mac will be released during the first quarter of next year, missing the previously promised end-of-2007 shipment date, Microsoft said Thursday. Release to manufacturing is slipping to December. Office for the Mac was last updated in 2004.

Microsoft will instead release a series of "sneak peeks" starting in September, which preview forthcoming features and functionality.

The company blamed poor-quality coding in the product, which is supposed to take Microsoft's ginger-haired step-child closer to Office for Windows. Office 2008 for Mac is expected to see an email client functionally more compatible with its Windows cousin.

"We couldn't release our product in time for the Christmas season with the kind of quality we wanted," Mac business unit Craig Eisler said. "We're in 'all hands on deck' mode right now to ensure Office 2008 gets finished on time."

Separately, Microsoft confirmed the forthcoming Works SE 9 will features display adverts that will be capable of working online and offline. Later, this year, the suite will enter a year-long trial with selected OEMs in different countries later. This will feature ads also served up to MSN and Spaces.com. Previously, Microsoft had said simply Works SE 9 would be "ad-supported".

Melissa Stern, Office client and small business team senior product manger, promised The Register ads would be "relatively small", with relevance based on demographics.

Stern added the Works ads test is not being conducted with a view to putting ads in Office. "This is only in reference to Works,' she said. "We will be learning over the course of the next year of this pilot."®

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