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Office for Mac finally breaks out of Microsoft

Developers mourn features that didn't make it

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Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 finally escaped Redmond and went to manufacturing last week, meaning Apple users get a fresh productivity suite just two years after their Windows-based counterparts.

The software should hit the streets next month, with anyone buying the previous version between now and then entitled to a free upgrade. In the US anyway.

Microsoft is playing up team collaboration and some light cloudiness with the new version, though some might be disappointed at how much they will get to do to their documents via a web browser.

In a blog posting on Friday Geoff Price, Product Unit Manager at Microsoft's Mac unit, said "We’ll be cranking the Microsoft ship siren and celebrating in all of our team locations."

Whether the rest of Microsoft will actually think this is just a fire alarm test is open to debate, given the perception that Mac Apps are just a little short of loving within Microsoft.

Still, Redmond gave the Mac crew some cash to make their own comic video, which highlighted the "features" that didn't make it into the final release. Think of it as one of those clearly staged outtakes video, with autotuning for presentations, vuvuzelas and exploding charts all making a groanworthy appearance.

One possible exception is the emotional templates for slideshows, which included cues for angry presentations including chucking furniture around. What better way to get ahead in Redmond? ®

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