Feeds

YES, new Office for OS X is COMING, says German Microsoft bod

Updated Mac productivity suite planned for this year

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A Microsoft manager has said that Redmond plans to release a new version of Office for Mac this year, giving new hope to Apple loyalists stuck using the aging OS X version of Microsoft Office.

In a brief interview with German tech pub Computerwoche at the CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany, Microsoft's new German Office boss Thorsten Hübschen said to expect a new OS X productivity suite by the end of 2014, although he had few details to share.

Mac versions of Office have typically lagged behind their Windows counterparts. Office 2007 for Windows was followed by Office:mac 2008 the following year, and Office 2010 for Windows was trailed by Office:mac 2011, which remains the most recent version for Apple's platform.

That version was actually released back in October 2010, however, and its feature set lags behind that of Office 2010 on Windows, yet alone Office 2013. Office:mac 2011 can't handle OpenDocument Format files, for example, or right-to-left languages such as Arabic or Hebrew, and its version of Outlook doesn't work as well as the Windows version. There is also no 64-bit version of Office for OS X.

The feature disparity between the Windows and OS X versions of Office has been particularly frustrating for Office 365 subscribers. Many signed up for the cloud-hosted service with the understanding that it was a cross-platform offering, only to be dismayed to learn that their Mac users would be stuck with the same, dusty old version of Office they'd had for years.

It is a shame, because with Office 2013, Microsoft has actually taken significant steps to make the suite more OS-agnostic. Developers are now encouraged to write Office add-ons using JavaScript and other web standards, for example, rather than Redmond's proprietary ActiveX and Visual Basic technologies, support for which has been poor or nonexistent in Office:mac.

In fact, Hübschen said, an OS X version of Office 2013 was planned, but personnel reshuffling within Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit caused it to be delayed.

Hübschen gave no hint as to what the next OS X version of Office will now be called – although we reckon Office:mac 2014 wouldn't be an unreasonable guess – but he said that Microsoft has already approached several large customers to get feedback on the new software.

As for when the general public will get more concrete information about the forthcoming release, Hübschen said to expect Microsoft to open up about its plans beginning in the second quarter of 2014. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.