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Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) has signed off on the latest build of Office 2008 for Mac and has released the software to manufacturing. That means the suite is done.

“While we love building Mac software, actually getting that software into the hands of the people we’ve been building it for is something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” said Geoff Price, Product Unit Manager at the MacBU in a blog posting.

The long-awaited Intel-native Office, featuring programs such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Entourage, was originally scheduled to be released in the second half of 2007, but was delayed in August until the new year.

Craig Eisler, general manager of the Macintosh Business Unit, explained at the time that the delay was the result of a combination of a “perfect storm” of factors that hampered the development effort.

“We switched to Intel, and Office changed file formats,” said Eisler. “It was no one thing. This release was harder than most just because of all those things happening at once.”

Office will be available in three versions: Office 2008 for Mac ($399.95; $239.95 upgrade), Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition ($149.95) and Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition ($499.95; $299.95 upgrade).

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