Microsoft previews more of Office 2011

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Microsoft continues to dole out the tidbits about Office for Mac 2011. As it did in August and July, the company has released a video highlighting some of the update's new features. This third entry in the Behind-the-Scenes series focuses on co-authoring tools, the software’s connection to Office’s Web apps, and PowerPoint's Brodcast Slideshow feature.

Taking a shot across the bow of Google Docs, Office for Mac 2011 will allow multiple users to collaborate on Word documents, PowerPoint slideshows, and Excel spreadsheets. They can edit simultaneously, even from separate locations, and documents can either be stored in SkyDrive (for regular consumers) or SharePoint (for business users).

That’s not the only competitive move that Microsoft has made, either. The company is also introducing companion Web apps that are compatible with Office 2010 (for Windows) and Office 2011. According to the video, users will be able to view documents and make “light edits” in their Web browsers, then continue editing in Office 2011 with the software’s full functionality.

The new Outlook for Mac e-mail and calendaring application, which replaces Microsoft Entourage, will include a scheduling assistant that lets users view their calendars alongside their mail, making it easier to, say, work out meeting details. Users of Microsoft Exchange will also be able to see details of calendars shared by co-workers and keep track of responses to meeting invitations they’ve sent.

Finally, PowerPoint for Mac 2011 will include a feature that debuted in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows: Broadcast Slideshows. It allows users to give presentations that can be viewed on any Web browser, regardless of platform.

Microsoft says it will release one more preview video before the full version of Office for Mac 2011 gets its official release in October. In the meantime, check out this latest video, embedded below.

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At a Glance
  • Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business 2011

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