Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit used Apple Expo in Paris to release pricing information for the next version of Office for Mac. Office will ship in the US on January 15, 2008, with global availability coming in the first quarter of 2008.
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).
Office 2008 for Mac remains the core suite that includes Word 2008, Excel 2008, PowerPoint 2008 and Entourage 2008. A new bundle called Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition, features the Office 2008 applications and adds the Microsoft Expression Media digital asset management system. This edition also includes Exchange support and Automator tools.
The final bundle is the home and student edition that gives users the basics of what Office has to offer. According to Microsoft this version includes three user licenses, but does not have Exchange support or automated workflows.
All versions of Office 2008 for Mac support the new Open XML file format and are Universal applications that run natively on Power PC- and Intel-based Macs.
Microsoft also started a technology guarantee program that will allow customers in select regions who purchase qualifying Office 2004 for Mac product to upgrade to a version of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac for the cost of shipping, handling and applicable taxes. The company said details of the regions included in the guarantee are detailed on the local Office for Mac Web sites.