September 24, 2007 9:00 PM PDT

Microsoft sets pricing on Office 2008 for Mac

Although the release of the next version of Office for the Mac has slipped into next year, Microsoft is ready with the pricing and packaging options.

The product will come in three flavors. The standard version, known simply as Office 2008 for Mac, includes PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Entourage and will sell for $399. A $499 Special Media Edition also includes Expression Media, a digital media cataloguing program that Microsoft acquired from its 2006 purchase of iView Multimedia.

Both the Special Media Edition and the standard Office for Mac also include the ability to connect to an Exchange Server, as well as some actions for Automator, Mac OS X's built-in scripting tool.

The Home and Student version includes the four main programs, but not the ability to connect to Exchange or the Automator actions. The home version, which is designed for non-business use, can be installed on up to three Macs and sells for $149.

Microsoft said last month that it was delaying the launch of Office 2008 to January. Microsoft marketing manager Amanda Lefebvre said that the company remains on track with its revised schedule, with plans to wrap up the code in December and make the final product generally available to consumers and businesses in the U.S. on January 15. Other language versions will be released over the course of the first quarter, she said, adding that with the new release Microsoft is adding a Nordic language pack, which includes Danish, Finnish and Norwegian.

The new version is also the first to natively support Intel-based Macs, though it will also run on older PowerPC-based machines.

Microsoft is also launching a tech guarantee program under which people who buy Office 2004 between now and March 15 will be able to upgrade to the comparable version of Office 2008 for only the cost of shipping and handling, around $10.

The software maker does not plan to offer the public a chance to test out the code before the release, she said.

"We've decided against that," Lefebvre said, adding that the company is doing testing internally and with a select group of external testers. "There will not be a wide public beta."

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Cutting the cord
My fantasy is that Apple will pour some of the profits from iPods and iPhones into developing a BETTER Apple alternative to Microsoft Office for Mac. Then we could all cut the cord and be Microsoft free! Now wouldn't that be a beautiful thing!
Posted by Xenu7-214951314497503184010868 (153 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: cutting the cord
Your fantasy is everyone else's reality:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by pking13 (13 comments )
Link Flag
Cutting the cord was easy
I've been using / NeoOffice for a couple of years now and actually prefer it to MS Office for Mac (which my company purchased for me).

Not everyone at my office agrees which is why I removed MSO last year and gave it to another user.

But every home user, on Windows and Mac, that has tried it on my recommendation loves it. And most of our Mac users at work does too.

My hat's off to everyone at the MS Mac BU, but IMO, their product isn't worth the price.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
Credit where credit is due
I'd prefer to be Microsoft-free, as their products are a drain on
my productivity and an insult to my intelligence, but I must give
credit to MS for dropping the price. For my small office, the
"home" version will do nicely, and the price is less than half of
what I paid for the previous version.

I doubt I'll be purchasing the new version, however. I only need
Office around so I can deal with client material, and the older
version will do just fine, as long as I have clients "Save As" an
older version.
Posted by Splashes (423 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Office on Mac vs PC
Having used M$ Office on both Mac running OS X and PC running
XP (at work, of course), it has amazed me that the Mac versions of
Office apps seem to be more stable with fewer bugs than the PC
versions. The stability may reflect the relatively stabilities of the
operating systems. I still don't know that plunking down $149 is a
good idea, but the inability to connect to Exchange servers is a
definite plus! ;-)
Posted by cheshirkat (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I love my Mac, but Office gets more love on Windows
I'd have to disagree with the comment that MS Office on a Mac is more stable. Traditionally, it has been deathly slow. I'd often go to an Apple store, stand in front of the most powerful Mac Pro (and also G5 PowerMac when then had those) and load up large Word documents, with complicated tables and some images.

The Mac, gigs or RAM and fast processor, could never keep up. Scrolling through that document would be painful. Conversely, the same document breezes through on a cheap Windows laptop.

I love my Mac and prefer it, but I've yet to find an incarnation of Word on the Mac that is as responsive. I believe there's some interpreted Word Basic thing running inside Word on the Mac that is making it slow (and this was even before Rosetta was introduced into the mix).

Rumor has it, the employees and contractors on the Office project for Mac are moving through there like a revolving door. There's no stable developer team and so you can only imagine what the quality of the software will be.

It's no surprise there's no public beta!
Posted by SohailAhmed (8 comments )
Link Flag
2004 vs 2003
I attented an Office 2004 launch back when it was release. The Microsoft guy actually mentioned that Excel &#38; PowerPoint had more features on the Mac then Windows (Mac version was released after Win version).

As for Office being more stable on a Mac, that's probably an OS thing.
Posted by Neville Bartos (34 comments )
Link Flag
iWork is way better anyway
Keynote beats PowerPoint hands down.
Pages is far friendlier then Word when you need to do new things.
Numbers looks good so far. It certainly read all my old Excel files.

And it's $80. So since I bought my Mac to get away from Microsoft, I certainly won't be purchasing Office for Anything.
Posted by pisaac (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I concur
Keynote is far better than PowerPoint. While I miss Aldus/Adobe
Persuasion (which if Adobe hadn't axed it, would have continued
to beat PowerPoint).

I just built a single-slided presentation in Keynote (well, one
slide for now) where a very wide panoramic photo slowly scrolls
across the slide with pop-up images along the journey.

I somehow doubt PowerPoint could manage something like

Posted by davemartinatx (16 comments )
Link Flag
My impression
Keynote is good. Pages is too restrictive for the work I do. Numbers
is a disaster. It opens small files reasonable well but I have some
important ones with tens of thousands of values it it chokes. It
loads eventually but eventually isn't really what I'm looking for.
iWork is probably well suited for casual user who aren't requiring a
lot - sort of like what MS Works was like. If you need the power
then I'd skip it with the possible exception of Keynote. However, in
a conference situation where multiple presenters are using a
shared presentation device powerpoint is still the only real option.
Posted by rapier1 (2722 comments )
Link Flag
I was planning on upgrading to 2008 when the time came, but I need Exchange support and there is no way that I am going to spend $399 for Office. I would have payed the student teacher price!
Posted by danielwsmithee (433 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What If iPhone Overtakes iPod...
PDAs like Blackberry have been comparatively expensive. If the iPhone stays on course, selling
millions of units around the world, could it become the standard for mobile computing?

Could itthen replace a significant chunk of Office 2008...or whatever version that MS brings out?
Posted by bhushan bhaagii (127 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not unless...
If you want to appeal to the corporation, you must be able to synchronize with the corporate email. Blackberry does, windows mobile does, iphone does not. It will need to do this if it wants to be taken seriously as a corporate device.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
Why would anyone infect a pefectly excellent MAC with microsoft's sickness?
Posted by docgrn (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Get office suite free. open source.
Most, if not all, the features you will really use. Download it free at <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Reply Link Flag
When will ofice for the Mac include Publisher??? Our school
newspaper is done in Publisher and I would love to work on it on
my laptop but I guess that won't happen until publisher is on the
Mac! Come on Microsoft!
Posted by mdpeterman (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I never thought I would see it happen
A micro soft program becomes the prefered desktop publishing tool of choice. In the days of Pagemaker and Quark that was the furthest thing from anyones mind
Posted by SteamChip (594 comments )
Link Flag
No thanks.
Got NeoOffice, it works just fine. No need for an overpriced and over-bloated suite that's all sizzle and no steak.

Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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