"It is an exciting time for the MacBU with updates to our current products and the first public announcement about the next version of Office for Mac. For several years we have focused on providing the best Microsoft Exchange client for the Mac, and the Web Services Edition delivers that today for Entourage users," said Eric Wilfrid, general manager for the MacBU at Microsoft. "Outlook for Mac will bring features our customers have long requested - such as Information Rights Management - that make working across platforms even easier. I think people will see that this move to Outlook for Mac is more than just a name change."
A New Outlook for Mac Users
The infrastructure changes in Entourage 2008, Web Services Edition, provide more agility in development for the future - marking the first step in delivering Outlook for Mac. Web Services Edition provides faster data synchronization so current Entourage users on Exchange will experience improved e-mail and calendaring support. The beta was launched earlier this year and has since been used by several large enterprise customers including NASA and Wesleyan University. Entourage 2008, Web Services Edition is available to current Entourage users on Office 2008 for Mac SP2, with all updates applied, on Exchange 2007 SP1 RU4 or later.
Outlook for Mac releasing in the next version reflects the team's commitment to further develop the Mac's leading productivity suite. This new application will deliver significant changes - ultimately allowing for increased productivity across platforms, which continues to be the top request of enterprise customers. The MacBU today shared a few of the features that will be in Outlook for Mac, including these:
● Cocoa. Built from the ground up using Cocoa providing users with improved integration with the Mac OS
● New database. A high-speed file-based database with support for backing up files with Time Machine and Spotlight searching
● Information Rights Management. Helps prevent sensitive information from being distributed to or read by people who do not have permission to access the content
Microsoft also announced that the Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition will launch on Sept. 15, 2009, and will be available for pre-order on Aug. 18 for the estimated retail price of $399.95 (U.S) and $239.95 (U.S) for customers eligible for Version Upgrade.
Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition is currently available for the estimated retail price of $149.95 (U.S.) for the full retail version.