Ageing Office for Mac to get revamped this year, but when?

Ageing Office for Mac to get revamped this year, but when?

Summary: There have been none of the usual signs of a new Office for Mac in the works, but according a Microsoft Germany exec, a new and long overdue version will come this year.

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Microsoft will release a new version of Office for Mac this year, according to Microsoft's manager for Office in Germany, but there's still no firm dates for its arrival. 

Office for Mac users will be relieved — though possibly disappointed by how long it's taken — to know that Microsoft has finally confirmed it will update Office for Mac this year.

According to Computerwoche, Thorsten Hübschen, Microsoft's manager for Office products in Germany, said the company is already discussing the new Mac Office product with larger customers. He also said there should be news about the it in the second quarter of this year with a product released by the year's end.

According to the report, Hübschen said a planned 2013 version of Office for Mac never arrived because of a reorganisation in 2010 that merged the Mac development team with the wider business software group.

ZDNet has asked Microsoft to confirm a release date and will update the story if it receives one. However, last month it wasn't willing to discuss dates.

"The team is hard at work on the next version of Office for Mac. There are no details to share on timing, but when it’s available, Office 365 subscribers will automatically get the next Office for Mac at no additional cost," a spokesperson told ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley in late February.

The most current version, Office for Mac 2011, was released in September 2010 and, by Microsoft's usual release patterns, it's already getting long in the tooth.

Microsoft updated Office for Mac 2011 in February last year, which included support for Office 365 activation. At the time it told ZDNet the new Office for Mac typically ships 12 months after the new Office for Windows. Office for Windows reached general availability on January 29 last year.

Despite the supposed discussions Microsoft is having with its larger clients, there's been no evidence yet that Microsoft is close to meeting the release patterns it did with the Office for Mac 2011 product. As noted by Foley, although Microsoft could be expected to have a release to manufacturer (RTM) version of the new Office for Mac ready by around March or April 2014, there's been no sign of test versions that usually precede it. And last time, there was a five month gap between the RTM version and general availability.

Read more on Office for Mac

Topics: Enterprise Software, Microsoft

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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6 comments
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  • The version of MS Office that I have

    works just fine.
    Retterdyne
    • 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014

      Chronically overdue? Not so much.
      MarknWill
      • If I'm not mistaken...

        That typically seems to be about a year after the most recent Windows version in each case, which means that it's about the time for the new version.
        Third of Five
  • I wasn't aware that software got weak

    and infirm as it aged. The only reason I upgraded to 2011 in the first place was to get macros back. MS will have to sell me on some killer feature to upgrade again. And no, more ribbonizing or metrofying the interface isn't it.
    baggins_z
    • You just scared me more than the worst horror movie

      The thought that MS might "metrofy" Office for Mac is the scariest idea ever. I may never sleep again.

      Metrofying Office would be a fast track to ensuring that Office could not be used productively. It is awful beyond words.
      1,2,3
  • Feature request

    For the love of God, please return the "After moving or deleting an open item:" functions. Some of us hate your &!@*$ reading pane.
    jewcifer