Microsoft officials admitted on September 28 that a leak earlier this month was correct and that Office for Mac 2011 will be available for purchase starting October 26.
Those interested in buying the coming Office 2011 suite can begin preordering today via Amazon.com.
Microsoft officials also shared information about two previously undisclosed features that will be part of the new Mac Office suite. One, known as Dynamic Reorder, allows users to interactively re-order all the layers in a document or presentation. The other, Fulll Screen View, is part of Word 2011, and will allow users to block out background distractions by filling the screen with one view optimized for writing and the other for reading.
I asked when and if these two features might find their way back into Office for Windows and was told there was no definitive plan or timeframe, but that the two Office teams share many ideas and features between them.
Microsoft released to manufacturing Office 2011 on September 10. As Microsoft execs said previously, there will be three SKUs, or versions: Office for Mac Home & Student 2011, Office for Mac Home & Business 2011 and Office for Mac Academic 2011 — will be available at retail. (The Academic version, for students and faculty, will be available via authorized academic stores.) Pricing ranges from $99 to $279, depending on the SKU and number of installs allowed.
Mac Office 2011 replaces Entourage with Outlook and adds back Visual Basic for Applications support to the product. Mac Office 2011 gets a Ribbonized user interface, similar to the one built into the recent Windows versions of Office, and will be a 32-bit product only. The suite includes in-client integration with Office Web Apps, the Webified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Microsoft officials also say the new suite will be faster to launch, scroll and perform calculations than previous versions of Office for Mac.