In a conference call on Thursday, Microsoft's Mac Business Unit said it will add Outlook to its next release of Office for the Macintosh, due in the fourth quarter of 2010.
According to a post on the Office for Mac Team blog, Eric Wilfred, general manager of the division, said the next version of Office for Mac will launch in time for the 2010 Holiday season. The current version is called Office 2008 for Mac.
This next version includes a new application – Outlook for Mac. Outlook for Mac is being built from the ground up as a Mac OS X application using Cocoa. It will have a new database that delivers a reliable, high performance, and integrated experience with Mac OS X. Users will be able to back-up with Time Machine and search email, calendar and contacts with Spotlight.
Additionally, Outlook for Mac and the rest of Office will include Information Rights Management, which helps keep sensitive information for only audiences that you intend. IRM compatibility will make it possible for Mac users to share and receive sensitive information using Microsoft Office tools.
In addition, Wilfred said will reduce its SKUs for the current Office 2008 for Mac, leaving two configs: Office 2008 for Mac Home & Student Edition, and the new Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition.
The new Business Edition will be available for pre-order on August 18 and on sale beginning September 15. Along with the familiar applications included in the Home & Student version (Word 2008 for Mac, Excel 2008 for Mac, PowerPoint 2008 for Mac and Entourage 2008 for Mac) the new Business Edition includes business focused tools to help manage and grow a business.
For Microsoft, the biz-focused tools include: Entourage 2008 for Mac, Web Services Edition, which includes task, note and category syncing and support for the latest version of Exchange Server; and Microsoft Document Connection for Mac, which provides easier access to SharePoint services and Microsoft Office Live Workspace.