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Office 2008 for Mac, delayed until January next year

Microsoft will delay the release of Office 2008 for Mac until mid-January 2008, according to representatives from the Macintosh business unit. The long-awaited productivity suite, which includes programs such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Entourage, was scheduled for the end of the year. However, the company will coincide the launch with the MacWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco.

“We have made this decision to guarantee users the kind of quality they deserve,” says Craig Eisler, head of the unit. In his opinion, the delay is not due to the incorporation of new functionalities, but to the accumulation of a series of factors. Among them are the adoption of Intel processors in Mac systems and the change of file formats in Office. Also, the development team had to migrate from the CodeWarrior environment to Apple’s Xcode system.

Office 2008 for Mac will share some technologies with its Windows counterpart, Office 2007, with the aim of facilitating compatibility between different versions, according to Microsoft. Both versions of Office will use the Office Open XML formats, which allow users to open and save files on any platform.