Microsoft Details Mac Office 2011 Pricing and Editions

Software giant Microsoft has formally announced pricing and availbility details for Microsoft Office 2011 for the Mac, the latest version of its mainstream productivity applications. Office 2011 for Mac will ship at the end of October; a Mac Home and Student edition will start at $119 and include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Messenger, while a Mac Home and Business edition will add in Outlook for Mac and start at $199. Starting today, customers who purchase the current Office 2008 for Macintosh will be able to upgrade to Office 2011 for free when it becomes available.

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“We develop Office for Mac to give you the tools to create great-looking and compatible documents—with options to pick the right edition for your Mac needs,” said Microsoft’s MacBU general manager Eric Wilfrid, in a statement. “More than ever before, Office 2011 brings the familiar productivity tools and features of Microsoft Office to a suite of applications that work great on the Mac.”

Office 2011 for Mac will be the first edition to include a full-blown version of Microsoft’s widely-used Outlook email client; previous editions of Mac Office include a Mac-only email and calendaring client called Entourage which was favored by some users but did not support the full panoply of Outlook/Exchange services available on Windows. The applications also use Apple’s Cocoa and Core Animation technologies, and Microsoft promises the applications will have a more Mac-native look and feel.

Microsoft plans to ship Mac Office 2011 in thirteen languages (Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish); in addition, a $99 Academic edition (mirroring the Home and Student edition) will be available to higher education staff, faculty, and students.

Multi-pack versions of both the Home and Student and Home and Office editions will be available; the Home and Student multipack will permit installation on up to three computers for $149; the Home and Office multipack will support two installations for $279.

Microsoft has not published formal system requirements for Mac Office 2011, but reports have the applications requiring Mac OS X 10.5.8 or newer.