Microsoft Updating Office for Mac 2011 to Use Lion Features

No matter how you feel about Microsoft, Office 2011 is still the most popular office suite for Enterprise Mac users. It is simply a matter of compatibility with the rest of the business world. Unfortunately, the current version of Microsoft’s office suite does not currently support any of the new features introduced in OS X Lion.

For the uninitiated, the features I am talking about include Auto Save, Versions (which keeps a history of document changes), and full-screen mode. These are already integrated into Apple’s iWork suite, and they are very useful. It was only a matter of time until Microsoft saw the need to support them as well.

MacNN is reporting that Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit is already doing just that. However, don’t expect to get the new features in the next few days. Pat Fox, a member of the Microsoft Office team, says that the update wait should be “measured in months.” This is a little disappointing, but completely understandable.

Microsoft also made a point of noting that Office for Mac 2004 will never be supported on Lion. This is due to the program being written for PowerPC-based Macs. Lion dropped all Rosetta code, which allowed for PowerPC applications to run on the newer Intel-based machines.

While there was no word on distribution of the upgraded program, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect Microsoft to bring the application to the Mac App Store. The only thing that may stop them is the face that Apple takes a cut of all sales through its digital distribution markets. However, we won’t know either way until the upgrade shows its pretty face.

End of the Road for Microsoft Office XP and Vista SP1

Microsoft will be retiring Office XP and Vista Service Pack 1 at the end of the day. They will be reaching the end of their support phase (extended support phase for Office XP), which means that Microsoft will stop releasing hotfixes and security updates for these products.

Office XP was released way back in May, 2001. It introduced SharePoint, Web Services integration, speech recognition and more. However, the thing for which Office XP will probably be remembered fondly by users is not a new feature. Rather it’s the omission of a feature that had characterized earlier Office releases. In 2001, Microsoft finally killed Clippy, for good.

Clippy
Clippy

Vista SP1 is a much more recent offering. It was released in a phased manner during the first quarter of 2008. However, it has since been superseded by Service Pack 2 and Windows 7. Vista Service Pack 1 fixed many of the annoying bugs that Vista had originally shipped with, in addition to adding support for exFAT file system, 802.11n wireless networking, IPv6 over VPN connections.

Windows Vista SP2 will lose its mainstream support on April 10, 2012, but extended life support will last till April 11, 2017. Extended life support as well as Mainstream support entitles users to free security updates, however the former doesn’t include non-security related miscellaneous updates. Microsoft is yet to announce the support lifecycle for Windows 7.

Docs.com Gets User Generated Templates, Search Improvements and PDF Export

Docs.com, the online office suite by Microsoft Fuse Labs has undergone some major improvements in the last week. This includes support for PDF uploads, using user generated templates, bulk uploading of documents, full text search on documents shared by your Facebook friends and more.

Here is a quick run down of new features added to the Docs.com office suite:

Upload and Share PDF Documents With Facebook Friends

Just as Office 2010 allows you to create PDF documents from Microsoft Word, Docs.com allows you to upload these PDF documents for sharing with your Facebook friends. The developers have added a Silverlight viewer which will let you read PDF files directly within Docs.com. (See example)

So the next time you spot a document on Facebook, there is no need to download the Ebook and send it as an attachment via email. Just copy the Ebook to your Docs.om account and get the shortened URL of the PDF. Then share the link via Twitter, IM or email and your friends can read the PDF directly from the browser, the viewers do not need a Facebook account to read the document. To upload documents from your computer, head over to docs.com/upload.

Creating User Generated Templates

If you are sharing or collaborating with a group of friends, you might not want others to change the format or content of your document. Instead, you would want them to create a copy of the document and edit it the way they want.

Docs.com now supports user generated templates, which will allow your friends to copy the document to their account as a template. Then your friends may edit the document, add or remove content and share it back.


To allow templates, go to your document sharing options and click the “Advanced options” link. Then choose “Viewers can use the document as a template”.

Full Text Search

Earlier, Docs.com allowed users to search for people, tags and pages. Now Docs.com allows you to perform full text search within your documents as well as within the documents shared by your friends. So if you are interested in a document that discusses “Basics of Internet marketing” and search for it, Docs.com will search for the exact phrase within the documents shared by you and your Facebook friends. Neat!

In addition to this, the search results will be ranked according to the relationship of the author with you on Facebook, how many “Shares” or “Likes” it has received. This is very useful, because the documents shared by your friends are ranked higher in the search results.

More enhancements are on it’s way, as reported on the official docs.com blog

Buy/Pre-Order Office 2011 For Mac

Office 2011 for Mac will be released on October 26, 2010. It is the latest office suite from Microsoft for Mac OS X and will be available in two editions, Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 and Office for Mac Home and Business 2011.

Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac

Office 2011 for Mac is currently available for pre-orders on Amazon. You can place an order for the Office suite and have it delivered to you on launch date. You can pre-order or buy Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 or Office for Mac Home and Student 2011.

A single license of Mac Office 2011 Home and Student is priced at $119.99, whereas a 3 User license Family pack of Office Mac Home and Student is priced at $149.99. For Business users a Single pack of Office for Home & Business will cost $199.99, whereas a 2 license pack of Mac Office for Business will cost $279.99.

People who purchase Office 2008 for Mac today will also get a free upgrade to Office 2011 to Mac. If you haven’t seen Office 2011 for Mac in action, check out a preview video of it embedded below or check out the features of Office 2011 at the official Microsoft site.

Microsoft To Patch 4 Critical Bugs On July 13

Microsoft is planning to patch 4 Critical bugs in various OS as part of their "Patch Tuesday" on July 13, 2010. The critical bugs affect Windows XP, , Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Office 2003 and Outlook 2002 through Outlook 2007.

Most of the patches will fix critical remote code execution in the above listed software and are recommended updates. The critical fixes will be available through Windows Update and may require system restarts.

The Windows 7 patch is for systems running 64 bit version. You can view the entire security bulletin and affected software and vulnerability by visiting this link.

Preliminary Information about Office 15 aka Office 2013 Unearthed

Microsoft-Office Office 2010 is yet to be released, but Microsoft has already begun planning for Office 2013 or Office 15. InfoWorld and Microsoft Kitchen has managed to unearth some preliminary information about Office 15.

The first bit of information is that Microsoft has chosen to continue with their recent no-nonsense naming policy and has codenamed Office v15 as simply Office 15.

As far as features are concerned, other than offering a “new visual & interaction experience”, Office 15 will sport drastically improved collaboration tools. Word Program Manager, Jonathan Bailor revealed in an interview, “In Office 15, we’d love to take collaboration and communication to the next level. We’ve unlocked all of these new ways to work and a new set of expectations from users, and we’re like, ‘Put us back in the ring; we’re ready for round two.’ Until coauthoring a document is as easy and ubiquitous as e-mail attachments, our job isn’t done”.

Microsoft employee, Ben Gable, mentioned in his LinkedIn profile that Excel will be getting a major new feature, while an online ad for a test engineer hinted that Outlook will continue working on improved social networking integration.

Microsoft has also been talking about Office Mobile 15 in their job advertisements. Here is a particularly interesting snippet uncovered by Microsoft Kitchen:

Now is your chance to get in on the ground floor of the Office organization’s newest team. The Office Mobile suite includes Communicator Mobile, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, SharePoint, with more applications and capabilities being planned as part of the Office 15 product suite. This unique position involves technical challenges of working across multiple operating systems and devices as well as the chance to work with teams across the company and around the world. Our key focus going forward is designing and developing new end to end Mobile Office scenarios that greatly improve mobile meetings, productivity, and document management. All while taking advantage of the greater computing power, networking, memory, screen & touch, and GPS capabilities on next generation mobile computing platforms

Although there has been rumors that Microsoft will be ditching the Ribbon UI in favor of a completely new interface, given the short timeframe, such a drastic change appears rather unlikely.

What new features would you like to see in Office 2013? Don’t forget to let us know.

Microsoft To Launch Office 2010 For India In June

Microsoft will be launching for individuals and businesses in Indian markets in June 2010. The release date for the Office 2010 suite in India is similar to the worldwide launch of Office 2010, which is somewhere around the second week of June.

Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft Corp’s India Chairman Ravi Venkatesan told reporters:

The Office 2010 will be available for both businesses and consumers in June.

This is in stark contrast to the delay of in India, due to budgetary and other considerations. Most likely Indian users will be able to buy a copy of Office 2010 through retail stores, however, if you are planning to purchase a copy of Office 2010 online through downloads, you may have to pay an additional service tax of 10.3%.

Users can currently download a beta version of Office 2010, however, the version is set to expire in October 2010, after which people will have to purchase a license from Microsoft.

If you have purchased a copy of Office 2007, you will get a free upgrade to Office 2010 too. Pricing details for Office 2010 in India has not been revealed yet, however, you can see the Office 2010 pricing for US right now.

Microsoft Office 2010 RTM Next Month, Free Upgrade If You Buy Office 2007 From Today

In a blog post on the official Microsoft Office blog, the Office team has detailed their roadmap for the next iteration of Microsoft Office Office 2010. The highlights from the blog post are:

  • Office 2010 RTM next month
  • Office 2010 retail availability in June
  • Free upgrade to Office 2010 for customer to purchase/activate Office 2007 starting today
  • Business range of products that includes Office 2010, Sharepoint 2010, Project 2010 and Visio 2010 to be available from May 12.

The free upgrade program is known as Office 2010 Technology Guarantee and is a free online service. To be eligible for the free upgrade, you must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Purchase Office 2007, or a new PC with Office 2007, and activate it between March 5, 2010 and September 30, 2010.
  • Have, or create a Windows Live ID.
  • Redeem your Tech Guarantee before October 31, 2010 by visiting www.office.com/techg.

Office 2010 System Requirements Unveiled

A few days ago, Microsoft unveiled the pricing and editions for Office 2010, however, there was no indication as to what the requirements for would be. But that question has been answered today by Alex Dubec, the product manager of the Office Trustworthy Computing Performance team.

Office 2010 Logo

According to Alex, users who are currently running Office 2007 and Office 2003 would be able to run Office 2010 on the same hardware. The minimum requirements are very low and Office 2010 has been benchmarked to run on a 500 MHz CPU with 256MB RAM on XP.

According to Alex, the disk space requirement has gone up due to the footprints of most office getting larger, so there will be an increase of 0.5 GB for standalone applications and 1.0 or 1.5GB for suites. So if the Office 2010 footprint is 1.6GB, the minimum disk space would be 2.0GB. The required disk space will be larger than the disk space actually used by the software.

Office 2010 widely supports both 32-bit and 64-bit OS including , SP1, Windows XP SP3 and Windows Server.

office_2010_32bit_os_support

office_2010_64bit_suport

Office 2010 will run on DirectX 9.0c compliant graphics processor with 64MB Video memory. So overall it looks Office 2010 will work on most of the current day PCs and even on computers which are a few years old. Office 2010 is scheduled to release somewhere around June 2010.

For more information on the system requirements visit this blog post by the Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering team.

Microsoft Office 2010 RTM Coming in April, New Build Leaked

Wzor gained notoriety during the Windows 7 beta phase, for consistently leaking internal builds and they are at it again! They have just leaked a new internal build of Microsoft Office 2010. The leaked build has version number 14.0.4730.1007 and is newer than the publicly released Beta build.

Microsoft-Office-2010-Leaked

Exactly what has changed in this new build is unknown at this point of time, however superficial changes are limited. Wzor expects Office 2010 to be finalised sometime in April. This is in line with Ars Technica‘s earlier report that, Microsoft is aiming for a June 2010 release. Microsoft has already revealed pricing for various editions of Office 2010.

The leaked builds are available in both 32 bit and 64 bit flavours at the usual places. Original CRC, MD5 and SHA-1 checksum values are as follows:

MICROSOFT.OFFICE.2010.BETA.2.BUILD.
14.0.4730.1007.X86.VOLUME.ENGLISH-WZT
BUILD: 14.0.4730.1007
FILE: 14.0.4730.1007_Select_volume_ship_x86_en-us.rar
SIZE: 3,330,331,324 byte
SHA1: 0997E4521B0DCB28134E35FA4CF947199904654C
MD5: BE566DE7521B28005A4F759709FAFED2

MICROSOFT.OFFICE.2010.BETA.2.BUILD.
14.0.4730.1007.X64.VOLUME.ENGLISH-WZT
BUILD: 14.0.4730.1007
FILE: 14.0.4730.1007_Select_volume_ship_x64_en-us.rar
SIZE: 3,775,757,630 byte
SHA1: 9F05F340EEB972D1CDC48B7AE9E4826C25FB0629
MD5: 56C681DD5677ED1E09B9719414C03ECB

Disclaimer: Please be careful while installing leaked releases. They have not been tested by us and may contain malware or other exploits.
[via Redmond Pie]