November 26, 2014

Mac Users, The Wait For a New Version Of Office May Soon Be Over

It isn’t easy to be an Apple fan and a fan of Microsoft Office, too. But some small business owners are certainly in that boat.You may prefer a Mac for work, but clients can’t stop sending you .doc files. So what is a Mac loving Microsoft Office using business owner to do?

Well, fortunately a solution is at hand. The last version of Microsoft Office for Mac was put out way back in 2011. That’s like an eternity in software years. So it’s no wonder that talk of a new version of Office for Mac is causing some excitement.

Thorsten Hübschen, business group lead at Microsoft in Germany told a magazine there that an update was coming “in the second half of 2014.”

According to that report, a special development team is hard at work on bringing out a new version of the Office software for Mac. Hübschen said the update was originally planned for last year, but office reshuffling caused it to be delayed.

Microsoft told TechRadar in an emailed statement:

“The team is hard at work on the next version of Office for Mac. While I don’t have details to share on timing, when it’s available, Office 365 subscribers will automatically get the next Office for Mac at no additional cost.”

MacLife is speculating that the news of an upgrade this year could finally mean support for iOS devices, including the iPad. Of course, Mashable observes that:

“If you’re an Office 365 subscriber, your five-device subscription already includes the Mac version, and you can download the Office:Mac 2011 apps to any machine running OS X.”

However, with the 2011 version, you would not be getting some of the bells and whistles that Windows users are currently enjoying. Those would include features such as real-time document collaboration. As Mashable also comments, we would have to presume that any new version of Office for Mac will include leveling the Office 365 playing field.

Before any possible Office upgrade though, it is widely believed that Microsoft will bring out an update of OneNote for Mac first, possibly this month. ZDNet claims that OneNote for Mac will be free, in an attempt to clip the wings of rival note-taking service Evernote. Evernote is gaining traction with their Evernote for Business.

11 Comments ▼

Mark O'Neill - Staff Writer


Mark O'Neill Mark O'Neill is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering software and social media. He is a freelance journalist who has been writing for over 25 years, and has successfully made the leap from newspapers and radio onto the Internet. From 2007-2013, he was the Managing Editor of MakeUseOf.com.

11 Reactions

  1. I guess they would still face some limit as Microsoft is still the one who owned office. It may cause some excitement. But the limits are somehow expected so that people may choose Windows over the other platform.

    • Of course, the Mac version is not going to be like the Windows version, as Microsoft will want people to switch over to a Windows OS.

      Funny thing though is that Mac users can use Pages, or even install Open Office, which opens Windows files (and also creates them). Then there’s Google Drive. So I fail to see why a Mac version of Windows is needed at all.

      • Well, as a engineering student, a lot of the formats that my prof uploads from word 2013 gets crushed no matter what other application I use. If I want a smooth transition, I need to use the microsoft office or request a pdf version.

  2. I hope the new Office:Mac will be compatible with Office365 SharePoint online. Currently I have to switch back and forth between Windows and Mac (VMWare Fusion) so that I can access documents that sync locally with my sites.

    I’ve been fighting to stay in Office365 and not move to Google Apps because I’m sure this functionality is coming down the line. I would much rather use Sharepoint and OWA than Google Apps.

    Hopefully this is it. It would also be great if this new Office:Mac version is closer to what Office is on Windows and not be so different as 2011 is.

    It’s time for Microsoft to trust in the value of their cloud services and realize that there are Mac users out there who prefer Office365 to Google Apps. One Note coming out this week is little step. Lets see the leap. iPad Office Apps and Office:Mac 2014 all compatible with Office365.

    • With Steve Ballmer gone, and the new CEO coming in, we may start to see a big shifting of priorities from Microsoft. They may suddenly decide that a presence on iOS and Mac is a big priority in order to capture that audience.

  3. I can hardly wait. Yes, maybe the Office 2014 version for Mac isn’t as feature rich as the Windows version but at least it’ll be a step up from the Office 2011 version — which I think is horrible. It’s Microsoft Office alright, but has left me wanting ever since I started using it when it first came out.

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