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Office for Mac 2011 To Get Web Apps Functionality

Microsoft continued to dribble out information about the forthcoming Office for Mac 2011 product, announcing four new features on Wednesday.

Those familiar with the Windows version of the product, which is called "Office 2010," will no doubt be unsurprised by the new details. It appears that some of the services supported in the Windows version of the productivity suite will be available in the Office for Mac 2011 product.

Microsoft previously announced that it plans to release Office for Mac 2011 sometime in late October. Office 2010 for Windows was released in June.

One of the new features to come in Office for Mac 2011 will be Office Web Apps. These applications are light versions of Excel, Word and PowerPoint that can be accessed via a Web browser, as well as offline through the installed Office productivity suite.

Another new feature coming to Office for Mac 2011 will be the "coauthoring" document-editing and sharing feature, according to Microsoft's announcement. Coauthoring on the Mac version will work for documents created in Excel, PowerPoint or Word, allowing multiple users to make changes to a document.

Coauthoring is already available to organizations using Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010, as well as Windows Live users. However, Microsoft has described some dependencies in order to use this feature.

"Co-authoring for Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Excel Web App and OneNote Web App, and co-authoring of OneNote 2010 shared notebooks with others outside of your computer network requires SharePoint Foundation 2010 (for business) or a free Windows Live ID (for personal use)," according to this description of Office 2010.

Office for Mac 2011 will not include OneNote, which is a sort of scrapbook for holding text, images and charts. It's unclear from Microsoft's announcement if Office for Mac 2011 has the same SharePoint dependency to enable coauthoring for organizations, although it does appear that Office Web Apps require SharePoint, according to this Microsoft blog post.

A third feature to come in Office for Mac 2011 will be the broadcast slideshow feature that Microsoft previously announced for users of PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. This feature lets a user share a PowerPoint presentation with others via a Web browser.

Finally, Microsoft plans to let users see calendars in-line with their mail client via a scheduling assistant feature to be included in Office for Mac 2011. This feature will work with Outlook for Mac, which is the mail client in Office for Mac 2011. The Entourage mail client will be replaced by Outlook for Mac in the Office for Mac 2011 release.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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