According to Danica Aitken, Microsoft marketing manager; 'Three quarters of all Macintosh users use the Windows PC at least once a week, and they generally collaborate with PC users.' She said that Office for Mac 2011 had been designed to improve workflow and collaboration between Macintosh and Windows PC users.
She said that although previous products had some level of compatibility, there had been issues specifically to do with formatting and tables which meant that the sharing of information between Windows Pc and Macintosh users had not been seamless. The compatibility of the two Office suites was now much higher she said.
This was particularly important for workers who wanted to share content in the cloud using Windows Live SkyDrive, said Ms Aitken. She said Macintosh and windows PC users could collaborate in the cloud using Office based content; 'They can both open up content in real time and co-author in real time,' she said.
In addition Office for Mac 2011 brings Outlook to the Mac platform for the first time as part of the Office Suite, which she believed would be important to business users. Outlook however is only available in the more expensive versions of the product.
She said that in terms of pricing the Macintosh product was in 'exact alignment' with the Windows based suite. It also had identical licensing terms she said.
Microsoft Office for Mac home and Student 2011 which features Word for Mac, PowerPoint, Excel and Messenger has a recommended retail price of $169 for a single installation. A family licence which allows up to three Macintoshes to use the suite is available for $209.
The fuller featured Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business which also includes Outlook for Mac has a recommended retail price of $279 per user. For two installations the cost rises to $379.