Microsoft has announced that Office 2008 for Mac will be a universal binary release, meaning it can run on both Macs with Intel chips and on those with PowerPC chips. Just like Office 2007, the release focuses on revamping the user interface and will use the new XML file formats. Microsoft also announced that file converters for old Office for Mac documents will be available two months after the Office 2008 release, a beta version coming this spring. The new suite will not be using the Office 2007 “ribbon” but will be using the “element gallery”. “It’s very Mac-like. It’s not an incredibly abrupt change for our users,” said Microsoft’s Sheridan Jones.

Office 2008 for Mac has a few mac-only features. One program is called My Day; it offers users a quick way to view calendar information and unfinished tasks. “It’s always there on your desktop; you can always see it,” Jones said. As well, Microsoft Word 2008 offers improved page layout options: users can view the look of the final project as they edit. Finally, new templates called ledger sheets, offering built-in banking formulas, are available in Excel 2008.