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7/28/2010
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Microsoft Launches Office For Mac 2011 Video

The marketing video highlights user interface enhancements, including a new ribbon that presents users with the commonly used controls, the template gallery and email improvements.

Microsoft is ratcheting up the marketing behind Office for Mac 2011, touting new features in a "behind-the-scenes" video made by the developers of the desktop suite.

Microsoft launched the first video Wednesday on the Office for Mac blog. The productivity suite is scheduled to ship in the last quarter of the year.

Among the features highlighted is a new template gallery for choosing Word document frameworks from the suite's database or thousands more that are online. Outlook for Mac has improvements that make it easier to sort emails, and the email client's database is more stable in connecting to Apple's Time Machine backup system.

Finally, the video touches upon enhancements in the suite's revamped user interface. The company's frequent GUI redesigns are often a source of frustration for customers who've mastered previous versions, but the software maker insists the new changes are subtle and worthwhile.

The latest video focuses on a new ribbon that puts 80% of the most commonly used controls in front of the user by default. For people who prefer using keyboard shortcuts, the ribbon can be minimized to free up screen space.

Microsoft took the wraps off of Mac Office 2011 in February. The suite is more focused on collaboration and social networking tools than previous versions.

For example, a number of new co-authoring tools allow users in multiple locations to view and collaborate on the same file, whether it's in Word, PowerPoint or Excel. A feature called Presence Everywhere aims to further enhance the collaborative experience by providing real-time status updates on who is working on a file.

Mac Office is one of the most popular third-party applications for Apple computers.

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