Microsoft officials said Thursday that the company will push back until at least mid-January the release date for its Office 2008 for Mac productivity software.
The software, highly anticipated by Apple Macintosh users, had been scheduled to launch later this year.
Now, Microsoft said it won't be able to release the software to manufacturers until at least December, meaning that Office 2008 for Mac will debut in mid-January at the earliest.
"As tough as it is, I firmly believe that this slip is the right call," said Craig Eisler, head of Microsoft's Mac business unit, in a blog entry Thursday.
Eisler said his unit still needs to resolve a number of quality issues with the software before it can be shipped. "Delivering Office at the right quality level is super important to the entire team and to Microsoft's long-standing commitment to the Mac platform," Eisler said.
In an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Eisler said Apple's switch to Intel chips is among the reasons for the delay. Conversion of Microsoft's new XML-based document format for the Mac platform has also been reported as an issue.
Eisler in his blog entry said Microsoft will begin offering users "sneak peaks" of some of the functions in Office 2008 for Mac in September. Eisler also said the company would not release final versions of its PC-to-Mac file format converters until after Office 2008 for Mac ships.
On Wednesday, Microsoft released a trial version of a file converter designed to let Mac users open and work with documents and presentations created in Office 2007 for Windows.