Microsoft has released new details about the next version of Office for the MacOS X systems..
The company kicked off a campaign to outline the features of what will be known as Office for Mac 2011. Release of the productivity suite has been slated for later this year.
Chief among the features for the new Mac version of Office will be the return of the "ribbon" interface. First introduced in the PC version of Office 2007, the interface has drawn mixed reviews.
Microsoft senior lead program manager Han-yi Shaw said in a recent blog posting that the Mac ribbon would be of a different design than its PC counterpart.
"Given that this new user interface element is appropriately referred to as the Office for Mac ribbon, it represents a new user experience that has not yet dawned on any Mac or PC, and is making its first appearance today as a fusion of the best of both worlds," Shaw wrote.
Shaw said that the new ribbon interface would be used to store commonly-accessed menus and would be aimed at complementing the standard MacOS X menu bar and tool bar interfaces.
"When you launch Office 2011, the standard toolbar and ribbon collectively represent the top 80 per cent most commonly used features," wrote Shaw.
"And since the Office for Mac ribbon is a tab-based design, instead of showing you all of Office’s depth all at once, you get to choose what you’d like to expose."
Additionally, the company is planning to offer users the option of reverting to the classic menu interface.