Oh man, this is definitely not something we wanted to hear: Microsoft has announced on its blog that Office for Mac 2011 will only ship as a 32-bit version. Citing a need for enhanced compatibility between the Office for Windows and Office for Mac over high-power performance, Microsoft said that it would not have been possible for its team to create a 64-bit version of Office 2011″because Apple’s frameworks require us to complete the move to Cocoa before we can build a 64-bit version.” Office 2011 is not 100% Cocoa. Microsoft is downplaying the lack of 64-bit support by stating that “most users with typical or even larger-than-average document content will not notice a difference in performance” and that the only area “64-bit can make a difference is for people working with huge amounts of data.” You know, like the professionals who are champing at the bit for Office 2011 and its inclusion of Outlook.
Over the past few days we’ve been playing around the latest beta release of Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. Many of the changes made are hard to appreciate without actually seeing the application suite in use, and for that reason alone we have assembled a massive gallery of screenshots. On the other hand, images can be meaningless without a bit of an explanation so we’ve put down a brief summary of our initial thoughts. You can check them all out after the jump. More →