∞ MacBU press conference offers Office Business Edition and next version of Office for Mac

Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) on Thursday announced Office Business Edition for Mac and confirmed the next version of Office is coming next year during a conference call held for members of the press. MacBU General Manager Eric Wilfrid said the next major version of Office will offer the core apps Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Entourage will be replaced with Outlook for Mac.

Outlook for Mac will be a Cocoa app and will be fully compatible with Outlook for the PC. Wilfrid said Outlook builds on the work they are currently doing with Entourage.

The next major version of Office for Mac will be released in the holiday season 2010.

Microsoft also announced on Thursday an upgraded version of Office for Mac that will go on sale on September 15, 2009. Office for Mac Business Edition will include Entourage Web Services and Document Connection. Entourage is available for download today from the company’s Web site.

The new business edition also includes new clipart and templates. Office for Mac Business Edition will cost $399 or $239 for an upgrade.

As of September 15, Microsoft will offer two versions of Office for Mac: Office Business Edition and Office Home and Student.