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Tuesday, December 11, 2007, 01:20 pm PT (04:20 pm ET)

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac goes gold, ships next month

Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it has wrapped up development of Office 2008 for Mac, the first overhaul to its productivity software suite for Apple's Mac users in nearly half a decade.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said the frozen code will be released to manufacturing later this evening, ahead of the software's official launch next month at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

Come January 15th, Office 2008 for Mac will be available in three distinct editions ranging from an entry level $150 Home and Student Edition to a high-end $500 Special Media Edition.

However, Microsoft is currently running its "Super Suite Deal" promotion, which allows customers to purchase the current $330 Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Standard edition or the current $130 Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Student and Teacher edition and then receive the $500 Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition for only the cost of shipping and handling.

To take advantage of this offer, simply purchase Office 2004 for Mac Standard Edition ($330) or Office 2004 for Mac Student and Teacher Edition ($130) from an authorized reseller like Amazon.com by January 14th. (Your receipt must be dated between Nov. 1, 2007 and Jan. 14, 2008.) Then print and complete the Super Suite Deal Redemption Form [pdf].

Those customers who participate in the promotion and return the Super Suite Deal Redemption Form by February 14th, 2008 will receive a copy of Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition for the cost of shipping ($7.00 US, $10 CND) once it becomes available next month.

Microsoft does not appear to be requiring proof that participants who purchase Office 2004 for Mac Student and Teacher Edition are actually students or teachers. Therefore it appears likely that anyone can purchase the Student and Teach Edition for $130 from Amazon and then receive a copy of the $500 Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition for just the cost of shipping and handling.

Those readers interested in Office 2008 for Mac may want to check out AppleInsider's recent Road to Mac Office 2008 series, installments of which are listed below in the order they were published.

Road to Mac Office 2008: an introduction
Road to Mac Office 2008: installation and interface
Road to Mac Office 2008: Word '08 vs Pages 3.0
Road to Mac Office 2008: Excel '08 vs Numbers 1.0
Road to Mac Office 2008: PowerPoint '08 vs Keynote 4.0
Road to Mac Office 2008: Entourage '08 vs Mail 3.0 and iCal 3.0