October 27, 2010, 1:06 PM — Microsoft's newly released Office for Mac 2011 takes huge steps toward bringing the same experience to Office users on both Windows and Mac -- but they're the steps that begin a journey, not bring it to an end. The Mac suite remains well behind its latest Windows counterpart, Office 2010, but it's now on a par with Office 2007, and that by itself is a significant step forward from Office for Mac 2008.
Office for Mac 2011 ($279.95 direct from Microsoft) is still not nearly as full-featured as Office 2010 for Windows. There's no database application, no dedicated page-layout application (though Word 2011 is quite good at page layout for shorter documents), and no OneNote -- the most serious shortcoming, in my opinion. Despite this, Office 2011 goes a long way toward integrating the Mac and Windows Office worlds into a seamless whole.
[ Also on InfoWorld: A bevy of iPhone-inspired features will find their way into Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. See "The new Mac OS X: What Apple has in store for 2011." | Stay abreast of key Apple technologies in our Technology: Apple newsletter. ]