On the 30th January 2013 Microsoft announced Office 2013 for Windows and new options on their Office 365 service. So what's new/good for Mac users?
Firstly, there is no new version of Office for Mac. They did, however, release a free 14.3.1 update aka Service Pack 3 for Office 2011 which makes it compatible with the office 365 service. Microsoft develops the Mac version of Office on a leapfrog cycle so looking at past history:
2003 for Windows
2004 for Mac
2007 for Windows
2008 for Mac
2010 for Windows
2011 for Mac
2013 for Windows
Therefore doing the math the next version of Office for Mac would be Office 2014 and would probably be released within in the next 18 months (this is assuming there is a new version being written which is highly likely as Office for Mac is a very lucrative cash cow for Microsoft).
For the Mac you can buy boxed editions, volume licensing and now subscription licensing through Office 365. Different versions come with different software (updated as of 25/02/2013 with price increases and medialess editions†):
Office 2011 Home & Student available as a single user license but does not include Outlook (previously also available as a 3 user "Family Pack")
Office 2011 University has one licence but does include Outlook (Full and part time, enrolled university and college students and faculty in accredited institutions. Alumni of these institutions are ineligible)
Office 2011 Home & Business available as a single user license and includes Outlook (previously also available as a single user "dual install" edition)
Office 2011 Volume Licensing minimum 5 licence purchase, includes Communicator for Mac and Lync for Mac + has single serial number and does not require activation
Office 365 Subscription includes Office 2011 with Outlook, SkyDrive and Skype minutes
The subscription licensing is similar to Adobe's Creative Suite in the Cloud. You pay monthly/yearly, you download the software, it works while you pay, it stops working when you stop paying. If a new version comes out while you are subscribing you get the new version.
† Medialess editions do not contain installation media/discs. You get a unique code in the box that allows you to download the software installer via the internet.
The big news is that Microsoft have launched a "Home Premium" version of their Office 365 subscription service which includes five cross platform licenses (Mac or Windows) for the Office suite including Outlook (Outlook is not included in the boxed Office 2011 Home and Student editions) for £79.99 a year [approximately £67 from Amazon UK]. You also get a SkyDrive account with access to Office WebApps + a monthly Skype world minutes allowance. That's pretty good value especially if you have multiple computers in the home (and it doesn't matter whether they are Mac or Windows). However, you should note that this subscription is for non-commercial users only!
So our recommendations are:
First, are you a non-commercial user or a commercial user?
If you need to remove Microsoft Office from your Mac because you want to clear older versions out after installing an upgrade or you want to clean things up before installing the subscription license see our articles:
There is still no news on a version of Microsoft Office for iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod).