Office 2004Mac users were supposed to be getting the newly redesigned Office 2008, but as it turns out the development team hit a snafu. Now the release date for Office 2008 on Macs is getting pushed back from Fall 2007 to January 2008. Yes, all Intel Mac users running Office 2004 have about 5 more months that they will be putting up with the sluggish performance because of running it with Rosetta.

The new target date of January 2008 will put the release just in time for Macworld, which is where all of the biggest Apple fanatics gather at the same time. So what was the cause for the delay? Craig Eisler, the Microsoft Mac Business Unit’s General Manager, said:

There was no one thing that caused the push–it was more of a perfect storm. The switch to Intel processors, the switch to different tools in the development stream, the switch in formats with Office–all of it presented different roadblocks for the team, and we wanted to make sure we could address all of those issues.

If you look at the release history of Office for Windows vs. Office for Mac you’ll find that the Mac version is typically released 6 to 8 months after the Windows version. Office 2008 is going to be one of the longest delays between the Windows and Mac versions coming in almost a year after-the-fact. Technically it is a year and two months if you count when Office 2007 was released to businesses.

Current Mac users will need to use a file converter that Microsoft offers if they want to open Office 2007 documents. However, that only handles Word and PowerPoint documents.

Alright…I’ll close things up with some screenshots from Office 2008 running on a Mac. These were taken back in January, so some things have probably changes since then:

Office 2008 for Mac Office 2008 for Mac Office 2008 for Mac Office 2008 for Mac Office 2008 for Mac

Source: Ars Technica and TUAW