Now that CES 2008 is out the way, everyone's turning their attention to Macworld Expo, which officially kicks off with Steve Jobs' keynote on Tuesday 15 January. Among the highlights are new Intel-ready versions of Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0.
Office for Mac 2008 is one of the most popular applications on the Mac, chiefly because it ensures compatibility with the Windows world. The new version boasts a huge range of improvements over its predecessor Office for Mac 2004, including many features familiar to users of Microsoft Office 2007.
The biggest change though is that Office for Mac 2008 is a Universal Binary, enabling it to run natively on Macs equipped with both older PowerPC and newer Intel processors, like the 8-core Mac Pros announced on Tuesday.
Other big changes include much better Exchanger Server integration, although in typical Microsoft fashion you only get that it you pony up more money.
Office for Mac 2008: the editions
That's because Office for Mac 2008 is now available in three different versions - a Home and Student Edition for £99; a standard version for £350 (£220 upgrade); and a Special Media Edition for £449 (£300 upgrade). Only the last two include Microsoft Exchange support.
The Special Media Edition includes Microsoft Expression Media - the remonikered version of the iView Media Pro digital asset management app, which was acquired by Microsoft last year.
Office for Mac 2008 is already available to pre-order from the UK Apple Store.
Photoshop Elements 6.0
Like Microsoft, Adobe has also taken its own sweet time over the launch of a Universal Binary of Photoshop Elements 6.0 - the first Intel Macs were introduced in January 2006.
Adobe has made considerable improvements to the new version when compared to its version 4.0 predecessor. New features include a much simpler user interface, better organisation, improved selection and panoramas tools, a range of image layout options and a hand-holding guide to improving your photos. Full details will be announced at Macworld.
Photoshop Elements 6.0 is also available to pre-order from Adobe's online store. It costs £58 to buy outright, or £46 for an upgrade.