It's been a long time since Microsoft put out a new version of Office for Mac. Three-and-a-half years to be exact, and now the company is gearing up for another big update. Speaking to Computerwoche at the Cebit fair in Germany, Thorsten Hübschen — who leads Microsoft's Office group in Germany — said there will be new suite of apps for the Mac by the end of the year. Hübschen did not provide details of what to expect in the way of headlining features, short of noting that there would be more details in the next few months.

Office for Mac's last big feature was the ribbon

The last major release of Office for Mac was in October 2010, which came just two years after the 2008 edition. With that, Microsoft took a page from the 2007 and 2010 versions of Office for Windows, bringing over visual features like the menu ribbon up top, along with software like Outlook (which replaced an app called Entourage). A lot's changed since then, particularly Apple, which last year began offering new Mac buyers its suite of iWork apps — a word processor, presentation maker, and spreadsheet editor — free of charge. That software has been, and continues to be, less full-featured than the Microsoft counterparts, though at a far lower price.