Microsoft says it delayed updating Office for Macs to focus on smartphones and tablets

Markets Associated Press

After a long wait, Microsoft says it plans to release a new version of its popular Office software package for Mac computers — but not until next year.

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Microsoft did release one component, the Outlook email program, through the company's Office 365 subscription service, which costs $100 a year. But a full Office package for Macs was expected this year, as Microsoft usually releases that a year after it produces a new version for Windows.

But there hasn't been a new Office for Macs since late 2010, even though it's already been a year and a half since the Windows release. Microsoft says that's because it has been concentrating on producing Office versions for smartphones and tablets first. The Office package usually includes word-processing, spreadsheets and other commonly used programs.