InfoWorld review: Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 gains ground

Microsoft's new suite for the Mac doesn't match Office 2010 for Windows, but a new ribbon interface, Outlook client, and SharePoint integration help close the gap

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Document Connection: On-ramp to cloud collaboration
The most important new feature in Office 2011 could turn out to be the Microsoft Document Connection. In the same way that Microsoft's vision of how programming would be done (on teams, rather than the "lone warrior" approach) turned out to be absolutely correct when the company rolled it out in the 1980s, the dual focus on cloud infrastructure and collaboration as keys to office productivity may well be the way business is conducted in the future. Companies are certainly moving in that direction, and the Document Connection hurries along the process in interesting ways.

SharePoint is becoming to the new millennium what Exchange was to the 1990s: the center of the Microsoft Office productivity universe. The Document Connection, accessible through an icon on the Mac OS X dock, provides a window into SharePoint folders in an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand way that doesn't require programming on the client side. It offers the same interface to Microsoft's Windows Live SkyDrive cloud storage service, simplifying the process of group collaboration when no one on the team has put together a SharePoint server.

Document Connection seems like a first step into the cloud-based collaborative future toward which Microsoft is moving users. Ultimately, it appears likely that Document Connection functions will be built into the individual applications, but for now, the window into the cloud is a useful view of the future. Hook up to SkyDrive, or find yourself a SharePoint server, and step into the next generation of office productivity. Resistance is futile.

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Office for Mac 2011 assists cloud collaboration with the Document Connection, which provides a quick and easy path into Windows Live SkyDrive and SharePoint servers.
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