Microsoft won't now release Office 2008 for Mac until mid-January 2008, the company confirmed.

At present, Office isn't available as a Universal binary so doesn't run natively on Intel Macs. The new version was originally scheduled for release later this year, but the company has let that date slip, reports MacCentral.

“We made the decision to do this so we could give users the type of quality that they deserve,” said Craig Eisler, general manager of the Macintosh Business Unit. “This is a quality-driven decision.”

Eisler also explained the Mac development team has had to switch to using Apple's Xcode to develop for the Intel-based Mac platform.

Office 2008 for Mac will share some technologies with its Windows counterpart, Office 2007, including the Office Open XML format.