The next version of Microsoft Office for Mac won't ship until the second half of 2007, the company has confirmed.

The Courier Mail reports Microsoft's MacBU (Mac Business Unit) product manager Mary Starman revealed the news, which means the Mac version of the office productivity suite will lag eight months behind the Windows version of the software (scheduled to ship in January next year).

When it does arrive, Microsoft promises a unified Mac OS X look and feel, interface improvements and yet more enhanced features on the Universal software suite.

Microsoft has also published several more articles on its MacBU blog, including a little biographical information about the developers working on the company's Mac products.