Microsoft Adds Office for Mac Trial

Microsoft's Office for Mac portal has been a little wonky for us today, which might be the result of increased traffic and downloads. Why, you ask? The Redmond outfit is now offering a free trial of its Office for Mac 2011 software.

The trial lets Mac users test out full versions of the software, albeit for 30 days (Windows users can play around with Office for 60 days, plus a lot longer with the rearm trick). Once the trial expires, you have to purchase a boxed copy or a product activation key.

This isn't entirely new territory for Microsoft. The software giant also offered trial versions of Office for Mac 2008, but has been slow going in rolling out trial downloads for its 2011 suite. This has led some to speculate that sales might not be as robust on the Mac platform as Microsoft had hoped, though the company said the 2011 version has exceeded internal sales expectations.

If you purchase direct from Microsoft, Office for Mac Home & Business 2011 (with Outlook) runs $280, while the Home & Student version runs $150.