Microsoft Delays Office 2007 for Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by AnthonyKinyon, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. MatthewCobb macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #2
    Old news and no news

    If you scroll down the page on that link to see the discussion (mainly consisting of yawns), you come across this post

    "Posted by djsflynn on 11 Oct 2006 - 16:00
    This isn't exactly news: the Q3-07 delivery date for Office:Mac 2007 was flagged a month ago -- see http://www.apcstart.com/site/dflynn/2006/0...-mac-all-new-ui. This story also has the comments on the new UI and the connections between Office:Mac and its Windows counterpart. [And yes, I was the journalist who wrote that story linked above -- the Macworld UK story cites Aussie newspaper The Courier Mail as its source, but the CM story is in turn simply a ref to the interview I did with Mary Starman and the MacBU (I was one of the "Aussie journalists" mentioned in the CM story).] So old news, this is, indeed."
     
  2. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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  3. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

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    #4
    Maybe they have Adobe working on it with them :D
     
  4. tilman macrumors regular

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    Feb 28, 2006
    #5
    I consider OneNote 2007 the most innovative piece of Office 2007. I'm running the beta right now, and will upgrade to Office 2007 just because of OneNote. It would be really nice if it becomes part of Office 2007 for the Mac *and* work with OneNote files on a Windows machine. Unlike Outlook and Entourage, which don't even support straight export/import between the two.

    OneNote 2007 is a bit like Omni Outliner or Yojimbo, but adds peer-to-peer synchronization features. I can open a notebook stored on another computer simply by pointing at its shared folder, disconnect from the network, and continue making changes. Next time you connect to the network again, all my edits are automatically applied to the shared location. Changes made by others automatically show up on my screen. There are no open, save, or sync buttons. It all happens automatically.
     
  5. speakerwizard macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

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    #6
    they have signed up for another 5 years of mac dev, this is their way of stalling it so the product is only out for about 3 years i suppose, WEB CM SUPPORT in msn anyone? lol, if amsn can do it. . .
     
  6. nadyne macrumors 6502a

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    Mountain View, CA USA
    #7
    We're not delaying the next version of Office:Mac (code-named Magnesium, we don't have the official name for it yet). We usually ship about 6-8 months behind the commercial release of the Windows version of Office so that we can do compatibility testing. This release is no different, and although we haven't yet announced a release date, we're on track for that now.

    There's more information about this on the MacBU team blog, Mac Mojo: Office Delay? Ya Don't Say.

    HTH. :)

    Nadyne.

    --
    Nadyne Mielke | user experience researcher
    Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
    go ahead, mac my day
     
  7. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #8
    Why don't you just develop them side by side... :rolleyes: Needing 8 months to test compatibility of Word and Excel files sounds pretty ridiculous.
     
  8. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    Aug 30, 2003
    #9
    MS did it that way in the past and it was a disaster. Separate development is a very, very good thing here.
     
  9. Caezar macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Why dropping VBA?

    Nadyne,

    I went through your blog and although I could not find anything interesting (yet), I still think it is a good initiative from your team.

    I would very much want to read about your decision to drop VBA from the next Office for Mac version. I am very surprised and upset by this decision. If it is true I will definitely not buy the product and instead stick to Office for Windows.

    It would be interesting to know why did MBU chose to drop support for VBA. What was your rationale? Is there any article online that 1) formally announces that the next Office version will drop VBA support and 2) explains the reasons that prompted MBU to make the switch?

    Thank you.

    Caezar
     
  10. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #11
    It wasn't a disaster because it was developed at the same time. It was a disaster because it was a lazily crafted, hurried product that took into account nothing Mac users wanted and basically tried porting an identical copy of Word for Windows over to the Mac. Developing two products at the same time does not mean you have to make them literally identical.
     
  11. Caezar macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Okay, I found a blog entry that explains why you dropped VBA.
    http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/

    The author mentions that from his perspective:"Mac Office has two primary driving requirements:
    it must be as Mac-like as possible, use Mac features, and take advantage of the Mac operating system, and it must be as compatible with Win Office as possible, and share as many features and commonalities as it can."


    From my perspective (i.e. that of a cross-platform user):Mac Office should have two primary driving requirements:
    1) It must be fully compatible with Win Office. This is especially essential for Excel.
    2) With the above contraint in mind, it must be as Mac-like as possible, use Mac features, and take advantage of the Mac operating system. However, the second requirement should not be met at the expense of the first.

    I think you should let Apple and other developers create Mac-like productivity suites that make the most of the Mac's environment (iWork, etc).

    As for the MBU, you should first and foremost strive to faithfully transport the Office suite to the Mac, to enable Mac users to be able to communicate flawlessly with the Windows world. Because if you don't, nobody will.

    I wish the Mac version of Office were stricly identical (same menus, functions, VBA) to its big Windows brother, because I already invested so much learning Office for Windows and that there isn't a satisfying alternative (Crossover is crap, lazy to re-boot under Bootcamp, don't want to buy a copy of Windows XP).

    As for those die-hard Mac fans who want a Mac-compliant interface, Applescript support and all, they can always use iWork, which I trust will turn out to be a great product.

    Caezar
     
  12. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #13
    Please read that article, it's a first-hand account of how things actually happened. That Think C was used for much of the product demonstrates that it most certainly as not a literal Windows port, it was rather an not-too-successful attempt to maintain feature parity at a time when the Mac platform wasn't really adequate for the job.
     
  13. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #14
    I've read the article before. As the article says, the biggest complaint wasn't about performance, but how it wasn't Mac-like. It wasn't a matter of whether or not the Mac platform was adequate for the job (which it quickly evolved to be) but the fact that Word 6 didn't operate like Word 5 and didn't have an elegant feel like most other Mac apps, and if you've ever used Word 6, it really doesn't feel like it belongs.

    My point is, the product would have been remembered in better light had they taken the time to make it operate like Macintosh users wanted, which wouldn't be tremendously hard to do, even with developing side-by side. Nobody can tell me that key commands, toolbar layouts, and button icons are a tremendous programming effort.
     
  14. bloodycape macrumors 65816

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    #15
    where could I try out office 2007 beta for mac?
     
  15. Lixivial macrumors 6502a

    Lixivial

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    #16
  16. bloodycape macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Oh okay. Well one user said they were trying it out so I assumed it was more public than that.
     
  17. nadyne macrumors 6502a

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    Mountain View, CA USA
    #18
    We do develop them simultaneously. But there are things that we have to wait for the Windows Office team to complete. One example of stuff to wait for is the file formats. File formats are quite important to our users, and ensuring that we have compatibility with them is a big job. You might not think that it takes a lot of testing to ensure that two codebases of millions of lines of code are in sync, but it does.

    If you think that we're doing something wrong, and if you're an experienced Mac developer or tester, we have several positions open. Just head over to Microsoft careers and do a search for 'MAC Office' (yeah, I'm annoyed by the incorrect capitalisation too!). Our positions are split between the Redmond (Seattle area) and Mountain View (San Francisco Bay Area), and we'll handle relocation if you're not in one of our areas.

    One of the greatest challenges for us in the MacBU (which we pronounce Mac-boo) is doing the best thing for our users. We have a diverse user base with diverse requirements. Some of those users are like you and know the Windows version of Office backwards and forwards. But they're not all like you; we've got lots of Office:Mac users who have never touched the Windows Office version. We've got many users who appreciate the Mac-only features that we've created (such as the Project Center in Entourage 2004, the presenter view in PowerPoint 2004, and the notebook layout view in Word 2004). And we've got geeks who love our AppleScript support and would hunt us down if we didn't continually extend it. :)

    You read Schwieb's blog post about the VBA decision. I can only reiterate what he said there: it was a really difficult decision to make, and one that didn't make anyone happy. If you think that we got it all wrong, then post some feedback to our product feedback website to tell us what you do with VBA and how its removal impacts you. And you can use that to tell us whatever else you think we should hear: make Office:Mac identical to the Windows version, you hate the Windows version and wish we wouldn't have anything to do with them, you hate us and want us to burn in a fiery pit, you love us and want to have our lovechildren, you wish we'd port over Solitaire from the Windows OS team. :)

    Regards,
    Nadyne.

    --
    Nadyne Mielke | user experience researcher
    Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
    go ahead, mac my day
     
  18. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #19
    Not a huge deal, Office v.X still works just fine for me. I can hold out another year for Office 2007.
     
  19. Tehy macrumors regular

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    Finland
    #20
    Is there any Office 2007 for mac screenshots?
     
  20. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #21
    The problem of what you're saying is that Windows Office can release whatever they want, they don't have to check compatibility with Mac. You're telling me that the Mac team has to wait and see what Windows does, then do all your best to comply with their formats.

    If the products were truly developed side by side, both teams would cooperate to make sure file formats are the same and the features are on par. Then, both products would be released at the same time (like many products from other companies are, like Quark, Photoshop, iTunes, InDesign, etc...).

    I bet you nobody on the Windows Office team breaks a sweat over you at Mac BU or what you are doing.
     
  21. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

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    #22
    So far I think that the most impressive thing about MacOffice 2007 is that Nadyne is keeping an open dialog going regarding its development. When it seems that lately MS is continually announcing delays or deletions of features this kind up front info is not something I'd expect. It's a positive step.
     
  22. Caezar macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Nadyne,

    I am slowly starting to get over my initial surprise/disappointment/anger at your decision to drop VBA support from Office:Mac 12. As I said, in my previous post, I think it is your best interest (read: more sales) and the users' best interest that you limit your goal to clone Office Win to the Mac platform. You can always let other software companies create a product designed from the ground up for the Mac.

    Now, since you decided to drop VBA support, we can always run Office Win on our Macs through Parralels / BootCamp / Crossover. So it is not the end of the world.

    I am looking forward to reading more info about your upcoming product and I wish you good luck!

    Caezar
     
  23. Pablomac1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    #24
    Features

    Nadyne,

    Are you guys going to include Pivotcharts in the new version for Mac?
    That's one feature I use everyday and basically the reason why we use the Windows version

    Pablomac1
     
  24. nadyne macrumors 6502a

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    Mountain View, CA USA
    #25
    The Windows Office team isn't comprised of Mac experts. I wouldn't want someone who's not intimately familiar with the platform doing the testing. That's an excellent way to miss bugs!

    You are right in that they rely on us to do the testing on the Mac. When we find a bug, we figure out whether it's a problem in our codebase or whether it's theirs. If the bug is theirs, then we send it to them, and work with them as necessary to get it fixed. In the case of the PowerPoint team, the PowerPoint:Mac team is on the first floor of one of our buildings at our Silicon Valley Campus, and the Windows PowerPoint team is on the second floor. If there's a question, the two teams are only a few steps away. We run into each other in the hallways and cafeteria all the time.

    As an independent business unit, we decide what we're going to put into our products. It's a flexibility that we greatly enjoy, since it allows us to do Mac-only features that make our Windows counterparts jealous. :) We also have a pretty small team. There's only 180 of us. That's the whole business unit, so that doesn't mean that we have 180 developers. That encompassses everyone who calls MacBU home: dev, test, program management, marketing, planning, user assistance, user experience (that's me!).

    As a small independent business unit, we decide what makes sense for our users given the resources that we have. It's a difficult line to walk. Some of our users complain that we have too many features (just look at the people who say that all we should do is make Word 5.1 a Universal Binary!), others complain that we're not identical to the Windows version, others complain that we're not Mac-ly enough (such as wanting more AppleScript support or the addition of Automator support). We have to figure out what we can do to best meet the needs of all of these different users.

    At least a few of them do. :) I wouldn't imagine that all of them do, though, and that neither surprises nor bothers me. The ones who don't are the ones who aren't working on things that impact me -- or, even better, they're working on things that impact me but that aren't causing a problem.

    I just spent a few weeks working with one of their planners on their next version (not WinOffice 2007, but the one after that). I shared with him some of the research that I've done and the insights that I gained as a result of that research, he shared his research and insights as well, and then we designed some new research together. We're going to go off on our separate ways for awhile, but we'll synch back up in a couple of months.

    I'm really sorry, but I can't talk about the next version of Office:Mac in any kind of detail yet. :( When we start talking about it, the first place that you'll see details will be in our team blog, Mac Mojo.

    Regards,
    Nadyne.

    --
    Nadyne Mielke | user experience researcher
    Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
    go ahead, mac my day
     

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