Microsoft to End Support for Office 2004 in October

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,707
11,020
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png

Macworld reports that Microsoft will end its support of Office 2004 as of October 13, 2009.
"In line with Microsoft's standard Support Lifecycle policy, Office 2004 for Mac Mainstream Support will be retired October 13, 2009," the company said in a statement given to Macworld. "The MacBU is continuing to work on updates for Office 2008 for Mac and is hard at work on the next version of Office for Mac."
Microsoft is planning to release its next version of Office for Windows in 2010. While no details on a planned release date for the next Mac version have been revealed, Office for Mac versions have typically followed six months to a year after their Windows counterparts.

Article Link: Microsoft to End Support for Office 2004 In October
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I'm not sure that's so great a plan; I guess they expect everyone to upgrade to Office 2008. I've still got friends that are using the Office before Office 2004....:eek::eek::eek:
Not really... their updates aren't really terribly necessary anyways, and MS has a very specific meaning with what this drop in service level means (and to put it in context, Office 2003, which is probably the pre-eminent version of Office in use in any managed installation context, has already entered this phase of support last week, having been released before Office 2004).

Here's from Office 03's page:

Support for the 2003 release

Customers who purchased Office 2003 with a new computer will continue to receive support for the 2003 release products based on their OEM’s or System Builder’s policy. Customers who purchased Office 2003 from a retailer will have access to Mainstream Support until April 14, 2009. This means retail customers can place calls to Microsoft Customer Service and Support about Office 2003-related issues for the following:

* Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis)
* Security update support
* The ability to request non-security Hot Fixes

At the end of Mainstream Support, Microsoft offers end-user customers 60 months of Extended Support for the 2003 release until January 14, 2014. Extended Support will allow for:

* Security update support at no additional cost
* Paid incident support options only

During the Extended Support period, non-security related Hot Fix support requires a separate Extended Hot Fix Support contract to be purchased where per-fix fees will apply. Microsoft will not accept requests for design changes, or new features during the Extended Support phase.
So security updates continue into 2014, meaning that Office 2004, like Office 2003, would continue to be safe to use.

MS's reality is that, as long as managed installations feel very little pressure to upgrade (and Office 2007 is pretty unknown on the corporate desktop), people will still be using lots of old versions of Office. I would be surprised if most corporate desktops upgrade past Office 2003 until we get fairly close to 2014....
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,370
16
AR
The headline is misleading. As mkrishnan already pointed out, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac is leaving "mainstream" support and moving into the "extended" support phase.

More information is available here:

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy

Additionally, since Office 2004 is classified as a "business product", it's guaranteed a total of 10 years of some type of support (mainstream, extended and online self help) from Microsoft per the above policy.

"Microsoft will offer a minimum of 10 years of support for Business and Developer products."
 

applecultvictim

macrumors 6502a
Mar 27, 2009
549
0
This preposterous cash cow has got to end for the hacks at ms at some point, too bad apple or the fos community haven't made that happen.
 

Luke1robb

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2008
809
0
Cambridge, MA/Smithfield, RI
As stated by an employee of the MBU as of Oct. 23rd:

We're planning on a 2-3 year release cycle, and we're ten months into it right now (since Office 2008 was released in January 2008). So if you assume the lower bound, 24-10=14 months is the earliest for the next release. I wouldn't look for another version of Office to be released at Macworld Expo in January 2009.
 

kornyboy

macrumors 68000
Sep 27, 2004
1,529
0
Knoxville, TN (USA)
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

This was coming sooner or later. 2004 is still a great product but I do need to upgrade anyway. I'll hold out for the next release.
 

lukecro

macrumors member
Feb 27, 2009
45
0
NYC
Let's hope that the next release of Office for Mac is smoother than 2008! :eek:
I'll buy a new version of Microsoft Office for Mac as soon as they bring back full Microsoft Visual Basic/Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro support for Word. I've got a lot of VB-based macros I use, and some of them are required for my work. So I stepped away from Office for Mac 2008 as soon I heard that they'd dropped support for VB on their Mac products.

Instead, I'm still using Office 2003 on my work PC (blech) and via Parallels on my iMac at home (fast like lightning -- but I've got no plans of ever upgrading Word on Windows again); and Office for Mac 2004 on my main desktop (I find Office for Mac 2004 to be a bit slow and buggy).

I read somewhere that they might bring back VB in Mac Office 2010. Hopefully that's true.

I also use the cool, free, open-source OpenOffice.org word-processing software, which is supposed to have some VB support (based, I think, on Star Basic), but I haven't had any luck getting my VB macros ported over to OpenOffice.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,017
105
The headline is misleading. As mkrishnan already pointed out, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac is leaving "mainstream" support and moving into the "extended" support phase.

More information is available here:

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy

Additionally, since Office 2004 is classified as a "business product", it's guaranteed a total of 10 years of some type of support (mainstream, extended and online self help) from Microsoft per the above policy.

"Microsoft will offer a minimum of 10 years of support for Business and Developer products."
The headline isn't misleading, you're just applying the wrong Microsoft document.

http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=2490

Extended Support is not offered for Mac Office, probably because it is made by MacBU instead of the the main Office team. I believe MacBU is actually under the Entertainment & Devices division so it's products may well be treated like other consumer, hardware, and multimedia products, ie. not a business or developer product. Office 2004 will only have Mainstream Support which ends in October as reported.

In regards to the next Mac Office, probably Office 2011, I wonder if they'll offer a 64-bit version? Seeing that both Leopard and Snow Leopard support 64-bit GUI apps, and most Macs should now have 64-bit hardware support between the G5, Core 2 Duo, and Gainestown, a larger percentage of Mac Office users could probably run a 64-bit version even if they may not necessarily needs it additional capabilities over a 32-bit version.
 

acurafan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2008
615
0
i mainly use Entourage 2008 since i bought my mac but it sucks compared to it's windows brethren.

hope the next version of the suite is better integrated with Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 w/64-bit support - which i can't wait, full OWA support for FF and Safari (no longer 2 bastard childs to IE).
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,017
105
i mainly use Entourage 2008 since i bought my mac but it sucks compared to it's windows brethren.

hope the next version of the suite is better integrated with Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 w/64-bit support - which i can't wait, full OWA support for FF and Safari (no longer 2 bastard childs to IE).
http://www.officeformac.com/blog/Entourage-EWS-beta-feedback-so-far

Microsoft seems to be working on a new implementation of Exchange that uses the new Exchange Web Services feature of Exchange 2007 to offer a more complete feature set to Mac users. Microsoft is currently offering an Entourage for Exchange Web Services beta for Office 2008 users so you could probably try it.

i don't think this is a huge deal. i mean, sure people will still be using 2004, but it will continue to work for them
The problem is that Microsoft is still recommending Mac VBA users use Office 2004 until the next version of Office is released. But with support ending for Office 2004, continuing to use it may be disconcerting as more and more unfixed security vulnerabilities crop up in the 1-2 year period before the next version of Mac Office is released.
 

acurafan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2008
615
0
http://www.officeformac.com/blog/Entourage-EWS-beta-feedback-so-far

Microsoft seems to be working on a new implementation of Exchange that uses the new Exchange Web Services feature of Exchange 2007 to offer a more complete feature set to Mac users. Microsoft is currently offering an Entourage for Exchange Web Services beta for Office 2008 users so you could probably try it.
thanks for the link, i've already seen that but my company is committed to keeping E2k3 until E14 comes out. guess i will have to stick with the pain 'til then.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Interesting.... Earlier this evening I uninstalled Office 2004 from one of my machines since I was really not using it; iWork fulfills my needs very nicely. When Office 2008 came out I made the decision to not purchase and install it and so far have not regretted that.
 

FoxyKaye

macrumors 68000
The problem is that Microsoft is still recommending Mac VBA users use Office 2004 until the next version of Office is released. But with support ending for Office 2004, continuing to use it may be disconcerting as more and more unfixed security vulnerabilities crop up in the 1-2 year period before the next version of Mac Office is released.
As if this wasn't part of the plan all along. Look at how M$ has treated Office - They knew in 2006 that releasing Office 2008 without VBA/Macros was going to be a problem, yet they still forged ahead with it even though they had two years to figure it out. They released Office 2008 with its bloody damn "open xml" files and then dragged their heels on a (still crappy) Office 2004 converter for an entire year, which forced people into buying Office 2008 just to open the damn files that were suddenly default in both the Mac and Windows worlds.

The only reason M$ behaves this way is because they know they can get away with it.
 

eff pc

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2008
165
0
I think Microsoft should make their UIs more similar between the PC version and the Mac version. With Macs just starting to become popular, a lot of people are using both Office 07 for windows and Office 08 for Mac but their completely different UIs make it difficult to be efficient in both. And how about MS Access for Mac!! The only app missing I need. For now tho...just running Vista w/ Office 07 via bootcamp and only go there if I have work to do.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,017
105
I think Microsoft should make their UIs more similar between the PC version and the Mac version. With Macs just starting to become popular, a lot of people are using both Office 07 for windows and Office 08 for Mac but their completely different UIs make it difficult to be efficient in both. And how about MS Access for Mac!! The only app missing I need. For now tho...just running Vista w/ Office 07 via bootcamp and only go there if I have work to do.
I can actually sympathize with MacBU over the UI in Office 2008. There are just too many different types of users expecting too many different things that MacBU is trying to cater to. For example, there are Office 2007 switchers looking for Ribbon, so Office 2008 has something Ribbon-like. Then there are Office 2004/2003 users looking for old style toolbars and so those can be enabled in Office 2008. Then there are Mac purists looking for an Inspector so Office 2008 has a Formatting Palette. An of course everything can be accessed from the menu as well.

The best way to clear up all this UI confusion is to just focus on one coherent way of doing things and tell users to deal with it. Theoretically/hopefully, the simplification and focus would produce a better UI. Of course, somehow I don't think this will necessarily calm the UI complaints.
 

SFStateStudent

macrumors 604
Aug 28, 2007
7,496
3
San Francisco California, USA
Interesting.... Earlier this evening I uninstalled Office 2004 from one of my machines since I was really not using it; iWork fulfills my needs very nicely. When Office 2008 came out I made the decision to not purchase and install it and so far have not regretted that.
I was in that exact same boat, but with different results; at MWSF '09 I won the full version of Office: Mac 2008 w/Media Expressions 2, and I haven't returned to iWorks and I had the iLife '09 update last month. I think I need to open iWorks and check it out once again. Thanks for your post.......:cool:
 

magamo

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2009
420
14
It's time to upgrade my old Office 2004. If only my employer didn't force me to use MS office... *sigh*
 

uaecasher

macrumors 65816
Jan 29, 2009
1,289
0
Stillwater, OK
I think Microsoft should make their UIs more similar between the PC version and the Mac version. With Macs just starting to become popular, a lot of people are using both Office 07 for windows and Office 08 for Mac but their completely different UIs make it difficult to be efficient in both. And how about MS Access for Mac!! The only app missing I need. For now tho...just running Vista w/ Office 07 via bootcamp and only go there if I have work to do.
maybe they don't want to make a good office product for mac
 

Jimmetry

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2009
56
0
This was coming sooner or later. 2004 is still a great product but I do need to upgrade anyway. I'll hold out for the next release.
2004 is still a great product but I do need to upgrade anyway.
2004 is still a great product
great product
Wait what?! Office for Mac is pathetic. To be honest, I wonder if it's deliberate. If MS has no Mac support, they risk being boycotted for a more open standard. If they have good Mac support, people have one less (major) reason to stick with Windows.

I hope I'm wrong... and that the next Office release is as good as 07 for Windows. Something tells me I'm dreaming though.
 

50548

Guest
Apr 17, 2005
5,039
2
Currently in Switzerland
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

This was coming sooner or later. 2004 is still a great product but I do need to upgrade anyway. I'll hold out for the next release.
MS's decision is irrelevant anyway; and PowerPoint 2004 still crashes with certain presentations when playing iTunes music...go figure.

maybe they don't want to make a good office product for mac
Of course they don't...even Ballmer said that when he talked about the "betterness" of Office for Windows against the Mac version...it's clearly a deliberate and illegal strategy to keep Windows users from migrating to the superior OS, as millions nowadays do.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.