give us your feedback!

It’s been a pretty cool inaugural week for our team blog. I’ve seen lots of links to our blog from all over the place. It’s awesome to know that you guys are interested in what we have to say.

I’ve noticed that we’ve gotten a lot of feedback about our products (current and past). There’s a lot for us to say about this kind of thing, and you’ll see it in the upcoming weeks as this blog continues to take shape. I’ve got a couple of posts brewing in the back of my mind as a result of some of the comments that I’ve seen here.

It would be immensely helpful to us if you also submitted your ideas for new products, feature requests, and everything else like that to our product feedback website. That way, we can aggregate these requests all together and use that data to help us make our decisions about what features we should add, whether we should port a product from WinOffice, and so much more. The data is very important to us.

Someone actually does read all of the feedback that we get there. Actually, several someones do. I’m one of them. As a user experience researcher, I go through that product feedback to see if there are comments in there about the user experience.

Your feedback helps me to guide the various application teams through providing the best user experience possible. Tell us what you like about our products. Tell us what you don’t like. Tell us how you use our products in cool ways. Tell us what you wish we’d do (even if it involves a long walk and a short pier).

For example, we get a lot of feedback about Remote Desktop Connection. One of the pieces of feedback that we get about RDC the most often is a complaint from users that they can’t resize their window. Technically, this isn’t correct; it’s just that we buried the option in a place that you can’t find it. (For a more thorough discussion about some of the feedback that we’ve gotten about RDC, including instructions for how to resize your window, check out my post over in go ahead, mac my day (my own blog) titled discoverability). When we started talking about making the next version of RDC, fixing this issue was one of my main UX goals. After all, it doesn’t do us any good to make functionality available to you if you can’t find it. When we release the next version of RDC, you can tell me whether I was successful.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t comment here! Comments spur discussion, both with us and with other people who read this blog. I just want to make sure that requests like ‘give me Visio!’ get counted properly, so that we can make the right decisions based on the best data available.

Comments (45)

  1. Office for Mac says:

    FYI, the feedback form is also accessible on the right-hand side of this page, under "More Resource Sites".

  2. kirabug says:

    Speaking feedback, does this site support Trackbacks/Pingbacks from other blogs?

    Oh, and I just want to say thank you for this blog. I’m really enjoying it so far… and thanks to all the bloggers for your patience with all the vitriol that’s been spit your direction in the comments. If all that crap was posted in <em>my</em> blog, I’m be disappointed at best. Your posts are valuable and we appreciate them πŸ™‚

  3. First. Great blog. I never was a great fan of Microsoft software on the pc, but office on mac really rocks. Please hurry up with a ub version and please change these ugly icons on entourage…else keep up the good work

  4. David says:

    Great that we now have a place to put our requests.  Well done πŸ™‚

    Now, if you’re going to be giving RDC some attention, could you also fix the issue whereby the character is not available if the Mac’s keyboard isn’t set to US layout.  On a British Mac keyboard the is next to the ENTER key, but it is not recognised by RDC.

    As I’m sure you can appreciate, the character is rather important.

  5. Hey,

    I used to use Mac Office enthusiastically and, for some reason, drifted off to the Apple jumbled of apps (iCal, Mail, Pages, etc.).

    I recently re-converted to Office and, I gotta say, why didn I ever leave? (Of course, it helps that the well-seasoned suite now literally screams on my new Power Mac G5). I love the tight integration of apps and Entourage is just the best personal project and information management app ever.

    Kudos to you folks in the MBU, keep it up.

    Now, hey, a couple of feature/enhancement requests, eh?

    1. Make Entourage’s calendar prettier. That’s one thing iCal had going for it: it looks real nices with those beveled event edges and drop shadows. I just love to drag meetings around because they feel so tactile.

    2. Make Entourage’s calendar more flexible. iCal rocks in that you can turn individual calendars on and off to focus on particular types of events. I’d love to be able to do that in Entourage.

    3. Integrate better with .Mac and SyncServices. I’d love to be able to publish my Entourage calendars directly to .Mac, in particular.

    4. In Word’s Notebook view, permit the creation of hyperlinks. I keep having to change views, create a hyperlink, then go back to Notebook view.

    5. When using "Scribble" in Notebook view, permit some delay between the end of a shape and the start of a new one. Perhaps this delay could be configurable? And, as well, don’t display the "handles" of the new shape after it’s created. The combination of the insta-shape and the handles makes using a tablet kinda tough in Scribble mode. I’d prefer that when scribbling the whole process of shape generation in Word is more discreet and less deliberate until you changes tools. All the same, I love the Scribble tool.

    6. Link the Scribble tool with the Revision tool. I’d love to be able to hand-scrawl revision notes in a document.

    7. Permit hierarchical categories in Entourage. I’d love to be able to designate things a contact as Business ->  Client as opposed to having to assign two distinct categories to them.

    8. Permit the dragging of Web Archives (or URLs to generate web archives) into Clippings.

    I leave off there, folks. Thanks for this direct line into your development environment. You’re all doing a tremendous job and I totally dig the product. Can’t wait for Office 12!

    (Now, how do I apply for one of those 10 jobs? Hm…)



  6. Chris E Boy says:

    Please please please do something about the interface in entourage! Its better than the outlook interface but that isnt saying a lot.

    Think along the lines of "less is more". The whole thing looks like you had a bucket of buttons and just threw them at the screen.

    Universal binaries would be great too, and im sure these are already in development.

    Word for mac is incredible compared to the pc version… even the 2007 beta ive been using! But can you tell me if the ribbon interface used in 2007 will ever make its way to the mac version?

    Loving the blog, its a good insight into fellow developers who actually work for one of the biggest companies in the world. It sounds like you guys really enjoy your jobs.

  7. Skrud says:

    This is a great blog — I added it to my list of RSS feeds almost instantly. The team’s posts are interesting, and funny.

    Before reading the list of common misconceptions that Joe posted yesterday, I always thought that Office for Mac was nothing more than a direct port of Office for Windows, so I never even gave it a try.

    Reading about you guys and the stuff you’re doing gives me renewed faith in the software that you’re producing.

    Keep it up!

  8. Phil Breske says:

    Ok, so I went to the Product Feedback web site you linekd to, and there is no option to provide feedback on the Mac version of Windoze Media Player, so I’ll post my feedback here:

    It sucks. No support for the newest version. Choppy playback of all files on even a G5 Power Mac. No support for DRM.

    I’ve read here that the Mac BU is dedicated to writing great software, but where’s the evidence?

  9. Dr.T says:

    So here is my feedback. I think, that this blog is nothing more than a little part of markting activity. I can’t belive that this blog has any other intention other than distracting everybode from the big problems office still has. You are writing about Remote Desktop Connection. Yes thats really the killeraplication everybody uses. How about talking about Word, saying that’t it’s not able so save a document, even no document is open? Talking about the small problems (like Remote Desktop Connection) is hiding the big ones …

  10. bill says:

    To start with, this blog is mostly fluff.  For instance, the category with the highest number is "working i MacBU". Hmm, writing a bit too much about ourselves are we?

    how about some real info?  Like when are you coming out with a new version? Will the next version of Entourage-Contacts not eat my data?  Will you guys get the project/opportunity/relationship management concepts and tools down coldβ€”like your competitors already have?

    It’s really too bad, You folks truely have so much to offer, but deliver so little, so late.

  11. John Mac says:

    When is Office for Mac going to be released as Universal Binary?  

    Is there a Beta program for this ?  If so I would love to participate.

    I can’t really use Powerpoint becuase it is much too slow under Rosetta.


    — JM.

  12. RMansfield says:

    I like the idea of this blog. Maybe it’s because of it’s multiple ownership, however, it sure does look aesthetically "less than exciting." I hate to say it, but Mac Mojo looks like a…<i>Windows</i> blog.

    C’mon, someone take a few minutes and show the world at first glance that this blog really is run by Mac people.

  13. Allen D. says:

    First of all I want thank all of you for reaching out to us, even if some here are trolls, I do believe the majority of people greatly appreciate the work you guys have done.

    Not that you guys can’t or shouldn’t do better but I believe this is a great first step.

    I will definitely buy Office 2007 if and only if you release a good product, which I hope it is, then you will probably get some feedback from me. πŸ™‚

  14. Brian says:

    Kudos on the blog! Looking forward to reading it on a regular basis!

    So you want feedback, eh? Well, I’ve got some:

    – Why does the window that is spawned by either creating a new event or opening an existing event in Entourage 2004 [v11.2.5 (060620)] go to the maximum size available for the screen?

    So little information is entered for this sort of thing, it should spawn a window no larger than the "About Entourage" window (and, of course, keep it resizeable).

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  15. Neil says:

    Great stuff. Let’s not forget that Excel (Multiplan/Chart) and Word, and I don’t remember what else were first developed for Mac, before Windows existed. That’s a long history of great software. This may be a ridiculous thought, but I wonder if we could learn from the simplicity of early versions of those apps. How could we make the large number of features in the current versions easily accessible to users without overloading them with to many choices in the first instance? Just what pops into my head, I hope its useful. Thanks for the time spent posting.

  16. nadyne says:

    Andrew – If you’re interested in working with us, head over to Microsoft Careers, and look for ‘MAC Office’ (yes, I wish they would capitalise it correctly!) under the Product listing.  And thanks for all that feedback — do make sure you get it into our product feedback website!

    Phil – Windows Media Player for Mac came from the Windows Media Player team, not the MacBU.  We get a lot of feedback about it, though, and we aggregate it to send to the right folks.

    Bill – We just started this blog this week, so we’re doing a lot of the introductory type stuff first.  We’ve got a lot of other stuff to talk about, so keep on checking in here.

  17. Rich says:

    The feedback form needs a pulldown field for "new product suggestions" or something of the like. I had a request for better Windows Media support, and there was no category for it.

  18. Eduardo J. Gisbert says:

    nadyne, I wanted to personally thank you for this post!

    Now I do feel like we are being heard. I’ll make sure to write down some points in you product feedback site. It does feel good to know that there is actually someone on the other side of the line!

    Best regards to you all…

  19. boyd says:

    Suggestions for the next version of Mac Office:

    1) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Add support for using of PKI Certificates AND DOD CACs when accessing Exchange 2003 webmail via Entourage. This is BIG problem US Government/DOD Mac users.

    2) Provide an option to dock all the buttons bars into the application (word/ppt/excel). The floating button bars can really be annoying. Not all Macs users like them

    3) Add support for Out-Of-Office enable/disable in Entourage

    4) Add support for searching the GAL via Exchange 2003 webmail in entourage.

    5) Open Document Format import/export support

    6) Office XML file format support

    7) in Entourage it should remember the search type used for each folder. For example, I like to search by from in INBOX and to in Sent Items

    8) Word with Reviewing mode (Final w/ Markup) turned is very slow in bot PPC and Intel Macs

    9) native intel mac support

    10) separate the message store files for "Folders on My Computer" and your server mailboxes. I have a 8GB message store file and its difficult backup and repair.

    8) add Word like bulleting to PPT. Powerpoint bulleting mechanism (on Windows and Mac) is kludgy compared to Word.

  20. boyd says:

    1) Port MS Project to Mac

    2) Port Visio to Mac

  21. boyd says:

    the ability to have multiple identities in Entourage at the same time without having to to a manual switch. Should work similar to the way Apple Mail does when you can select "who" to send the mail as from a drop in the message composer window.

  22. Nick says:

    thanks for the link to the product feedback page, but why is it so hard to find. I don’t see it on the Mactopia home page or on the support page.

    You do want feedback, right?

  23. Peter Payne says:

    Excel has MANY frustrating things about it, which may spring from its having such a long history, but they’re not very Mac-like. Like, the command A never works the way it does on every other Mac program, not selecting all the contentes of a cell. This is why I’ve always actively searched for an Excel replacement, but have yet to find one.

  24. James Caudill says:

    If you are going to fix RDC, please please make it have the ability to connect to multiple servers at the same time.  Just having one at a time is not very useful.

  25. Rob says:

    You guys do a great job when it comes to building mac applications, with the exception of Messenger at the moment which is not quite up to scratch.

    I see the new version coming later this year will add support for a few more features but the one question people are begging for you to answer is when will we see support for Audio and Video (if ever) and if we cant do this then why?

    It also confuses me why Messenger for Mac is pale in comparison to some of the 3rd party alternatives out there, Windows Live Messenger walks all over Mac users.

    Do you plan on bringing Messenger for Mac up to speed with Windows Live Messenger?

    One thing I am sick of and I’m sure a lot of people are by now is, you’re sitting chatting away to a buddy on windows and then you get this:

    Keith sent you a wink which requires the latest version of Windows Live Messenger. To download the latest version of Windows Live Messenger, go to

    –  Firstly, there’s a period on the end of the URL so the link is broken.

    –  Secondly, Why should I get this thrown at me when I am running the latest version available for Mac? It doesn’t make sense, it also means I have to explain to my buddies over and over just why I can’t participate with them in these events.

    Messenger for Mac is probably one of the most widely used Macintosh Business Unit apps out there, that’s freely available and used regularly. I would even go as far as to say it’s the first point of contact that most Mac users have with Microsoft Software on the Mac nowadays, and you’re letting your image down. If that’s the impression a new user is getting compared to Windows Live Messenger, what do you think their perception of the Macintosh Business Unit is and Microsoft as a Brand on the Mac Platform?

    Compare Messenger for Mac to Windows Live Messenger, you’d see the difference, it’s huge, it stares Mac users in the face and yet nobody out there has the guts to step up and do anything about it. Yahoo may be making an attempt for the first time in a few years to update their Messenger for Mac and they’re already one step ahead of you with Video, and they’re also bringing Audio into the next beta release.

    I’d like to see some answers posted on Mactopia, on the messenger site, some commitment to it’s future development, and like the Windows Live side of things, more open lines of communication there, throw messenger out to the community like the Windows team do and boost it’s development by beta testing publically, let the users shape it’s development.

    For the time being, PLEASE at least put up a page that explains what Messenger for Mac cannot do that Windows Live Messenger can, it’ll be painfull, but at least I can then link to it and tell people to go read when they start annoying me with things I cant participate in.

    I guess time will tell on this one, I’d probably be better off building that page on my own. I’m sure if you took a group of program managers or developers, sat them in a room for 15 minutes and gave them the exercise of listing everything Windows Live Messenger allows you to do and then listing everything Microsoft Messenger for Mac allows you to do, you’d realise where I’m coming from, especially if you try to create a diagram and draw lines of communication between them that go both ways.

    I don’t believe I’m alone on this either, I see a lot of frustrated mac users out there who are voicing their opinions on how bad Messenger for Mac is, simply because if it’s lack of focus and development on user-centric features that allow us to participate as full members of the Windows Live Community.

    Development over the last 2 years has focused really on adding features to the application that are designed to help businesses communicate better and become more productive, please don’t ignore Messenger’s biggest userbase – the general public! there are I believe somewhere around 200million messenger users out there, most of them on windows, but there’s a growing number of mac users too and they’re being let down when it comes to Instant Messaging.

    I for one can say I’ve seen around 26,000 signatures on some online petitions in the past, people all looking for the same thing as I am here.

    Office for Mac is a fantastic suite of applications, but it has one major flaw and weakness, and I believe that flaw, is Messenger. It wouldn’t hurt to update the Mactopia Messenger section regularly as well to give us an idea as to what you’re working on, even if it’s a preview of upcoming features or what your working on for the next version.

  26. John K says:

    I too like this blog and immediately added it to my RSS reader.

    All I can say is that if you are indeed doing good work, keep it up. If not, do it.

    And fix messenger. If freelancers can make a better MSN client than the folks behind MSN itself, well, that’s just sad.

  27. Schwieb says:

    Nick, here’s how you can find the feedback page on MacTopia:

    go to

    click on the words "Contact Us"  about 1 inch down from the top and in the center of the window.

    (its in the row of items right under the word ‘mactopia’ at the top!)

    And, as Nadyne said, you can always leave comments on this blog or any of our personal blogs.

  28. nadyne says:

    boyd – You can create multiple accounts in a single identity in Entourage.  Then you’ll get a drop-down box with all of the accounts in there, and you can choose which one will be the sender.  

    I’ve got this set up on my home machine, since I have approximately eleventy billion personal email addresses of one form or another.  (Some people collect masks or shot glasses or something.  I apparently collect email addresses.)  Then I use rules to send the incoming email from an individual email address into its own folder (which I have as a subfolder of my inbox, but you could do it any way that you want).  

  29. luckylindy says:

    I’m the Creative Director for the IT communications group of one of the Big Four accounting firms and, believe me, it hasn’t been easy holding on to my PowerBook. But thanks to RDC, VPC and the x-platform prowess of Office, I am allowed to be happy, creative, and productive. (Though I DO have to cover up the brightly lit Apple logo on the PB lid…if you can believe it!)

    As such, I’m with Boyd; port these Win apps over to Mac:

    β€’ MS Project

    β€’ Visio

    Doing so would be two easy ways to allow Mac users to stay Mac users in a Windows shop.

    Question: I’ve built several Word templates for my group (both on my Dell at the Office and my PB at home). Many hours and years spent with Visual Basic. Where is Office 2007 and the next Mac version of Office headed in terms of template compatibility/usability? I understand Win version will be using an iteration of XML; how about Mac? Will there be any converters? Will I have to learn a new programming language?

    Thanks. I love the blog…keep up the great work!

  30. Mark Wilson says:

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for starting a MacBU blog.  To those who say it’s just fluff – what else is any other corporate-sponsored blog?

    Here’s my list of items (some of these are repeating other requests), in no particular order:

    1. Updated RDC client with support for multiple server connections.

    2. Visio for Mac.

    3. Entourage Junk E-mail Filter updates (we get one every month for Outlook).

    4. Fix Entourage so that when I say to allow all messages from a user’s domain to be treated as "not junk" they really are treated as "not junk".

    5. Updated Messenger client.

    6. Re-instate VirtualPC for Mac.

    7. Release all software as universal binaries.

    Keep up the good work.  Microsoft software for the Mac is generally good stuff.  Don’t get too upset by the Mac Zealots who infer that anything Microsoft is evil and anything from Apple is perfect.


  31. Mark Wilson says:

    BTW, Bill, for a new blog, I reckon it’s understandable that "working in MacBU" would be a pretty high ranking category as everyone introduces themselves… give the guys a break.

  32. nadyne says:

    Mark – We will maintain file format compatibility, and will be able to both read and write the new file format.  Additionally, as we announced at WWDC, we will release converters for Office:Mac 2004 after the release of Windows Office 2007 so that our users can read files that are sent to them from users of the new WinOffice.

  33. Mac Mojo says:

    (Sorry, Charles.)

    Hiya folks!&amp;nbsp; I’m Erik Schwiebert, one of the development leads here in the…

  34. RL says:

    Some folks would rather die than go without Excel; I’ll chime in that without RDC, I don’t know what I’d do. GREAT stuff.

  35. Asitha says:

    Great blog guys.  Unlike most Mac Fans, I do think MacBU is capable of doing some great software.  However, when I read you were dropping VB support in the next version of Mac Office I was horrified!!!!  It’s just no possible to have 100% file compatibility without it, particularly if you rely on complex Excel based apps as we do in our office.  As for features how about .oft compatibility in Entourage.  After about 2 years of try, I finally managed to get my powerbook hooked up to our Exchange server, only to find Outlook forms don’t work.  Arggggghhh!!!!!

  36. matt says:

    I just switched from Windows to a Mac. The only thing I’ve found troublesome (so far) is that I couldn’t load my back up email PST file from Outlook 2003 into Entourage 2004. This is a pretty big drawback as I can’t revert back and retrieve my previous emails since I had Outlook set up to download my messages from my email account. I’d really like to see full 110% backwards compatabily here. Being able to import all my email, folders, rules, calendar, etc from Outlook PST into Entourage without any hicups would really be amazing. I know it will take alot of work, but the end result would be worth it in my opinion.

    Tool bars (or ribbon?) can’t you build them into the main window like in the Windows version instead of having each little bar float around on its own? My job requires me to have Office on my Mac, but I found NeoOffice Writer to look, feel, and behave much like Microsoft Word XP/2003 better than Word for Mac (X, 2001, or 2003). Also Visio would be great if it was brought over. As well as the OneNote. I know Word for Mac has a notebook feature, but It just doesn’t fit my needs 100% like OneNote used to.

    Also, will there be a Beta version of Office for Mac sometime in the next year or so? I would love to try it out and see what everyone has been working on for the next (and hopefully better) Office for Mac will be like.

    Keep up the great work everyone!

  37. nadyne says:

    Matt – What did you like about OneNote that the notebook view in Word:Mac doesn’t give you?

  38. The pros and cons of being dugg.

  39. Matt says:


    Notebook view is just that, a view. Not an application or anything like OneNote that I’ve experanced with OneNote. I haven’t dug deep into the "Notebook view" but from my lite use of the view, is that I haven’t seen a way to organize things in the same way you can with OneNote. Files, Folders, Drawers, Cabinets (or however it’s organized, I don’t remember off the top of my head at the moment.) But I have organized different sectons for Home, Work, and School. Inside Work I’d have my individual client folders (Client A, Client B, etc) with their documents and clipings inside. Inside School I would have my Quarters organized by years (2004, 2005, 2006) and inside the years I would have Fall, Spring, Summer, etc. I’m sure you can visualize all of this. And as of this time, I haven’t found a way to successfully organize the Notebook view in Word:Mac as it is in OneNote. Which brings me to another consern (idea, issue) is if OneNote is brought over for Mac as its own application, please support a way to seemless and flawlessly to bring over the OneNote files from the Windows version on the Mac.

    Ideally, I’d like to see an identally UI brought over for OneNote from Windows to Mac. Tabs, Colors, Menus, Commands, etc, brought over and support for the OneNote files. It’s time consuming having to rebuild my notebooks in the Notebook view.

    I know it’ll be alot of work and I don’t expect it to be ready once Office:Mac 2008 (?) is released, but I would like to see, hear, and beta test the software. OneNote helped me tremendiously with my online Algebra class, and I’m not that great at Algebra and now that I’m working between the two systems, it would be nice to see a standardized, flat-out, backwards compatable and universal application and file format that both systems can use.

    I would also like to see Project ported over. And, for the Intel-based Macs with the Apple Remote, settings to control PowerPoint presenations like Apple’s Keynote.

    As for now, that’s all I can think of. I’m sure I’ll think of more ideas/suggestions in the future, but I really need to get my hands dirty with Office 2007 Beta 2 for Windows and Office:Mac 2004.


  40. Ed says:

    What about Access for mac? Really needed!

  41. Manish says:

    Why can’t the Office update tool for Mac resume interrupted downloads? It’s really annoying.

  42. Mark says:

    It would be wonderful if you guys can get Access, Publisher, and Microsoft Dynamics to work on the Mac.

  43. RedLine says:

    Great that we now have a place to put our requests.  Well done πŸ™‚

    Now, if you’re going to be giving RDC some attention, could you also fix the issue whereby the character is not available if the Mac’s keyboard isn’t set to US layout.  On a British Mac keyboard the is next to the ENTER key, but it is not recognised by RDC.

    As I’m sure you can appreciate, the character is rather important.

  44. I would gladly post my comments and feedback regarding Messenger 6 using the feedback form, but the highest version number it knows about is 5. πŸ™‚

  45. Office for Mac says:

    Hi Indrek,

    The feedback form has now been updated to include Messenger 6. Thanks!