Microsoft Announcements at Macworld ’07

Lot’s of great news coming out of San Francisco today. Check out our announcement of Office 2008. We’ll have more information later this week and after the show.

It’s Coming: Mac BU Announces Intent to Deliver Office 2008 for Mac
Microsoft Corp.’s Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) today revealed at Macworld Conference & Expo 2007 the news Mac fans have been waiting to hear: A new version of Office for Mac is on its way. The Mac BU announced its intent to deliver the first Universal version of Office for Mac for PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs — Microsoft® Office 2008 for Mac. Scheduled to be available in the second half of 2007, Office 2008 for Mac will allow Mac users to work smarter and more efficiently with new and enhanced tools that are simple, intuitive and easily discovered.

Here’s an interview with MacBU GM Roz Ho:

Inside Microsoft Office 2008 for Macintosh
Q&A: From Macworld Conference & Expo 2007, the head of Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit discusses the story behind the next generation of Microsoft’s productivity software suite for the Mac.

BTW: I’m posting this from the Blogger Lounge on the Macworld 07 show floor. If you get a chance stop by and say hi to Chris or me here or in the Microsoft booth. If you’re a blogger, stop in an make a post. 🙂  

Comments (46)

  1. tzagotta says:

    They really should call it Office 2007 for Mac, since that’s probably more what it is.  Calling it “2008” implies that it is an upgrade relative to 2007.  Same problem as 2003/2004 releases for the previous version.

  2. sterling says:

    What about Exchange support in Entourage?

    Is Entourage going to be a full partner with Exchange now or will it continue to be the red headed step child?

  3. MacSharePointUser says:

    Not to beat you guys up, but there was no reference to integration with SharePoint in either of these articles.   Considering that SP 2007 is a major focus for MS this year, this concerns me.

    Will there be SharePoint integration or are Mac Office users out of luck? Or is it still too early to talk about that functionality?

  4. Mattie says:

    Any images of the New UI coming out this week?

  5. I am really excited to see Office 2008 coming, I have an Intel mac, but I am currently using my old copy of Office 98 on an old PowerBook G3 running OS 9. I am really interested in seeing what’s new in Office since 98, v.X and 2004 (which I’m not using because of rosetta.)

  6. Gonzie says:

    right then, all good…what’s the upgrade going to be like? a general guess at a price will do and what versions will it upgrade?

  7. Don Parker says:

    What about VBA compatibility with PC Excel files old and new? I write alot of engineering Excel spreadsheets that I share between PC and Mac OS X environments. This is really important!

  8. mcic says:

    Awesome.  While Apple gets the spotlight at Macworld for what is (arguably) a non-Mac product, glad to see Microsoft improving and (soon) delivering a product that I use daily on my Mac.

    By the way, are any screenshots of what we can expect of elements gallery coming yet?

  9. MonsoonDawn says:

    Will it run on the iPhone?

  10. Ben Skelton says:

    Are we going to see some sort of integrated SharePoint support in the next version of Mac Office? SharePoint libraries are integrated so nicely in the Windows version of office 🙂

  11. John Muir says:

    It’s a busy Macworld when Steve hasn’t got time for Roz Ho on stage!

  12. Don McHose says:

    " What about VBA compatibility with PC Excel files old and new? I write alot of engineering Excel spreadsheets that I share between PC and Mac OS X environments. This is really important!" Ditto !!

    This is very important.

  13. Chris says:

    I was so hoping for some news about Office 2008 and SharePoint 2003/2007 integration/interoperability. The Mac versions of Office, while incredibly nice and valuable, are increasingly feeling like in island in Microsoft’s larger Office System strategy with SharePoint and Exchange playing major roles. Given that both expose significant services via SOAP, I would have hoped that the old binary incompatibility arguments would cease to be a gating factor in delivering this functionality on Mac Office.

  14. Chris says:

    I also want to ask about VBA compatibility. I’m not a heavy Excel user, but know that if this feature isn’t available, the Mac Office suite is no longer really compatible with the rest of the world.

  15. Sebastian says:

    What about the toolbars? I’ve seen in the first screenshots, that – like in Acrobat 8 – the toolbars are integrated into the document window.

    I personally like the Ribbon UI which I could test live on a computer. But docking the UI to the doc-window is imho a huge backstep.

    Will there be an option that the toolbars in Office 2008 can be docked directly under the menu-bar like in Office :mac 2004?

  16. John Lockwood says:

    VBA support in Office 2008 is dead dead dead, as Microsoft have stated here in this blog.

    If you want to continue doing VBA either buy some more Office 2004 while they are still available or look at NeoOffice 2.1 (due out 1st quarter 2007) which will be FREE OF CHARGE and will have Excel VBA support and also be able to read the new Open XML file formats.

  17. John Lockwood says:

    What I would like to here (although I will not use the feature myself) is whether Office 2008 will finally support right to left languages.

    The [continuing] deafening silence from Microsoft on this subject strongly suggests that once again they will fail to do this. However this time they have absolutely no excuse for doing so. (Previously they have blamed the text engine in [earlier versions of] Mac OS X, however as they are re-writing Office this excuse no longer hold water.)

  18. Duane Garrett says:

    I echo John Lockwood’s concern about whether MS will put right-to-left language support into Office 2008. This is a feature I definitely need. Right now, Office for Mac is not really compatible with Office for Windows as it lacks this critical feature.

  19. Rosyna says:

    What’s with the word "intent" in the title? Makes it sound like little to no work has been done and that end-users shouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen.

  20. George says:

    I can’t emphasize how pointless this release is without full VB compatibility with the PC version. The name "Office" makes it crystal clear that this software is a tool for the office. People who use Macs in a business setting need to integrate their word processing, spreadsheet, and email systems with their PC counterparts.


  21. Jeremy Combs says:

    Please tell me where Microsoft stands on Visio for Mac.

  22. The screenshot of PowerPoint 2008 I saw in the Macworld article is strange. The interface has integrated tabs, but the drop down menus still exist? Isn’t that a case of confusion and clutter? I think you should clear out all the drop down menus on the Apple menu bar, leaving only the Application menu, in this case “PowerPoint”. The idea behind the new UI in both Office 2007 and 2008 is to make things easier to find. Keeping back all the drop down menus defeats that purpose.

  23. wooster says:

    How about Out-of-Office in Entourage? The mot common complaint I get from Outlook 2001 converts. VB imoprtant to for many people I  know (not me thou). Share Points. How about concentrating your effort on the essential and important things instead of delivering “Mac firsts and onlys” like My Day?!

  24. zerock says:

    I wonder if Messenger will be updated anytime soon.

  25. Ian says:

    I notice all this time after it was discontinued, WMP for Mac is still the second most popular download on Perhaps this one should be resurrected.

  26. eobet says:

    How on earth… how the hell… how is it possible?

    Why, why, oh, why aren’t you bringing the number one new feature of the new Office to OS X?

    Without the Ribbon and VB support, you’re working on a crippled product.

    Who would want to buy that, when OpenOffice is free (and OpenOffice Aqua on its way)?

  27. Don’t be mistaken in assuming the only place Microsoft is making waves this week is at the Consumer Electronics

  28. Anthony says:

    One thing:  better exchange integration with Entourage???

  29. nadyne says:

    Andre – Through our UX design and research, we found that it wasn’t appropriate for our users to remove the top menu bar that is a common element in all Macintosh applications.  

  30. tzagotta says:

    >>Through our UX design and research, we found that it wasn’t appropriate for our users to remove the top menu bar that is a common element in all Macintosh applications.<<

    Couldn’t the same have been said about Office 2007 and Windows apps?  In other words, if you ask any user, “should the app have a menu bar,” probably 99% of experienced Windows users would say “yes.”  The innovation in Office 2007 is that they went against conventional thinking and replaced the menu with a mechanism that is more effective.

  31. nadyne says:

    WinOffice has a different user audience than we do, and they’re working on an operating system that has fundamental differences in the UI.  One of those fundamental differences is the menu bar that is in every Mac application.  We’re trying to take the best of WinOffice’s innovation and meld it with a Mac sensibility.  

    Remember, you’ve only seen a couple of screenshots, and haven’t had the opportunity to interact with it.  We’ll be sharing more about the Elements Gallery as we get closer to the launch of Office:Mac 2008, so maybe you’ll have a different reaction as you learn more about it and see it in action.  And if you’re at MWSF, swing by our booth to see a demo of it, so you can get a better feeling for what we’re doing with it.

  32. Nick says:

    One suggestion for Office 2008 Entourage:  a back-to-inbox button in the junk mail folder.  I usually do not show the folders list in Entourage.  When I get the "Junk Mail Found" alert and go to the junk mail folder to evaluate the email in question, I have to click the folder icon to reveal the inbox before can I return to it.  I then must click the folder icon to hide the folders list once I’m back in the Inbox.  Having a "Return to Inbox" button appear in the junk mail folder that would return me to the Inbox with the folder list hiding or showing depending on its last view would eliminate a step.  In other words, if I was hiding the folders list when I act on the junk mail alert, clicking the "Return to Inbox" button would return me to the inbox with the folders list still hidden.  You might also consider having such a button act as a "Return to [last folder opened]" button, so that you would return to the last folder you were using when you investigated the junk mail alert.

  33. I live in Jamaica, so I won’t be able to drop by, I would so love to though. Anyway, are the tabs always displayed or shown only when the user wants to access a feature?

  34. R. Mansfield says:

    Regarding right-to-left typing in Word 12, Rick Schaut told me way back at the end of 2005 that it would not be available. It’s just not a high priority for Microsoft. It was at that point that I gave up on Mac Word for academic writing and began using Mellel. You can read my post on the subject at

  35. eobet says:

    I wonder if this "different user audience" is business (XP) vs. personal use (OS X)?

    Most screenshots linked display "publication templates". Who, in their right mind, uses Office over InDesign for layouts?

    Either way, that’s some balls claiming that the MacBU can do "better" than the entire main Office team at Microsoft.

  36. I am impressed with the screenshots that came out.  It certainly mixes "Office 2007 innovation" with "Mac sensibility".  Having used Office 2007 (Beta 2 TR) on Windows for a couple of months, I think the innovations there are great, but the interface cannot exactly be called "pretty".

    The interface I see here is better — keeping an (improved) formatting palette is smart; and the elements gallery look Mac-like despite being inspired by Office 2007.  Of note, there is precedence in having a design gallery – e.g. the design chooser in Karelia’s Sandvox.

    I can’t wait.

    However, what I dislike is the "My Day" interface.  To be honest, it is quite ugly.  I understand it is an early beta though.  Also, "My Day" should really be a Dashboard Widget.  I don’t want yet another background program running.

    I am also interested in Microsoft’s plan for interacting with Apple’s iLife.  E.g. the Insert -> Picture option could really be replaced with some kind of Media Browser.

    I understand you will keep the menu bars.  This is great.  It would be fantastic if the menu items in the menu bars could be improved though — it should not look like a relic from Office 2004.

    Very much looking forward to Office 2008.

  37. nadyne says:

    eobet – No, it’s not the difference between business and personal use.  I spend a lot of time talking to people who user their Macs 100% in a business environment, and our findings hold for them as well.  

  38. Jean-Denis Muys says:

    I hope that Office 2008 desing spirit will be less “Microsoft”. By “Microsoft” spirit, I mean what lead the shutdown command in the start menu.

    For example, Office 2004 ties autocorrect entries to the keyboard layout. That means Office 2004 keeps miscorrecting the correct French word “dont” into “don’t”, even though I keep telling it my text is in French.

    Conversely, I suppose that people with a French AZERTY keyboard are barred from typing a text in English.

    Ohhhh yeahhh,


    PS: here is what the help file says:

    Check your language and keyboard layout   Office 2004 includes AutoCorrect lists for the following languages: English, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish. If you are using another language and keyboard layout, Office 2004 creates either a blank AutoCorrect list for that language or uses the English AutoCorrect list to correct errors you type. The AutoCorrect language is based on the active keyboard layout, which is designated on the Input Menu tab of the International pane in System Preferences (Apple menu).

  39. shunulu says:

    one more thing… … … … internet query option in excel !

  40. John says:

    Will Office 2008 still have the radio button to select for printing in B&W that interacts with the user, but doesn’t do what it is supposed to?

    MS Help line said this function was taken out of Office X, but I still see it there and in 2004 too. I guess I’m hallucinating.

  41. Matt says:

    My big request is Entourage, Entourage, and more Entourage. I use it for home and as my main biz program, and stability/sluggishness seems to be an issue when you switch to a folder than has *a lot* of messages in it, like the Delete items. And I actually think MyDay is a good idea, but agree it’d be a great widget so as not to ad clutter to my work environment.

    Also, I know in the PC environment, there’s a huge setback as Outlook 2007 uses MS Word to render HTML emails, thus setting HTML email design back 5 years (I design a lot of eNewsletters). I certainly hope you don’t change the rendering engine in Entourage to this extent!

  42. Scott Rose says:


    If you turn off “View–>Arrange By–>Show in Groups” for a particular folder, you will no longer have any sluggishness when you switch to that folder if it has a lot of messages in it.


  43. Elliot says:

    Interesting that the BU folks here have only responded to UI issues, not issues regarding features and functionality.

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