Get converted


As previously announced, and as indicated by the lower frequency in blogcasting here, everyone at MacBU is exceedingly busy completing Office 2008, which is on track for release later this year. This work is our primary focus, and is the largest undertaking in our ten year history as an independent team.  We are developing the product for versions beyond 2008 with broad investment in native Mac OS X architecture as well as adoption of a new, next generation document format: Office Open XML.


We’ve made great progress, and as previously promised we’re releasing some of this new functionality in a form that you can start using right away:  Beta release #1 of the Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac is now available for download.



This is a stand-alone Macintosh application that converts .docx documents – that is, documents saved by Word 2007 for Windows in the Office Open XML file format – into rich text format (RTF) documents so that they can be automatically opened in either Word 2004 or Word v.X for Mac OS X.


With this free converter we passionately want to get you up and reading the new documents you are receiving.  We do not, however, want to see you inadvertently mess up any critical documents you are working with. For that reason, only one-way (read only) conversion is supported in this beta. When sending documents back to colleagues and contacts, we recommend saving to the default .doc format from Mac Word (listed as “Word document” in the save dialog). Similarly, we continue to recommend that you advise friends and colleagues who use Office 2007 and collaborate regularly with Mac users to save their documents as a “Word/Excel/PowerPoint 97-2003 Document” (.doc, .xls, .ppt) to ensure that the files can be robustly shared across platforms while waiting for final availability of Office 2008 for Mac.


Personally, I’m getting plenty of opportunities to use this new converter right out of the gate. Office 2007 for Windows is pretty widely deployed across the numerous PC desktops we have here internally at Microsoft. So far the converter is doing great, but then in most cases I tend to only need to read and review the documents rather than co-edit them (product plans, service agreements, draft letters, staff communications and the like). For active collaboration on critical or complex documents – e.g. where getting the formatting, tables etc. correct is essential – you’ll want to continue to work with the older (.doc) format from the start.


Why a stand-alone converter application? We chose this route because it supports both Office 2004 and Office v.X for Mac users, while providing some bonus functionality such as batch conversion, and also keeping the team focused on Office 2008 by avoiding major test efforts around invasive changes to our shipping Office 2004 product. The user interface for the converter actually began life as an internal test tool (where you can imagine the batch processing comes in handy) – it was so slick it quickly became obvious that it was a great solution for the converter. You can drag and drop files onto the converter icon or application of course, but can also simply double-click .docx files to invoke it. The first thing I did is turn on this preference to immediately open a newly converted document in Word, so that I can skip the step of finding the new RTF document and dragging it to Word.


Why Rich Text Format? RTF (once called the “interchange format”) is simply a highly convenient intermediate format for the beta converter to use; I’ll let one of our Word experts (like Rick) expand on the technical reasons why this is the case if there’s interest.


We plan to release a final integrated converter for Office 2004, which will appear as an update that allows you to simply open and save the new file formats as if they’d always been there (though, some of the newer functionality expressed in the formats will naturally only be available in Office 2008). We are on track to deliver this final integrated converter for Office 2004 six to eight weeks after Office 2008 for Mac is available.  We also will release a final version of the stand-alone converter soon after.


Why wait until after we ship to release the final converters? The converters include and rely upon the same new code that lives in Office 2008 (so you’re getting early access to some of the new code today – running natively as a Universal Binary, of course). As the code improves in the applications, so will the converters improve, and as a result the converters will not be final until Office 2008 is also fully complete and fully tested.


Incremental updates to the beta converter will be coming this summer, including those to roll in PowerPoint and Excel document support. If you have installed the new beta converter, these updates will be pushed out automatically through the Microsoft AutoUpdate service.


Congratulations to the product team here in MacBU on the great progress made as we approach the finish line on Microsoft’s best ever release of Office for the Macintosh – Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac – and a big thanks for your hard work in building the converter.


P.S. If you are interested in learning more about the Office Open XML formats and the ways third parties are adopting and plugging into them, Brian Jones’ blog is a great place to start.

Comments (57)

  1. Just want to know about Entourage…..seems to be under wraps; love to see if it gets on par with Outlooks’ feature set.

    Though..WebDav IS nice….

  2. Been getting .docx files but can’t do anything with them? The Office:Mac file format converter is here!

  3. Congratulations on the first beta release.  Very shocked that there were some 8,000 files to install but the app looks and feels like a true Mac application.

    I am downloading the 63MB .docx Windows Vista Product Guide now to test it.  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=bbc16ebf-4823-4a12-afe1-5b40b2ad3725&DisplayLang=en

    There, I noticed another new file format, XPS.

    Will there be a way to read and export to the XPS format in Mac Office 2008?

  4. Further to my post earlier – unfortunately it didn’t work.

    =============================

    OFFICE OPEN XML CONVERTER LOG

    =============================

    Start Time: 2007-05-15 20:36:03 +0100

    Converting file: /Users/mintchocicecream/Desktop/WVPG RTM.docx

    Setting assert log path to 1, /private/var/tmp/folders.501/TemporaryItems/shipassertlogfile.txt

    End Time: 2007-05-15 20:38:41 +0100

    Conversion Failed.

    Happy to send over the contents of wordcvtr.crash.log (though it is probably just as easy for you to replicate this on your own computer!)

    Cool icon for .docx though!!!

    Might be worth providing a couple of sample .docx documents for people to download – there aren’t many around outside of Microsoft just at the moment!!!

  5. MacManWA says:

    Well, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that it is just a converter for Word (so far) and it only exports to RTF.  I’ve installed NeoOffice on my Mac, not to use, but because it can natively read and write Office 2007 formats–I’m using that as my converter.  That’ll get me by until Office 2008.

    And really–what’s up with Entourage… anything?

  6. eT says:

    Hi,

    maybe I´m not understanding it now, but the updater you just released is only in english.

    Will there be versions in other languages to download in the next days?

  7. Adrian Bool says:

    >8000 files for a document reader???  That’s just lame πŸ™

  8. Dale Gillard says:

    I’d really like to see the MacBU extend this product so that it becomes a standalone Word Reader. I’d also like to see the MacBU release an Excel Reader app.

    Both the Word and Excel Reader apps are available for free on the Windows platform, both already convert the Office Open format, but are not available for Mac.

    Is there a reason the MacBU haven’t provided these free apps for the Mac platform too?

  9. John Baxter says:

    This clause from the license (which is standard Microsoft Beta license) seems at odds with the stated purpose of the download.

    "You may not test the software in a live operating environment unless Microsoft permits you to do so under another agreement."

  10. Mr Lizard says:

    NeoOffice reads and writes to the 2007 format just fine. And will have VB support.

    Where’s the need for Office 2008?

  11. Adam says:

    Every docx file I try to convert fails πŸ™

    "The file is not the right file type."

    These aren’t in the beta 2007 format either.

  12. So, the naive/dumb question, this conveter is just for Word docs right? Will there be a converter made available anytime soon for Powerpoint? Im stuck now as Im getting .pptx files I cannot open on my mac with Powerpoint. Any suggestions?

  13. William says:

    Man, reading the comments posted so far makes me think that Mac users are a bunch of grumpy old men. Geez, people – the MacBU is trying to provide a solution to the numerous comments asking for a a .docx solution that I have read in previous blogs…Give them SOME credit, ok?

    Seems to work pretty good for a beta – converted a few docx files for me accurately and I like the icon too.

    I will continue to follow its progress.

  14. eponymous cowardq says:

    "NeoOffice reads and writes to the 2007 format just fine. And will have VB support.

    Where’s the need for Office 2008?"

    Where’s the need for you to comment on the MacBU’s blog if you don’t need Office 2008? Sounds to me like they are irrelevant to you, which is fine; if their software doesn’t meet your needs, for God’s sake, don’t buy it.

    But I use their software… so I have a need for a new version.

  15. CajunLuke says:

    Nice! If this is how Office ’08 will look, you already have my money!

    But is there any way you could not use VISE X, but use a normal Installer package?

  16. AG says:

    Ok, so let me get this straight: months after .docx files are in the wild, you finally release a BETA converter. The converter is a stand-alone app that only goes to RTF–presumably losing features that plain .doc can handle just fine. Meanwhile, all accounts hold that it doesn’t even work well. LAME.

  17. Well,

    altough we appriciate microsofts efforts to make us mac-users be able to read the .docx-format, there is reasons to be a bit dissapointed.

    For example: the converter is not able to deal with swedish signs. For shorter documents I suppuse i can live with it, but for the type of document I often recive the shortage of the converter makes it complete useless.

    Older office suites at the windows platform is already able to convert .docx, and it seems a bit strange that mac-users will be forced to wait a whole year to get the ability.

    Even stranger is that the NeoOffice-suite already is able to read & write .docx, flawless. It even deals with my litte language’s odd signs. I prefer the MS Office-suite, but I’m required to have NeoOffice as well, an opensource suite, just for beeing able to convert a microsoft format to get a microsoft app to read the microsoft format.

    That’s just Bizzaro world.

  18. The Skanger says:

    Is there any plan to have a later beta, or the final version of this, run in Panther? Office 2004 works in Panther, so it would be useful to have the conversion utility available to Office users running 10.3.9.

    Thanks.

  19. eric.paquin says:

    eT -> as this is a beta, we decided not to offer it in other languages. But the final release will be localized. Watch this space!

  20. macWish says:

    Downloaded word2007RTFSpec9.docx file from Microsoft website since have yet to receive a docx file from any of my friends using Windows. The docx file was 880 K in size. THe converter took 2:24 min to convert it, resulting in a 26.3 MB (!) RTF file. I opened in Word 2004 and saved it as a .doc file, which ended up being 11.5 MB in size. Office XML appears to be a real space saving format compared to RTF or .doc formats.

    Tried the MacLink Plus 16.0 converters. The resulting RTF translation was corrupt and Word 2004 could not open it. The Word 2004 doc translation was only 3.6 MB in size, but appeared to be similar to the Office Converter conversion, although most of the images were misplaced/misaligned by MacLink Plus.

  21. Brian says:

    This converter is excellent. I converted a 56MB docx file and the results were perfect. I love that the output is in RTF format so I can easily pass it on to people who don’t use Word.

    Thanks for all your hard work. I can’t wait for Office 2008.

  22. macuser says:

    Finally a proper tool to do this offline. However, if you are out travelling, on a internet cafe or something there is always

    http://www.docx2doc.com/

    Check it out

  23. Steve says:

    I just installed the convertor on a G5 PowerMac and it was outrageously slow and now Finder has a spinning beach ball of death going on! This is 20 whole minutes after hitting the install button!

  24. Tried using the Convertor with a file created in Word 2007, sent as an attachment in Outlook 2007 on a Windows XP Professional laptop. It came into Entourage 2004 11.3.5 on a Mac running 10.4.9, but the attachment was one of those infernal winmail.dat things.

    Used the third party program TNEF’s Enough.app – and once I was careful simply to type a filename with .docx as the extension, at least it appeared on my desktop.

    Next, I had to go into the Apple Finder, choose Get Info, and set .docx files to open in your new converter (by default) instead of OpenOffice. Once I did that, it was fine. But a lot of work for one file.

  25. Mal says:

    Quote from William: Man, reading the comments posted so far makes me think that Mac users are a bunch of grumpy old men.

    William,

    Replace "are a bunch of grumpy old men" with "have extremely high standards of quality" and you’ll be closer to the truth.  

    The MacBU is a part of one of the largest, ridchest, and most dominant software companies in the world.  A lot is expected of them.  

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  27. I don’t know anyone who uses .docx, so I won’t be needing this convertor anytime soon, but I’d like to say "thank you" to the MacBU team all the same: I’ve been using Office for Mac for years, and each time, it feels "natural" and goes with Mac.

    To any people who don’t like MacBU just because they work at Microsoft, just look at the difference between Word running on Windows and Word running on Mac. Seriously, the first is plain ugly (in my view, and this goes for both Office 2007 and those before that), while the second looks good. First "plus" point.

    (you can see screenshots of Office 2007 <a href=http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/03/09/547281.aspx>here</a&gt;)

    Second plus point is the way everything flows together. It’s simple, it’s easy, it embraces "KISS", …

    So all good points. Despite the fact they work for Apple arch-enemy πŸ˜‰

    Now, to the convertor: I have a serious problem. I tried downloading the Vista guide mintchocicecream mentioned, but here’s what I get: a .zip file. Whenever I unzip it, I get a folder. That’s right, a folder, and it’s called "WVPC RTM.docx". But it won’t (of course it won’t) work with the convertor, because it’s a folder. Even selecting the folder using the "add" button in the convertor won’t help.

    If .docx come out as folders on some computers, how on earth will they ever work?

  28. bob says:

    Glad to see some progress…but will Entourage be a real-Exchange client with full-MAPI support like on the Windows side?

  29. Jonathan says:

    I appreciate the converter.  If I may ask a polite question and make a comment:  Can you explain why the converter is only available for 10.4+?  

    Many of us are still happily running 10.3.9, since aside from the cost, upgrading one’s operating system is a serious hassle and many of us don’t see the reason to do so until necessary.  Many current applications still run on Panther, and this doesn’t seem like the kind of app that "needs" Tiger.  Perhaps you could release a version that has more backwards-compatibility, since upgrading for a converter seems crazy.  

  30. Vic says:

    MacFixit.com ripped the MacBU a new one. They slagged the beta converter for Word XML documents. Read all about how much it sucks here:

    http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20070518102508235

    Here’s a sample:

    Finally the installation completed, leaving in its wake the following pieces:

    *A log file (text) in /Library/Receipts. This is blatantly incorrect behavior. Only .pkg receipt bundles should be placed in /Library/Receipts. The place for a text log file is ~/Library/Logs.

    *A folder /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office Converter Support, containing ten Framework files and a Bundle file. Whether it is correct behavior to install frameworks in an Application Support folder (rather than, dare we suggest it, the Frameworks folder) is not worth debating.

    *The actual application, Office Open XML Converter. This is a mere 4MB in size, and is placed, without any choice of location being given, in the Applications folder.

  31. Qu1j0t3 says:

    Is there a Linux version?

  32. Schwieb says:

    Why require 10.4+?  As Geoff said, "the converters include and rely upon the same new code that lives in Office 2008," and Office 2008 requires Tiger and up.

    The new SmartArt and Chart features take specific advantage of CoreGraphics APIs only available on Tiger and newer OS versions, so the same code in the converters that converts between 2004 and 2008 requires Tiger too.

  33. opensourcefan says:

    I can’t wait for the OS X native version of Open Office.

    After reading "Misadventures in Microsoftery: The Oops of OOXML" over on Macfixit.com there’s no way in the world I’ll be installing these converters or ever buying a new version of Office.

    http://www.macfixit.com/comment.php?mode=display&sid=20070518102508235&title=Misadventures+in+Microsoftery%3A+The+Oops+of+OOXML&type=article&order=&pid=25709

    Friend of mine just blew $900 on a PC laptop that came preloaded with Vista. He used it for 35 minutes last night and has already listed it on Ebay.

    He’s buying a Macbook now, and I won’t let him install any Microsoft apps.

  34. Mike Rebholz says:

    In regard to Peter Craddock about receiving it as a zip file, I too had this problem.  I’m making a guess here: I think Safari is downloading it assuming it is a zip file.  I let the file download and stopped the automatic decompression process that Safari tried to implement.  I then removed the .zip file extension to just the .docx.  Then confirm you want to change to the .docx extension.  This allowed the file to be run through the converter.  (Even if you don’t stop the automated conversion process, you can probably recover the .zip file from your trash.)

    The file was then able to open up in Word in the RTF format (TextEdit said it was the wrong format, but Word opened it just fine).

  35. sl says:

    I like the appearance of the converter – very mac-like. I have noticed that when dragging a .docx file (appearing as a folder) into the converter, it doesn’t seem to work at the moment.

    Also, the icon is nice, but perhaps put the .docx label somewhere else other than a badge (it’s against Apple human interface guidelines, see http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/art/iconbadging.gif), and when will the .docx folders be interpreted as files by the Macintosh Finder?

  36. Ed Scripps says:

    Is this a joke?? I haven’t been able to convert a single docx, every single attempt results in a Conversion Failed message.  I even created a text only document in Word on the Mac, saved it, opened in Windows Word 2007, did nothing to it, saved it in docx and then tried to convert it…and that failed!!

    This is dismal!

  37. Hi,

    May I make some recommendations on launch icons for Office ’08? Could you use the Flatness of the Office X gummy bear icons with the metallic finish of the Office 2004 icons?

    Ty

  38. Ian says:

    Lets release a new format on the Mac so it’s not compatable with the PC. πŸ˜‰ (english sarcasm)

    How can microsoft release a new office package on the PC with new formats without releasing it on the Mac at the same time.

    Office needs to be common code released on all platforms at the same time!!!

  39. I thought I’d provide a pointer to the beta of the OpenXML file converter for Microsoft Office on the

  40. Geoff Price says:

    Regarding the problems with .docx appearing as folders (as detailed on the MacFixit link), per Mike Rebholz above that indeed sounds like documents getting inadvertently unzipped. The OpenXML format is in fact a zipped set of XML files and objects/graphics (zipped both to dramatically reduce document size as well as to bundle). You can drop a .docx on Stuffit Expander to see this – you end up with a folder allowing you to pick through the XML directly rather than a document. Once the OS picks up the presence of the converter (through use), it (or Safari) should start recognizing .docx as a format supported by the converter, and launch that rather than trying to unzip the documents.

  41. Charles says:

    I declined to let this install on my machine.

    -No Readme. You offer us a .dmg – disk image – but don’t take the trouble to include a Readme we can read ourselves? Even threepenny devs living in unheated rooms can manage that. Hell, *I* could manage that.

    -Doesn’t say what’s going to be installed where. Not even roughly.

    -It’s an application, not a package, which means I can’t peek inside the package contents to see what’s going to be put where.

    -When you start the application, it doesn’t even say what it’s going to do. Alter Office? Install itself as an app (in which case why not just be an application we can drag and drop)? Alter who knows what bit of my /Library?

    If it’s just an application, why does it want my UID and password? I install non-Apple applications in /Shared, which makes them easier to back up and means no admin account is needed to install them.

    If MacBU can’t read Apple’s advice on Software Delivery (http://developer.apple.com/documentation/DeveloperTools/Conceptual/SoftwareDistribution/Introduction/chapter_1_section_1.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/10000145i-CH1-DontLinkElementID_86) then there’s not much hope.

    But at least it gave me the chance to lampoon your work – http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,2086166,00.html

    “Do I trust Microsoft to know where stuff should be installed better than I do? Well, I should, but for some reason I don’t, because – and you can call me retentive – I like to feel that programs get on to my computer at my invitation, rather than barging past me into the living room and demanding to know where the drinks are.”

     Charles

  42. Following on from some of your less than exuberant feedback about the new Mac converters, I looked into

  43. Funky says:

    Any information on the details of the Entourage client would be most welcome (or a Beta version).  Entourage 2004 just has not fit the bill for an Email client on my company’s Macs (using an Exchange server). As a result, most of our user base still remains on Outlook 2001 in Classic.  With the next Extended DST period looming in the future, a Full MAPI Email client or "Outlook:OSX" would be a welcome respite from the issues we will have during the Extended DST periods.  Thank you for your time.

  44. Robin says:

    You don’t need a converter. You can open the .docx files in Adobe Illustrator. And is anyone curious why the last update for Office for the Mac was in 2004 and the next one won’t be out until 2008 – that’s four years. It seems like an awful long time between upgrades.

  45. Geoff Price says:

    Charles, sorry you found the install process so lampoon-worthy.

    – True we don’t have a separate Read Me file other than the text that is part of the install process itself; we haven’t always provided a Read Me with betas. In general, this really is beta software, and for beta 1 the effort was optimized for getting it out absolutely as soon as possible, i.e. for speed of solving the need out there around opening .docx documents. The team is extremely focused on completing 2008. That said, we are building a new install experience for Office 2008 and other future releases, but that was not ready for this beta.

    – With respect to information about what’s going where, we have uninstall instructions including general file locations up front on the download page, and we generate an install log with a full report of where files have been installed as part of the install. We believe this meets the needs of the majority of our users.

    – Admin authentication and quitting Office apps – the reasons for these are more complex, some specific to the beta and our need to get it out fast, but in general we are looking to simplify and reduce real potential user problems in any of the many complex scenarios involving shared frameworks and the like across all possible installs and de-installs of Office software. There is tangible benefit as well, e.g. even having the option of installing into the Applications folder so that all accounts on the machine can use the software requires admin auth.

    – Not sure what specifically you’re referring to in the linked ADC doc.

  46. SB says:

    I downloaded the convertor, but (happily?) haven’t needed it yet. It concerns me that

    – a convertor that installs 8800+ files. Yikes…

    – it doesn’t even ask me where I’d like to install it, nor does it even open the directory it is in when it is done. I realize this is a beta, but sheesh, I’ve used Alpha apps that are better behaved than this.

    – a convertor was installing frameworks, which seemed pretty strange, particularly the location (why not just include them in the app bundle instead? or at least in the user Application support directory?)

    – why does a standalone convertor require me to quit other office apps?

    – why does it only save as RTF? Not even Word 2004 format option? Huh?

    – why use Vise X to install, and not the standard OSX installer?

    -in spite of the note from the MSer above, there is NO documentation whatsoever of what is installed where, no uninstaller app, nothing. 8800+ files, and I have to go digging through console logs to find out YOU installed things in the wrong place when I want to uninstall?

    – worst of all…I go through all this, and then it says it doesn’t work on my system. 10.4.9, Intel iMac, everything should work.

    I try to like you guys, and give you the benefit of the doubt. I love Excel (and will continue to love 2004 Excel, VBA RIP). But really, this is just lame.

  47. SB says:

    Update to my post above. I deleted all the old prefs and Library/Application Support files, reinstalled, and it works now.

    Plus:

    – Nice looking app…now if I could just find someone who is actually using the newest version of Office for Win I could check it out πŸ˜›

    Only one plus, since I haven’t actually used it yet πŸ™‚ Maybe more will come later, but given that it spits out RTF files and not DOC files, well, I kind of don’t expect more pluses πŸ˜‰

    Still, what I could really use are Excel and PPT convertors, because I do get those files. So MBU, any chance of releasing a convertor for those apps?

    BTW, how is the schedule for thenext  Office release? Will it still be this year? I know VBA is dead, and you are going to use (I think) Applescript…how about Ruby or Python instead? Or at least the ability to use these languages? Applescript is not so great, and since compatibility with Win files is blown anyway, why not use a good scripting language in stead?

  48. Boo says:

    Can’t wait for the Powerpoint converter. I use Office 2007 but even if I save my PC Powerpoint files in 2003 format, PowerPoint MAC cannot open them.

    MAC Powerpoint tells me to save the file in 2003 format even though that’s exactly what I have done.

    Does anyone have a solution?

  49. rdr says:

    The beta is set to expire 31 December 2007.

    However, every file I have tried to convert today–including the RVPG RTM.docx from the MS site–pulls up a dialog saying only 10 days left to use the beta which it says expires 24 June 2007.

    Also, the application alert cannot get focus from the system.  The alert appears to be active.  The OK button is pulsing, but it does not respond to clicks or the return key.

    The process named wordcvtr is spending 100% of its time in McpDoBetaCheck.  It is bogged down in what looks to be an event loop without a valid terminating event.

  50. sherjo says:

    Hi rdr,

    We did receive a few reports of this today, and I also saw it got posted on the MacNN forum – thanks for posting here. Our dev team is currently working on an update that will fix the issue, and we will provide a full, corrected converter via Mactopia (if you have Microsoft Auto Update enabled, your converter will get updated automatically.) I expect it will be posted either late tonight or early tomorrow (before noon PST.)

    In the meantime, you can keep using the Word converter by resetting your system clock to any date prior to today.

  51. Schwieb says:

    The update to fix the beta timeout issue is now available on MacTopia, and will be available in Microsoft AutoUpdate soon (probably sometime tomorrow.)

  52. I saw this and thought those of you with Mac customers might find this useful if Office 2007 is around

  53. Christopher says:

    Feh — converter failed again. All editable text files will only be accepted from our clients now as ‘,txt’ files. I don’t have time to jerk around with finding ways of trying to accomodate Microsoft’s self-fulfilling marketing ploy. MS cooked their final goose with this nonsense with us.

    /

  54. Mark Wilson says:

    Robin,

    "And is anyone curious why the last update for Office for the Mac was in 2004 and the next one won’t be out until 2008 – that’s four years. It seems like an awful long time between upgrades."

    It is a long time, but if you look back in history, Mac Office versions have typically followed the Windows version by around a year – we waited 4 years on Windows too.

    Technically, there have been upgrades in between as Microsoft has the bad (IMHO) habit of releasing new features in service packs but more to the point enterprise clients (Microsoft’s core customer base) don’t like to upgrade too often (too big a management headache).  Nor for that matter do SMEs who need to control costs.

    Geoff,

    Is there a reason that Mac Office 2008 is not available via Microsoft Connect (the beta tester’s website)?

    Cheers, Mark

  55. Joachim Schmidt says:

    As long as I cant set MS Office to automatically save files as OASIS Open doc, I will continue to promote NeoOffice/OpenOffice in my community, as a politician and IT tech.

    JS

    Sweden

  56. Geoff Price says:

    Hey Mark, we just don’t have a public beta right now.

    Converter refresh is on its way, I’ll see if we can get a date confirmed and share that.