All our work under the hood in Office 2008 has yielded a lot of smaller benefits that won't make any bullet lists on the back of the box. Random observation of the day – according to Activity Monitor, the (highly pre-release) build of Word 2008 running on my MacBook Pro is sitting here, loaded up with documents, idling at a chill 0.2% CPU usage. Word living light makes the PUM happy.

Comments (47)

  1. TjL says:


    People Under Mordor?

  2. MMV says:

    Thats good news! I look forward to see it in action. Please update Messanger also!

  3. …love to hear something about Entourage!

  4. alexr says:

    If it’s idling, it should be at 0.0%. Polling is bad.

  5. That’s cute πŸ™‚ Now what about the other Office 2008 apps, Excel, PPT and Entourage?

  6. Brian G. says:

    Great news!

    Nothing is more dismaying than having an idle application take cycles from other apps that might actually need the CPU.

  7. Chris Page says:

    That’s wonderful! I’ve often been annoyed at the amount of CPU Word uses when doing nothing. But, why 0.2% instead of 0%? Why is it using any CPU at all?

  8. Chris says:

    Well, (depending on which Mac you’re using) that’s a big improvement, but the correct CPU usage for an idle background app on a modern OS is 0.0%.

    Just sayin’.

  9. Assuming the Office 2008 will have Entourage, it’d be in your best interest to integrate A/V into the messenger and add support for custom emoticons, nudges, groups, and make the interface unified instead of brushed metal.  I know you’re a small team, but it’s been months and those supposed protocol changes should be done, and there are literally thousands (10-20k) posts regarding how lame people think Mac Messenger is because it can’t even compare to the open-source Adium messenger which doesn’t have A/V either due to lack of support in the GAIM protocol.  You need to announce a release date to get people pumped up about Office 2008, if you want your sales to be best.  USA Today reports 8% marketshare, and if you play your cards right 50% of those people will be prospective buyers, since 50% of all new buyers are "Switchers".

  10. Leo says:

    Please add some screenshots! Thanks.

  11. John Muir says:

    If it can keep that up for the full release, my Rosetta dogged Mini and sub 1GHz G4 PowerBook will be thankful. The biggest single reason I don’t use Pages for much of anything.

  12. Etan says:

    I’m so so jealous…

  13. Harvey Dent says:

    Since there´s no update on iWorks (from my humble point of view a much easier text editor and elegant presentation maker for the average user) I´m really looking forward for your Office2008 for the previous version doesn´t work fine on my intel MacBook (and the application launching time is despairing). Messenger is also in need of a full revamp, it just doesn´t work fine and lacks lots of things to make communication fluid between users.

  14. Marco says:

    Nice news, but now please update Messenger… Personally I don’t mind of AV functions, but it’s really frustrating that you can’t rename your buddies in the Messenger or see avatars in the contact list…

  15. bryan says:

    just two things, release date of office 2008, i don’t know what is the problem of saying the release date, and 2nd thing some news of messenger 7 would be nice

  16. YEAHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have way too many processes stealing RAM and CPU on my 2 GB MBPro Core Duo.

  17. Troy Murray says:

    What about Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection, how’s that coming, I’m at my wit’s end with the current version!

  18. nadyne says:

    TjL – PUM is Product Unit Manager.  He reports to Craig, our new GM (General Manager).  Here in MacBU, the two PUMs are responsible for all engineering (development, test, program management, and user experience).  

  19. Cory W. says:

    I think it’s great that Word 2008 will be a lighter app. One of the things that always frustrated me about most Mac OS X apps, and indeed, OS X itself, is that on older, slower systems with less memory, hard disc access is almost constant, and it’s very difficult to get significantly great battery  life out of a mobile computer. I fixed this on my PowerBook G3 by simply reverting to Mac OS 9.2 and Word 98, but I’d love to see Word 2008 make it possible to achieve higher battery life out of mobile computers.

  20. Geoff Price says:

    "People Under Mordor"… heh. Mae govannen, mellon.

  21. john singh says:


    can u tell us or let us know if ur fixing the safari 3 msn webkit bug plz we have had no news from you!!!!:(

    Plz update!!:(

  22. Adam says:

    It would be great if you made a plugin for iChat AV, so that mac users can use that to video chat with windows live messenger users. If not please can you put games, video and audio into a new version of mseenger for mac that also usewith windows live messenger users. Finally can we have some screen shots of office 2008 and the release date.

  23. Brian Thorpe says:

    Nice, I dont know about other Mac users but I’m really waiting for this release. Please dont rush it, and its awesome to hear that Word is using as little resources as possible.

  24. HappySnap says:

    Please Entourage FULL support for Exchange.. this alone would be enough for me to upgrade..

  25. nadyne says:

    John S – Safari 3 is beta software.  This is a known issue between Messenger and the Safari beta.  We’re working with Apple to get the issue fixed.

  26. Juan says:

    It´s pretty obvious that you´re ignoring all the Messenger questions (It really annoyed me that Geoff only bothered to reply a funny but pointless message instead of dealing with the more serious ones). I´m not asking you to promise Messenger 7 will have A/V support (it´s obvious that it won´t, ´cause if it would, you would have screamed it in every possible place), but at least give us some approximate release date. It feels like sh*t to have such as an outdated chat client as Messenger 5/6 have been. Don´t you understand that although we get along using Adium we want the real thing and in good shape?

    Thanks a lot.

  27. Enterprise User says:

    PLEASE release this software, Office 2004 does NOT run well on Intel Macs!!!

  28. newMac says:

    Is there any shipping date planned yet?

  29. Geoff Price says:

    In terms of the topic comments, Word 2008 will still do some kinds of work using idle cycles for performance reasons (e.g. spelling and grammar checking, background repagination, word count, autosave for document recovery, synching your contact list.) Work has been done, and just wanted to share that as a user I’m real happy with the CPU usage.

    Juan, sorry I don’t have more details to impart about Messenger at this time. Mary Starman wrote the post below back when we released Messenger 6 providing the general roadmap for A/V (in short, we’ll be on board for the next gen A/V technology in LCS and WLM.)

    We hear that people would like more news about Entourage 2008, Messenger 7, RDC, and Office overall. In general, such news is coming. We are still working very hard on everything, and really appreciate your interest.

  30. Luke Devey says:

    Please make word be a very "pre-release version" because we can’t wait much longer!!

  31. doughlaundry says:

    Hey, give them a break. That 0.2% cpu is "Word connecting to the printer"!

    Meanwhile, I’ve moved on from moaning about Exchange support in Entourage (I think it’s good enough, never mind that one Entourage user loads the Exchange server like DOZENS of Outlook clients) to now asking a question about Sharepoint services and Office 2008.

    Would anyone care to pass on some insider info about the GREAT piece of integration work that exists between Sharepoint 2007 and -say- Entourage 2008? Anyone? No?

    Currently, I post a lot of end-user FAQs in Public Folders. They’re simple galley-style how-tos consisting of some text, a screenshot, some text a screenshot and so on. Simple but effective.

    Will I be able to put these onto Sharepoint in a way that means a Mac or Windows user can click on the article and see it INLINE in a web page (and not downloaded to their desktop)? Hope so…

  32. rock1 says:

    Many sys admins. whom support Mac environments are in need of a launch date for planning and rollout. I have scoured the web for a launch date, we need that info to report to our CIO’s.

    What gives on the hush, hush…if delayed say so!!!!

    Thank you

  33. jason says:

    can we get some beta invites sent out?

  34. DL says:

    I want to buy Office 2008 for mac. My office has some deal with Microsoft where I can get a discounted copy of any Office program I want, except I’ve been told today that I must place an order before 1st August 2008.

    Given that not long ago Word was a ‘very’ pre-release, I presume that it won’t be out before 1st August? I’d love to get this but would be kicking myself if I miss on a good (valid) discount, and Office 2004 seems a waste when this is just around the corner.

    Any chance it will be out before 1st August or are you waiting for Leopard now?

  35. Ed FitzGerald says:

    Please make sure new Entourage can work through ISA server with OWA – see "You cannot access your mailbox on an Exchange Server 2003

    Also, the Sharepoint blogs were very active with information prior to release of Office 2007. It would be nice if you were to follow their example and start communicatin gwith your community. That’s the purpose of a blog. Look at how much activity there’s been on this blog – very little.

  36. Aaron says:

    So when will the new office suite be in stores??

    Even a month would be nice

  37. Faramond says:

    0.2% CPU? Wow!

    You ought to CC those code changes for the Windows Office team–on my XP PC, Word 2007’s background repagination and grammar-checking sucks up so many CPU cycles that my network connection drops! So I either have to close it when on the net, or set the Word process to low priority!

  38. Kenneth W. Collins says:

    I am absolutely furious that they trashed the UI in Word 2007. I say “trashed” because it orphans all expert users, like me. I would have to use an Excel workbook with a dozen pages to look up the commands to find out where you’ve hidden them. I don’t have time.

    I think the “duh, I want that” interface is great for ten-thumbed executives who make buying decisions, but orphaning your expert users is NOT GOOD. DO NOT follow Office 2007 to perdition. DO NOT remove the menus from Word 2008. If you must needlessly reinvent the UI, make the old one an alternative.

    Of course, this request will fall on deaf ears, because I’m only a user, and Microsoft no longer cares about users. All your products are now Platforms for Partners to make Solutions for the Enterprise, and your targeted audience is developers and executives, not the poor schmucks like me who actually have to use them.

    I’ve used Word since version 0.9 when it was called Notepad. You have never orphaned expert users before. If I have to learn a whole user interface anyway, it opens up the field in which Word is only one of many choices. It is easier for me to use OpenOffice, for instance, than it is Word 2007. If I smuggled in Dreamweaver to avoid FrontPage, I can smuggle in OpenOffice, load and save docx files, and maintain my productivity without anyone knowing.

    On my Mac, do you think I’m going to pay even a dime for Word 2008 if the new whacko interface doesn’t give me access to the interface I’m fluent in? Think again.

  39. nadyne says:

    Kenneth – Office:Mac 2008 hasn’t done away with your menus (or the Formatting Palette, either).  

    Your comment is a great reminder to finish up one of the blog posts that I’ve got half-written right now.  It’s specifically about our user experience in Office:Mac 2008, and why our interface isn’t identical to theirs.  

  40. Kenneth W. Collins says:

    Thank you so much. You can’t imagine how much grief Word 2007 causes me at the office. My fluency in the user interface can make the difference between winning and losing a multi-million dollar contract. For example, they bring me a document that is 36 pages long. It has to be 30 pages long. They’ve really screwed up because Word encourages idiosyncratic formatting. I have thirty minutes to reduce the page count without changing any text. I can do that in Word 2003. In Word 2007, I couldn’t even begin. You can’t imagine how angry I am at Microsoft for reinventing the wheel when all we needed was a new set of tires.

    The rest of Microsoft is going to find out the hard way that if users can’t use it, buyers won’t buy it, executives will cool to it, and partners will go away. I’m glad to hear you aren’t going down that path.

    Usability does not mean that someone who’s never seen a word processor before can walk in off the street and make sumpin purdy without learning anything first. Usability means that the people who live and breathe Microsoft Word, who make disciplined, complex, and well structured documents, find it a more pleasant experience and a more effective tool.

  41. Jake says:

    Although I understand your position Kenneth, I actually feel quite the opposite. You see, I’ve been using the Office 2007 interface for a year now and have grown very accustomed to it; for me to go back to the older toolbar and menu interface would be exactly like you having to deal with a ribbon interface- I simply wouldn’t do it.

    How do you get around this? I have no idea- maybe, as you suggested, offer both interface’s as an option. Unfortunately, its far too late into development; anything we say here can’t be  considered for Office 2008, but maybe the next release?

    I look forward to reading nadyne’s post on user experience and hopefully it will include some screenshots so we can see exactly what it’s going to look like. πŸ™‚

  42. Kenneth W. Collins says:

    My company sells Microsoft "sollutions." My duties put me in a position to know that almost none of the .NET developers use Microsoft at home. Most use Ubuntu or OS X and listen to iPods while they work. None have a Zune. We have a salesman who uses a Macintosh at home.  The web designers use Dreamweaver. One of the web developers told me that the basic rule is "Never use Microsoft tools to build a web site." The web developers hate their tools.

    I used to own every product Microsoft made and was proud of it, but in the last five years, Microsoft has gradually done everything it can to piss me off.  First it was Money’s ever-changing UI. Then it was FrontPage’s wild idiosyncracies. I bought every release, thinking it would get better, but instead, I got burned. I used to be able to call Microsoft for support, but now my only contact with Microsoft is to reactivate products and get called a thief and a liar. Because the lady called me a thief, I changed to Macintosh. By the way, do you know how hard it is to sell Vista to government agencies? Activation is a serious problem for intelligence agencies and Windows Genuine Disadvantage is worse than any virus: it can disable a computer. Now you are inventing "standards" that no one needs. The specification for one of them is over 6,000 pages long!

    I feel like saying, "Who are you, and what have you done with my Microsoft?" Where is the Microsoft I used to stand up for? Why are you committing corporate suicide?

    Meanwhile, you keep the ribbons. Put them in your hair, I don’t care. I don’t need a "Duh, I want that" interface. I need software I can use. I want my professional tools back. You say you can’t do that, but what I hear is that you don’t care about end-users. I’m going shopping for a new word processor. They used to say, "Elvis has just left the building." I think they should say, "Microsoft has just left reality."

    It is so sad. I want my Microsoft back, and bring my word processor with you.

  43. doughlaundry says:

    Whoa. Strong stuff.

    Today’s question about Entourage (yes! the comments on the "I *heart* Entourage" post are now locked) is…

    The bug between Entourage 2008 and proxy PAC files.

    Is it fixed? When are we going to see a list of "we fixed this…" for O2K8?

  44. Guy says:

    My guess it will be out before 15th of August next month, When the Beta File converter expires πŸ™‚

  45. Steve Mac says:

    I’d appreciate if Messenger would follow the Windows version, e.g. 8.5 also for Mac at the same time and with the same features…..

    Mac Messenger 8.5!


    Thank You Very Mac! πŸ˜€

    P.S.: I love the classic menus, I don’t like the ribbon.

  46. nadyne says:

    doughlaundry – I just wanted to quickly say that we lock comments on old posts to avoid spam.  It’s a pretty common tactic of comment spammers to post their junk on old blog posts, figuring that the owner of the blog won’t notice it but people who somehow stumble across the post in the future will see them.  

  47. Joe says:

    Speaking of idling . . .  since the latest Office Patch I installed yesterday, Word on my PBG4 is now consistently at 24%.  Even with no documents open.  Any idea?

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