Wait, wait, I’m here


My first blog post, while written by yours truly, wasn’t posted by yours truly – my marketing team created an account for me and posted the blog entry so we could make sure it happened in a timely way during the frenzy of my first day.    With the initial scramble over, I now have control over my account – so now I can post for myself, comment for myself – it’s like I’m my own person.  Watch out! :-).


First of all, I have now had 4 weeks on the job, and I am happy to report that I couldn’t be more delighted with my decision to come to MacBU – the energy and passion in the team is truly inspiring.   Our customers are in great hands.


I’ve had a chance to get caught up on all the various comments in this blog to date and I have seen a lot feature suggestions.  I really appreciate them – I love it when folks take the time to share their view on our products.   It’s inspiring to me to see how much people care about MacBU’s products.


I’ve also seen a lot of requests for dates and I wanted to address that.   We simply can’t answer these requests in a precise manner – all we can do is identify rough time frames.  It isn’t that we are being secretive or cruel – shipping software as complex as Mac Office is half art, half science, and calling a precise date way in advance is next to impossible.  In some cycles where we’re just choosing what features to deliver we can target a date with more precision by cutting back on our ambitions.  This release is more than just features that we could prioritize and cut – among other things, we have new file formats and are building universal binaries for our entire Office suite.  Our entire team wants to ship great products that people love to use, and that means making sure the products work great.   So while I appreciate that people want it now (believe me, we all want it now) and if not now, people want to know exactly when, I’m afraid that right now, all I can say is, we’re working hard and stay tuned.


So right now I know that folks want our software and that our users have lots of great feature ideas – I love it.    I’d also love to have a broader dialog with y’all – so over to you, what do you want to hear from me?  

Comments (83)

  1. Brian says:

    Thanks for taking the time to write back, I’m sure alot of people really appreaciate it.

    I was really hoping that for Microsoft Office 2008 you could incorpate a "Full Screen Mode" which would be highly beneficial to those people like myself that have to write long reports.

    Addiitionally I really liked to feature in Microsoft Office 2004 which let the user view the text as white and the background blue, this has been a lifesaver for me its saved about 3 years of wear and tear off my eyes.

    Please, please incorporate it into the new release

    Thanks once again, good luck and best wishes!

  2. Peter says:

    I’d like to hear what bothers you most about using the current Mac Office 2004, and what Office 2008 will do to change that. From my perspective, the current performance of Office (Word and Excel, mostly) with graphs and other large documents, when compared to Word on Windows, is a huge deal. Compatibility is the other big issue – even without considering the new XML format, Winword documents often don’t quite 100% translate over (ex. inserted Excel graphs in Word) and this is a big issue when working with large documents where page layout matters.

    Other smaller annoyances for me fall mainly under the category of "things that aren’t quite Mac-like." By that I mean little issues and quirks that show that Office 2004 is an evolution of Office X, which is itself an evolution of 98. This includes, for instance, non-standard Carbon palettes and keyboard quirks (ex. option-left/right doesn’t consistently skip words as most Mac applications do, considerable interface lag when switching from other apps to Office apps, bits of Carbon font rendering, and more).

    But again, this is not about my grievances but yours, heh. I will still buy Office 2008 when it comes out. So what do I/we have to look forward to?

  3. Solsys says:

    We want Dirt!

    We want hear how Todd totally broke the build before going on vacation for two weeks and how Mary threw a fit when her pet feature was cut…

    Actually, I think we want to hear about how your upcoming products are going to use features in Tiger & Leopard to provide a seamless Mac experience .

    Would also be nice to hear a plan on how you will reach feature parity with the Windows version of apps like Messenger.

    <sarcasm>Oh and give us the exact second everything is coming out. :-)</sarcasm>

  4. Ben Skelton says:

    How about actually letting us know what kind of Exchange support to expect in the next version of Entourage?

  5. Brian says:

    I want to hear about the secret plans to bring Access to the Mac.  

    Hey, a man can dream right (oh and what a sweet dream it is….)?  

    Seriously though, please??

  6. Mac user @ company that drank the SharePoint cool-aid says:

    I’d like to know what level of SharePoint 2007 integration we can expect in Office 2008.   I’d also like to know how nicely Entourage 2008 plays with Exchange 2007 – what features are support/unsupported.

  7. Garry says:

    Here’s a feature I’d like to see in the next version of Office for mac..

    Web Queries in excel.

    Not just the queries it does now where you have to code it, but on par with the PC version, where you navigate to the website, and select the tables you want to use in the query.

  8. Nick Caraway says:

    Gosh. If I didn’t know better, I would think you were just some guy with a MBA who got roped into working in the Mac Business Unit. Based on the "cool distance" of your posts, I’m guessing you will be at the MBU for some (let’s call it  "brief") time. See ya.

  9. Brian Dobbs says:

    Please answer this…that EVERYONE wants to know and have???

    PROPER EXCHANGE SUPPORT!!

  10. Mark says:

    How about info on:d

    – Exchange compatibility

    – Sharepoint 2007 compatibility — it’s a real pain not being able to just share documents between Win/Mac colleagues …

    – Beta?

  11. ewelch says:

    How about some kind of compatiblity wtih Project Professional through it’s web server at least?

    And REAL Exchange support. NOTHING is more important that that. Period. END OF STORY.

    Access can flounder forever as far as I’m concerned. And I know the MacBU will never do it. One of your predecessors explained it to my Mac MUG several years ago. Okay by me. Don’t waste resources on that.

    But Exchange, and Project Pro Web Access at least? There was a Project Pro client for Mac until recently. How could "OFFICE" miss out on this critical point. It’s a must-have. Right now we’re implementing Project into our department at work and because Sharepoint is specifically Windows ONLY for Project, we have to use Citrix.

    Can’t use MS RDC, our IT department ignores any suggstions to do so. They just stick their fingers in their ears and shout, "I’m not listening! Lalalalala!" 😀

  12. Tomislav says:

    1. Full Exchange support.

    2. Ability to read pst file.

    3. Archive in Entourage like in Outlook.

    4. Some sync with mobile device.

    Would be nice:

    4. Project and Visio 2007 on Mac??? 🙂

    5. Maybe OneNote (great product)?

    5. IE on mac so I can properly view SharePoint sites.

  13. Dave says:

    A strong security infrastructure. If there is going to be a virus outbreak on mac you can bet that it will come through entourage. Since I never want to see a mac virus outbreak I don’t use entourage unless owa isn’t working. Mac office ha restored some of my faith in MS. Please keep up the good work. I am so ready for an updated mac office.

  14. swhitlow says:

    ok – It looks like everyone is off-topic on these comments. The question was "what would you like to hear from me?" In other words – he didn’t ask for new feature requests, etc. Although he probably appreciates the feedback.

    Personally, I would like this blog to be updated at least once a week, sometimes more. Even if it’s just a small update. That would be great. Basically, the more informed we are the better. We are all excited and are waiting feverishly to get our hands on bits and pieces of Office 2008. Which is a good thing.

    What I think most of us would love to hear about are things like "ballpark" dates for releases (or when certain features are done, etc.), "secret" screenshots as the UI comes together (not too much here but just enough), an official word on Exchange support, and a great new announcement that the Office Open XML Converter now support opening Excel 2007 document.

    I think that would be a good start!   🙂

    Keep up the great work!  Look forward to hearing from you more!

  15. Dugi says:

    It is shame that your company is not only one that don’t have UB version but don’t have timeframe (date) when will be released.

    I don’t understand why you so complicate simple things. Just take excelent MSOffice and rewrite this for Mac and don’t waste time for useless things like Myday in Entourage for example.

    It’s sad that people must beg for Exchange support company which produce both product (Exchange, Outlook – Entourage).

    And please change name Entourage in Outlook!!!

    I hope that you can bring us good Office product this year…

    Dugi

  16. William says:

    I would like to get the dirt on who is "testing" the new Office 2008.  Is it going to be open to the public like other releases (on the PC side).  Also, will this release be in 2007 (calling it 2008) … or will it be a official 2008 release date (like Jan 01, 2008  🙂   ).

    Thanks!

  17. Is it true that Office 2008 will run on the iPhone?

  18. Adam Wolf says:

    Echoing the Exchange posts here- and saying we can limp along with word and excel, but maybe you can pre-release a beta of entourage??? soon???

  19. yonatan says:

    Hi there, and thanks again…

    I would really want to know whether the next version will offer a better support of right-to-left languages- that is, editing and formatting.

  20. rashwell says:

    I really don’t understand why can’t macBU get there software to be part and parcel with the Universal Subscription model license.  In other words while I don’t expect you to release dates or software before its time, as part of Universal I was testing PC side of software in Beta’s and Release candidates long before the software was ready to ship.  This allows me and my development and IT crew to prepare to help your products get rolled out smoother and much more acceptance.

    An interesting point is a quote in APC Magazine:

    "We’re in private betas right now" confirmed Sheridan Jones, Lead Marketing Manager for Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit (MacBU), during an exclusive interview with APC magazine.

    I haven’t verified the quote’s authenticity but what I want to know is for an IT / Software development shop of 100+ staff supporting 5000-6000 users, how do we get into these betas?

    Regards,

    Richard Ashwell

    DePaul University

  21. Bob Jones says:

    Is Entourage finally going to be a real MAPI client to the exchange server or is Microsoft going to continue to distract us with features no one uses (like the Project center).

    Until Microsoft releases an OS X version of outlook that works in enterprises everything else is fluff.

  22. enerin says:

    Feature lists (including screenshots) of Office 2008 please! 🙂

  23. Jake says:

    While I have my own list of features I’d like to see, I’d have to think that by this point, you’re almost feature complete.  If a fall release date is still planned, it’s almost a little late to think that any new features someone mentions here would make it in the product.

    So I’ll echo another comment…I’d like to see weekly updates on what’s happening with Office Mac…what changes we can expect, etc.

    What I sometimes fear MS fails to understand when it comes to Mac users is that, for many of us, we need to map out our migration just like PC users do, even though we’re not talking about an operating system here.

    Keeping information in-house until the last minute just means it takes us longer to plan out our migrations and find out if the new Office is even going to be appropriate for our needs.

    Some of the questions being asked in this thread are entirely appropriate at this stage of development, so the secrecy about certain features isn’t helpful when you’re asking us to invest in this product when it hits the shelves.  We need time to plan just like you need time to plan when you’re developing the software.

  24. Dr Data says:

    What does it take to fully enjoy Microsoft’s new file format on a MacBook. Yes I know there is a beta for Word, but there are still two others.

    New Hard drive  $125 (to accommodate the space requirements)

    External case $40 (to allow cloning of existing drive)

    Windows XP – $200

    Parallel’s $80 (to avoid having to restart)

    Office 2007 $150 (Student/Home version)

    Total experience $595 just to be able to read the files from some twits from Redmond.

    Cost of a new MacBook $1100 cost of a file convertor $595

    God how I hate Microsoft!

  25. Rod says:

    Another ping for clarity on Exchange support.

    It would be great if someone from MacBU went on record on what the strategy is here.

    – Are you doing a first class exchange client or not?

    – MAPI?

    – What are the design goals for the new Entourage?

    It would be great to give us some guidance. I don’t see any downside on setting expectations now.

  26. I thought I would just add my voice to all those who have already asked for Exchange support.

    I provide Mac support for one of the largest publishers around and some of the Mac users are still using Outlook in Classic as it is a proper Exchange client!  Outlook. In Classic !!!   Please please please release something that truly supports Exchange.  We are keeping Classic just for and Exchange client.

    P.S. Welcome to the job!

  27. Darran says:

    Hi I’m a relatively new switcher to mac, but I’d like to see a full screen mode or the + button actually maximize (as it does in apple apps that demand the screen space). I also really don’t like floating palletes, so I hope you can change fonts without them!

    We really need a great mac word processor, you can do it MacBU!

  28. Darran says:

    OK My last post was product suggestions, now some suggestions for you.

    Could you tell us if and how you’ll be taking advantage of Leopard in MacOffice 2008. Whether you would like to develop Office for iPhone or not if it was possible in the future (you’re probably not allowed to express such an opinion, I know…).

    Bye.

  29. Sagi says:

    For the love of god… PLEASE tell me/us that Entourage will finally be a real and proper Exchange 2007 client. supporting all the same Outlook 2007 features such as RPC over HTTP(s), MAPI, Sharepoint, PST and OST support, etc.

    If anything look at all the comments in this blog asking about Entourage’s support for Exchange. Please find the time in your schedule to answer this.

  30. Rob says:

    I’d like to see more transparency, more involvement from the mac community with development at Mac BU on products.

    Like windows teams, why not host open webchats or conferences to directly interface with your users to find out what they want and address ideas directly.

    I think personally it would be great to get a chance to chat to some of the guys there and throw ideas back and forth, I’m sure others here would love that to.

    Now I know that it’s not usually standard practice for the Mac BU to take part in public beta testing however I feel there is one app that does qualify for this and I think it’s Messenger.

    Like the windows version it is under-developed from an end-user standpoint, shrowded in secrecy with very few updates and as you can see from the discussion groups there are a lot of issues with messenger surrounding stability.

    At the moment Messenger doesn’t even work on Leopard as far I as I’ve been made aware.

    There are some areas where public testing could provide you with better feedback and help shape a better product.

  31. Rob says:

    Would also say that the Mactopia site could do with a facelift. Something a bit more MacBU centric, break away from the traditional Microsoft site layout and give it a bit of character!

    😛

  32. carlivar says:

    Yes. What I want from you is: an explanation of how exactly Entourage 2008 will interface with Exchange 2007. If it is not MAPI, then why not?

  33. Harvey Dent says:

    I use Microsoft Messenger lots and it´s truly annoying not having basic features WindowsOS users do have, AV mainly; there is no "Live" feel. The way it runs on MacOS X is sooo slow also.

    I can live without Access but Excel,Powerpoint and Word are not reliable on the current version of Office:mac, they launch slow, run slow, and most important the documents convert real badly, specially when it comes to PowP docs. I´m really looking for a proper version of Office on my Mac, I´m willing to spend what´s needed but I expect a quality release we Mac users can feel proud of… for the first time.

  34. DME says:

    Thanks for the letter. nice to see someone at least address the fact that we are in dire need of the Office 2008 software. Two things I think that should be addressed:

    1. Exchange support – we need it, we want it, and will pay $$$$ for it!

    2. Office 2004 – Retail pack ships with a sticker stating it is Intel compatible. It installs fine…  you need at least 2Gb of memory for it to run "ok" on a Intel Mac. Can we please be honest with the consumer and change the system requirements? I one page Word document is fine but when a Scientist is writing a 45 page grant with figures – forget it!

  35. Troy Murray says:

    Updated version of Microsoft Remote Desktop Client that’s also a Universal Binary!

  36. Brian says:

    Would love to hear of support for syncing with mobile devices directly, and not through iCal and Address Book.  Even allowing developers access to an API for syncing purposes would greatly increase the support.  I’m waiting for Entourage support to buy a new phone.

    Also, can we please see some options to remove completed tasks after a certain time, or immediately?

  37. Pierre says:

    I want to hear something other than the usual self-congratulations. A little bit of self-criticism would be nice, for a change. Microsoft Office is one of the crappiest Mac products around, and Microsoft only gets away with it because of the near-monopoly situation.

    A product manager who started by acknowledging this and promising to do something about it, now, THAT would be a change.

    Otherwise, it’ll be more of the same old crap, I suppose.

  38. Andy says:

    OK – Note to developers – please, please, please – make Office 2008 more functional.  For a long time PC user that has converted to a new MacBook Pro, the current Mac Office suite is horrible.  Many of my images in PowerPoint now show in black (yes – I know how to correct, why should I have to?), Excel does’t auto suggest unless I use the arrow key (requiring another key stroke), copy an image from the Web into Word and I get a link – not the image, etc.  The transition should have been seemless – it wasn’t.  My productivity has dropped considerably and I may have to switch back to my PC (yes I am using Parrallels as well, but way too slow and too cumbersome).  Love my Mac – hate the current Office suite.

  39. Gary says:

    There has been scant detail on what updates are coming to Entourage from an IT perspective.  that is, will it take on the old Mac Outlook features and finally be a MAPI client?  Right now the gap between Outlook 2003/2007 and Entourage is immense in terms of Exchange integration.  With more and more Macs gaining in the office workplace can you elaborate on what features we might see?  

  40. Jamie says:

    Proper Exchange support would definitely be good. At work I have to access Outlook through Citrix, which is a bit fiddly (we did actually use Entourage for a while, but it was putting too much demand on the servers for some reason)

    Also, why are you dropping Visual Basic? Two situations where I use it:

    1) To format text before importing into Quark or InDesign – a macro to do multiple find and replaces in one go (double spaces, blank lines, house style spelling etc.)

    2) At work there is an Excel macro that copies credit card statement info from one spreadsheet into a form that gets filled in with other info. It’s probably not the best solution, but there are often things like this in companies. This will be another thing to have to do under Citrix.

    Perhaps also write some code that reports users to the font police when they use Comic Sans…

  41. Tom Rodgers says:

    Proper Exchange Support would be great. How about Out of Office Assistant? We are sick on being a second class citizen of the exchange eco-system.

  42. Lucky Lou says:

    Hey, welcome to the new job. I see you’re already part of the Microsoft culture – writing a lot of self-congratulatory prose, shying away from committing to a release date, pre-apologizing, and offering to cut features to make a release possible. Oh yeah, and offering practically nothing of any substance about anything related to why any of us actually read this blog – to get insight on the progress and details on the new Office release.

    Look back on the rare posts MS has made in this blog and try to total up all the info on the new release. Not much. It reads more like the private diary of the admins involved in this project, gushing about their hectic days, their fondness for the work, and how hard it is to do what they do, yet how great it is to be a part of such a great team. We don’t care.

    Please give us some insight into the actual product. The comments left on every post should give you a real idea of what we are looking to hear about. It’s been the same for a long time, yet they’re not really addressed.

    We know you’re scared to say anything for fear of appearing to commit to a feature or date. Well, since this isn’t an official PR forum, you can probably say something and take it back or revise it later. I think we all get that it’s an informal setting. You’re going to get pounded by the readers one way or another, so you may as well show some nuts for once and err on the side of not being the total wusses you’re known to be.

    We’re all rooting for the MacBU and whatever overpaid white guy figurehead who talks the talk. Give us a justification for our misplaced faith!

  43. bonaldi says:

    An Intel-OS X version of Word 5.1? Go on…

    Actually, the thing that gets me most about Word is the low quality of its on-screen render. Even when text is set left, in some fonts the width of  a space can vary. I’m trained to spot double-spaces, and this drives me nuts. Pls to fix.

  44. MacManWA says:

    OK seriously, 40 comments and counting and no response–how about using some of that new free time and new found ownership of your account and answer some of our questions…

  45. Jim Hummel says:

    Basically, I’d like to mirror most of what Tomislav mentioned:

    1. Full Exchange support.

    2. Ability to read pst file.

    3. Archive in Entourage like in Outlook.

    4. Project and Visio 2007 on Mac??? 🙂 (Very much desired)

    5. OneNote (great product) (Also very much desired)

    5.[sic] IE on mac so I can properly view SharePoint sites. (What would be better is Microsoft relying on standard web technologies and not Microsoft specific adaptations of those standards i.e.: no ActiveX, etc.)

    Project, Visio, and OneNote would be FANTASTIC additions to the Mac community. Currently, I have to get on my knees and thank the tech gods for Parallels for my project, drawing and note-taking needs.

    Gook luck at the helm and thanks for asking for input from the community.

  46. carlivar says:

    Andy’s comment above shows exactly why Office is not as good on the Mac and arguably never will be. He is ready to switch back to PC. Umm… that’s a very, very good thing for Microsoft.

  47. Cody Bryan III says:

    My request is that I would like to be able to use keyboard commands for menu items. I like that fact that I can do that in Word, but I don’t think I can do that with Entourage. Please let us customize to hour hearts content. Everyone has different needs. I like to keep my hands on the keyboard as much as I can.

  48. Fred says:

    Never ship another application that doesn’t come as .app bundles. Release a new version of the RDP client (one that can access the Citrix-style stuff in the latest RDP) alongside Office 2008.

  49. P says:

    I echo the Exchange support request.  100% fidelity with Outlook 2007.  I want nothing more than to rid my machine of Windows (Parallels or no Parallels), and will pay handsomely for the privilege.

    Also 100% fidelity with Office 2007 file formats is a must have.

    Everything else is gravy, IMO.

    My question for you is: why all the secrecy?  It’s not like you’re the CIA.  Please emerge from the cone of silence and let us know what on Earth to expect.

    BTW, Mac Messenger in its current incarnation crashes on me 2-3 times a day.  In fact, NOTHING on my Mac EVER crashes except Microsoft software.  Better quality would be fantastic.

  50. Kevin Shrebs says:

    1.  Exchange Support!!!!

    2.  Sharepoint support!!!

    3.  Office OneNote

  51. Claudio says:

    It would be quite cool if it were possible again to work with OpenType fonts in Office. As now it is possible to format Bold and it takes also the bold type of the font it is for me no longer possible to work with word and opentype fonts! It gets very slow and often crashes.

    It would be a goal if Word 2004 on Intel Macs could be a bit faster so that it would be better to write papers with the program

  52. Pete Shaw says:

    Hi,

    Hoping for better exchange support (although I don’t expect MAPI support), slightly worried about whats happening to WebDav and exchange moving forward since as long ago as 2005 the exchange team:

    http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2005/09/15/410941.aspx was saying WebDAV was “de-emphasized” and may not exist past Exchange 2007 (whereas at points before that it was going to be the new ‘MAPI’).

    Functionality requests for Entourage – Kerberos support would help.

    Task syncing with exchange

    Also like to see the quick search have a full message text search option. As well as suggesting that it defaults to searching the ‘from’ field when you are in the inbox and automatically flicks to searching ‘to’ when in sent mailbox (or course allowing the user to override.

    Please support html better – especially links! (but please don’t use the same non-compliant rendering as the awful Outlook 2007).

  53. guy says:

    ONE NOTE

    or updated notebook layout in work

    So we have tabs across the top as well as down the side

    A stand alone program would be nice…but

    because notebook layout is very messy and people get confused with that and word just as a word proccessor

    And

    UNIVERSAL binary 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Looking forward to it…

    Should be a great release 😀

  54. SteveB_UK says:

    One of the major headaches I am having is that all my friends, family, colleagues and customers are using Messenger on Windows and I am the only one (trying to trump up Mac’s but when such a feature has been around for ages on the PC they say, I am using Mac Rubbish) that cannot video conference.

    In the UK, most people use Messenger, especially in the work place.  In the US I am led to believe that a lot do in fact use iChat, but that is not the case in the UK.

    Can someone please take charge and fix the annoying issues (highlighted in the newsgroups – which it appears no one from the MacBU reads) in version 6.0.2.  You trumped v6 as something major, ok it was UB, but the speed didn’t really change and for all I know you just put a Windows Live logo on it (annoying).  I am still having trouble logging in, it keeps restarting (i am not on Safari 3 fyi)

    Please please please, do what your Windows Colleagues do and post more customer related information on your sites, tell us about up coming developments, get us excited about MS products, give us time-scales, what your working on now and for the future…

    Are you going to release Messenger with Office 2008?  Is that what you are waiting for?  

    Also, why is it not possible to do an exact copy of Office 2007 ported for Office 2008, using the same features so that I can work on my Windows PC at work, go to my other desk, continue using my Mac and still carry on working rather than finding exchange features are missing!

    Just give it to us straight… don’t put a spin on it…

    Also I would like the Mac MS newsgroups to be better managed by people who are actually in the MacBU!

  55. Gary Eary says:

    Hello Craig,

    I would love to hear how you could possibly ignore the deafening calls for FULL EXCHANGE SUPPORT in Entourage?

    I have been ear-bashing the Microsoft Rep at every Mac show since 2002.

    Surely you will listen.

    Gary.

  56. Chris Brewer says:

    *Full* Exchange support, without requiring IT to do a darn thing outside the normal Exchange/Outlook setup. Otherwise MS is holding us hostage by blocking access to the corporate email/calendaring/tasks/etc.

  57. fleuhusen says:

    A big problem with 2004 for writing extensive reports, including a lot of editable excel tables, is that there sometimes comes up an error message when saving. It says "There is not enough disc space to save this file". We  tried saving it to an internal server with 812.9 GB of free space, and it still came up with the message.

    ANother thing is that formatting from Word Windows – WOrd Mac doesn’t always stick with tables between the programs. If you create a table on windows word and bring it over to the mac, it distorts the proportions to 95% wide and 105% height.

    Excel crashes a lot on the intel macs in building financial models.

    Excel needs to be able to bring formulas from a mac to a pc without any problems. One formula that we have trouble with is TRANSPOSE().

  58. Bruxced says:

    Reading all the feedback here, I wonder if you shouldn’t build a wiki / to do list where people could propose their desires and then you could check the box and/or tell us which features are included. You could then publish articles on features that many people want but that are already in current versions !

    But personally, I would like to here more about it is to manage on day-to-day basis such a big team, what kind of project methodologies you use, how the product lifecycles from one version to another interfere (Once you’re in final candidate, are developers alreay working on next update / upgrade ?…)  , and how the relationships are made with Windows versions (exchange features ideas – exchange code – …)

    Thanks a lot !

  59. Ransalmo says:

    Hey… the same apps and features of Office 2007 for Windows…..

  60. Adam UK says:

    I agree with this statment "One of the major headaches I am having is that all my friends, family, colleagues and customers are using Messenger on Windows and I am the only one (trying to trump up Mac’s but when such a feature has been around for ages on the PC they say, I am using Mac Rubbish) that cannot video conference.

    In the UK, most people use Messenger, especially in the work place.  In the US I am led to believe that a lot do in fact use iChat, but that is not the case in the UK.

    Can someone please take charge and fix the annoying issues (highlighted in the newsgroups – which it appears no one from the MacBU reads) in version 6.0.2.  You trumped v6 as something major, ok it was UB, but the speed didn’t really change and for all I know you just put a Windows Live logo on it (annoying).  I am still having trouble logging in, it keeps restarting (i am not on Safari 3 fyi"

    Please please please, do what your Windows Colleagues do and post more customer related information on your sites, tell us about up coming developments, get us excited about MS products, give us time-scales, what your working on now and for the future…

    Are you going to release Messenger with Office 2008?  Is that what you are waiting for?  

    Also, why is it not possible to do an exact copy of Office 2007 ported for Office 2008, using the same features so that I can work on my Windows PC at work, go to my other desk, continue using my Mac and still carry on working rather than finding exchange features are missing!

    Just give it to us straight… don’t put a spin on it…

  61. zinom says:

    Tha main thing that O would like to see in Officce 2008:

    – Word: subject index with paragraphs numbers  (and not only page numbers)

    – Universal binary :):), of course!

    – Groove! It is so good, would we have it in Mac also?

    – Onenote!

    Thank you!

  62. Mo says:

    – Public Beta like the Windows Version had. It’s annoying enoutgh that Apple does this secret stuff. Thats a big plus for MS in the Win World, why you don’t do it on the Mac Plattform?

    – Viso for Mac is also a must have.

    – More OS X Look and feel in the Apps…

  63. P says:

    The silence from Microsoft is rather telling, isn’t it?

  64. Tom says:

    This has been bugging me for ages and need to get the frustration off my chest. Can someone please answer me this:

    Why is Entourage completely incapable of opening Outlook .msg files?

    I can open the same Word/Excel/Powerpoint file in XP and OS X versons of Office. But if I save an Outlook .msg file in XP and try and open it in Office:Mac, near impossible.

    It seems absoluteley ludicrous that this isnt as staightforward.

    Rant over, thank you for listening.

  65. David says:

    What I’d like to see (if it could be arranged) would be a series of chats with key product/project managers from different parts of Office 2008. Not just the main apps but also specific areas such as the OffieArt graphics guru,  the UI team, etc. Maybe one every couple of weeks, just to get some momentum up and keep it moving. I realise you can’t reveal every feature, but if we had a chat session every couple of weeks then that timeframe would allow you to dribble out ~some~ news and ‘newness’ for the relevant app (or whatever) in each chat as we slowly progress towards RTM.

  66. John says:

    PLEASE include Task Syncing with Exchange.

    This is the single most important feature for me because I use Mac at the Office, Windows at home and have a WindowsMobile PDA.

  67. CDC says:

    Office 2004 for Mac is really quite disappointing.  The soul application Word crashes often, especially when cutting and pasting things from Safari to Word in the notebook layout.  Word just seems very unstable and difficult to use.  I do however like the notebook layout for taking notes, though the audio notes caused problems.

    Is MSN for the Mac ever going to be feature rich?  No offline message support, and no audio/video support.  Those are key features that need to be addressed.  Every new Mac come with iSight and built in Mic.  Why is it that Mac Messenger takes a back seat?  There are many other features that are lacking, but I guess we can’t have it all…

  68. Philip Regan says:

    You desperately need make full Exchange support happen for Mac users. I don’t think that can be overstated enough, but I think at least half of these posts do a good job trying.

    I really don’t care what the reasons are behind the loss of VB in Office for the Mac, and how much you try and justify it, because it doesn’t change the fact that you have nullified a significant portion of my work in one fell swoop. Given the quality of the Applescript syntax in v2004, I’m resigned to the fate of having to deal with that from now on.

    So, the very least you can do to make up for these atrocities of software development, because I know that I won’t get my VB support back, is to once and for all give those poor Mac users full Exchange support. Without full Exchange support, there will not be a single reason why myself or my company should buy the new version and go through the hassle of migrating and upgrading.

  69. Carrie says:

    I’d like to hear why there is no planned improvement for delegate functionality in Entourge 2008 since it’s using outdated Outlook 2000 code (according to one of your engineers working on a case we submitted).

  70. Chris says:

    I’ll echo that there is a need for FULL, UNADULTERATED Exchange support.

    I’m a bit shocked, as I’ve read through all of these comments, that not one member of the MacBU has responded to any of the requests or comments.  What on earth is the point of having an interactive blog if the blogger has no intention to interact?

    I’d like to see proactive participation on the part of staff at MacBU.  Let us know that you care about what the people who actually plan to _pay_ for your product really want.

    -chris

  71. Chris says:

    Full Exchange Support. This is my #1 request. Entourage is so bad I don’t even classify it as a real client. Quit fooling around with the webdav sync – it’s slow and unreliable.

    As a IT Manager at a large public university with a growing Mac population, it’s embarrassing to explain to users all the things Entourage doesn’t do. I’m sick of making excuses.

    Just fix it, with full MAPI support. If it does not match Outlook 2007 from a feature-set standpoint, it’s not a real client.

    Please, please, please fix it. If 2008 doesn’t address Entourage, delay until you fix it. It’s that important.

    I use Macs every day, but Entourage makes me want to use my Windows machine more than anything else.

  72. Brett Feinstein says:

    About one year ago, I switch to a Mac to have better compatibility with a lot of the layout and print work we do.

    It has all been good except for one thing: Office for Mac.

    Entourage is a dog. I never thought I would miss Outlook–but I do. Why can’t I use Word as an e-mail editor like I can in Outlook? Why is task management so limited? Just port Outlook. The idea that Mac users want a mail client of their own, when we do not want a spreadsheet or word processor unique to Mac is just absurd.

    Here is the bottom line. If I am using an Adobe product, it will basically have the exact same feature set whether it is PC or Mac. Why can’t MS do this? Why are Mac users treated as second hand citizens and given garbage e-mail clients and stunted function sets? Is MS that angry with us that we, as Mac users, made the decision not to use your OS?

    At the end of the day if MS really wanted to make Mac users happy, it would port over Office feature for feature from the Windows version. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. We just want Office. And the standard must of us use when we say that is the Windows version. We want the same features running on our OS.

    So to answer your question as to what we want to hear you talk about, please explain why we simply cannot have this?

  73. Nick says:

    Thanks for welcoming suggestions for features to include in Office 2008.  Compared to most, this is pretty minor, but  would be very convenient: to enable "format painter" functionality within Entourage, especially for composing messages.  Copying text into an email often results in multiple fonts/colors/etc.  Be great to be able to rationalize all that with a format painter button.  Thanks.

  74. ewelch says:

    What do we want?

    A response would be nice!

    The obviolus elephant in the room is Exchange support. Tell us when and/or why and we’ll shut up about it. I know, I "yelled" at your Entrouage lead person at MacWorld 2005. And he said something pretty smart, actually. "We use it too, I feel your pain."

    That is the last thing I have heard since from MacBU. So, is it painful enough for you yet?

    How about feedback on what we need vs. what you can do? It sure has helped Adobe to be open and take user feedback. (Ever read the book "The Wisdom of Crowds?" Please do so. ASAP.) Adobe opened up Lightroom to a public beta and got lots of feedback. And by the time they released Lightroom, it was actually BETTER than Aperture. (For me to say that is quite significant, btw, I was a big fan of Aperture and predicted Adobe didn’t have a chance of catching up.)

    Then Adobe opened up Photoshop to a public beta. And they really nailed it after all the feedback.

    I’m not saying give us pubic betas of Office. But heck, why not? You have no competition!

    And folks, for the love of all that is holy, please stop complaining about losing VB. The next version of Office for PC is losing it too. There is no future for VB. Check MacTech Magazine’s article on switching VB scripts to AppleScript! It’s the Rosetta stone to your future! And if you don’t know Applescript – especially for Office – you are beating your head against a wall.

    Doc! My head hurts when I do VB scripts! What should I do?

    Stop doing VB scripts.

  75. Chuck says:

    "so over to you, what do you want to hear from me?  "

    Just one thing: For Office on the Mac to run as fast as office on Windows. For YEARS Mac office users have suffered through pathetically slow office performance. I’ve always that it was done deliberately; the excuse was that Macs were using PowerPC chips. Well, that excuse is gone. Make Mac office as fast as the Windows version.

    Of course, it has to be completely compatible with the Windows version at the file exchange level, but you’ve done a good job on that for years. The performance issue has stagnated for years. Fix this and I’ll know you’re serious. Don’t fix it and I’ll switch to an alternative, even though they all have drawbacks.

  76. As noted before me, Exchange integration is the obvious elephant in the room.

    That several of the studios here LA are required to use Classic with Outlook 2001 is just about the most painfully obvious thing to fix first. Entourage should be on parity with Outlook on PC, not expecting that to happy soon, I’d settle for reasonable access to contacts and scheduling that works.

    Following that, Excel that doesn’t crash.

    Oh, and this might even be bigger than Entourage fixes. How about an anti-viral for MAC ONLY that is built into Word that catches and kills those annoying macro virii that get sent by our PC using brethren? Having to fork out for a full on anti-viral package just to kill a word macro is way overkill. You might even build some banked karma by doing this for Microsoft in general with the Mac community.

  77. Lee W. says:

    I know that I’m going to sound like a suck-arse for saying this but I’m going to say it anyway:-

    I love using Mac Office 2004 – really love it. My main application is Word (like a lot of people, I would guess) and it’s hands-down the greatest word-processor I’ve ever used – I truly meant that. I’ve used a lot of word-processors over the years and nothing compares to Word 2004.

     I get a hell of a lot of pleasure out of writing on my mac so it’s important to have a quality tool to use.

    I use Entourage as my main email application and very occasionally Excel. I’ve just started to use Messenger and love it.

    It’s a solid gold guarantee that when I upgrade to an Intel-based mac I’ll be buying the upgrade to Mac Office 2008. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on software (and BOY it was expensive for me to buy Mac Office 2004) but it was worth every penny. You get what you pay for.

  78. dnelon says:

    The thing that I want most is easy/native forwarding of complex HTML based email messages (newsletters, emails, brochures, advertisement, etc.).  It is a beat down for me (and the recipient) that I have to attach the email I want to forward to a new email that they then have to detach to read.  Not sure why this is or if I am just a bonehead but it is a beating.

  79. Harry Zink says:

    Considering the piss-poor Exchange support (“after thought” comes to mind), and the laissez-faire approach to serious bugs and problems with the existing Exchange support (“Delegates” comes to mind), and the general attitude (“No, these won’t get fixed in Office 2004, and not in Office 2008 either… thanks for shopping”), I certainly won’t hold my breath that the MacBU (a group of FORMERLY good programmers) would actually provide any sort of worthwhile improvements to office (except for the usual PR and Marketing driven eye candy, and claimed improvements…).

    While It’s certainly nice to see the former GM leave, considering that the same process that placed her in charge, now placed Craig Eisler in charge, I do not have any expectations at all – which is why I am actively seeking to replace the Microsoft Office products in our corporate environment with *functional* alternatives, or which there are a few.

    It’s up to Craig and the MacBU to surprise me, or to prove me wrong, but I rarely am wrong when it comes to expectations of the MacBU.

  80. jonathan finn says:

    Mac messenger with av please or a plug in for ichat that supports av the only thing i miss about my windows laptop is the nightly video chats i have a few friends with ichat and will soon be getting about 3 more (all switching to mac with lep) but i still have over 100 who dont have a mac

  81. Bryan Schramm says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make a TRUE version of Microsoft Office for Mac.  I am a Windows engineer and MCSE, so, I use a lot of Microsoft OSes.  I am also a Mac user.  There are excellent products from both companies.  I would love the opportunity to be able to have a 100% compatible, and complete version of Microsoft Office for my Mac.  By this, I mean please give back VBA support!  I want no problems or incompatibilities when sharing or creating files between Windows and Mac versions of Office.  Also, please make Entourage a TRUE Exchange client.  I feel Exchange is the best communications solution around,  but, the Mac client is crippled.  Please give me the ability to use PST files and store all my mail on the server only.  Thank you!

  82. Lorin Rivers says:

    Welcome aboard! I’m a big fan of the MBU and look forward to seeing more of the 2008 release as it becomes available.

  83. dave says:

    probs/quirks with Office 2004?  only 2 I have

    1  The ability to change the TAB color for a worksheet.

    2  In Excel, when I merge a block of cells for text entry, when I print, each line gets DRASTICLY indented.  Look fine as the worksheet, but print preview shows the skew.