Welcome to London!

Another city, another expo! I’ve been travelling on and off since Apple Expo in Paris giving some Office 2008 training to Apple Store staff and key partners and resellers! It feels good to finally be able to show our new offering (well, part of it at least!). So far, the reception has been great and I can’t wait to start getting your reaction once you can get your hands on it!

This time, it’s London for Mac Live Expo! It feels a bit quiet without Apple but there is still a steady flow of people coming to see us! It is the first time we are flying the Office 2008 colours in public! The stand looks great and we are starting to feel the release getting closer! We’ve had a lot of people so far with good questions, good suggestions and yes, we are on track to launch in January!

Crona, Donna, Stephen, Ursula and I all took time off our busy schedule to travel from MacBU Ireland and meet with the customers and give you a small taste of Office 2008! We do regular demos and Microsoft Expression media is also featured at the stand. We’ve even been nominated for a Macworld "Best of Show" award! I have put 2 pictures of the stand here, I'll post more tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the last day so if you are around come say “Hello!” to Office 2008 and talk to us!

And, by the way, welcome to Leopard!!!

UPDATE: As promised... More pictures of the stand have been posted! 

Comments (18)

  1. Jake says:

    Just curious… when you’re in public like this and someone asks you the same questions we ask you here (which are blatantly ignored and not adequately addressed in any fashion), do you run away?  Stare at them without saying anything in the hope they go away?  Try to change the subject?

    Ok, I’m being a bit sarcastic, but seriously… when you’re in public, you can’t hide from these questions like you can here.  So what is it that you tell them at trade shows like this when you’re asked detailed questions about Entourage, Messenger, etc.?

  2. David says:

    Very appealing design to showcase your product. Thanks for the pics.

  3. Well, what are they hiding from Jake? The post clearly notes its basically coming out party for Office 2008. So stuff which they would not normally talk about they are finally opening up about now. The have started to do the same here, they did an extensive post on Entourage 2008, Exchange Integration, the new graphics technologies, Escher, Compatibility with Office 2007, Smart Art, Elements Gallery, Installation, system requirements, SKUs, launch availability, upgrade paths for existing Office Mac customers.

    The only thing I have not gotten much detail on is the Expression Media software which Microsoft acquired from iView Media. Other than, they have been pretty open and transparent about the suite Jake. As for the suite itself, I think it needs an extra apps to round it out, something collaborative – have you guys considered Office Groove? I know not for this release, but certainly Office Mac v. Next?

  4. eric.paquin says:

    Jake: We try as much as we can to answer all the questions…

    For example, if we are asked about Messenger A/V, this message is still valid: http://blogs.msdn.com/macmojo/archive/2006/09/27/774149.aspx

    It’s VBA support you want to know, http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/ and some subsequent posts…

    New features, keep looking here and at http://www.macoffice2008.com

    Entourage and exchange, again you are at the right place… I’m sorry you feel ignore but if you take the time to have a good read here, you should be finding a lot of good information…

  5. 60six says:

    If I asked about entourage would I be ejected from the expo?

  6. Nik says:

    I have to ask.  What’s the purpose of the man and woman who are apparently part of the display?  Do they have names?  Have studies shown that having built-in cardboard models attracts people?

  7. Juan says:

    I´m with Jake.

    Let´s suppose I go there and ask "What can you tell me about Messenger 7"?

    What would you answer?

  8. Razor says:

    If I was in London, I would’ve asked you for an update on Messenger. Wonder what that would have been like…

  9. Jeff says:

    Hmm…normally when I’m behind on a project, I skip the trade shows and stay at work to try and finish. I guess it must be nice working for a company where your management doesn’t care about your product and you can just do whatever you want.

  10. Cameron says:

    Seriously, what is the status of Messenger? The last time you mentioned it was over a year ago.

  11. Gary Eary says:

    I’d just like ti ad my 2p worth here…

    I went to the expo on Friday and actually had a chat to Eric (hi Eric, good to speak to you) he and the rest of the team were great and I got to have a look first hand at Entourage 2008 – yes they actually let me see it in the flesh. It looks SOO much better than before and yes I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    I think that a lot of people here are going to be pleased. Eric did indeed answer my questions without kicking me off the stand, but it wasn’t all good news. It seems Entourage STILL wants to sync ALL your mail data to your local hard disc rather than using WebDav to display it live from the Exchange server like OWA does.

    When I explained my dismay at this he said he understood and that I was hitting all his ‘pain points’ – just proof that Microsoft ARE reading this forum and they ARE listening. While he couldn’t promise me that Microsoft would resolve this ‘issue’ in a future release its obviously something they are aware of and considering.

    I just hope they consider it soon because in our hot-desking office where people can sit on any computer having peoples 2gb mailboxes sync across the network every time they move to a new Mac is going to make for huge amounts of unnecessary network traffic!

    I’ll make one final please here and hope it gets into the final release:


    – OR –


    Well thats the rant over. Thanks once again to Eric and the rest of the Office 2008 team. The demos looked so good and its VERY fast even when running on a 17 MacBook pro. Can’t wait for January.

  12. Marco says:

    Eric, the post about Messenger is nearly 12 months old… what is the actual messenger development status? Almost all IM are today perfectly working on Mac OS X: AIM/ICQ and all Jabber clients through iChat; Yahoo has a full-featured client; Microsoft Messenger is the only one lacking such features. Again, I find really ridiculous that 3rd party, reverse engineered clients like aMsn, Mercury, Adium are far superior to the official msn messenger (not only in A/V support…for example, all client allow you to rename your buddies and can automatically reconnect after a disconnection).

  13. Andy K says:

    Sometimes it really does feel like "one step forward, three steps back" when reading here.

    We finally get some (much appreciated) information on Entourage. There are over 100 comments, including where clarification or other-Entourgage-related information is needed. Then we get three totally non-Entourage posts – with proportionally low comments.

    QUOTE: (Eric)

    "Entourage and exchange, again you are at the right place… I’m sorry you feel ignore but if you take the time to have a good read here, you should be finding a lot of good information…"

    We are taking the time to read here. We check several times a day. We’re still waiting for the information we’ve been requesting.

    And as Cameron just said, the last Messenger update was over a year ago. Stuff that we’d been waiting for since before v6 even came out, and the most up-to-date information is still in a 2006 Blog post.

    macoffice2008.com – still only "My Day" under Entourage.

    Of course we feel ignored. How can we not, when the post has a huge amount of comments all asking for further information that then go still mostly unanswered two weeks later?

    The post was titled "It’s About Time", when it was really "Long Overdue". And if you’re not careful, it really runs the risk of being "Too Little, Too Late".

    Even back in http://blogs.msdn.com/macmojo/archive/2007/04/19/a-love-letter-to-entourage.aspx, the questions were being asked. This is half a year ago now, and many of the questions are still unanswered.

    People wouldn’t ask the questions if they didn’t need the answers. You seem to not quite understand why people feel ignore, well that’s part of the why.

  14. Ben Moore says:


    All the new features look fun, but have you fixed the rather glaring problem in PowerPoint that’s been there for years – namely, you cant see what you’re typing if you’re using a white font! This is crazy, given that tons of slide backgrounds are dark with white text.

    Flash, for example, makes the text a light grey when editing, so you can see what you’re typing. I’m really hoping you’ve fixed this.



  15. Jake says:


    You’ve got to be kidding me!  You give me two links to posts that are about a year or two old.  And then you give me a link to a site that, as of this moment, only features My Day when you click on the Entourage link.

    Yes, there’s been a trickle of info here in recent weeks, but considering how close you are to shipping, the lack of response to direct questions about features related to Entourage is stunning.

    I really don’t get it.  All of you know we’re not happy with the information you’ve given us so far related to Entourage.  And here you side-step the issue with old links and a link that doesn’t give us much information.

    I guess you’ve answered my question as to what the response is when you get asked these questions face-to-face.

    On the one hand, I should apologize since my attitude on this really borders (or crosses the border) on being rude.  But I remember when working at MS how we used to be proud of the products and, except in rare cases where something needed to remain a secret (normally related to security), we got the word out to people as quickly as possible so that 1) we were communicating with our customers what they could expect and what they needed to plan for, and 2) we built up an excitement level long before the product came out.

    When you’re about two months away from selling a product and the part of the product that most people are asking about only gets one lousy feature on your official Office 2008 website, something is very wrong not only in how you do things, but how you understand the needs of your customers who are asking for this information.

  16. Angus Fox says:

    Well, I think you may be being a bit harsh on the team. I sat through the demo at the show. The demo by the way was pretty good even thought it was obviously a carefully picked path through read only files avoiding standing on land mines or unannounced features.

    Afterwards I asked the team a lot of detailed questions and they tried patiently to answer them. They couldnt answer them all but certainly took note.

    They promised me 100% fidelity – no loss or degradation of data – between Mac Word 2008 and Win Word 2007 docx formats. some things might be inactive or invisible either way (vba for example) but 100% is 100% and im looking forward to testing it.

    But … my main issues remain quite big gripes and make me conclude that Office 2008 is for consumers not enterprises.  (no VBA, no similarity to Word 2007 (training barrier in enterprises), and lack of rights to use Exchange and lack of support for deploying OBA’s, complete absence of a Mac stream in the Microsoft Partner Program, Microsoft Action Pack etc etc etc continue to reinforce that MS dont want the Mac BU interfering with the partner juggernaut. I think thats a shame. As a Small Business specialist I would like to also be a MS Mac specialist (an acreditation which doesnt exist).  

    They couldnt answer questions about the licencsing peculiarities. The Editions of Office are not well thought out. How come a home and student cant access Exchange? What if a home and student happens to use a hosted exchange mailbox – does that somehow make them ‘invalid’. What happens to a ‘home and student’ who has SBS with a CAL for Entourage. Will they have to have 2 different copies of Entrourage installed or will they end up in product key hell. Heck why cant my 14 year old use an SBS Exchange mailbox I have at home. Its at home. Home and Student. I cant be the only one with SBS at home….

    Anyway. I think it was brave to show the demos.


  17. eric.paquin says:

    Thanks everyone for your honest comments! I did enjoy meeting and chatting to the ones who made it to the expo! And believe me, it IS hard to be out there showing only some part of the product! I’d much rather show you the whole thing, but I have to respect decisions that have been taken about what we can show and what we will let you know next week and the week after! We did get some very good questions, some great feedback and yes, what is mentioned here on the blog, was echoed at the stand! We have a great product here, I’m really proud of it and this makes it even harder not to be able to be as vocal as I’d like to be about it! For those who haven’t had a chance to see it live, I really think you’ll be happy once January comes! Time will tell!

    PS: Apologies about the whole Homepage thing, I know it’s a bit old… I’ll move those pics as soon as I have a bit of time to do so!

  18. Ben Moore says:

    Eric, any news on whether PowerPoint now enables you to type in white on a dark slide background and see what you’re typing?

    I know it’s not a very glamorous question. But it’s a massive bug that thousands of people have to put up with every day.

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