Office 2008 Hits RTM

Here’s the latest official word – Office 2008 for Mac has Released to Manufacturing (RTM)!

We’re very pleased to announce that the product team has signed off, and our final build has left the building and is en route to manufacturing sites abroad. Needless to say there’s some joy in MacBUville, with festivities as I post. While we love building Mac software, actually getting that software into the hands of the people we’ve been building it for is something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. For my teams, the RTM milestone is the last step in the process.

It’s quite a thing to think back on everything that has gone into arranging the bits on this one polycarbonate disc. One way to think about the approximate total man hours is that if a single multi-talented person had done all this work they might have started around the time that King John signed the Magna Carta.
I know it’s been said before, but I’d like to extend my thanks to the team. Office 2008 is MacBU’s most significant release to date. I’m excited about both the new user experience and capabilities we’re delivering now, as well as the work we’ve done at all levels to make this release a great foundation for future releases to come.
Though our work is finished, our operations, localization and marketing teams remain busy getting Office 2008 on shelves for our product launch on January 15th at Macworld 2008. A large portion of the MacBU team will be on hand at Macworld, and I know people are excited to show their work and talk to real users about the release. We hope to see you there on the show floor, in presentations, and at various events around town – watch Mac Mojo for more details about what we’ll be up to at Macworld!
I'm hearing the ship siren getting cranked again – off to check on the latest margarita batch.

Comments (88)

  1. Don Montalvo says:

    Please tell me Microsoft Office 2008 comes with an Entourage config script for our enterprise environments.

    Don Montalvo, NYC

  2. Eric says:

    Congratulations! Enjoy the party. And when you show up at work tomorrow, think up something really crazy to put into Office 2010! 😀

  3. abbs says:

    Good job. And now, let’s have Expression Web for Mac!

  4. Andrew C. says:

    Woo…better late than never!  I can’t wait to never use the .docx converter again!

    DO you think you guys will sync up schedules so the future versions of Office release for PC and Mac at the same time?

  5. Duane says:

    The release date of 15th is for the US I presume. Can you tell me when the new Office 2008 is expected the UK?

  6. Tom Stacey says:

    Well done you guys! I’m looking forward to getting 2008 in the New Year. I hope it lives up to everyone’s expectations!

  7. Josh S. says:

    I don’t think they read comments. They’ve tried to make this blog good, but they don’t respond to comments. That’s why most of them are negative — we don’t feel like we’re being heard, even though this is a "blog."

    We still haven’t heard anything about the basic stuff in the mail part of Entourage, though everything else has been talked about. There’s only one reason for that: it’s exactly the fracking same. Oh well.

  8. Sean says:

    Is this January 15th a worldwide release date? I’m here in the UK and I’m waiting with baited breath for this release!

    Well done and congratulations on the signing off =)

  9. MacManX says:

    … and that it DOESN’T include Messenger 6.0.3 instead of let’s say a 6.1 or 6.5 version…

    That we’ll have to wait for 7.0 we already know.

  10. It’s official: Mac Office 2008 has been released to manufacturing. The product launch is January 15 at MacWorld. (And, I know I uh, work for MacBU and all that, but I really like the software.)…

  11. bradley says:

    Congratulations! I live in Office and have been excited about what I’ve seen so far. This is fantastic news!

  12. Ron Boehm says:

    How do I obtain the information necessary to port a plug in from Word 2007 to Word 2008?

  13. Mrs. B. says:

    I was just wondering if Mac users will ever get a complete version of OneNote, or will it always be the embedded version in word?

  14. Matt says:

    Just curious, but why are there no MacBU apps on TechNet? Is there something similar so we can test MacBU applications before they come out?

  15. Michael says:

    Please god – I hope you guys remembered to included 512×512 icons!

  16. Colin says:

    When is this going to be available for Technet Subscribers to download?

  17. MacManWA says:


    Has Mac Office ever been available for TechNet subscribers?  I don’t think it is.

  18. Love MacOffice says:

    Is it on a CD or DVD? Just curious.

    I’m not gonna install Messenger 6.0.3 (old product included into a new one) or whatever, anyway.

    I’ll wait for version 7.0 or so.

    Until then, Adium X is my good friend, quack quack!!!!!

  19. mat says:

    Any news for the international Release dates? (German?)

  20. Bruce says:

    That’s very exciting! I can’t wait to load it up!

  21. Bug says:

    Congratulations, working in the industry I know how great it is to finally defenestrate a product. Have fun!

  22. Enrique García says:

    Congratulations are in order, I wish you all very happy Holidays which I am sure you will enjoy.

    I attest to the due diligence with whch the team ‘attacked’ the bugs we reported.. these guys (and gals) aure consume a lot of coffee folks!


  23. ToddA says:

    Congratulations!  It will be interesting to see how many people who migrated to NeoOffice for .docx support will be attracted back.  Here’s hoping your .x updates to 2008 include the Exchange functionality missing from Office 98, Office v.X, Office 2004, and now, Office 2008.

  24. Linda says:

    I work at a college and we have had to use the converter often. Since it expires 12/15 and 2008 isn’t due out until 1/15 is there a converter available thet does not expire 12/15? Appreciate your help.

  25. Premiere-30 says:

    When will it be available on the Volume Licensing site for download?

  26. Geoff Price says:

    Don – once we release we plan to provide a new Office Administrators Guide to detail how we can help with deployment.

    Duane, Sean – U.K. release is January 16th!

    Ron – what sort of plug-in? Office for Windows currently has options for developer customization that we don’t.

    Mrs B – We don’t have any fixed commitment to what our note-taking story for Mac Office will be in the long run. Which features of OneNote do you most want to see, e.g. compatibility with other OneNote files? (Btw Word Notebook Layout View has some enhancements in this release, you’ll hopefully see a blog post about that in not too long.)

    Matt, Colin – sorry, there is no public beta available; to request access to the private corporate beta please contact your MS account representative.

    Michael – 512×512 icons: oh heck yes.

    Love – DVD

    Linda – stay tuned and watch for auto-updates.

    Premiere-30 – Per an earlier post by Craig the general answer re:volume license availability is "first quarter of 2008", but I believe in North America the date is Feb 1st.

  27. Joe says:

    I’ll be you’re all saying "finally!"  So are we.  Good job. I’ve sent in my Super Suite Deal form, so I look forward to taking your work for a spin!

  28. Xavier says:

    Thanks for this work,

    few remark on Entourage…

    1 – I think that they should be more easier to import and export from mail, or outlook 2007… because when you want to share dome dats between one mac and one PC, it”s awfull (mail, task, note and calendar)

    2 – In outlook you can open two or more pst file in one session… it’s impossible on entourage

    3 – It should be great to developpe the possibility to sync online with .mac, hotmail, yahoo, gmail…. because before to go out, you have just to sync, and you will find all your datas on your web inteface…

    4 – You have a pensil on outlook which duplucate the format, that could be great to have it on entourage.

    5 – It better to think about the sync with the Iphone, and others phones, and including the SMS, or MMS  

    But you style did a great job, I will update my entourage 2004.

    Thanks a lot,



  29. Xavier says:

    Did you know a tools called indcredimail ?

    There are some good ideas on it !

  30. Joe Dijon says:

    Awesome.  Congratulations to the Office 2008 team!!  Enjoy the holiday season!!

    I’m looking forward to getting my copy in January. 🙂

  31. Julien Sharp says:

    Hello – I just converted to Mac Sept 07 – I got office 2004 and the ONLY thing that is really lacking in Entourage for me (compared with Outlook) is the "search" function – in Outlook the search is comprehensive – looking anywhere in the message – to, from, subject, body – even attachment. In Entourage 04 the search is VERY limiting – It only searches to/from/subject/project – and if an alias is used it won’t even search the email address, and vice versa. This has ben the only real ‘negative’ as I rely on my email as a database of information, and I literally can’t find some things. WIll the search be better in 08?


  32. Sweetooth says:

    Can we see the new icons, Geoff? Great work, can’t wait to try it out.

  33. Shay says:

    Does it finally support RTL languages like Hebrew? if so I will definitely buy it. Looks shiny.

  34. ADAXL says:

    "mat" already asked this question; I’m asking it again: When can we buy the German version of Office 2008? Is there any detailed information for the product launch in Europe?

  35. Jimmy says:

    great work, will it be available on MSDN as well? If so on what date? Thanks.

  36. Can’t wait until it’s released!  

  37. Italian One says:

    Any release date for Italy?

    I’ve heard mid/end of February but I wish it was released on January too, here.

    Merry Mac Christmas and a Apple New Year 2008!!!!!

  38. I purchased office 98 and have been please with using it now I have just purchased a new IMac with intel will the old 98 work in the new IMac or do I have to upgrade? how much for the upgrade?

    Please let me know what I need. Thanks Ken Ordway

  39. Chris George says:

    You have GOT to be kidding. You’re releasing to the retail channel BEFORE your licensing customers?!? By 15 days, or more!?!?

    It’s bad enough that we’ve had to deal with our Mac users not being able to open the new Office documents, since we refused to install a pre-release (and, as I understand, rather buggy) converter on our computers. I had hopes that I could finally put that behind me with the release of Office 2008 on the 15th. The 15th would still be during the our academic winter break, which would allow a transition to the new version of Office before the spring term begins.

    Now, with it not being released until 2/1, I now have to wait until summer, given a hard and fixed rule we have not to roll out major software or operating system revisions after a semester begins.

    It’s bad enough that you guys don’t release any pre-release versions on TechNet Plus. As a result, your biggest customers are left fumbling in the dark for answers and are left to scramble to get up to speed once the software is released. Now, you apparently consider us licensing customers second class citizens to the retail channel, and you make us sit idly by and wait for the software, while everyone else gets it first? Unreal. Simply… unreal.

  40. rado says:

    poorly scaled flash video on

    check this shot, on the left is what we see online, on the right is how it should look. good luck 🙂

  41. Ronald Foust says:

    Is the "Export to pdf" function fixed for multiple sheets?

  42. Ron Ozer says:

    Since I have 6 Macs in my house, is there any way to get six licenses without having to buy 6 copies of the software?

  43. Andy Hegedus says:

    Does copy and paste of graphics actually work?  I am tired of stupid work arounds to insert graphics into a document/presentation that need to viewed by Windows users.  The need "Quicktime compressor" message is very frustrating. I am really, really, really annoyed that simple copy and paste does not work with Microsoft, though every other cross platform company can do it.

  44. Buck Petersen says:

    I hope this version has the old ability to make custom icons for the tool bar and includes a scroll bar for the fonts menu!

  45. Magnus says:

    This seems very much to be about a great product that is super good and absolutely fabulous and impressive and something that will blow us away. But does anyone have any list of the actual new features? What makes it good?

    Apparently there will be no test drive available yet for some time.

    What about support for Mac OS X Services?

    What about ligatures and glyph variants?

    What about right-to-left Hebrew and Arabic?

    What about recordable AppleScript macros?

    What about support for high-definition graphics (scalable PDFs and the like)?

    What about automatic conversion of kanji and hanzi to phonetics with the phonetic guide (as is already supported in Word for Windows)?

    What about multilingual resources to display the interface in different languages?

  46. Theresa says:

    Does it support Apple’s VoiceOver technology?

  47. Ron Boehm says:

    Hi Geoff,

    I saw your response "Ron – what sort of plug-in? Office for Windows currently has options for developer customization that we don’t."

    Our PC plug-in invokes web services to load documents from a DB and add a new ribbon to enable the functionality.  How do I get the documentation on what developer customization that you do support, so we can bring a product to market some time close to release of Word 2008?

  48. Bret Palsson says:

    I don’t want bombard you with projects, but I would like to know if one is underway.

    Here in my business school, which is switching to mac’s at an unbelivable rate (60% of all our computer 2007 orders are macs), however Groove is also taking off and I am installing a groove server these next few months.

    Our users are curious to know if a Mac version of Groove client is coming so that they don’t have to use their virtual machine.

  49. Steve says:

    I use Office 2007 at work and, after a bit of ramp up and through a learning curve with it, I have to say I am looking forward to this new Mac version.  Office 2007 is more powerful than its predecessor, and feels more robust.  I expect these features and more will show up in "our" new mac version and some other goodies that will set it aart fom the pc version.  Way to go MBU!

  50. Imran Javaid says:

    Great! Now we dont have to convert docx file please tell us when its will be in PAKISTAN.

  51. Eric says:

    Wow, "polycarbonate disc", that is SO retro.  Is that really how it’s going to be delivered?

    Even Office for Windows is now a download.  I don’t use "polycarbonate discs" anymore.  The only thing that should require a DVD these days is the operating system itself (since if that is toast you have not ‘net connection.)  Everything else should get delivered via the internet!

    Please tell me this will be available for a download?  Such a waste of resources to have a box these days — high speed internet delivery is the only way to go.

    So please consider making this available online.  It’s more environmentally friendly, more convenient, faster (delivery in an hour vs. overnight), cheaper (for both you and me), and overall just with the times.

  52. baretree says:

    you’d better get iWork 08… office has always been very buggy in both windows and mac os’s so… well, just a thought. I know we all "need" the office thing because our corps insist in using windows but it’s a pain in there to work with office

    as you can see in here, is a blog with no responses, just a clipboard!


  53. The Zeeman says:

    congratulations. I will buy it on the 15th.

  54. John Nolan says:

    Can you give us any info on the equation editor…does it support the new feature found in 2007, and the new Cambria Math font?

  55. Congrats on the completion!

    I look forward to upgrading in the new year!

  56. Malbase says:

    I hope Office 2008 fixes the color font and color problem which crashes

    Entourage in Office 2004 on an Intel MP Mac.

  57. NK, NYC says:

    Amzing that the one response from MS did not include any answers concerning Entourage functionality!

    Are the categories going to finally work with Exchange

    Are NOTES and TASKS going to finally sync with Exchange

    Has there been any improvement in having this product WORK with the product you put out.. EXCHANGE

  58. ritag says:

    Thanks for all of your hard work.  However, I hope the graphics or clip art will be better in this version and the templates are decent maybe along the lines of the windows group. Rest up, you’re going to need it by the time this thing gets into people’s hands. Happy New Year!

  59. Naeem says:

    My office is currently using "outlook anywhere".  And right now the current version of entourage doesnt support that.  Will the new version support it.  They are talking about I should just switch to a PC because they won’t poke a hole through the firewall for my entourage to get my e-mail.   Thanks in advance.

  60. Wow the much awaited Office 2008 for mac is on its way to the shelves. I am very excited with this release as I am an avid user of the Office 2007 for Vista (the only reason why I use a PC hehe). Now i can enjoy the new features of MS office at the comfort of my mac. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and discover new ways to improve my workflow and powerpoint presentations. Cheers to the MS office 2008 team!

  61. Mhairi says:

    Does anyone know if there’s going to be upgrade pricing and academic pricing on Office 2008?  I figured there will be, but I wanted to know how much…

  62. Franz S. Hinner says:

    I looked through several posts, the key question for me is not if it has the same user menu then Office 2007 (confusing to me anyhow).

    Rather the key question, can I finally book the 3 different flavors in the Entourage calendering of required, OPTIONAL and RESOURCE?

    Please tell me that you big splash at MacWorld includes the ability to book resources via the calendering tool.

  63. Disillusioned says:

    So if I read you correctly I will get a copy to deoply in my organization faster if I buy a box from a joe schmoe vendor than by logging in to our hideously huge and expensive MVLS agreement?

    It is pretty obvious we get yet another less than useful version of entourage (from an enterprise perspective).

    It took ten years for me to accept that this truly is attrition warfare so 5% of my budget this year goes into sponsoring OpenOffice (specifically the Aqua port).

    And for those of you taking perverse pleasure in the lack of a docx converter… use TextEdit (running 10.5 or better iirc might work on earlier version) as it supports the format.

  64. Matthew says:

    Any word on system requirements?

  65. F. Roose says:

    I can only hope that the nasty "disk is full bug" in Word is going to be solved and that Powerpoint won’t hang anymore when I open PPS files attached to e-mail.

  66. Carol Statham says:

    Entourage can sync with Exchange server on all my Macs except the new Intel G5.

    IT dept. cannot explain why…

  67. Auvo Sarmanto says:

    I’m wondering why nothing has been told about the ever existing differencies between Mac and Win implementations. Does the gap grow wider with this new release or is something happening in the battle field? Value of the new Mac version will not be very high unless a real compatibility can be reached.

  68. John says:

    I’ve been searching everywhere trying to find out about this but no-one seems to know any specifics. Will there be an updated Equation Editor on par with Microsoft Word 07 for Windows? This would be my main reason for getting this when its released having to write up complex maths equations within Mac and Windows constantly for my degree!

  69. Mike says:

    I have to ask myself…Would I have made the same decisions if I were MS?  It is not that the end user base has been asking for full Exchange compatibility for only a couple of months…it has been years.  Same goes for the database.  I can’t imagine that it couldn’t have been changed…I think it didn’t want to be changed.  

    Most businesses use Outlook with Exchange so why cut into the potential of OS sales by making Entourage just as compatible?  Right now, I know there are a lot of Mac users utilizing Parallels or VmWare to run Windows just to use Outlook.  MS doesn’t care since those users still need to have a licensed version of Windows.  I mainly use Entourage with my hosted Exchange server, but still have to go to Outlook for some of those "features" that are missing.  So I boot up my virtual Windows and start Outlook.  I am sure MS would rather have that then no OS at all?

    As I know a lot of you have the same feelings, I am extremely disappointed in the complete lack of improvement to Entourage.  Out of the Mac Office suite I use that program the most!  To me, it seems the biggest improvement is Intel native…Yippee!  I think?  Other than that and the "bug" fixes…what improvements/features have been made?  Anyone?  We are sure learning a lot about the new Word.

    I do want to thank the MacBU, they worked hard and I am sure they did as directed.  However, I hope there will be some other options on the horizon other than Mac Office 2013.

  70. Steve K says:

    "It’s quite a thing to think back on everything that has gone into arranging the bits on this one polycarbonate disc. One way to think about the approximate total man hours is that if a single multi-talented person had done all this work they might have started around the time that King John signed the Magna Carta."

    If the Magna Carta was issued in 1215, that makes it about 793 years ago. Assuming no time off for rest etc, that makes it about 6,946,680 hours of labour.

    The most conservative estimate, however, could be calcualted as follows: –

    Assuming only 1920 work hours/year (like in country of NZ) makes it 1,522,560 work hours since the Magna Carta. Given that this took only about 4 years, though, means about 380,640 work hours/year. If we divi this among the number of workers on the project based on 1920 hours per worker per year, we have about 198 workers.

    This is a conservative estimate.

    Am I far off the truth?

  71. Darren (sydney) says:

    Anyone know when Office 08 will be released in Australia please , im busting to get it !

  72. Steve says:

    Is it still true that excel macro’s created in Office 2007 won’t be able to be read in Mac Office 2008? Are you calling this a cross platform compatible program?

  73. Craig says:

    The animation on < > showing the new user interface is embarrassing !?

    If that is any indication of how together this new version of Office for Mac is I’ll wait before I buy (if I even bother), iWork 08 + Office 2004

    will probably be good enough for now.

  74. Jim Pettyjohn says:

    Why do folks ask questions here …do they really expect an answer?

  75. JM says:

    Excellent!  I hope the icons are well mace – the previous icons had a faint grey box behind them like the transparency wasn’t set right.  512×512 should be awesome!  Anyway, I am pleased to say that Office:Mac is the ONE Microsoft product that I truly have no complaints about.  The MS Mac development team has done a great job on it, and I hope they continue to do so with this release.  If it’s anything like 2004, it’s got to be good.  Looking forward to getting my copy!

  76. ajanlekoko says:

    I am a new convert to mac platform and invested a lot of money in purchasing a leopard macbook and a year’s tutorial plan. As a grad student i have heavy work with text. I needed a mac compatible office package but cannot buy  the office 2008 because according to retailers, it can only be sold on the 15th of january – even if i get into hot water for not meeting deadlines. What kind of logic is this that says the software must only be sold on the 15th. This is a bad mistake by Apple. I think you are beginning to forget that the customer is king. The same forgetfulness, which made a lot of clients begin to abandon windows. Why announce the product if you are not ready to sell it , nd then tell folks to buy the old one and get an update later. Not everyone has the time for such rigmarole. It costs money and wastes time.

  77. ajanlekoko says:

    I am a new convert to mac platform and invested a lot of money in purchasing a leopard macbook and a year’s tutorial plan. As a grad student i have heavy work with text. I needed a mac compatible office package but cannot buy  the office 2008 because according to retailers, it can only be sold on the 15th of january – even if i get into hot water for not meeting deadlines. What kind of logic is this that says the software must only be sold on the 15th. This is a bad mistake by Apple. I think you are beginning to forget that the customer is king. The same forgetfulness, which made a lot of clients begin to abandon windows. Why announce the product if you are not ready to sell it , nd then tell folks to buy the old one and get an update later. Not everyone has the time for such rigmarole. It costs money and wastes time.

  78. LTC says:

    @ ajanlekoko — don’t you mean a bad mistake by microsoft? — Apple has no control over the release dates that a third party software company set out, furthermore if Apple were to release software early, it would CLEARLY most likely be in violation of legal documents/agreements between MS and Apple — If you need to meet deadlines bedfore the 15th of January, i suggest you use openoffice or some other solution until then OR better yet, not leave your work till the end of the deadlines to get it done.

  79. Bob says:

    When will it be available to Software assurance customers? As of the 15th it is still not up and ready to download. Nor is it on MSDN for developers to develop against.

  80. hotcarl says:


    Shortly after RTM, I emailed the MVLS team asking the same thing.  I was told it would show up there on Feb. 1st.  I assume it’s probably about the same for MSDN.

    (I did just check and it’s not on MVLS.  I’ll keep checking, I’m anxiously awaiting it as well.)

  81. bd says:

    Did VBA get cut?

    If so, how do we migrate our Excel automation applications?

  82. Christian says:

    Great work guys!

    Now, I wonder whether language support for German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese is already included in the suite. If not, is there a way to get it from somewhere?

    Finally, is there a difference between the US version and the European version (I wonder about the price difference…).

    Thanks and keep up the great work, I’m loving it!


  83. yp says:

    A review on by a customer indicated that Analysis Toolpack have been removed from Excel 2008. Has the Office 2008 compensated for its removal in the Formula Builder?

  84. Macs not MS says:

    All I need is MS Word 2008, but I don’t purchase Office 2008 just to get it.  Apple Pages isn’t ready for the heavy lifting I require of word processors.  But the other iWork and iLife products are fine.  Why doesn’t MS offer Word 2008 as a stand-alone application for sale at a lower price than MS Office 2008?

  85. Justin says:

    well…11th of Feb and still no signs of it on MSDN or MVLS…

    Can anyone comment?

  86. Since this is now done, what do you guys get up to? I’ve always wondered… I mean, is half your staff told to get new jobs? What other projects could possibly be needed to be done… other than waiting for a new office to be released so that it can be ported into MAC.

    By the way, does this work on ALL Mac platforms? Or is there some extra work required to get it to work on Leopard?

    Now, where are the guys who are doing this kind of work to get things to work on Linux?

  87. That’s quite sad.  But will the same team be able to work together again?  I was thinking about getting the same team to work together again in coming up with a module used to solve probable problems or perhaps a tutorial for any updates or add-ons on Office 2008.

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