I’m not unemployed!


Dear Jason: You were wrong. We're not getting out of the Macintosh business, thankyouverymuch. 😛

Heh. Okay, sorry, I just thought back to that post when our GM, Roz Ho, took the stage with Steve this morning.

As Roz said, we're in it for the long haul. I can't speak for the rest of MacBU, but I love being here. We make a great set of products, we've got great things in store for the next version, not to mention the update to Office 2004 that Roz announced on-stage.

Comments (16)
  1. Jason sometimes forgets that Steve has the RDF, not him.

  2. Asam Bashir says:

    What’s the point in trying to make patches for Office 2004 so it runs better under Rosetta? You’re trying to optimize code to run better under emulation, how much could you optimize it by? By the time Merom/Conroe ship, Rosetta performance is going to be off the scale, so what is the point of doing what you’re doing? Why don’t you get on with Office 12 for x86 and sort out VPC to run native…..

  3. Asam, I really have no idea where you got the idea that we’re not working on the next versions of our software.

    Roz announced yesterday that we’re adding functionality to Entourage in March, as well as releasing a dot-upgrade for Messenger. These aren’t patches to make anything run under Rosetta, this is new functionality. If you were at the keynote yesterday, you would have heard people cheering when Roz announced a couple of the Entourage features that will be in the March update (especially SmartCard support).

    Even though we’re adding some high-priority functionality to Entourage 2004, we’re not simply ignoring the next version. We’re working on that concurrently. We’re responding to the needs of our customers, and we knew that our customers needed this functionality sooner rather than later. Instead of making them wait until the next version of Office:Mac, we’re giving it to them in March.

  4. Paul Jara says:

    I just tuned into the webcast to see what upgrades were in store for Office 2004 (Source: around 1h 12m of the webcast located at http://macworld.apple.com.edgesuite.net/mw/index.html). Roz Ho mentioned Sync Service and Spotlight support for Entourage.

    I have Office 2004 but have never really used Entourage. The main reason for this is that Entourage seems to exist in isolation from the rest of OS X. Let me clarify that statement. I’ve always been under the impression that if I were to switch to Entourage, it would mean I would have to commit to Entourage for email, contact management, and calendaring. I would have to give up on the idea of keeping two or more Macs’ data in sync, let alone the data on my cellphone. Additionally, that Entourage-managed data would only be useful from within Office. There are some OS X apps that tap into Address Book’s contact data via a system framework which is a great convenience and reduces data duplication. All in all, it’s quite a substantial commitment for somebody like myself who enjoys Address Book, iCal, and the seamless synchronization of their data between my cellphone (via iSync), and other Macs (via .Mac), to switch to Entourage.

    If the next update to Entourage allows it to tap into iSync and .Mac synchronization, I may actually switch. Will this be the case? The killer feature offered to me by iCal and Address Book is the synchronization of my data, and not the apps themselves. So to match this functionality is to completely take away any advantage they have in my mind. On the other hand, I quite like Mail.app. So it may be difficult to give up, but I’m also a fan of some features that are only available in Entourage.

  5. Bill says:

    "We’re responding to the needs of our customers"

    – By dropping Windows Media Player?

    What’s next, MSN Messenger for mac?

  6. Asam Bashir says:

    What about VPC? Are you going to drag your heels with that or are you going to do something really nice and make VPC run native on the x86 platform. Why don’t you get on with using the new virtualization technology on new Intel chips. Is VPC going to be in that release of Office:Mac 2006?

  7. Paul – The next update of Entourage uses Sync Services, which is a collection of Tiger technologies that allows you to synchronise files to other devices and databases. Sync Services support in Entourage will enable you to synchronise your Entourage information and data (calendar events, contacts, tasks, and notes) to handheld devices and other applications that also support Sync Services. Other apps that use Sync Services include iSync and .Mac.

    Bill – The Windows Media Player was never handled by MacBU, it is an application that was created and maintained by the Windows Media team. The decision by the Windows Media team to stop developing the Windows Media Player for the Mac doesn’t reflect the MacBU’s commitment to the platform.

    Asam – You seem to be intent on believing that the folks in the MacBU don’t actually do anything. I’m not sure if there’s anything that I can do to change this highly negative viewpoint that you have. To answer your question, Virtual PC is a complex application that is closely tied to both the operating system and to the hardware, both of which have undergone significant changes in the past year. We are in close contact with Apple as we work to determine the feasibility of bringing Virtual PC to the Intel-based Macs. As we evaluate the feasibility of Virtual PC on Intel-based Macs, we will also consider replacement options to include in the next version of Office:Mac Professional Edition if they are necessary.

  8. Asam Bashir says:

    Its not that MacBU doesn’t do anything Nadyne 🙂 it’s just that they are so slow to move with the flow. As a Mac gal you know how long we’ve had spotlight and the syncing, you too think that the way address book works with bluetooth is sooo cool, so why does it take so long? Everyone is told exactly whats planned at each WWDC, wasn’t MacBU at WWDC 2004 and WWDC 2005?

  9. Knowing what Apple is planning doesn’t mean that [ working with that | enabling it | whatever else might be needed ] is an easy task. Furthermore, knowing what Apple is planning doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a business case for [ working with it | enabling it | whatever]. If they announce something new, we have to figure out whether we should support it, and where it fits in with the rest of our priorities. If we do decide to support it, then we have to reallocate resources from elsewhere.

    Let’s take the example of the Intel-based Macs: even though it was announced at WWDC ’05 that they’re coming, how many third-party applications are already running natively? For that matter, if Apple couldn’t get all of their applications running natively on their own architecture when they presumably had more time to work on it, why would you think that knowing their plans means that the rest of us can issue updates overnight?

    I don’t understand how you could have earlier complained that we should ‘get on with Office 12 for x86’, but are now saying that we should release updates to the existing version more often.

  10. Asam Bashir says:

    Make x86 Office:Mac, make VPC work with Virtualization, make them work with AddressBook.app, stop diverting and get on with it. We do things the Mac way, not your way…..

  11. Adam, regardless of what Apple says, there’s no "Magic INtel Spell". It takes work to get an application ported. The bigger the application, the more work.

    The Mac BU stated that the NEXT version of Office will be a Universal binary, not 2004. You seem to think this takes a minute or two to do. It’s a tad bit more complex than that. But they’ve publicly commited to doing Office as a Universal Binary. I’m not sure what more the Mac BU CAN do until Office 12 is done enough to announce a ship date.

    As for the Mac OS X 10.4 services, just because something exists, doesn’t mean it exists bug – free. If you need a critical bug fixed, you can’t ship, or even reliably test until that bug is shipped. There also aren’t a lot of third party applications that use Sync Services. For example, out of Mark/Space’s product line, only their Palm Sync product supports Sync Services. Now still doesn’t, nor does Palm.

    My question is, since no "pro" applications are available from any of the big players as Universal Binaries yet, why is Microsoft worse or better than say Apple, or Adobe, or any of the others who also don’t have Universal Binaries out?

  12. Keith says:

    I haven’t seen Roz’s bit yet, will have to watch it but I really hope that msn messenger gets a serious upgrade. It’s lacking all the nice pc 7.x bits like personal messages and so on at the moment. I don’t know if that’s in the msn team or the macbu team, but whichever it is, it feels like mac users are being left behind on the messenger front.

    VPC may need completely recoding but we’ve known about intel on apple now for quite some time so the lack of definite statement one way or the other is worrying. After this many months I’d expect macbu to be able to say "we will be.." or "it just isnt commercial viable sorry".

    Media player, whichever team develops it, is another blow. wmv files are out there in huge numbers and as time moves on, lack of updated media player for the mac will almost certainly be a problem. Even charging for it would be better than discontinuing it.

    Great news that the next office will be a universal and I’m glad that even though Apple has started sneakily popping at ms office with their iwork suite, microsoft hasn’t just pulled out.

    As someone who owns a company running hosted exchange servers, I’m hoping macbu keeps on doing excellent work and pushing entourage forward!

  13. Roz was only on for a couple of minutes at the end of the keynote, so she wasn’t able to give that much information on stage.

    Messenger for the Mac is owned by MacBU. Now that the Windows Media team has decided to stop developing the WMP for Mac, I think that all of MS’s software development for Mac is in the MacBU. (Is there anything else? I can’t come up with it off the top of my head.) Roz did mention on stage that we’ve got an update for Messenger coming out in March, so I hope that you’ll find that it better meets your needs.

    We have known about the change in architecture since WWDC, but remember that Virtual PC is not a user-level application. Virtual PC interacts directly with system-level processes. Thus, getting it working on the new architecture is a difficult technical problem. If you remember back to earlier versions of Virtual PC, getting it working on the G5 was also difficult. I can’t speak for the Virtual PC team, but my guess is that moving from one version of a chip to the next version of the same chip is significantly more difficult than moving from one chip to a totally different chip. We’ve had time to work on it, but this question isn’t entirely in our hands. We’re working closely with Apple to determine the feasibilty of bringing it to the Intel-based Macs.

  14. Nadyne, I subscribe to your RSS so I don’t always read the comments – looks like there is no holds barred from some 🙂

    Certainly for Mac users that have a reason to run Windows applications (eg anyone that buys Virtual PC), Apple moving to Intel has offered the potential of near native speed virtualisation rather than slow as molasses emulation. Most of us have already used Virtual PC for Windows or VMware workstation and there definately is a big user base eager to use it.

    Rumors are that VMware is working on a OS X version, and so are some of the other smaller players (Paralllels?). I haven’t heard of anyone working on Xen port yet though?

    Of course it is going to be a lot of work (I imagine that parts of the Virtual PC for Windows codebase will actually be more useful than the current Virtual PC for Mac codebase).

    Seriously, there really is only one reason that Microsoft shouldn’t be moving to develop Virtual PC for Intel Mac as fast as you can bring it to market – that is that Apple is building it into Leopard. Would make sense from Apple’s point of view, but it would go against their "we aren’t going to help people run Windows on Intel Macs"

    Just a bit off topic, but what is Microsoft’s biggest revenue earner on the desktop after Office? Are there any other desktop apps that are contenders for the MacBU etc?

  15. Troy, I have no clue how much MS earns on anything. I don’t know if it’s that I’m too new to MS to have heard that kind of thing or if we don’t break it out by application. I found our most recent earnings report (http://www.microsoft.com/msft/earnings/FY06/earn_rel_q1_06.mspx), but didn’t look at it to see if it answers your questions.

    MacBU is constantly looking at potential new applications. When we do so, there are several questions: what resources are necessary to make it happen, what existing applications are in the market, what kind of return on investment we think we’d get, etc. That kind of decision happens in planning and marketing.

  16. another day, another pundit opining that my job is going to disappear

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