Q&A: what hardware do you use when testing Office:Mac?

I noticed this question go by on Twitter yesterday, and thought that it was interesting:

just curious. when u test out office for mac do u use imacs or mac pros?

(That was via @ZackTheHack.)

Yes. 🙂 We've got plenty of hardware around these hallways, and it's all used to test Office:Mac in one way or another.

A couple of years ago, David Weiss gave us a tour of Microsoft's Mac lab. That's only one of our Mac labs. David showed you around the lab in Redmond, but we've got another one that's similarly outfitted here in Mountain View, California. And, of course, since the hardware in those pictures is now a couple of years old, a fair amount of it has been rotated out. Whenever a new piece of hardware comes out, you can find at least one of them in our labs. For example, the PowerPoint team cares deeply about new laptops, since so many PowerPoint presentations are driven by laptops.

The other thing is that we dogfood heavily. The whole team is working on the next version of Office:Mac, which will hit store shelves in time for the holiday season next year. As we're coding it up, we're using these pre-alpha applications for our day-to-day work as much as possible.

On top of all of the Macs that we've got, there's also plenty of printers and scanners too. After all, it won't do if you put a lot of work into getting your résumé looking just right in Word, but then it doesn't look as good when you print it out. So our hardware testing isn't just limited to our Macs.

It would be interesting to do a census of all of our Mac hardware. There's definitely well over 1000 Macs, but I wonder how big the number really is.

For the twitter-enabled amongst you, you can follow me here.

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