August 13, 2009

Next Mac Microsoft Office due late 2010

Microsoft made an announcement this week about next year's (yeah, right) release.

Microsoft announced Thursday that the next edition of Microsoft Office for Mac will be released in late 2010. The new edition of the venerable office suite will include Outlook for Mac, a new application that will replace the Entourage.
They also announced a reduced pricing scheme, the Home/Student edition and the Business edition. I'm skeptical that they will make the 2010 release date? And if they do, I'm very skeptical they will improve right to left Unicode support.
Etherington at TAB has a source that VBA is being reintroduced into Office 2010. I would certainly welcome that, but I think this discussion has made me realize I won't be buying Office '10, just like I haven't purchased Office '08.
You've gotta love Miller at MacWorld who writes:
My first reaction to Microsoft’s Thursday announcement that it will release a new version of its Office suite for the Mac in 2010 can be summed up in one word: Why?
Update: Someone reminded me that my prediction was 2012: Unicode Hebrew Coming to Word 2012!

Update: Microsoft still anticipates the next Office Mac release at the end of 2010. No definitive word yet on right-to-left Unicode languages, but it IS confirmed to include VBA.


Logan Moore said...

oh great just what we need

Joe Weaks said...


Dr. Rod Decker said...

How can you *improve* something that doesn't exist?! :) I just hope they don't inflict us with the same interface as the current Windows version!

R. Mansfield said...

We Mac users are a bit fickle. On one hand, we ask why a new version is released. On the other hand, if there was not a 2010 release, Mac users would scream that we weren't getting equal treatment since there is an Office 2010 projected for Windows.

A new version is needed, however--at least for MS Word and Excel. I do know that Rick Schaut and others on the Word team have been working on the right to left issue. I really do think we'll see this. Plus, they realized their blunder with the removal of visual basic from Excel. However, it was cut because it was not going to work with their universal binary release. It was a no win for them. Now that they announced a few weeks ago, it's going back in, they've got the time to re-implement it and get it right.

PowerPoint was improved in the 2008 release but it's still inferior to Keynote because PowerPoint can't do things like embed video files (they have to be treated as a separate linked to file in the same directory). Keynote is so much better than PowerPoint. I use Keynote one to two times a week.

The big news in the announcement was Outlook for the Mac. But I don't think it's really as big as it is made out to be. There are problems with the code in Entourage, so the logical choice was to rebuild it from the ground up, this time in Cocoa. But since they were going to rebuild it anyway, why not just name it Outlook like the Windows equivalent? The time was right to do this, but one report I read said that it still would not have 100% feature parity with the Windows version.

Interestingly, there was an Outlook 2001 for the Mac which ran on classic systems. It integrated with Exchange quite nicely and I used it everyday at a former workplace. But it didn't work as well for offline work.

I have current versions of Mellel, Pages, and Word. I use all of them for different things, but I confess to still using Word the most just out of sheer familiarity.

I've never been a Microsoft hater, but maybe a Windows hater. Regardless, there are some VERY dedicated Mac users and programmers in Microsoft's Mac Business Unit. They balked against the Office Ribbon on behalf of Mac users and we weren't forced to adopt it in Office 2008.

I am in agreement, Joe, that I doubt they will make the late 2010 deadline. After releasing the 2008 suite a little before it was fully baked. I was very frustrated with all the Office apps when the 2008 package was first released. I thought they were painfully slow. But after two service packs, they are actually running quite nicely now. Therefore, I hope they will take their time with the 2010 edition or 2011, or whatever it ends up being so that it's right when it goes out the door.