The response has been amazing since we launched in January, the velocity of sales for Office 2008 is nearly three times what we saw after the launch of Office 2004, said Craig Eisler, general manager of the Mac BU at Microsoft. As we set our course for future versions, we are working closely with customers and will also expand our staff to ensure that Office for Mac remains the most powerful and compatible productivity suite for Mac customers.
Office 2008 for Mac Gets Updates Requested by Users
The Mac BU consistently seeks and uses customer feedback to identify, prioritize and then improve its products through beta programs in pre-release stages. The team looks to user forums and tools such as the Microsoft Error Reporting Protocol (MERP), which allows customers to anonymously communicate issue reports, once a product is launched. With the launch of SP1, the Mac BU is addressing the top issues as reported by customers via MERP and other feedback channels. Office 2008 for Mac SP1 features key suitewide updates for increased stability, increased security and overall performance improvements. Users also will find application-specific updates, including the following:
Microsoft Office Excel
Compatibility. Improved compatibility with files exchanged between Excel 2008 for Mac and Excel 2003 and Excel 2007 for Windows
Custom Error Bars. Restored formatting option on the Error Bars panel for data series
Printing. More reliable printing for elements on Excel 2008 workbooks
Calendar. Significant enhancements to improve calendar view and all-day reminders with reoccurrence
Exchange Server support. Overall improvement to synchronization support, including removing attachments from Exchange Server messages and synchronizing to the server, as well as support for editing the contents of Exchange Server messages via AppleScript and synchronizing the changes to the server
E-mail images. Ability to send and view images in Entourage from third-party tools
Microsoft Office Word
Printing. Improved accuracy when orienting tables with cell shading
Document map. Improved reliability and responsiveness to select items
Notebook layout. Updated formatting, recording status and a variety of display options
Microsoft Office PowerPoint
Printing. Improvements to eliminate crashing when printing documents to high-dpi printers and increased overall printing speed by 10 times on some large presentations
Mobile viewing. Ability to view Mac .PPTX files on Windows Mobile phones
AppleScript. Ability to use the PowerPoint selection object in AppleScript to implement custom scripts that operate on the current selection in PowerPoint
Customers can download the update for free at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.mspx, and it will be also available from Microsoft Auto Update.
VBA Returns to Future Versions of Office for Mac
The Mac BU also announced it is bringing VBA-language support back to the next version of Office for Mac. Sharing information with customers as early as possible continues to be a priority for the Mac BU to allow customers to plan for their software needs.2 Although the Mac BU increased support in Office 2008 with alternate scripting tools such as Automator and AppleScript and also worked with MacTech Magazine to create a reference guide, available at http://www.mactech.com/vba-transition-guide the team recognizes that VBA-language support is important to a select group of customers who rely on sharing macros across platforms. The Mac BU is always working to meet customers needs and already is hard at work on the next version of Office for Mac.