Microsoft Corp.’s Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) today announced details about the success of Office 2008 for Mac and reaffirms its commitment to future products for the Mac.

Office 2008 launched at Macworld Expo 2008, and sales for the productivity suite continue to soar, selling faster than any previous version of Office for Mac in the past 19 years.

The Mac BU developed Office 2008 to help Mac users simplify their work with a Mac-like interface, tools to easily create professional documents, and, most notably, the most cross-platform compatible suite on the market for the Mac. The Mac BU today is releasing Service Pack 1 (SP1) that provides increased stability, security and performance enhancements to the suite. Customers can download the update for free at hhttp://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.mspx, and it will be also available from Microsoft Auto Update. The group also is providing a glimpse at the road map of Office for Mac by announcing the return of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in the next version.

“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, in the press release. “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.”

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.

Source: Microsloth

MacDailyNews Take: This highlights the discrepancy between looking at overall market share vs. the un- or poorly-measured market share of real people who buy and use computers. When you strip out all of the dumb terminals, cash registers, limited-purpose (and OS-limited) PCs that are sitting in workers’ cubicles, etc. and think about real people buying computers and also buying software for those computers, Apples’ Mac market share is even stronger than most people would imagine. This is why Microsoft continues to make Office for Mac. And why they are selling it in record numbers. It’s also why they are bringing back VBA support as a growing base of customers are obviously demanding that Microsoft not intentionally cripple Office for Mac in order to try to force the sale of more Windows PCs. Microsoft sees the writing on the wall. Muahahahaha!

Windows-only developers should take note and remember what’s always been true: Mac users have more disposable income and have proven they’ll pay more for software, accessories, and peripherals than their Windows counterparts.

This also highlights the growing influx of Windows to Mac switchers who may believe they need Office. But, really, seriously, do you need Microsoft Office or do you just think you do? Give Apple’s free 30-day iWork ’08 trial a try and find out.