Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac to lack XML features found in Office 2003 for Windows

“Microsoft Corp. is readying a new version of Office for Macintosh for release in the first half of 2004 — but it won’t support many of the XML (Extensible Markup Language) features of its Windows cousin, Office 2003,” Matthew

29 Comments

  1. this is the classic example of the difference of Windows users and Mac users:

    people who flock to pc’s look at a computer as what IT can do for them, where mac users look at what THEY can do with a computer.

    microshaft thinks it can decide what a customers needs, they are used to that thinking from their windows customers. they can’t comprehend people expecting more from their computers.

    pathetic.

  2. Doesn’t matter. Microsoft has completely bastardized their version of XML for Office. Its so wrapped up in digital rights that the only ones who can view the XML are other Office XP users. So much for using a open standard.

  3. Either Apple needs to give us iOffice, or Sun Microsystems needs to step up to the plate and bring us Star Office 7! We can live without Office for Mac (and it’s incompatible Windows twin)!!

  4. It’s a freaking word processor. Type a letter and go to File::Print. In my opinion, MS tries to do too much with Word. And from what I’ve seen, people can never accurately or properly implement all these so-called “needed” features without causing all kinds of errors popping up on my screen.

    If it weren’t for my clients, i would trash Word. But i have to admit my guilty pleasure for Excel. Great analytical tool.

  5. How many times do you think the reporter had to get Roz Ho to repeat herself before he could understand what the hell she was saying. Now I know why they put that broad out on stage at Macworld. This release of Office is just a token gesture to the Mac community. I’m thinking it’ll also be the last release.

  6. One thing I can’t stand about Microsoft’s strategy for Office is that it is only useful because it is what everyone is using. The moment they try to change the file formats, the more headaches for companies that share documents. Unfortunately, they seem to be quite happy to do their usual trick of conning people into upgrading. I suppose it beats really innovating to generate revenue though.

  7. I do not think that XML’s benefits can be truly leveraged in an office suite. InfoPath as an exception is interesting but it is not for the casual user (Although it looks deceptively like an end user application, only the predesigned forms are end “userable”.) This kind of application can be easily created for the Mac by another developer if it proves essential. If MS uses some form of proprietary XML then they shoot themselves in the foot. But this “varient” version of XML will have to be limited to Word only. InfoPath, to be useful, will have to interact with other databases using standard XML.

    XML has many possible applications such as a “structure” for application specific data (which will not impact the average user), but most notably it is sort of a rosetta stone of digital end user data. Microsoft will hurt themselves by developing their own variant. I mean, what is the point. They will take a concept and limit its application. It shows their fear of open standards. And they are so blinded by this fear. And since this limitation will not exist in the industry at large, MS will get by-passed.

    But, because of this ‘rosetta stone’ quality, MS can easliy make the Mac and Windows versions work together. If they don’t, then their intentions become obvious. They do not want to.

    Fine with me. Who needs them.

    I remember how in the early years of the Macintosh how I loved MS’s Mac products. Now, I cannot think of anything that I despise more. And people like me are growing in numbers.

    It is just a matter of time.

  8. It’s really an interesting question. XML will have profound influence in business computing in the very near future. The reason is that XML is a way by which applications can talk directly to other applications, and for businesses, this will be very powerful. Java also has the capability, but XML will quickly grow into an important standard.

    I have been concerned about XML support by and for the Macintosh for quite some time. For Apple to be accepted in an enterprise environment, it is important that Apple and its products strongly support XML and related standards. It is alarming then, that Microsoft chose to not include XML support in the next version of Office for OS-X. It is a clever way to cut Apple out of the enterprise (corporate) market.

    But there’s a catch.

    The next version of Office for PCs will be in two flavors: the professional version will support XML, but the home version will not. This may sound trivial, but over time, I wonder if Microsoft’s strategy will backfire. It may mean that some businesses might not be able to read or work with Word or Excel files that contain XML functions, or files with Digital Rights Management (DRM). The DRM aspect is interesting, because an administrator could assign rights on who could or could not open, read or modify a file. It could mean that if you have an older version of Word, you might be out of luck. DRM is nice in theory, but I have a feeling that it will be implemented poorly, and that Microsoft, in their zeal to roll this function out, will have overlooked a number of important points.

    To those of you who commented, take some time to understand the impact of XML. You’re already using in Sherlock, Watson and the iTunes Music Store. It will be much more important than that. I am concerned that Microsoft wants to use XML, DRM and the dreaded Palladium technology to cut out competing platforms (Mac and Linux) so that only Windows PCs running the latest version of Windows will be able to function as equal players. I hope that this won’t get overlooked by regulators, as I fear this is a rather insideous move on Microsoft’s part to continue to monopolize computing. But this time, their aim is to use these tools to make the Internet itself their own monopoly. THAT is what they mean by “Embrace and Extend.” And to me, that is downright terrifying.

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