All-new user interface coming for Office 2007 for Mac

“Microsoft’s next-gen Office suite for the Mac is being given a top-to-toe refit in readiness for its debut in the third quarter of 2007,” David Flynn reports for APC Magazine.

“On the surface is a revised interface which borrows ideas from the Office 2007 for Windows ‘ribbon’ and has already been radically changed due to user feedback. The new versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint will all adopt the native XML file formats of their Windows siblings,” Flynn reports. “And, the program is of course being rebuilt as an Intel-friendly Universal Binary application.”

Flynn reports that Mary Starman, group product manager for Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU), said, “‘Typically we release about 6-8 months after Windows Office, and they’ve announced general availability in the January timeframe, so we would be 6-8 months after that.’ If her timetable holds firm, the program that will likely be christened as ‘Office 2007′ will touch down between July and September of 2007 — around three and a half years since the arrival of Office 2004 in March of that year.”

“’We will be doing a UI refresh,’ Starman confirms, ‘but it won’t be exactly like you see in Office 2007. It just wouldn’t make sense. Apple has got their own very specific set of user interface guidelines and we try to first and foremost to follow those guidelines. If we can innovate on top of that and do some interesting things to make sure that the interface is really discoverable for the Mac user, then we’ll look at doing that. We can get some ideas (from the ribbon) but it still has to fit within Apple’s UI guideline, that’s what a Mac user wants to see’ Starman says,” Flynn reports.

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Free NeoOffice 2.0 Aqua Beta 3 now available – August 28, 2006
Microsoft commits to Mac Office for at least another five years – January 10, 2006
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software (or hardware) – May 16, 2003

42 Comments

  1. General M$ bashing aside, the killer concern with ‘Office 2007 for Mac’ is that Microsoft have dropped support for VBA.

    This means that ‘Office 2007 for Mac’ is a neutered product that is of absolutely no use in a corporate environment, or to anyone who uses Excel for any semi-serious maths tasks. There will be no choice but to use Windows version, as VBA is essential to doing real work.

    By removing VBA from Excel, Microsoft has made Mac version completely redundant.

  2. re: General M$ bashing aside, the killer concern with ‘Office 2007 for Mac’ is that Microsoft have dropped support for VBA.

    This means that ‘Office 2007 for Mac’ is a neutered product that is of absolutely no use in a corporate environment, or to anyone who uses Excel for any semi-serious maths tasks. There will be no choice but to use Windows version, as VBA is essential to doing real work.

    By removing VBA from Excel, Microsoft has made Mac version completely redundant.

    —-

    So what youre saying is That M$ is trying to protect its windows monopoly in the corporate sector by disabling key components within the Mac version.

    TBH this totally SUCKS and is Microsofts usual tactic of trying to kill competition.

    I certainly wont be buying the new version of office for my design company (based in th 4th largest oil company in the world).

    I will be looking at open office or the google office app for the future.

  3. Microsoft’s next-gen Office suite for the Mac is being given a top-to-toe refit in readiness for its debut in the third quarter of 2007

    Hey MDN! Don’t threaten us like this.

    Yea I know Apple is droping the ball when it comes to a great Office suite, patenting names like iCalc just to keep Microsoft on it’s toes. Selling that crap of a Office suite with all it’s security problems in Apple Stores themselves.

    But everytime a Mac user has to bend over and take the OfficeMac prick up their ass we all die a little bit more everyday as a platform.

    We really need a good iOffice suite, yea I know about “NeoOffice” goddam sons of a bitches demand a root level install on every Mac machine now. That’s totally insane.

    You see it all comes around to Trusted Computing, ok before you turn me off listen up. It’s the security involved in TC that will bind a file even more to a program that created it.

    So say a Office user makes a particular file “secure” and sends it to a Mac user to open. If the Mac user doesn’t have OfficeMac, then they can’t open the file.

    It’s not going to be like the old days where we can simply use a universal encryption and something like MacLinkPlus to switch the file to something AppleWorks or NeoOffice can open.

    The TC “mark” ensures that the person who wrote the file is actually the person, right now we can simply make up a file and send it.

    All other alternatives, even new and better software, will be crushed because they can’t be compatible with standard software.

    The noose is slowly tightening around computer users necks.

  4. I’m not paranoid by default, I was born a trusting and caring human being.

    It’s the revelation that too many people are taking too much interest in my computer, my surfing habits, my personal information, my privacy and my respect and my deceny.

    I have been a victim of identity theft, computer hackers, marketing con artists and Sony rootkits.

    I have been a victim of insecure Microsoft software, Apple’s lack of outgoing firewall software and lack of privacy issues.

    I’m just a human being trying to exist in a hostile world and kept from being eaten by parasites.

    I wouldn’t be paranoid if there wasn’t so many people out to get me.

    In Safari? Select Activity in the Window menu right now and see the truth, your being tracked.

  5. In a three way tie for first release, which slug will win: Universal Office:Mac 2007, universal Adobe Photoshop, or the perennial darkhorse favorite, MS Vista?

    Place your bets. And relax, you have years to decide.

  6. “Is the Mac BU at Microsoft working full time on Mac products?

    That’s easy. The next-gen MSN Messenger for OS X with Vista Aero gui goodness and a completely overhauled Minesweeper universal app. It’s all about priorities people.

  7. Oh no. Everytime Microsoft upgrades Office, they move around the menu commands and add more floating toolbars so that I no longer can find key tools that I often use. I will not be pre-disposed to purchase this “upgrade.” As it is, I’m still on Office X, and lament the fact I wasn’t able to stick with the previous version…

    Also…”By removing VBA from Excel, Microsoft has made Mac version completely redundant…”

    I think you may mean “irrelevant,” not “redundant.”

  8. Nice to hear reports of Office getting updated to work on Intel Macs – pretty weird that TextEdit will open Office files, but not my old Appleworks files … Is that an insane oversight or what? I now have hundreds of documents I can’t open on my Intel Mac – Thanks for looking after me Steve.

  9. This Ribbon stinks. I am a Office Expert (officially, MOS-Master), and it took me at least 5 minutes to find how to do a “Save As” on the Beta in Windows. I have never used Office for Windows, the first thing I did when I got my Mac, was drag the Office trial to the trash can. Maybe if I used a Mac as a work computer, I would install Office, but my little projects at home work great in Pages or NeoOffice or even AppleWorks.
    I do admit I like VBA, it is at least something about Office that makes sense, and I really like Access (if it was available for Mac, then I would consider getting Office), they are logical, they do what I want to do, instead of M$ thinking for itself, and deciding what it thinks I want to do (or should do). this “ribbon from hell” will bring that to a new level, since the whole point of it is that it changes with whatever you are doing. That might work for a normal user, but not for power users who really delve deep to make it do what we want to do. That and AFAIK there is no more “tools/options.” I am really thankful, that my company is always 2 years behind in upgrades, since I want nothing to do with Office 2007.

  10. I know it’s terribly basic, but I’ve come to love Pages. I have little problem sharing documents with all the Word/Windows folks I word with.

    M$ Word has a gazillion features that 95% of people never use (or even know exist). I swear if Apple would beef-up Pages and come up with a simple spreadsheet program most people wouldn’t be worrying about when the next Office for Mac suite comes out…

  11. For perspective on the MS MacBU take a look at this blog entry from an employee (filled with tons of pics). Yes, I know that blog was posted here on Macdailynews, but it was in April.
    [url=”http://davidweiss.blogspot.com/2006/04/tour-of-microsofts-mac-lab.html
    “]Tour of MS MacBU[/url]

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