Microsoft: Office for Mac 2011 will be 32-bit only

Apple Store USA“We are half-way through 2010 and the ship date for Office for Mac 2011 is drawing near,” Jake Hoelter, Product Unit Manager, Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) blogs for “Mac Mojo: The Office for Mac Team Blog.”

“In Office 2011, we’ve made investments in better compatibility between Office for Mac and Windows Office, which is the largest request we receive from customers,” Hoelter reports. “We think we have some outstanding improvements to show you in this area, and we’ll continue to share details in coming weeks.”

“Our work to increase compatibility means we haven’t completed the transition of moving the entire user interface over to Cocoa yet,” Hoelter reports. “And because Apple’s frameworks require us to complete the move to Cocoa before we can build a 64-bit version, Office 2011 will be 32-bit only.”

“What does this mean to you? While Cocoa makes our job building Office easier, Office 2011 will look and feel great regardless of what technology is powering which bit of user interface. The largest difference between using a 32-bit and 64-bit version is the memory capacity available for your content,” Hoelter reports. “Most users with typical or even larger-than-average document content will not notice a difference in performance. Where 64-bit can make a difference is for people working with huge amounts of data, such as those creating very large Excel files with data in millions of cells, or PowerPoint presentations with thousands of high resolution images.”

Hoelter reports, “The Windows Office Engineering team explained the differences earlier this year, recommending that most people use the 32-bit version of Office 2010 for the best compatibility, even on 64-bit versions of Windows.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Are you kidding me???

    Office ships 16+ months after Mac OS 10.6 and is STILL Carbon based?

    I don’t remember off the top of my head, but wasn’t Cocoa announced 8+ years ago? Wasn’t Cocoa effectively complete and fully useful in Mac OS 10.5 (October 2007!)?

    There really is no excuse for MS Office for Mac to be 32-bit and Carbon based.

  2. @Moolatte

    “great for home users”

    Uh, yeah, and that’s where Apple is concentrating their efforts to sell Macs. Pages will suffice for millions of home users, and is 90% compatible with Office. I use it all the time, and it works great, even for my wife’s home business.

    Folks send her Office docs all the time, and rarely do we see a function that Pages will not translate that makes a real difference in reading or using that document.

  3. I really couldn’t care less whether it’s 32 or 64 bit, as long as they speed the damn thing up and fix some of the annoying formatting issues when opening Office documents created in the Windows versions.

    Oh yeah, and how about making the e-mail client actually work with the rest of the suite?

  4. Agree with MooLate. Wish Pages and Numbers were true replacements for Office apps, but the are not.

    Until Numbers can control calculations like Excel and Pages doesn’t give a huge list of document incompatabilities for even simple Word documents, iWork will be relegated to lite users.

    Then again, I’m not holding my breath for iWork to reach parody as true desktop computing (not the iPad lite stuff) will soon be a lonely truck.

  5. I hear comments about how iWork is only for home users, but 90% of the people who send me Office documents at work quite clearly have no clue how to use any of the features of Office and iWork would be more than enough for them. It always amuses me to see Word documents that have quite clearly been edited and edited from ages old templates because they have this huge mess of formatting styles, along with numerous instance of people manually changing the font styling to try and make it look like something else on the page because they have no clue about applying styles.

  6. MS seems kinda slow to me to update to modern standards (64 bit-cocoa). Is it deliberate or is it because they do not have enough programmers devoted to it?

  7. I still prefer Office for Mac over iWork for doing papers and journals. Besides, every time I export to Word from Pages (even with a simple document), formatting always messes up somehow.

    For word processing – Word wins. For creating flyers, posters, and “family newsletters” – Pages wins.

    Numbers, although easy to use, has even worse exporting errors than Pages does. Your Numbers file will look nothing like its original when you export to Excel.

    I do really prefer Keynote over Powerpoint though, this is where Apple has improved functionality and use over Office.

    My 2 cents.

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