Mac version of Office due next summer
It's hard to remember, two decades on, but Microsoft actually got its start writing office software for the Mac, not for PCs. Today, Microsoft has 130 employees in its Mac Business Unit working on the next version of Office for Mac, and in a scoop, Australia's APC magazine reports that Mac Office is due out between July and August of next year.
If you're a Mac fan and you've been chortling over the delays to Vista, laugh no more. Vista's ever-slipping release date has affected Office for Mac, too. Because Microsoft delayed the release of its Windows version of Office to match Vista's release date, the Mac team hasn't had a final version to work from. Vista's now expected next January, along with Office 2007 for PCs, and the Mac version of Office normally ships six to eight months later -- that's why it won't be out until next summer. But the Mac team at Microsoft has had plenty to do in the meantime, including a top-to-bottom rewrite of the code for Apple's new Intel-based Macs.
All of this raises a question: Is any desktop software, which takes years to upgrade, worth the wait? Or are we better off using Web-based apps like Salesforce.com, Writely, and Flickr, which can be updated on the fly? Tell us what you think.
I think that's what happens to MS's Mac BU - it gets killed off and MS says, go to this online office suite, and then that conveniently is flaky on Firefox and Safari, etc.
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