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Microsoft delays Office 2008 for Mac until mid-January

post #1 of 54
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Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) said Thursday that the release of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac has been pushed back from the second half of 2007 until mid-January.

The Redmond-based firm now anticipates showing a final version of the software at the Macworld trade show and conference in January, with global availability to commence in the first quarter of 2008.

"This was a business decision based on the Mac BUs commitment to deliver a high-quality product, said Mac BU General Manager Craig Eisler. "Our number one priority is to deliver quality software to our customers and partners, and in order to achieve this we are shifting availability."

As part of the revised schedule, Eisler said the Mac BU is driving towards an internal goal of releasing a gold master copy of the software suite to manufacturing in mid-December. He added that, "customers will be very pleased with the finished product.

Known for lengthy software delays, Microsoft had said as recently as June that the new version of Office remained on track for a release during the second half of 2007. Its decision to push out the release comes amid a rise in Apple's Mac market share and growing retail demand for Office for Mac.

Despite having released just two versions of the productivity suite since 2000, the Associated Press reports that Microsoft has seen sales of Office for Mac rise about 72 percent from 2001 to 2006, compared with an increase of about 18 percent for Windows versions.

The AP, citing NPD market research data, added that sales of the Mac versions made up about 20 percent of dollars spent on Office at U.S. retail stores and Web sites in 2006, up from 4 percent in 2001.

One of the highlights of Office for Mac 2008 (screenshots) is a new user interface for Word dubbed "Elements Gallery," which speeds up document creation by allowing users to drag-and-drop predefined templates for some of the most commonly used "Document Parts," such as headers, footers and tables of contents.

Microsoft Word, shipping in early 2008 as part of Office for Mac 2008

Another featured, called "My Day," is essentially a stand-alone widget application that allows users to track priorities and stay on top of daily activities no matter what Office application they happen to be working in at the time. It interfaces directly with Entourage -- another component of Office -- offering at-a-glance schedule and task viewing without having to launch Entourage.

Meanwhile, a new version of Excel will gain support for "Ledger Sheets," which will allow the spreadsheet application to handle common financial management tasks such as balancing checkbooks, tracking accounts or managing investment portfolios."

The Mac BU has promised to share more details about features and precise release timing as Office for Mac 2008 moves closer to launch.
post #2 of 54
You guys are a little slow on the draw this week aren't you? Already 2 threads on this and the one on the Unix 3.
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post #3 of 54
Doesn't bother me I don't use Office, I just hope Apple makes iWork better!
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post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Another featured, called "My Day," is essentially a stand-alone widget application

Looks like Microsoft is trying to capitalize on "iDay" by turning it into a widget, I wonder how they pulled that one off.
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post #5 of 54
Yeah, iWork is almost there, it deserves to be more popular but people are lazy to check out the features and the workflow...
Let's hope the Excel-compatible spreadsheet app will materialize.
post #6 of 54
was always going to happen wasnt it...
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post #7 of 54
On the bright side at least it will be named for the year it was released in
post #8 of 54
In other news, Apple has now decided to push the next version of iWork to 2009 in order to prevent Office from abandoning the platform.

(Ok, that one's unlikely, but Apple does really have to grow a spine and take on Microsoft Office eventually.)
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post #9 of 54
No they don't, and I hope they don't.

I work in the corporate world and NO ONE is going to replace Office with iWork in the Corporate World. While us on the Mac's can read/write Office Docs no problem, the same can not be said in reverse about iWork and PeeCee's.

If MS drops MS Office, then I loose my ability to use my MacBook Pro at work, which would make me ENTIRELY not happy.

Yes, I still use Parallel's for my Outlook/Exchange connectivity, and yes, the current Entourage will connect to our Exchange server here, but I have found that Parallels is just about as fast if not faster than Rosetta. :/

Now I agree, iWork does what Mac's do exceptionally and that is to make "POPPING" documents. I use iWork for all of my wifes "Bulletin's" for her home based business and they look a million times better and are a heck-uv-a-lot easier to create than using Office.

However, doing my business stuff, I still prefer MS Office.

They both have their place and whether you like it or not, if you want Mac to continue to grow market share (and don't we all?), they still need to have entrenched business applications available.

I use Quickbooks Pro for the Mac and I struggle with the loss of functionality from the Windows side, but I still use and purchase it in the hopes that it will encourage them to make a better Mac version.
post #10 of 54
What Word and Excel have that Apple cannot implement? Any special magic?
Because I think it's only the name. If Apple were to name the next version of Pages "Word" and Keynote "PowerPoint" the problem would be solved.
post #11 of 54
What I see in the posted article is BLOAT.
I am shocked to see a delay in a MS release.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

What Word and Excel have that Apple cannot implement? Any special magic?
Because I think it's only the name. If Apple were to name the next version of Pages "Word" and Keynote "PowerPoint" the problem would be solved.

You're not familiar with the enterprise then, bub. Full compatability and outright superiority are trumped by an entrenched brand any day of the week. And business is the missing link in Apple's rise to dominance. This is one where MS are actually handy to have around. Office 2k8 isn't as much of a wait and see problem as CS3 was before release since Rosetta handles itself quite well in office apps. But the death of MS Office for Mac entirely would be a setback for Apple more than for Microsoft. Not you or I individual users, but in corporate sales and all the network effects they bring.
post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

Let's hope the Excel-compatible spreadsheet app will materialize.

Yes, no more Appleworks for me!
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post #14 of 54
Perfect time for an iWork update... People buying macs for back to school are going to want office software, hopefully there will be something better than office 2004. Its not bad, runs great but people expect more when they buy a mac.

Also, is this delay related to Leopard? Maybe msft has been messing around in the early builds and wants to make sure it releases something really good, since the next update won't be for another few years.

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post #15 of 54
So basically, Office is the only substantial program that still hasn't been optimized for Mac Intels. What are they, a minimum of a year behind every other company? Bravo Microsoft... that and the fact your stock hasn't moved this century! Think there is a correlation?
post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmwogan View Post

Perfect time for an iWork update... People buying macs for back to school are going to want office software, hopefully there will be something better than office 2004. Its not bad, runs great but people expect more when they buy a mac.

Yeah; Microsoft probably got wind of iWork 08 and needed to add a couple of features to keep it competitive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riles View Post

So basically, Office is the only substantial program that still hasn't been optimized for Mac Intels. What are they, a minimum of a year behind every other company? Bravo Microsoft...

Yeah, they've given up on the Mac. No IE. No Windows Media Player. This may be the last version of Office for the mac.
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by riles View Post

Bravo Microsoft... that and the fact your stock hasn't moved this century! Think there is a correlation?

My neighborhood's bank's stock moves more than Microsoft's and its only local!
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post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuyutsuki View Post

You're not familiar with the enterprise then, bub. Full compatability and outright superiority are trumped by an entrenched brand any day of the week. And business is the missing link in Apple's rise to dominance. This is one where MS are actually handy to have around. Office 2k8 isn't as much of a wait and see problem as CS3 was before release since Rosetta handles itself quite well in office apps. But the death of MS Office for Mac entirely would be a setback for Apple more than for Microsoft. Not you or I individual users, but in corporate sales and all the network effects they bring.

Oh, c'mon. The key to Office on the Mac has always been file and macro compatibility with Office for Windows. Office 2008 for Mac won't have macro compatibility.

So there's no advantage for buying Office compared to iWork. They both support the same file types. Office has ZERO advantage over iWork.

Office for the Mac is dead. Wake up. Microsoft is clearly abandoning it.
post #19 of 54
Normally, this would have been big news to me, as I use these tools all the time, every day. However, I was royally disappointed with the previous version of Mac Office (sluggish performance, compatibility issues, and those absolutely unusable detached toolbars), and recently decided to switch to NeoOffice (an Open Office derivative). The NeoOffice suite has worked smashingly well, and I'm looking forward to the OS X-native port of Open Office this fall (they're already working on it).

Unless there is a very compelling reason to use the new MS Office for Mac, I've completely absolved myself of Microsoft products on my HOME workstation (iMac).
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

Oh, c'mon. The key to Office on the Mac has always been file and macro compatibility with Office for Windows. Office 2008 for Mac won't have macro compatibility.

So there's no advantage for buying Office compared to iWork. They both support the same file types. Office has ZERO advantage over iWork.

Office for the Mac is dead. Wake up. Microsoft is clearly abandoning it.

The key has always been branding when it comes to business. There's a huge psychological barrier for management (the ones who make decisions and therefore actually count, alas) in working on "Word" files with anything other than "Word". Indeed, many of them are astounded there is even such a thing on the Mac: a platform the vast majority of management almost everywhere are dyed in the wool against.

I don't have any MS software on my home systems. Just tellin' it like it is.
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

Normally, this would have been big news to me, as I use these tools all the time, every day. However, I was royally disappointed with the previous version of Mac Office (sluggish performance, compatibility issues, and those absolutely unusable detached toolbars), and recently decided to switch to NeoOffice (an Open Office derivative). The NeoOffice suite has worked smashingly well, and I'm looking forward to the OS X-native port of Open Office this fall (they're already working on it).

Unless there is a very compelling reason to use the new MS Office for Mac, I've completely absolved myself of Microsoft products on my HOME workstation (iMac).

Ditto. But notice how Apple are already doing well in the home? Hint: the management chain tends to be shorter. Typically just a diagram with the user at the bottom and a line up to the wife.
post #22 of 54
[QUOTE=Xao;1120588]
If MS drops MS Office, then I loose my ability to use my MacBook Pro at work, which would make me ENTIRELY not happy.

My version of Pages allows me to export a document in PDF, Word, plain text, etc. It can also read Word documents.
post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by riles View Post

So basically, Office is the only substantial program that still hasn't been optimized for Mac Intels. What are they, a minimum of a year behind every other company? Bravo Microsoft... that and the fact your stock hasn't moved this century! Think there is a correlation?

How about Quicken? At least Microsoft has announced an Intel update.
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuyutsuki View Post

The key has always been branding when it comes to business. There's a huge psychological barrier for management (the ones who make decisions and therefore actually count, alas) in working on "Word" files with anything other than "Word". Indeed, many of them are astounded there is even such a thing on the Mac: a platform the vast majority of management almost everywhere are dyed in the wool against.

I don't have any MS software on my home systems. Just tellin' it like it is.

Well, of course branding is important. I agree with ya there.

But branding isn't everything.

And clearly Office Mac is a dying product. Just like IE and WMP.

And, so far at least, Apple is targeting smaller businesses which don't care so much. They're more likely to take chances with a Mac, and thus are more likely to take chances with iWork.

If Office Mac 2008 were a robust upgrade with macro support, I'd agree with you. But that's just an insurmountable hole in the product. Clearly MS is abandoning it. If there's one thing businesses tend to use more than home users, it's macros!
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by pt123 View Post

How about Quicken? At least Microsoft has announced an Intel update.

I gave up on Intuit and run the Windows versions of QuickBooks and Quicken in VMWare Fusion.

Ironically, the my most important financial applications are the only thing I run on virus-susceptible Windows. C'mon, Apple, give Inuit some competition the way you gave Adobe competition with Aperture!
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

Apple, give Inuit some competition the way you gave Adobe competition with Aperture!

Aperture is not a replacement for Photoshop, though I do like the way it works and looks but its edit features seem lacking.
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post #27 of 54
who cares about M$ products anyway. I am a book writer and I switched from Windoze/Word to Mac/Pages two years ago. I am completely satisfied with Mac and Pages. Pages has some small glitches but is far more powerful than word, despite having just 10% of the unecessary functions packed in word. So, who cares about M$.
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Aperture is not a replacement for Photoshop, though I do like the way it works and looks but its edit features seem lacking.

Uh, yeah. Aperture is a competitor to Light Room, not Photoshop. It wasn't meant to have all of Photoshop's features, since Photoshop is aimed at graphic designers.
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by HairyPotter View Post

who cares about M$ products anyway. I am a book writer and I switched from Windoze/Word to Mac/Pages two years ago. I am completely satisfied with Mac and Pages. Pages has some small glitches but is far more powerful than word, despite having just 10% of the unecessary functions packed in word. So, who cares about M$.

I never expected to find JK Rowling around here.

Pages is very frustrating for handling large documents (i.e. manuscripts) on my PowerBook because it chews up processor cycles almost as fast as I thunder the keys. That spells COOLING FAN by the way, which drives me nuts. So I find myself doing text entry in TextEdit most of the time, or switching over to my Intel mini.
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xao View Post

No they don't, and I hope they don't.

I work in the corporate world and NO ONE is going to replace Office with iWork in the Corporate World. While us on the Mac's can read/write Office Docs no problem, the same can not be said in reverse about iWork and PeeCee's.

If MS drops MS Office, then I loose my ability to use my MacBook Pro at work, which would make me ENTIRELY not happy.

Yes, I still use Parallel's for my Outlook/Exchange connectivity, and yes, the current Entourage will connect to our Exchange server here, but I have found that Parallels is just about as fast if not faster than Rosetta. :/

Now I agree, iWork does what Mac's do exceptionally and that is to make "POPPING" documents. I use iWork for all of my wifes "Bulletin's" for her home based business and they look a million times better and are a heck-uv-a-lot easier to create than using Office.

However, doing my business stuff, I still prefer MS Office.

They both have their place and whether you like it or not, if you want Mac to continue to grow market share (and don't we all?), they still need to have entrenched business applications available.

I use Quickbooks Pro for the Mac and I struggle with the loss of functionality from the Windows side, but I still use and purchase it in the hopes that it will encourage them to make a better Mac version.

No one in the corporate world is going to replace MS Office with iWork because no one in the corporate world uses Macs. And if you are a Mac user in the corporate world, iWork (with an Excel-compatible spreadsheet) would be just fine.
post #31 of 54
This is ridiculous, on MSFT's part. And, a major disaster for people like me.

As a previous poster pointed out, if you work in or with the corporate world -- and a lot of us Mac users do -- there is no hope of abandoning MS Office. Keynote is all well and fine, but there are still major incompatibilities with PPT (esp. when the formatting starts to get fancy, or one uses non-traditional symbols), and one wastes too much time redoing stuff. And, you can't work in most businesses without Excel.

Already, I am finding that people are sending me PPT files in Office 2007 that I am unable to open on my Mac.

I certainly don't -- and there are millions like me that don't -- plan to abandon MS Office anytime soon.

You know the worst part: Having to put up with Windows users' snarky "gee, you Mac people are really backward....." cr4p.

I can't believe that Apple is not giving them hell. In my opinion, this will slow adoption of Macs more than anything else.
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

Oh, c'mon. The key to Office on the Mac has always been file and macro compatibility with Office for Windows. Office 2008 for Mac won't have macro compatibility.

So there's no advantage for buying Office compared to iWork. They both support the same file types. Office has ZERO advantage over iWork.

Office for the Mac is dead. Wake up. Microsoft is clearly abandoning it.

I receive a lot fewer Word docs than I used to. Everyone seems to like PDF instead for some reason. For the most part the Word docs I do receive are one way in my direction. I'm am almost never required to edit them and send them some where else.

Excel, on the other hand is important not so much as in functions and macros compatibility but in simply being able to add records like some sudo database. I wish I had Access for Mac.

By in large the corporate types around here don't mind if you use a Mac as long as you can say "Don't worry it has Office just like PCs" After that they don't seem to care even if you use Office or not as long as you get the work done.

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post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xao View Post

No they don't, and I hope they don't.

I work in the corporate world and NO ONE is going to replace Office with iWork in the Corporate World. While us on the Mac's can read/write Office Docs no problem, the same can not be said in reverse about iWork and PeeCee's.

If MS drops MS Office, then I loose my ability to use my MacBook Pro at work, which would make me ENTIRELY not happy.

Yes, I still use Parallel's for my Outlook/Exchange connectivity, and yes, the current Entourage will connect to our Exchange server here, but I have found that Parallels is just about as fast if not faster than Rosetta. :/

Now I agree, iWork does what Mac's do exceptionally and that is to make "POPPING" documents. I use iWork for all of my wifes "Bulletin's" for her home based business and they look a million times better and are a heck-uv-a-lot easier to create than using Office.

However, doing my business stuff, I still prefer MS Office.

They both have their place and whether you like it or not, if you want Mac to continue to grow market share (and don't we all?), they still need to have entrenched business applications available.

I use Quickbooks Pro for the Mac and I struggle with the loss of functionality from the Windows side, but I still use and purchase it in the hopes that it will encourage them to make a better Mac version.

Thanks for a rational post. Seriously. iwork is very cool. I use it at work to create our brochures and marketing documents and it looks fantastic. However, I spend a lot of time on a computer typing massive reports, grant applications, papers etc....and Pages just is not up to the task. I like Pages. A lot. But for just typing a simple word (lowercase 'w') document, Word seems to be more appropriate. Then of course there is Excel. I figure Excel is (in my opinion of course) the best application Microsoft makes. I use a lot of the extended functionality and it is extremely powerful (but please MS add support for more rows and colums). In addition of course there is cross compatibility - yes Pages can export to Word and it does a decent but not perfect job. However, I get a lot of templates from granting agencies for example that only work in Word and Excel. I need both suites on my computer quite frankly and I have zero problem with that.

As for performance. I know a lot of peopel bash Office for being slow, but on my (admitedly old) 1.25GHz G4 PowerBook Pages and Keynote simply hang and are much slower than MS Office. Not surprisingly as they are so graphics rich. But still for me, Office is much more responsive.

I've always thought that this is one area where MS and Apple truly are synergistic.
post #34 of 54
@bikertwin

MS for the Mac dead? That's why their revenue increased 72% for Mac Office compared to whatever it was, like 18% for the Windows platform.

Not sure what business you are in, but when a unit of my business increases sales/revenue by 72%, I like it.
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is ridiculous, on MSFT's part. And, a major disaster for people like me.

As a previous poster pointed out, if you work in or with the corporate world -- and a lot of us Mac users do -- there is no hope of abandoning MS Office. Keynote is all well and fine, but there are still major incompatibilities with PPT (esp. when the formatting starts to get fancy, or one uses non-traditional symbols), and one wastes too much time redoing stuff. And, you can't work in most businesses without Excel.

Already, I am finding that people are sending me PPT files in Office 2007 that I am unable to open on my Mac.

I certainly don't -- and there are millions like me that don't -- plan to abandon MS Office anytime soon.

You know the worst part: Having to put up with Windows users' snarky "gee, you Mac people are really backward....." cr4p.

I can't believe that Apple is not giving them hell. In my opinion, this will slow adoption of Macs more than anything else.

Just like delaying Leopard isn't helping much, sure, they are selling a lot of them, but think about how many people are waiting until it comes out. I expect them to go up a lot more. I don't think Apple can complain about delays right now.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xao View Post

...if you want Mac to continue to grow market share (and don't we all?), they still need to have entrenched business applications available.

Precisely. By dint if its sheer ubiquity, Office is an essential application, warts and all.

I work at an organization that has a preponderance of Windows machines, and as anantksundaram points out in this thread, it's a pain in the a when you have to listen to the snide asides of users who have the newest iteration of Office. Fittingly enough, they tend to complain not only about Mac users but ANY user who hasn't updated to the newest version. Microsoft doesn't make it easy on anyone.

And that's the sad point. As someone who uses software from numerous vendors, it continues to amaze me how buggy and lackluster many of Microsoft's products are, even by comparison with applications from small scale software companies. Redmond brings in ENORMOUS revenue each quarter not so much as a consequence of excellence but sheer saturation. What a pisser.

post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sybaritic View Post

Precisely. By dint if its sheer ubiquity, Office is an essential application, warts and all.

I work at an organization that has a preponderance of Windows machines, and as anantksundaram points out in this thread, it's a pain in the a when you have to listen to the snide asides of users who have the newest iteration of Office. Fittingly enough, they tend to complain not only about Mac users but ANY user who hasn't updated to the newest version. Microsoft doesn't make it easy on anyone.

And that's the sad point. As someone who uses software from numerous vendors, it continues to amaze me how buggy and lackluster many of Microsoft's products are, even by comparison with applications from small scale software companies. Redmond brings in ENORMOUS revenue each quarter not so much as a consequence of excellence but sheer saturation. What a pisser.


I like the juxtaposition of coyness on 'a--' and the lack of it on that last word!
post #38 of 54
Look the posters here are 100% correct, there is no replacement for Microsoft word in the coporate enviroment. Apple need MS office becuase without it there is no chance in hell that many of the Mac's being used today in the enterprise would have got through the door without it. We are not talking about branding we are talking about corporate standards.

i.e. XYZ Inc has standardised their entire IT infrastructure accross their global business, Cisco in the network, Dell in the server room, Windows and Exchange, Goldmine for CRM and MS Office for all document creating/editing. There is no chance of getting a mac through that door unless the Mac can run the same applications, so anyone who thinks that MS Office is not needed is barking up the wrong tree.
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphyweb View Post

Look the posters here are 100% correct, there is no replacement for Microsoft word in the coporate enviroment. Apple need MS office becuase without it there is no chance in hell that many of the Mac's being used today in the enterprise would have got through the door without it. We are not talking about branding we are talking about corporate standards.

i.e. XYZ Inc has standardised their entire IT infrastructure accross their global business, Cisco in the network, Dell in the server room, Windows and Exchange, Goldmine for CRM and MS Office for all document creating/editing. There is no chance of getting a mac through that door unless the Mac can run the same applications, so anyone who thinks that MS Office is not needed is barking up the wrong tree.

Nonsense.

Apocalyptic scenarios were justified several years ago, but are outdated now.
You guys are fighting the last war, instead of the upcoming one.

You will notice that the Mac survives in corporate environments without Goldmine, ACT, Access, MS Project or even a decent version of QuickBooks. At one time or another, I've heard that not having that particular app was going to doom Apple's chances in the Corporate space.

Word and Excel in 2007 is no different.

These are legacy apps that are largely matched now by NeoOffice, Mariner and iWork.
OpenOffice will be joining the party within a matter of months.

Sure, some jobs will require one of MS Office's special features, but 90% of users will be satisfied by the free NeoOffice and the relatively cheap Mariner Office and those who insist on UI nirvana will buy iWork Pro. The Mac productivity market will only gain energy and momentum if Redmond leaves and they know it.

And if taking Office off the table is what it takes for Apple to take iWork seriously and also fix the Address Book-iCal-Mail triad, I say bring it on.
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post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Nonsense......You will notice that the Mac survives in corporate environments without Goldmine, ACT, Access, MS Project or even a decent version of QuickBooks.

Have you worked in a regular, large-firm office in the past decade?

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