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Microsoft expanding Mac team ahead of new products

post #1 of 86
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Microsoft's Mac Business Unit last week kicked off the largest hiring spree in its history as the group prepares to accelerate development of a new wave of software products for Apple users.

"The Mac BU at Microsoft is growing - were launching our biggest hiring initiative since the inception of MacBU eleven years ago," said Craig Eisler, General Manager of the Mac BU at Microsoft. "We are hard at work planning for products beyond Office 2008, and we are growing our team to help turn our vision into reality."

Microsoft's Mac chief didn't elaborate on exactly what those future products and directions would entail, though he did promise prospective hires the opportunity to work for the "the brightest, coolest, and most interesting business unit at Microsoft" where the "free caffeine, [...] milk and juice" will be ever flowing.

When pressed for details, a spokesperson for the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant would say only that the company expects to release new versions of Office for Mac every 2 to 3 years.

"We expect this to be the case with our next release," the spokersperson said. "Were still the in early stages of planning and have nothing more to share at this time."

The Mac Business unit was originally conceived in the months leading up to Macworld Expo 1997 as part of a compromise between Apple and Microsoft. Under the terms of the deal, Apple agreed to bundle Internet Explorer for Mac on all the systems it sold in order to help Microsoft thwart Netscape's efforts to provide a true cross-platform browser.

In return, Microsoft agreed to pump $150 million into the then beleaguered Mac maker, cease threatening to delay Office 98 for Mac, and commit to developing new versions of the productivity suite for Apple customers for the next five years.

The pact helped the Mac BU quickly gain status as the second largest Mac software developer behind Apple. Although it would inevitably relinquish that title in the years that followed, the group today still bills itself as "one of the largest dedicated Mac software development organizations outside of Apple."

It's believed the Mac BU currently employs around 180 people whose products -- including Office, Messenger, and Remote Desktop Client -- combine to generate over $350 million in revenues each year.

Readers interested in additional history of Microsoft's relationship with Apple, as well as the origins of Office for Mac, are encouraged to check out AppleInsider's recent six-part series: Road to Office 2008.
post #2 of 86
I hope they hire people who can write decent performance-optimised code and deliver a version of Office that's faster than the previous version instead of fifteen times slower.
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post #3 of 86
Perhaps this is a sign of Microsoft's desire to port their products to Cocoa. After all, it is known that Carbon will not become 100% 64bit capable.
post #4 of 86
Money for Mac?
post #5 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

where the "free caffeine, [...] milk and juice" will be ever flowing.


I remember when I was in my 20s and used to think that sort of thing was cool. I'm SO glad I'm grown up now, rich, and don't give a shit about working 80 hours a week at a dot com with free soda and foosball outside my office. Get a life, people...
post #6 of 86
Anybody else wondering what is missing from this quote?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's Mac chief didn't elaborate on exactly what those future products and directions would entail, though he did promise prospective hires the opportunity to work for the "the brightest, coolest, and most interesting business unit at Microsoft" where the "free caffeine, [...] milk and juice" will be ever flowing.
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post #7 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by McHuman View Post

I remember when I was in my 20s and used to think that sort of thing was cool. I'm SO glad I'm grown up now, rich, and don't give a shit about working 80 hours a week at a dot com with free soda and foosball outside my office. Get a life, people...

So, it was ok for you to think it was cool when you were in your twenties (aparently on your way to getting rich) but it is now something that only losers have interest in?

A little too cool for ourselves, are we?
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post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGar View Post

Money for Mac?

Publisher for Mac?
post #9 of 86
how about giving us feature parity with the windows version of messenger? i'm guessing they hired a bunch more people who are experts in bloat for office...
post #10 of 86
DirectX for mac? or maybe even MSN Messenger client with working webcam!!!!!!!1!1!!!
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post #11 of 86
office for iPhone?

+ all of apple's new ms exchange integration might lead to more revenue possibilities for ms

actually i'd like apple to offer a mobile me for the soho market - a 10-20 license version that can be used with your own domain - and then make headway into the exchange arena
post #12 of 86
Mr. H Language Police-

Sorry to go off topic, but I had to comment on your tagline - I love it. Please address these if you haven't before:

your/you're
there/their
then/than
here/hear
to/too
post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofino View Post

how about giving us feature parity with the windows version of messenger? i'm guessing they hired a bunch more people who are experts in bloat for office...

Amen, brother!

Cross-platform video chatting in MSN needs to be implemented. Not being able to video or audio chat with folks on a Windows PC after all these years is simply unacceptable.

My two cents.
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post #14 of 86
How about if they get their current products (for which we've paid hundreds in upgrade fees) working in a satisfactory manner first before coming out with these great, new caffeine-fueled wonders?
post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by VertiGoGo View Post

Cross-platform video chatting in MSN needs to be implemented. Not being able to video or audio chat with folks on a Windows PC after all these years is simply unacceptable.

Yes very true. Although I was very pleased to finally be able to chat with my PC friends using iChat on the Mac and AIM on the PC. We do so all the time now. Because of this many have stopped using MSN on their PCs and switched to AIM.
post #16 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It's believed the Mac BU currently employs around 180 people

Including cleaning and kitchen staff no doubt.

At the end of the day, no mater how many people MBU hire, they work for Microsoft and if they make the Mac version of Office better than or even equal to the Windows version, they are in trouble because it gives people fewer reasons to use Windows.

The fewer people using Windows, the fewer developers making Windows-only software. Gradually the Microsoft monopoly erodes. They just won't allow that to happen. Our experience on the Mac with Office will be painful as it has been and if it won't always be the case, at least for the next 2-3 years.
post #17 of 86
It's for the Microsoft Expression bundle and Silverlight.

Nothing more nothing less...
post #18 of 86
Am I the only one that sees this as a way better alternative to Apple and Microsoft competing with each other? It's nice to see Microsoft taking Apple seriously, wanting to work with them. it would be nicer if Apple finally dropped the jabs (even in good fun) and did the same, respecting one of their biggest partners despite the history that led them both to where they are now.

Hello, I'm the 1990s, I'm dead. Please move on without me.
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post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ive View Post

It's for the Microsoft Expression bundle and Silverlight.

Nothing more nothing less...

Microsoft Expression and Silverlight aren't in MacBU. Those are in other divisions of Microsoft. The currently-released applications from MacBU are Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Entourage), Messenger, and Remote Desktop Connection.

Regards,
Nadyne.

Nadyne Mielke | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
http://blogs.msdn.com/nadyne/
Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
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Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
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post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The pact helped the Mac BU quickly gain status as the second largest Mac software developer behind Apple. Although it would inevitably relinquish that title in the years that followed, the group today still bills itself as "one of the largest dedicated Mac software development organizations outside of Apple."

So, who took over as the next largest Mac software developer? And is this measured in product sales or number of developers?

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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Including cleaning and kitchen staff no doubt.

At the end of the day, no mater how many people MBU hire, they work for Microsoft and if they make the Mac version of Office better than or even equal to the Windows version, they are in trouble because it gives people fewer reasons to use Windows.

The fewer people using Windows, the fewer developers making Windows-only software. Gradually the Microsoft monopoly erodes. They just won't allow that to happen. Our experience on the Mac with Office will be painful as it has been and if it won't always be the case, at least for the next 2-3 years.

Actually, Microsoft probably could make more money on the Mac than Windows, if they actually started porting more of their games and software to the Mac. Alot of sales of Halo 2, Halo 3, etc. could be made on the Mac. They probably make more money on MS-Office for the Mac than MS-Office for the PC, not in total sales, but per computer.
post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by VertiGoGo View Post

Amen, brother!

Cross-platform video chatting in MSN needs to be implemented. Not being able to video or audio chat with folks on a Windows PC after all these years is simply unacceptable.

My two cents.

Cross-platform video chatting is already available in Mac Messenger, just that it's only available in corporate messenger form. Consumer Live Messenger is supposed to move to the same video protocol as corporate and Mac Messenger, but they seem to be the hold up right now.

At least this announcement reaffirms Microsoft's commitment to Mac. I bet it's targeted toward iPhone Office and as others have said the Cocoa/64-bit port. They might as well through in Grand Central and/or OpenCL support while they're doing a major rewrite.
post #23 of 86
So no one is going to rip me a new asshole over 'Publisher for the Mac'? (Post #8)

What's happened to this forum?
post #24 of 86
I think that delivering a much better Messenger and moving to 64-bit code is a given. But I will go out on a limb and guess that MS plans to bring IE back to the Mac. They may feel that they have ceded to much ground in the browser arena to both Firefox and Safari and may, in particular, see Safari on Windows as an encroachment they must respond to.
post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I hope they hire people who can write decent performance-optimised code and deliver a version of Office that's faster than the previous version instead of fifteen times slower.

You'd think that someone who calls themselves "Language Police" would avoid hyperbole.

post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

I think that delivering a much better Messenger and moving to 64-bit code is a given. But I will go out on a limb and guess that MS plans to bring IE back to the Mac. They may feel that they have ceded to much ground in the browser arena to both Firefox and Safari and may, in particular, see Safari on Windows as an encroachment they must respond to.

This would be a scream. I'm sure Mac users would just be RUSHING to download it.
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post #27 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

So no one is going to rip me a new asshole over 'Publisher for the Mac'? (Post #8)

What's happened to this forum?

My sister is actually hoping for such a critter. She has over 500 documents that she created in MS Publisher and whines every time I see her about not being able to access them since she switched to Mac. I keep telling her to get Fusion and install Windows & Publisher - - that usually shuts her up as she wants no part of Windows anymore.
post #28 of 86
Maybe, just maybe, Ballmer is scared enough to start to compete in the Mac ecosystem? Wild thought but with Mac market share growing and workable Office alternatives out there might the MBU actually be thinking about doing something about it. Probably not but it's a nice thought nonetheless.
post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadyne View Post

Microsoft Expression and Silverlight aren't in MacBU. Those are in other divisions of Microsoft. The currently-released applications from MacBU are Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Entourage), Messenger, and Remote Desktop Connection.

Regards,
Nadyne.

Nadyne Mielke | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
http://blogs.msdn.com/nadyne/

MS ACCESS say Amen. Without the annoying bugs of course.
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post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

You'd think that someone who calls themselves "Language Police" would avoid hyperbole.

Oh really? And why's that?

The sad fact of the matter is that the first version of Excel 2008 was significantly slower than Excel 2004, both running on an Intel Mac. Even though 2004 had to run via Rosetta, it could still plot a large x-y data-set over four times (no exaggeration) faster than 2008. SP1 of 2008 has made some improvements, but they've still got a long way to go where performance is concerned.
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post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AeronPrometheus View Post

it would be nicer if Apple finally dropped the jabs (even in good fun) and did the same, respecting one of their biggest partners despite the history that led them both to where they are now.

Hello, I'm the 1990s, I'm dead. Please move on without me.

Hear! Hear!
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post #32 of 86
hopefully now we'll get a decent MSN
post #33 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGar View Post

Money for Mac?

Cosign!
post #34 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

So no one is going to rip me a new asshole over 'Publisher for the Mac'? (Post #8)

What's happened to this forum?



<rrrriiipppp>

There you go.
Feeling better, btm ? :-)

What a sorry excuse for an app that pos is.
Sheeeit - I used to work prepress years ago - man, if anything helped slow the onslaught of all the would be graphic designers and desktop publishers it was that app. lol

The looks on their faces when you showed them how the app drew a line.
Not to mention the time I had to bill them for to convert their layout over into something an image setter could actually use ...
Well, I guess if you've never seen a publisher doc converted to paths you wouldn't know what the heck I was talking about - but imagine a line.
Now imagine that the line is actually described by using a very small rectangle with a fill. lots and lots and lotsa of them to describe the length. roflmao
post #35 of 86
All Microsoft software for the Mac sucks.

I thank God (or at least Steve Jobs) that Apple did not rely on Microsoft writing the ActiveSync implementation for the iPhone. You can just imagine how awful it would have been.

I pray Steve Jobs ensures the AppStore remains unsoiled by Microsoft malware.

To paraphrase someone else, the MBU should shutup shop and return the money to the shareholders.

Q. Where in the world is the OpenXML plugin for Office2004?
A. http://download.openoffice.org/3.0beta/
post #36 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's Mac chief didn't elaborate on exactly what those future products and directions would entail, though he did promise prospective hires the opportunity to work for the "the brightest, coolest, and most interesting business unit at Microsoft" where the "free caffeine, [...] milk and juice" will be ever flowing.

And there will be monthly dance-offs to determine who gets the corner office...

 
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post #37 of 86
Years ago Microsoft bought out VirtualPC from Connectix and killed it. Why they have or haven't done a Intel version, who knows? Then again, when Microsoft buys a company we know their history.
post #38 of 86
Native ODF 1.2 full compatibility/compliance.

Microsoft realizes ODF is here to stay and that OpenOffice 3.0 Cocoa is a viable threat to their Mac Business Unit.

I expect to see iWork offer something to truly keep it worth using and also compliment using OpenOffice 3.x.
post #39 of 86
What's more important, nice looking interface or feature parity with Windows versions of the applications?
post #40 of 86
Microsoft thought the OS and the browser wars were over when they dropped IE for Mac. Er, wrong on both counts. If the Mac's market share continues to grow, then we'll see more Gecko and Webkit marketshare eroding IE's dominance, in addition to all the Window's users switching to Firefox. Developers eventually could stop targeting IE altogether. This when the importance of the browser is even greater now than when MS "won" the browser wars, and could become a central target for application development if one or two javascript frameworks, such as Sproutcore, become dominant.

I predict Microsoft scrambles to catch up by releasing a new version of IE for the Mac. The problem is, they will have an extremely difficult time matching Gecko's or Webkit's cross-platform consistency, which is what makes them such attractive targets for development.
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