Universal Microsoft Office for Mac to get new UI

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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, according to APC.



"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," wrote David Flynn, who met with Microsoft's Mac Business Unit (MacBU) during the company's 2006 Hardware Launch in Seattle.



Design and usability testing on the new suite interface is already underway in the MacBU labs at Redmond and Cupertino, and it's reported that the team has already made one trip back to the drawing board based on user feedback.



"We will be doing a UI refresh," said Mary Starman, the MacBU group product manager, "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."



While Microsoft remained mum on any new feature or substance enhancements to the software, currently code-named Office 12, it did say it is being rebuilt as an Intel-friendly Universal Binary application. It will also adopt the native XML file formats of its Windows sibling, Microsoft Office 2007.



"One of the big things we?re working on for the next version of Office is picking up the new XML file formats of Office 2007 for windows" said Starman. "As (the Office for Windows team) get through chunks we port things over, but we won?t be able to do our final testing on file formats and compatibility until they release office 2007"



Starman said Microsoft will release the new Mac version of Office 6 to 8 months after Office 2007 is released for Windows in January. The timeframe implies a Mac release between the months of July and September.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    6-9 months after the windows version? Ouch!! I'll have 15 out of 31 macs in my office on Intel Macs by then. They'll all be running rosetta all day long and Excel won't be able to do ODBC imports. Sorry MacBU, I really like Excel but I'm going to start playing with NeoOffice/OOoffice



    Michael
  • Reply 2 of 30
    I say we just wait till iWork '07 is out. Rumor has it that it will have a spreadsheet app.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    I'm just glad to hear that there's hope that the UI won't be as ridiculous as the new Office Vista UI. I've heard the the Vista version changes everything around so it's difficult to access the functions you use frequently. I've noticed that about the Vista UI in general.



    I've noticed that the latest Microsoft mantra seems to be "make all tasks more complicated, and maybe the computer illiterate won't be able to screw things up so quickly".
  • Reply 4 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JakeTheRock


    I say we just wait till iWork '07 is out. Rumor has it that it will have a spreadsheet app.



    says who?
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Ok, I heard it from a freind, who read it somewhere on the internet
  • Reply 6 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbaynham


    says who?



    You don't remember. This is "old news". I think ThinkSecret has posted an article or two on it.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdj21ya


    I'm just glad to hear that there's hope that the UI won't be as ridiculous as the new Office Vista UI.



    Yeah, everything I've read says the 2007 Office UI is a complete disaster. But if the Mac version is still only half as bad, it'd still be 10x worse than it needs to be.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Actually the 2007 Office UI doesn't look that bad. I saw a demo video of it a while back (sorry, don't have the link) and I think it might actually work pretty well. I was very skeptical until I saw that video. It does seem to make it a lot easier to access a lot of the more advanced features that were buried before. You can tell they took a lot of notes from Apple's UIs and then went from there. So don't panic just yet, I have a feeling we'll end up liking whatever the MBU puts out (I have no connection to the MBU or M$, this is just my opinion).
  • Reply 9 of 30
    It looks like the new office UI for windows took a lot from the latest mac version; the formatting palette is almost like those toolbar things in the new windows office. Except the formatting palette is a vertical thing, which makes sense as you don't use the space either side of a standard vertical document. The windows toolbar things will only be decent if it can be vertical... \



    I really like the office for mac, so hopefully they keep the formatting palette; my favourite feature of it!
  • Reply 10 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kolchak


    Yeah, everything I've read says the 2007 Office UI is a complete disaster. But if the Mac version is still only half as bad, it'd still be 10x worse than it needs to be.



    You've probably heard that from Kickaha.



    The new Office has actually done extremely well in user testing, lots of users are finding commands they never knew existed, etc. The only people who've said bad things about it haven't used it.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Well of *course* it's going to be better than the old Office UI... *any* steaming pile of shit would be.



    That doesn't mean it's good, or that the ribbon is a better widget than menus.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    User feedback? Where is their e-mail or web form for that? I have tried to send them serious bugs and flaws that still cripple Word, PowerPoint and other Office products for ages.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phasornc


    They'll all be running rosetta all day long and Excel won't be able to do ODBC imports.



    Michael



    Don't know if it will help, but you might look at this:



    http://www.actualtechnologies.com/product_access.php



    Haven't looked into it that much, but I've kept the address on file in case I get overly energetic and start on a project I've been thinking about.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phasornc


    6-9 months after the windows version? Ouch!! I'll have 15 out of 31 macs in my office on Intel Macs by then. They'll all be running rosetta all day long and Excel won't be able to do ODBC imports. Sorry MacBU, I really like Excel but I'm going to start playing with NeoOffice/OOoffice



    Michael



    Yeah, that's a long time if you need to use any of the Office stuff (which I do). Have you found on any of your Intel Macs which is faster, Office in Rosetta, or Office in Parallel? Would be curious to know (especially Word).
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Well I just won't purchase a new Macintosh until there are new universal versions of Office, Photoshop and Dreamweaver because I need them. That's what it will take for me to upgrade.



    On first thought, a user interface that moves stuff around so that the most frequently-used functions are easily available makes good sense.



    However, and unfortunately for a lot of people, (specially those who are not computer geniuses), this is hell or just very annoying. I still hate those stupid menus in Windows XP that "hide" your least used programs and least used functions in Office. You can turn this "feature" off but many don't know how to do this.



    I like Microsoft alright but sometimes their UI don't quite satisfy me. I can use Office alright but I must admit that it's not very intuitive. You sort of format your brain to use Office but it seems overly cluttered and complicated.



    iWork needs its Spreadsheets app fast.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Hey, I'm happy to see Office 2007 is there for the Mac, and they respect the Mac GUI guidelines, so lets applaud Microsoft for that! (Even though I personally use iWork 06)
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    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, according to APC.

    .



    Oh. So this actually means "it will shipped during the fourth quarter of 2008".
  • Reply 18 of 30
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,219moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mzaslove


    Have you found on any of your Intel Macs which is faster, Office in Rosetta, or Office in Parallel? Would be curious to know (especially Word).



    Office in Parallels is faster than office in Rosetta. In Parallels, it launches nearly instantly. Very snappy. You just need 1GB Ram minimum so you can allocate enough to Windows.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,792member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monkeyastronaut


    iWork needs its Spreadsheets app fast.



    The platform now has a fairly up-to-date spreadsheet app, which costs just $50.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    I just hope you can disable the interface that moves things around automatically. I have Word and Excel set up so that 95% of what I need to do is available in the toolbars, and none of the stuff I don't need is there. I know right where everything is. Customizing the toolbars makes Word work great for me. If they make it like the Vista Version so that the toolbars change automatically depending on what I'm doing in my document, I'll be pissed if I can't turn that off.



    As far as having to go deep into the menus for certain things, it's true that some of their formatting options are a pain in the ass (like table formatting and graphics formatting). For many things, though, you can set a button in the toolbar and not have to go into the menus at all. You can put separators in so it's really easy to find things.



    (The main thing I don't like about Office is there is still too much automatic stuff you can't turn off - if I type a date as Jul/2006 in Excel, it automatically changes it to either Jul-06 or Jul-2006. I have to change every cell. If I insert a hyperlink into Word, the Web toolbar automatically adds itself below my other toolbars, even though I don't want it).
Sign In or Register to comment.