Microsoft previews development version of Office 2008 for Mac (images)

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Microsoft Corp. at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco this week is offering attendees a sneak preview of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. Well, part of it, at least.



The Redmond, Wash-based software giant is previewing the next-generation of Word, its word processing and document creation software due as part of the combined suite sometime in the second half of this year.



Microsoft said it chose to showcase Word during the conference because it's further along in its development cycle than the other Office components, and "because it's the Office application people use most."



One of its highlights is a new user interface dubbed "Elements Gallery." It 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, which embraced the concept of clutter with its gazillion Office toolbar variations during the '90s, is taking a more level-headed approach with Office 2008 and has built the template interface directly into the document window. Other template libraries cover "Charts," "Tables," "Smart Art Graphics," and "Word Art."



Additionally the new version of Word features a "Publishing Layout View" that lets users create incredibly layout-rich documents such as newsletters, fliers and brochures by uncovering desktop publishing layout tools and providing text box entry.



Elements Gallery user interface as seen at Macworld San Francisco 2007



During its presentation at Macworld, Microsoft also previewed My Day -- a stand-alone widget-like application that allows users to track priorities and stay on top of daily activities no matter what application they?re currently working in. It interfaces directly with Entourage -- another component of Microsoft Office -- offering at-a-glance schedule and task viewing without having to launch Entourage.



Though not on display at Macworld, a new version of Excel will add support for "Ledger Sheets," enabling anyone to use spreadsheet application to handle common financial management tasks. "Home and small-business users can balance checkbooks, track accounts or manage investment portfolios more easily than ever," Microsoft said in a statement earlier this week.



Microsoft Word, shipping later this year as part of Office: Mac 2008



Of course, the real push behind the new version of office will be its Universal Binary format, which will run natively on both Apple's PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.



"With Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, we focused on what our users want the most -- compatibility with PCs, along with unique features for their Mac experience," Roz Ho, general manager for the Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU).



My Day, shipping later this year as part of Office: Mac 2008



She said customers have requested want quick access to tools and features within Office, and that those improvements can be seen in enhancements like Elements Gallery, which draws off of the company's new cross-platform graphics engine called Office Art 2.0.



Ho said another important change is that Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac (like Office 2007 for Windows ) will be based in the Office Open XML Format -- which was approved in December by the standards body ECMA International as an international standard.



"Office for Mac users will benefit from the ability to access raw XML data within the file without having to parse the entire document, and ZIP-based container technology, allowing for easier recovery of corrupted documents and smaller file sizes," she said.



For additional photos of Word 2008, please see the Office 2008 photo gallery published separately.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    May I be the first to say: looks like a nice UI!
  • Reply 2 of 47
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 185member
    I know and have worked with some of the guys over at MacBU, so I won't be so kind!!! ;-)



    Honestly though, shouldn't these guys have learned about good applicaiton design by now? I know that the MacBU is resource deprived and a true bastard of MS (i use to give them my throw away servers if you want to know how bad it can get).



    But honestly again... sure its beta... but look at the toolbar! i will excuse the cut-off bug for now... but come on guys... tabs with underlinying tabbish buttons for filters???? what gives.



    Btw - anyone know if they still rape the documents folder where their garbage? for God's sake put it in your Application Support folder... or give the user full control!!!



    okay... i am getting mellow again.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iPilya View Post


    I know and have worked with some of the guys over at MacBU, so I won't be so kind!!! ;-)



    Honestly though, shouldn't these guys have learned about good applicaiton design by now? I know that the MacBU is resource deprived and a true bastard of MS (i use to give them my throw away servers if you want to know how bad it can get).



    But honestly again... sure its beta... but look at the toolbar! i will excuse the cut-off bug for now... but come on guys... tabs with underlinying tabbish buttons for filters???? what gives.



    Btw - anyone know if they still rape the documents folder where their garbage? for God's sake put it in your Application Support folder... or give the user full control!!!



    okay... i am getting mellow again.



    If you're gonna play the "disgruntled former employee" role, at least do it with style.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    That UI fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down!
  • Reply 5 of 47
    >_>>_> Posts: 336member
    Fisher Price Edition.



    - Xidius
  • Reply 6 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    In typical MS fashion, they couldn't even keep the My Day widget from getting cluttered.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Starting to look like Pages to me ... other than the toolbars.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    Poor bastards. I really feel for them.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    That UI fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down!



    Trust me that is not disgruntled. A part of that was a joke, though the UI is really... words escape me it is that bad!



    To be honest about the MacBU, They are the absolute pit of sewers in the corporate eye. During my tenure there, I honestly never once saw any equal treatment to the group despite the profitability. Also, I am sure things are still the same and the group does not have "permission" to truly innovate the product and bring to where it should be.





    Pilya
  • Reply 10 of 47
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Judging by that interface, I think they are trying to get people to switch to iWork so they can stop developing for the Mac
  • Reply 11 of 47
    It looks "fine". 6 months before release, and based on 2 or 3 screen shots, it seems difficult to dicount it out of hand. For me Pages can't replace Word, I don't need to make flyers or news letters - I need to write business docments, and be able to share them with the oher 97% of the computing public. Why in the name of all that's holy did apple depend on MS for the most basic of applications in the first place? iWork is too little, too late.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    Yep. They saw Pages at work and it was this or give up. Seems they caught onto the Widget idea too. Imitation is the sincerest form...
  • Reply 13 of 47
    Is Office's new "Office Open XML Format" really open? Does that mean Apple can adopt it for Pages, and have native compatibility with new versions of Office?
  • Reply 14 of 47
    I'm a little confused about the "My Day" thing.



    Why do I want something always floating in my face that tells me:
    • A repeat of the date and time that's always in the corner of my screen

    • My own name

    • A couple of the many things on my schedule, with confusing red and blue thingies

    • Several buttons that let me refresh windows... wha?

    It's the last one that really shows the difference between Apple and Microsoft. If Apple showed off software that offered some mechanical, geeky, incomprehensible refresh buttons like that, someone would get fired.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by k2director View Post


    Is Office's new "Office Open XML Format" really open? Does that mean Apple can adopt it for Pages, and have native compatibility with new versions of Office?



    Pages doesn't have anywhere near the features office does. It works for writing a report, but it won't work for high end office users. Not everything apple makes is some kind of world beater.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    "Microsoft, which embraced the concept of clutter with its gazillion Office toolbar variations during the '90s, is taking a more level-headed approach with Office 2008 and has built the template interface directly into the document window. Other template libraries cover "Charts," "Tables," "Smart Art Graphics," and "Word Art.""



    This is horrible, horrible. The rows of 'tools' are so tall - taking inches away from the document, so you can't even see a full page on a 20" screen. And every document has these 'tools' at the top of it. So with multiple documents open, you get multiple copies of space-guzzling buttons and tabs.



    I happen to like the current Word and Excel interfaces. I can add tools to the toolbars (permanently) to cover almost every task I do regularly, and I know where every tool is. (I turn off all the automatic crap that's so annoying, because half the time the automatic stuff does something I don't want, so I have to undo it).



    Look at the photos in the other AppleInsider story about this - it's horrible. I was hoping they would only do this to Windows users. (Sorry if I'm a little incoherent).
  • Reply 17 of 47
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Jesus christ, toolbars gallore! My eyes!
  • Reply 18 of 47
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by k2director View Post


    Is Office's new "Office Open XML Format" really open? Does that mean Apple can adopt it for Pages, and have native compatibility with new versions of Office?



    Any text field in 10.5's Cocoa will have support for Office Open XML as well as OASIS OpenDocument. That includes iWork.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker View Post


    Any text field in 10.5's Cocoa will have support for Office Open XML as well as OASIS OpenDocument. That includes iWork.



    I think you and the OP have different definitions of "interopability". Sure iWork will be able to read documents created by Office 2007. But it just strips the text out of them. It won't retain most of the formatting. So the document looks like sh*t when you open it in TextEdit or Pages. iWork lacks 90% of Office's features. So whenever iWork/Cocoa/whatever encounters a feature it doesn't understand it'll just show garbage. Just because iWork can "read" the document doesn't mean it understands the document.



    If you want proof, open a semi-complex Word document in TextEdit right now. Apple claimed in Tiger that TextEdit (and other Cocoa applications) can open Office documents "seamlessly". Yet when I open a Word document in TextEdit that my coworkers gave me, it looks like somebody threw up on the screen. Even the Table of Contents is mangled beyond recognition. TextEdit outright ignores most of the document and mangles the remaining 20%. You can bet that Leopard's support of Office 2007 will be the same.



    So yes, you will be able to open those Office 2007 documents in Pages come Leopard. Just don't expect those documents to look anything like the Word document you received. And don't even get me started on Excel documents...
  • Reply 20 of 47
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rmcgann220 View Post


    I think you and the OP have different definitions of "interopability". Sure iWork will be able to read documents created by Office 2007. But it just strips the text out of them. It won't retain most of the formatting. So the document looks like sh*t when you open it in TextEdit or Pages. iWork lacks 90% of Office's features. So whenever iWork/Cocoa/whatever encounters a feature it doesn't understand it'll just show garbage. Just because iWork can "read" the document doesn't mean it understands the document.



    If you want proof, open a semi-complex Word document in TextEdit right now. Apple claimed in Tiger that TextEdit (and other Cocoa applications) can open Office documents "seamlessly". Yet when I open a Word document in TextEdit that my coworkers gave me, it looks like somebody threw up on the screen. Even the Table of Contents is mangled beyond recognition. TextEdit outright ignores most of the document and mangles the remaining 20%. You can bet that Leopard's support of Office 2007 will be the same.



    So yes, you will be able to open those Office 2007 documents in Pages come Leopard. Just don't expect those documents to look anything like the Word document you received. And don't even get me started on Excel documents...



    Hmmmm, quick thought.

    Maybe Preview can "Preview" them properly in Leopard?



    Sebastian
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