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Office 2008 to present script, format issues

updated 03:45 am EDT, Thu July 19, 2007

Office 2008 challenges

When Microsoft releases Office 2008 for Mac OS X (currently in beta) later this year, upgraders will face significant challenges, including the elimination of Visual Basic for Applications scripts and macros -- a factor that will obviate cross-platform capabilities for many organizations. Use of a new file format, OOXML, will also present some issues. The new format is also not compatible with Office 2003 on Windows and Office 2004 on Mac OS X. In order to prepare for the document format shift, Microsoft has released a preliminary conversion package and plans a final version, while Apple reportedly will deliver a copy of TextEdit with Leopard that has the capability to open and save .docx (OOXML) files. Still, the tool strips Office 2007 files of their attached VBA scripts and macros. The Mac BU will ship an updated version of the conversion tool that will allow "editable access to VBA macros sent from Office 2007 users," according to eWeek though no date for that release has yet been set. Presenting an added hurdle, Office 2004 users will have to save documents in new .docm (for Word) or .xlsm (for Excel) formats in order to deal with Windows security concerns. Several users lament Microsoft's decision to encourage transition from Visual Basic to AppleScript; the latter is not cross-platform.

by MacNN Staff



  1. tbo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Drop it!

    What's the use of Office:Mac, if it is not compatible? I'd rather get or NeoOffice -- and the interface is not cluttered with useless and distracting "ribbons". The team over there seems to forget everything about the OS interface: simplicity. But perhaps uncle Bil wants it to be a desaster...

  1. PBG4 User

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's the point?

    What's the point of buying a version of MS Office that's incompatible with almost every other version of Office? Killing VBA on Office:Mac will kill MS Office on Mac. I certainly won't bother to upgrade from v.X since my current version has more functionality than the version about to be released and when has that ever happened with an MS product?

  1. doctor9

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not too good on PC either

    The OOXML format change is not going over too well on the PC side, either. Too many users on the older Office version to make this a standard or even purchase 2007 due to this new format.

    In the end, what exactly am I gaining by getting a new Office, either Mac or PC, that I don't already have? I've yet to hear a feature that would benefit my needs much less counter the loss of VB.

    I think the MS Cash Cow is looking a bit fatty these days!


  1. coldfusion1970

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Thank goodness i dont have Microsoft Office on my Mac. I'm looking forward to using or NeoOffice when they are more 'Mac like'.

  1. dawho9

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Default File Format

    This is kinda a non-story isn't it. Here is why.

    VBA Support. They announced that this was going away about 6 months ago. So nothing new there. The little note about being able to edit Office 2007 macros is interesting.

    File Format. Didn't everyone know that M$ released a new file format with Office 2007? Currently Office 2007 users cannot share files with Office 2003 users unless that 2003 user has installed the compatibility pack. So this will be the same deal with Office 2008 (Mac). If you want to share a file with someone using Office 2004 (Mac) than you will need to save in the old format or the other user will need to have the compatibility pack on their machines.

    The real question is this. In Office 2008 can you set the default file format back to .doc? I know a few places that have upgraded to Office 2007 but set the default file format back to 97-2003 instead. If that feature exists, then there would be absolutely no reason not to upgrade (with the exception of the VBA note above) as all of your files are in the old format and you can share with the world.

    I have no clue what they are talking about with the security concerns and docm and xlsm files??? Simply strange.

    On a side note, I wonder if the same space savings will be seen on the Mac side as on the Windows side for file size (I assume it will). We switched over to Office 2007 this summer and converted the files on our SAN and saved over 2.6TB of disk space. That was kinda nice!


  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no vba = better security

    I am now recommending Mac users to get Microsoft Office 2008 over NeoOffice now or even, now that there is a virus out for OOo and NeoOffice can do visual basic. The VBA is the reason why we have viruses in MS Office documents. Unfortunately, the NeoOffice and OOo have a scripting language in their office documents too and now have a virus exploiting it. I am glad I no longer need Office suites - now I use Dreamweaver, LaTeX, and Pages for my different former uses of office suites.

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If its not broken, fix it

    No VBA will upset some corporates, but maybe they should switch over to using REALBasic instead? It's fully cross platform, even working on Linux.

    As for the file format, there is already a very good ISO standard file format used by OpenOffice so why does MS need to create another? Oh yes, I forgot, they want to own everything.

    I just bought 2 copies of MS Office 2004 for Mac and am now wondering if that was a good decision. Why does MS insist on locking buyers of Office to Windows as well? I am quite happy using Office on a Mac, but I will not use buggy, clunky, chunky Windows as an OS. I can't afford the risk!

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Has anyone wondered why..

    Has anyone wondered why Microsoft has become moribund while Apple is vibrant?

    Whereas Apple decided to produce great products with great customer appeal, Microsoft has decided to drop real quality all-together by ignoring what customers experiences are like.

    Frankly, I cant wait till Microsoft dies!!!!!!!!!

  1. trevc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    one more reason

    It is however, ONE MORE REASON for the corporate world 'not' to embrace the Mac.

    Also one more reason for me to go with some other product. I've used VB macros in Excel to help out, but now it seems I'm doing more in FileMaker as it has that 'excel' type row/column layout view (although not everyone can afford)

    All in All, the majority of people only need a slightly beefed up text editor ... can't justify the purchase or even upgrade to Office 2008.

    Is this the last major version from MicroS? (can't remember their commitment)

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Typical Microsoft

    Typical Microsoft making a new product WORSE instead of improving it. Go Microsoft, no wonder why your losing business to Apple. IDIOTS!

    No this is one more reason not to embrace Microsoft and the problem exists on the PC version too Trevc

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