In the Mood for Microsoft Office? Have an Apple Instead

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple has just released iWork 2008. New additions, such as a spreadsheet called "Numbers", are impressive but the real excitement is over iWork's ability to handle the Open XML file format. This particular format is native to Microsoft's Office 2007 application suite.

Until now, no application has been more important for the long-term survival of Mac than Microsoft Office. However, Apple's new iWork may change this fact.

Why is Microsoft no longer the only drug that can keep Mac healthy? Quick answer: the Redmond-based company contracted its own illness; Microsoft faced problems in its development of Office 2008 for Mac. The biggest issue is the shift to Open XML as Office 2008's innate file format. As well, releasing conversion tools that allow previous editions of Mac suite to work with Office 2007's Open XML documents has been a slow process.

Apple's recent innovations have really given Microsoft a bad image. According to Michael Gartenberg, a spokesperson for JupiterResearch, "This was the ultimate insult to injury. Not only has Microsoft not delivered the ability to read and write Open XML in its Mac Office, but at the end of the day, Apple was the one who delivered." (Source:

While the shift to Intel on Mac computers has been difficult for all of the major vendors, Microsoft is the only one that has not managed to transfer its applications to Intel. There is really no excuse for this tardiness since Microsoft -- one of the oldest Mac developers -- has a lot of experience with this type of issue.

Nevertheless, a plethora of excuses have been provided by Microsoft representatives. The top two are:

1. The Mac Office folks have a ton of stuff they are working on for the next version, so it's not surprising that you aren't seeing full Open XML support until they reach that point.

2. Office for the Mac is just not a real priority for Microsoft.


Microsoft has let down its Mac customers and now Office may take a back seat to iWork.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet