On Wednesday Microsoft announced a new social website, “Art of Office” a social site for Mac Users that are “pushing the boundaries of what can be done in Mac Office”. On the site, you’re supposed to upload and share the artistic creations that you’ve created using Mac Office, and share them with with the world.
Of course, Mac users are going to be really into this right?
Um no…not so much.
When the site was announced on the Mac Mojo blog (the official blog of the Mac Office Dev team) the response from Users was not positive at all. The complaints came down to one basic question “Why the hell are you guys wasting time with this art site, when you’ve just delayed MacOffice 08 until NEXT YEAR?”
The comments, from a very passionate group of Mac users, should be a clear indication to Microsoft about how Mac Users are feeling right now. Personally, I’m done with Microsoft Office. iWork is great. It does everything I need, and I have absolutely no reason to go back to Office when the new version ships.
I’m betting that I’m not alone in that.
What I want to know, though, is why on Earth Microsoft would have launched this site now in the first place? Why do this? What is the point?
This site seems completely useless to me…but I could be wrong. What do you think?d
I’m with you…no more Office for me. Let’s see, pay $79 for something made by Apple that works perfectly fine, or pay $200+ for Microsoft Office. I know, I know…some of ya gots ta have it…
Personally, I think they are trying to appeal to the Mac community to show them that Microsoft has style, too. All I have to say is: Brown Zune.
You’re right – they’re idiots. Clearly the whole “open” XML thing is done so they have time for this … Apple has “open” XML in iWork – clearly 9 lines are not that hard to write.
I think the Mac BU can do more than one thing at a time. I doubt that the development of this site had anything to do with the delay of Mac Office 08. Let’s be honest, the Mac has to have Office to continue to grow as an acceptable alternative to Windows. Not everyone wants to purchase additional software to run the Windows version. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surpised if the delay is purposeful. iWork is getting better but making it an alternative to Microsoft Office at $79.00 will be quite a trick.
I doubt that one second of an Office developer’s time was consumed in putting up that web site, so that is a non-issue.
However, given the apparent level of frustration among users waiting for the next version of Mac Office, it would have been better from a PR point of view to wait until the new version was out before fielding this new site. At this point, anything Microsoft says or does publicly regarding Mac Office is just going to provide another target for Office users to blow off steam.
Having worked for the Evil Empire for five years, back when Roz Ho was in charge of the Mac BU and based on the Silicon Valley Campus, this looks to me like just another case of things falling out of sync, then taken to an extreme.
Dennis is right, this wouldn’t have sapped dev time from Office. This would have been a parallel marketing effort. It was probably launched now because (1) the marketing team was frustrated with the dev team’s slip and said “Screw it, we’re not waiting for you,” and (2) someone convinced enough other someones that it was a great way to either keep or build momentum ahead of the next Office/Mac launch.
Unfortunately, as many with a non-MSFT-internal perspective could have told them, it was a really bad decision that was more likely to spur resentment than generate positive interest.
It probably has something to do with that fact that Microsoft does not put out a single piece of software that allows a user to actually create something.
Seriously, using Excel and Word to draw a picture? That’s pathetic. And MS Paint? Yeh, I remember using that on the Mac in 1984. Microsoft, you’ve come a long way, haven’t you?
I really want Office 08, mostly because I need it for work to view files clients send us, and I can’t trust Pages because it doesn’t display pages the same, or Numbers. So I need Office for that and I hate having to use the crappy as hell 04 version. Only non universal app on my macs.
What makes me “cross-eyed” is how MS’s view of Mac users is still…”they’re only a bunch of artsy, crafty, creative types” (and hey…lots are…that’s OK…Rock On). However, some of us actually do have to live in the real world of commerce and must “play nice” with the less fortunate, hence the rather frequent need for a Mac user to “gots ta have it” (it being MS Office).
OK…so Apples’ Mac Guy vs. PC Guy sorta reinforce this stereotype, but please…would serious “creative and artist” types really choose to use “Office” to “create”…or would they use an actual “creative media software package”.
Alas until someone comes up with a “better Office trap” that everyone can use seamlessly across platforms, etc., (and cheaper would be nice)…Office is a necessary evil (and I mean that in the kindest sense possible…).
K…”Creative and Artsy…but Logical and Technical too”
I’m done with Office except for one small need. Copying a table out of a browser window (Safari / Firefox) into Numbers doesn’t paste as a table, it posts as a single column, with rows representing each column in the original browser.
If this were fixed, I’d never touch Office apps / Excel again.
I have to ask, does anyone actually create serious artwork using Office? Why would you? It’s not designed for that purpose.
The only reason a real artist uses MS Office is to be ironic.
The M$$$$ boat has sailed and is not in the process of slowly sinking…
And that’s a very good thing indeed…
With both iLife and more importantly iWorks 08 the need for anything M$$$ is simple not there anymore…
Besides M$$$ couldn’t ship anything close to iWorks 08 if they had the time to burn…
“Thinking differently” is not in the cards at M$$$$$$$$…
I’ve only been with Mac since January 07 and the only reason I could finally make this switch was because I could interact with Windows based Office users at the university where I teach. Edward Ayres is absolutely correct in his observation: the Mac market simply cannot grow in a corporate environment unless it is seamlessly integrated with Office.
I’ve been surprised to read so many Mac users go on about how they’ve finished with MS products when it’s the Mac’s ability to use it that has fostered its reported growth in the business sector and thus bolstered the grip Macs are developing on the PC market in general. If too many Mac people move away from MS products, and MS stops supporting Macs, then you can pretty much kiss it all goodbye and expect Macs to be relegated back to the fringes as an also-ran.
I say all this knowing that I loathe using MS products, but I’m committed to using them in order to promote the Mac market.
I finally bought iWork, now that numbers has arrived. I don’t need MS Office any more, either, thank you. It’s a happy day in my studio. And I can’t imagine ever even contemplating creating ‘art’ with any Microsoft product.
Honestly, I don’t think the Microsoft Mac Devs, or any Microsoft employees get out of the office much.
I’m willing to bet the team was sitting around brain-storming about what the next bloated feature would be for 2008 and came up with this. Office Art – I mean Jesus. I shake my head because the amount of stupid ideas never seems to come to an end.
I gave up on Office a long time ago. Any program that has to check every font on my Mac everytime it launches has no place on my computer.
As long as Macs bind to active directory and use Exchange corporates will want Entourage