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Microsoft Mac BU News from WWDC

By Julio Franco
Aug 8, 2006
  1. As the Mac development community gathers in San Francisco to converge at WWDC, the Mac BU again is taking an active part in the conference, and wanted to take this time to share some news with you. As Apple completes its transition to Intel-based Macs, the Mac BU has made great strides in gradually transitioning to the new platform. The impact of the new architecture and OS capabilities combined with the Mac BU’s industry-leading support of Mac OS tools and technologies has led the Mac BU to several product roadmap decisions aimed at providing Mac customers with quality solutions to meet their needs. Outlined below are further details on the Mac BU announcements from WWDC today.

    o Office: Tens of millions of lines of code have been 100 percent transitioned to Xcode on the road to a Universal version of Office for Mac. The Mac BU also will provide free, downloadable converters to allow users of current versions of Office for Mac to read the new Microsoft Office Open XML formats following the availability of Office for Windows.

    o Messenger: Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0 is the first Universal application from the Mac BU and will be available later this year. It will deliver a number of new, exciting features including federation for Messenger for Mac personal users with Yahoo! Messenger customers, customized emoticons and spell check. In addition, users can display a personal message or which song they’re listening to in iTunes. (Screenshots are available upon request.)

    o Remote Desktop Connection: Based on extensive user feedback, the Mac BU is developing a new, free, Universal version of the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) Client for Mac that allows Mac users to access Windows-based computers on their network. The next version of RDC will be released as a fully supported free product and details on this release will be shared closer to launch.

    o Virtual PC: The Mac BU has made the decision not to move forward with a Universal version of Virtual PC at this time; however, current Virtual PC customers will continue to receive product support. Developing a high-quality virtualization solution, such as Virtual PC, for the Intel-based Mac is similar to creating a version 1.0 release due to how closely the product integrates with Mac hardware. The Mac BU still recognizes that customers continue to need access to Windows applications from their Intel-based Macs, and feels confident that alternative solutions offered by Apple and other vendors, combined with a fully packaged retail copy of Windows, will satisfy this need.

    o Visual Basic: The Mac BU will be discontinuing support of Visual Basic scripting in the next version of Office for Mac, but is working hard to increase support for standard Mac scripting methods such as AppleScript and Automator. As always, cross-platform compatibility remains a top priority. As we develop the next version of Office for Mac, the files will continue to be compatible across platforms, including 2007 Microsoft Office system for Windows. Although VB macros within files will not be accessible and cannot be viewed or modified, the files themselves can be edited without affecting or changing the macros. The Mac BU also is working to ensure that resources are available to help developers make the transition.
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