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In regards to VBA support in Office 2008, I was just remember the lack of Intel support for Adobe Shockwave. Shockwave doesn't have an Universal Binary and they tell you to launch Safari in Rosetta mode in order to use the PPC Shockwave. It occurs to me that couldn't you do the same for VBA in Office 2008?
Couldn't you tack on the existing PPC VBA implementation from Office 2004 onto Office 2008? When an Office document contains Macros instead of asking to delete them or opening without them, give the option to open the document in Rosetta. Some option in the preferences to automatically open all Macro documents in Rosetta would be even better. I'm not much of a programmer, but I thought Apple said in Universal Binaries it is possible to preface code so that some of it only works with specific architectures so you can preface the VBA code as PPC only while maintaining Office as a Universal Binary. Granted there has probably been quite a few code changes from Office 2004 to Office 2008, but surely moving the existing PPC VBA and allowing it to run when Office 2008 is started up in Rosetta is less work than making it Universal.
Obviously this is not an ideal solution seeing that it will largely discount the Universal nature of Office 2008, but I think some performance hit is a sacrifice most people are willing to make if it means VBA is included, and non-Macro documents can still open Office in Intel mode on Intel Macs. In terms of financial cost, I think that implementing this should be able to pay for itself by selling Office 2008 to people who would have otherwise remained on Office 2004. The preferred distribution of this feature would be a free major patch to say version 12.1. To make it more financially viable, I guess it would be acceptable if the patch is only available for Standard Edition and Special Media Edition users assuming that Macros are most common to businesses which would probably be using Standard Edition rather than Home and Student Edition.
This is good news for me and my colleagues at work.
Thanks to the MS Excel team.
VBA really needs to be added back into the Mac version.
We use both Macs and Windows PCs, and the prospect of losing VBA is unthinkable. So, we can't upgrade to the new version of Mac Office... but that also means that our Mac users can't handle docx files.
Presently, our plan is to not upgrade Office at all for any of our machines until the situation is resolved.
I don't have a Mac. I've only used Windows versions of Excel. But I can think of several questions I'd have if I did use Macs.
1. What happens to user-defined functions (udfs) written in VBA?
2. Did Mac versions of Office provide XLM macros at any time? Do they still?
3. It's the debugging hooks into Excel provided by the Visual Basic Editor (VBE) that, along with udfs, are the main advantage of the VBE. Windows versions of Excel can be automated by many different scripting languages (WSH languages, Perl, Python, Ruby, Rexx to name some), but there's no way to write udfs for Excel in those languages. Can one use AppleScript to write udfs for Excel 2008?
4. Can one use other scripting languages to automate Excel 2008? More generally, does OS X provide an automation facility similar to Windows? Possibly CORBA?
I was just about to order Office 2008 when (fortunately!) I noticed on the same Google output page someone's blog note that Excel VBA is not supported. Since we recently started operating in a dual-OS (XP, OS X) environment and most of our sheets use VBA macros, I ordered Office 2004 instead.
Naturally, we will be looking to emigrate to a non-MS spreadsheet product over the next year or two.
It is interesting to see that some people think MS should let competing platforms dictate the implementation of technology in MS products. The Office products have always been lacking on the Mac compared with the Windows based PC. I am not sure it is as much a strategy as it is priorities. I hope the developers of MS Office spend at least 95% of their development effort on the windows platform. God knows how much belly aching they will hear if the day comes that Office works better in a Mac than in a Windows PC.
Just a (gentle) reminder to 'Hansolo' that the first version of Excel on the mac preceded a Windows version by a couple of years. Nevertheless there is no such thing as entitlement to a feature upgrade, I guess. In any case, it seems that the Mac Office developer team takes the most Windows code and ports it to the Mac - it is a different business unit.
However, I must say that (as a Mac User and a VBA user) I found this development somewhat disturbing. VBA use is strongest in business settings, and I am sure this applies also to the Mac platform. In effect, some of those corporate users could resist upgrading to Mac Office 08, and this in turn might affect sales. Hopefully not enough to kill Mac Office. Key words being 'could' and 'might.
We will have to sit and wait to gauge how removing the VBA will affect sales of Mac Office in the future.
The bigger question I have re: long-term VBA support in office is...
What's going to happen when Office moves to 64-bit native? Since VBA is steeped in COM and there ain't no 64-bit COM, when Excel64 is (eventually) released, VBA will sort of HAVE to go away, right? So long as its a 32-bit program that can run in 32-bit emulation mode its fine, but as soon as Excel goes 64-bit to support 1 billion more cells and gigs more RAM, isn't it going to be time to say bye-bye to good ol'd VBA...?
Fortunately my distaste for dot-notation languages kept me from ever learning VBA and I continued to use XLM. So all of *my* macros will work fine in "2008". :-)
But I've also been porting my macros to AppleScript because I only fire up an Office app once a year or less, so I no longer really care about any MS apps for the Mac, but that's just me. (I migrated from an Excel develooper to a Web developer, so I'm usually writing Perl code.)
Let's clarify one thing about MS-Office for Mac. It represents
Microsoft's reason for dropping VBA from Office 2008 for Mac is on the face of it justifiable. It would be an even stronger argument if they had also decided to drop it in Office for Windows when re-writing it for a 64Bit Windows future.
However this blog update shows that they are not going to drop it and therefore if they can manage to move it to 64bit Windows they could and should equally move it to a new version of Mac Office.
If it helped I would be more than willing to sacrifice PowerPC compatibility.
As things stand even though our company is 100% Mac based, and even though we are only a modestly sized company, Microsoft are going to lose tens of thousands of dollars in upgrade sales from us alone since we will be forced to stick with Office 2004.
If they are not going to provide true cross-platform compatibility with Office for Mac then they might as well discontinue it completely and put us out of our misery (the product sucks big time anyway).
I have been using Microsoft Word for Macintosh since version 1.0. Every time there has been an upgrade to this product, I have purchased it.
Word 5.1a was a revolutionary product. It was the first time I had seen a product with the "Microsoft toolbar." Macworld Magazine used to joke that in 10 years, the whole screen would be filled with toolbars.
But Word 2004 is wonderful. It has cite-while-you-write with Endnote -- the best thing ever for academic writers. It has the best toolbar interface ever made. I tried Apple's Pages briefly, but I hate its ugly, big toolbar that's built into the window.
So naturally I was excited to see that finally, an Intel-version of Word was coming out for Mac. But after trying it -- it seems as though they pretty much just copied Pages. And I really don't like Pages.
This reminds me of those Burger King commercials where Burger King decides not to offer the Whopper anymore. Except Burger King just did that for one day.
But Microsoft not offering Word anymore? I mean, whatever this crap is, it's NOT Word. Everything that made Word special for the last 15+ years... gone. VBA, gone. Toolbars, gone. Now it's just a clone of Apple's Pages... so you might as well just buy Pages.
This is truly a sad day in computing. I want to shoot myself in the head. What the hell is wrong with you, Microsoft?????
However, VBA is NOT supported by Excel Services in SharePoint. That means if you want to implement server-side Office applications you must forget about VBA. Why this important exception has not been mentioned in the original posting?
@Boris: Excel Services never supported VBA and Excel Services is not Excel (duh!). What exception are you talking about?
I'm no whiz when it comes to VBA. I use many worksheets made by PC users for my business. I've used Microsoft X for a long while now and recently bought a new Intel Mac. In the near future I will probably put to rest my older macs and buy newer ones. With that in mind I thought I would buy some new software, not upgrades mind you but full packages. I bought Adobe CS3. It works wonderfully. Soon it's going to be tax season and I do my taxes on Excel. I thought I would also buy MSO2008 for my new mac. When I got it I installed it and the first document I went to open had VBA macros. Needless to say, it wouldn't work. I was literally beating my head against the wall when I found out VBA won't work for macs anymore. Who in their right mind would ever think that MSO2008 doesn't need to be cross platform. As I said before, I'm no whiz. I can't write new macros in Applescript. I feel like I just bought a brand new car but it has no wheels. I can't go drive it out on the road with the other cars. But hey! I can still use the radio and move the windshield wipers....