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No plans to fix Office 2011 issues with Retina MacBooks

updated 01:05 pm EDT, Wed August 15, 2012

Outlook only Office app currently using Retina graphics

Microsoft currently has no plans to update the entire Office 2011 for Mac suite to support Retina graphics, according to an official comment on the company's Office for Mac blog. While the software does support OS X Mountain Lion, and functions on Retina MacBook Pros, only Outlook currently has Retina-resolution graphics. Users have complained that Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can look "blurry" or "very fuzzy" on Retina systems.

"The remaining apps will have the same viewing quality as on any non-Retina device," Microsoft insists. "Unfortunately at this time, we cannot comment on any future updates regarding supporting Retina on Word, Excel or PowerPoint."

Microsoft has yet to add any recent OS X features to Office, including even Versions and Auto Save, which were first introduced with Lion. It's also unclear when the company will put out Mac software to match the upcoming Office 2013 for Windows. However, Jevon Sark -- Microsoft's senior marketing manager for Office for Mac-- does comment that "Historically, Office for Mac is updated several months following the release of a new Office on Windows."



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04

    In the 90s MS Office was important for Mac sales, but today it is just a big yawn.

  1. Waragainstsleep

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 03-20-04

    Give it another year or two it might be important for Microsoft. Office for iPad even more so.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    And how is this any different than any other issue with Microsoft Office and Macs for the last 25 years?! Even now, when alternatives abound, Microsoft still thinks it can heap an inferior product on Mac users and suffer no consequences.

    Then again, this is the company that thinks Ballmer is doing a great job!!

  1. acpryor

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-10-07

    I hear you all but at the same time, most companies work in the world of Word and Excel so I have to install and use them both on my Macs to do work. No way around it. Given the costs, I do understand why MS doesn't want to spend $ and resources to accommodate Apple simply because of an improvement in the display. My guess is that Office for Mac 2012 will accommodate the new display. From a fiscal perspective though, it just wouldn't make sense for MS to spend the money.

    With that said, I look forward to a new version of Office since my laptop has the Retina display...

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Not sure why anyone needs to rework an app to make use of a retina display. If I buy an external monitor with gazillions of pixels I just set the screen resolution and click the green button ont he top left of the active window to make it bigger (or drag the grabber thing on the bottom right). I'd blame Apple for a crappy implementation rather than any specific vendor. Never heard of this with anyone/anything else besides retina displays.

  1. olePigeon

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 12-05-99

    You haven't heard of it because, I would imagine, Apple is currently the only company in the world with a laptop screen with that resolution. Running the application in native resolution mode makes the icons impossibly small.

  1. OreoCookie

    Moderator

    Joined: 05-25-01

    Originally Posted by WaragainstsleepView Post

    Give it another year or two it might be important for Microsoft. Office for iPad even more so.


    I'm pretty sure they already have some of the office apps running on iOS, but that someone in the Windows division of MS has put a stop to it, because Windows could be awesome on tablets any day now ;) A while back, there were credible rumors to that effect, but they seem to have died down. Personally, I think it's another big missed opportunity for Microsoft, if you use an iPad for work, you don't feel as if you need Microsoft Office (there is no Microsoft Office, but if you use a regular computer, a truck in Jobs' parlance, it's a must.

    Originally Posted by cgcView Post

    Not sure why anyone needs to rework an app to make use of a retina display. ... Never heard of this with anyone/anything else besides retina displays.


    The answer is quite simple: if your app uses a custom rendering engine, you need to rework the engine to translate everything from pixels to points. On retina displays, 2x2 pixels correspond to 1 point.

    Other apps have had the same problem, but released or promised fixes: Google has had to update Chrome, for instance -- which took only a few weeks., there will be support for full, glorious 200+ dpi goodness in the next major version, v22. Adobe has also announced support for retina screens in Photoshop. Likewise, Pixelmator has already been updated. I'm not sure why Microsoft can't simply say »We'll include retina support in the next major version of Office.«

  1. Kees

    Junior Member

    Joined: 09-15-01

    Originally Posted by NewsPosterView Post


    Microsoft has yet to add any recent OS X features to Office, including even Versions and Auto Save, which were first introduced with Lion.



    I would assume they're waiting for Apple to fix the mess that is auto-save. Mountain Lion adds some features that allows you to mostly ignore auto-save, but ML still assumes that anytime a user opens any file, anything done to that file must be saved at all times. Since I reuse a lot of stuff from various existing files, that assumption is wrong 70-80% of the time. At least ML lets us discard changes again.

    Autosave as it has been implemented in Office for years is much more useful and reliable anyway.

  1. arrrc

    Banned

    Joined: 03-13-13

    Originally Posted by OreoCookieView Post

    I'm pretty sure they already have some of the office apps running on iOS, but that someone in the Windows division of MS has put a stop to it, because Windows could be awesome on tablets any day now ;) A while back, there were credible rumors to that effect, but they seem to have died down. Personally, I think it's another big missed opportunity for Microsoft, if you use an iPad for work, you don't feel as if you need Microsoft Office (there is no Microsoft Office, but if you use a regular computer, a truck in Jobs' parlance, it's a must.

    The answer is quite simple: if your app uses a custom rendering engine, you need to rework the engine to translate everything from pixels to points. On retina displays, 2x2 pixels correspond to 1 point.

    Other apps have had the same problem, but released or promised fixes: Google has had to update Chrome, for instance -- which took only a few weeks., there will be support for full, glorious 200+ dpi goodness in the next major version, v22. Adobe has also announced support for retina screens in Photoshop. Likewise, Pixelmator has already been updated. I'm not sure why Microsoft can't simply say »We'll include retina support in the next major version of Office.«



    First, MS isn't putting Office on the iPad or really caring about the Mac Office suite for one main reason: why push someone else's platform? All they want is for people to use their Operating System, and they're in the midst of frantically trying to get Windows 8 adoption across all devices.

    Second, as for Office on the iPad, MS is an old software company. They know very well the one problem with selling software inside someone else's walled garden: commissions. And in this case, it's 30% of every sale of Office for iPad would go to Apple. They don't want to do that for obvious reasons. There's been talk that they've been discussing trying to work something out with Apple but it got nowhere.

    By the way, what do you mean by 200 dpi goodness? Why would you need anything more than 72 dpi for Retina?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Because it looks like shit in comparison to everything else on the display. ESPECIALLY text. Legibility is greatly enhanced.

    The point about not wanting to bolster somebody else's platform is a valid one, to be sure, but you're missing the more important part of the story: AFAIK, Microsoft makes more money off Office than off Windows. And this difference is sure to become even more stark now that Microsoft has had to drop Windows upgrade pricing, in part in response to Apple's low pricing.

    The longer they wait with Office on iOS, the more they risk proving their own irrelevance to the fastest-growing market in technology history.

    This is a dangerous situation for Microsoft, and I cannot blame them for waiting until Windows RT, with its Tablet Office exclusivity, flopped completely to decide what to do, but now that it has, it may already be too late.

  1. arrrc

    Banned

    Joined: 03-13-13

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    Because it looks like shit in comparison to everything else on the display. ESPECIALLY text. Legibility is greatly enhanced.

    The point about not wanting to bolster somebody else's platform is a valid one, to be sure, but you're missing the more important part of the story: AFAIK, Microsoft makes more money off Office than off Windows. And this difference is sure to become even more stark now that Microsoft has had to drop Windows upgrade pricing, in part in response to Apple's low pricing.

    The longer they wait with Office on iOS, the more they risk proving their own irrelevance to the fastest-growing market in technology history.

    This is a dangerous situation for Microsoft, and I cannot blame them for waiting until Windows RT, with its Tablet Office exclusivity, flopped completely to decide what to do, but now that it has, it may already be too late.



    Yes, Office is one of their biggest money makers, and it's not available for iOS.

    If it was, it's not clear how good it would be to them financially in the long run. What it will likely do, and what they think, is drive customers to another platform and that's not what they want. Thus, they lose business and gain business.

    Office is uniquely Microsoft's, it's part of the value proposition for them in trying to get adoption on Windows Mobile.

    Mircrosoft throwing down Office on iOS is the equivalent of RIM pushing Android Apps in QNX: you might as well just go out of business. Microsoft IS a platform. It defines it as a business. This can't be understated. So it's contradictory for them to push other platforms. Loss of macros on Mac anyone?

    And the 30% commission is also a huge pain point that they simply won't agree to from what people have told me. And I don't actually blame them.

    Aside from all of this, iWork is fantastic on the iPad: Office on the iPad is thus not really solving a problem for anyone but the diehard Office folks, which from my experience is really a dying breed.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    I agree with your perception that office on iPad is of no interest but the diehard Office folks, and that those are dying out.
    This situation would have been unimaginable not five years ago.

    Windows is not the platform that is making Microsoft money. Office is. If Office retains its aura of indispensability, it, and not Windows, will be the platform.

    As it stands, both are clearly past their zenith and are on the way down. It will be a long and profitable way down, but unless Microsoft radically changes their business model (Windows Phone and Surface are failing attempts to do so), they're on the slow way out.

  1. arrrc

    Banned

    Joined: 03-13-13

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    I agree with your perception that office on iPad is of no interest but the diehard Office folks, and that those are dying out.
    This situation would have been unimaginable not five years ago.

    Windows is not the platform that is making Microsoft money. Office is. If Office retains its aura of indispensability, it, and not Windows, will be the platform.

    As it stands, both are clearly past their zenith and are on the way down. It will be a long and profitable way down, but unless Microsoft radically changes their business model (Windows Phone and Surface are failing attempts to do so), they're on the slow way out.



    I'm confused. It was reported that Windows was the biggest earner for Microsoft last quarter, not Office:

    Microsoft earnings cheat sheet: Windows is back to cash cow number one | ZDNet

    So this is opposite to what you're saying. Also, Microsoft has been reporting record revenues and profits, no? Am I missing something?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Indeed you are confused.

    From your link:

    The Office unit still is the biggest contributor of operating profit.

    Your link states that, for the first time in ages, Windows has generated more revenue (NOT profits) than Office — in the quarter following the release of a major new version.

    And despite the new version and supposed upgrade hype, and the fact that a major Office upgrade was announced and about to be released, Office was STILL generating more net income for the company.

    The PC market is declining. It will continue to make a lot of money for many years to come, but the computer market growth is shifting to tablets — at the moment, specifically the iPad.
    And Microsoft is not a player in that market at this time — neither with their Windows franchise, nor with Office.

  1. arrrc

    Banned

    Joined: 03-13-13

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    Indeed you are confused.

    From your link:



    Your link states that, for the first time in ages, Windows has generated more revenue (NOT profits) than Office — in the quarter following the release of a major new version.

    And despite the new version and supposed upgrade hype, and the fact that a major Office upgrade was announced and about to be released, Office was STILL generating more net income for the company.

    The PC market is declining. It will continue to make a lot of money for many years to come, but the computer market growth is shifting to tablets — at the moment, specifically the iPad.
    And Microsoft is not a player in that market at this time — neither with their Windows franchise, nor with Office.



    You said:

    "Windows is not the platform that is making Microsoft money. Office is."

    So Windows doesn't make Microsoft money?

    Microsoft's Windows division recorded the highest revenue of all of Microsoft's business units, and nearly the highest profits as well.

    Revenue from the Windows and Windows Live Division jumped by 24% versus a year ago, and profits climbed 14%. For the September quarter, the Windows and Windows Live Division produced $1.64 billion in profits on $3.2 billion in revenue.


    In terms of a shift toward tablets, you said that Microsoft isn't a player in this market with Windows or Office.

    The Surface comes with Office. How are they not a player?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Because they're not selling any.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by arrrcView Post

    You said:

    "Windows is not the platform that is making Microsoft money. Office is."

    So Windows doesn't make Microsoft money?

    Microsoft's Windows division recorded the highest revenue of all of Microsoft's business units, and nearly the highest profits as well.

    Revenue from the Windows and Windows Live Division jumped by 24% versus a year ago, and profits climbed 14%. For the September quarter, the Windows and Windows Live Division produced $1.64 billion in profits on $3.2 billion in revenue.



    Despite shockingly low Office sales and a surprising boost in Wndows profits, Office *still* made Microsoft more than TWICE as much as Windows at $3.6 billion in profits on $5.5 billion in revenue:
    Microsoft Earnings Surprise: Windows Soars, While Office Struggles – ReadWrite

  1. arrrc

    Banned

    Joined: 03-13-13

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    Despite shockingly low Office sales and a surprising boost in Wndows profits, Office *still* made Microsoft more than TWICE as much as Windows at $3.6 billion in profits on $5.5 billion in revenue:
    Microsoft Earnings Surprise: Windows Soars, While Office Struggles – ReadWrite



    Yes, I understand that. Office does look like it makes MS some good money.

    It's just that you said Windows is not the platform that is making Microsoft money. Office is. Which isn't true. Windows is making them a lot of money as one of their most profitable business divisions.

    I appreciate your feedback and opinion it's just that you've lost a bit of credibility from my perspective. Or maybe you just meant something slightly different from that statement?

    Have you tried Office on a tablet? I kinda like it and think the radial menu is really nice. MS has actually done a lot of work on it to make it make sense on a tablet. I still like Pages on the iPad better though.

    Also, the whole PC in decline thing is very contentious. Did you know that mobile phone sales also declined worldwide year-over-year by 1.7%? Now smartphone sales were up and feature phones down, but my point is to be careful with how people spin data.

    There's actually some good discussion about why we have seen declines in the PC market, and it's not necessarily because of the iPad (tablets). Myself, I'm in between. I think tablet sales must have some impact on things like netbook purchases (why have an iPad and a netbook?) but at the same time I'm skeptical: an iPad isn't a laptop replacement, it's a luxury item that's limited in its function.

    This article offers some interesting insight: that the netbook sale explosion of a few years ago is more to blame for the perceived decline of PCs than tablets themselves. I think the answer is that all of this stuff is the reason.

    iPad not to blame for PC sales decline, report says - Technology on NBCNews.com

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    As long as you're clear on the point I was making (and you seem to be), I don't care whether you can deal with hyperbole and turn it semantic.

    Office and Office services are Microsoft's primary cash cow; they either need to figure out some way to continue monetizing their hegemony, or they will eventually lose their major business.

    It's nice that you like the quasi-touch Office on Surface; that still leaves you and about six other people who like a currently market-irrelevant product. (Caution: preceding statement contains point condensed to simpler phrasing by means of hyperbole.)

    It's quite possible that the netbook hype may have begun the shift away from traditional PCs.
    Fact is, though, that since 2010, there is no netbook market. You'd have to be stuck in early 2011 to imagine any differently (incidentally when your linked article was written). And the device that completely dried that up was the iPad. Single-handedly.

  1. arrrc

    Banned

    Joined: 03-13-13

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    As long as you're clear on the point I was making (and you seem to be), I don't care whether you can deal with hyperbole and turn it semantic.

    Office and Office services are Microsoft's primary cash cow; they either need to figure out some way to continue monetizing their hegemony, or they will eventually lose their major business.

    It's nice that you like the quasi-touch Office on Surface; that still leaves you and about six other people who like a currently market-irrelevant product. (Caution: preceding statement contains point condensed to simpler phrasing by means of hyperbole.)

    It's quite possible that the netbook hype may have begun the shift away from traditional PCs.
    Fact is, though, that since 2010, there is no netbook market. You'd have to be stuck in early 2011 to imagine any differently (incidentally when your linked article was written). And the device that completely dried that up was the iPad. Single-handedly.



    I think the industry believes the PC market is now in a decline and will continue as such for a long time. My prediction is that it'll decline to a point and level off. PCs aren't going anywhere. Like trucks as Jobs said.

    You seem to be really doom and gloom on Microsoft yet they've sold over 60 million Windows 8 licenses and posted record revenues last quarter. That Windows thing that you think makes them no money. How many OS X Mountain Lion licenses are out there?

    Without Windows Microsoft's other software products they make money on, like Office, isn't the profit it is. It's because of Windows that Office is the money machine that it is. They both are literally inseparable.

    I see this all the time people like you who think Microsoft is dead or dying. I agree they are facing challenges in mobile but they have a lot of money and own the PC market. Even if it declines, they own it, and it's going to be a market as such for many more years.

    We can romance about new paradigms like Google Glass and such, but the industry workers will need PCs for the long, foreseeable future.

    And even if Windows 8 doesn't get the adoption people hope, by this summer they'll be well over 100 million installations of it. The thing about Microsoft is, they have about 4 operating systems that people are using, and Windows 7 is the most popular. So Windows 8? Ya, they can experiment all they want. Windows 8 is simply a choice, not a requirement.

    Quite frankly, as a Mac guy, I'm really happy there's competition out there. I like what Microsoft is doing. The metro ui has really grown on me. Even makes some of what Apple does look dated.

    I love what they've done with Skype:

    What is Skype? Online video calling, instant messaging, mobile chat

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by arrrcView Post

    I think the industry believes the PC market is now in a decline and will continue as such for a long time. My prediction is that it'll decline to a point and level off. PCs aren't going anywhere. Like trucks as Jobs said.



    Absolutely. But I think they'll likely peter out at maybe 10%, maybe 30% of the market eventually. (In a decade or so.)
    Tablets were already an estimated 35+% of the ENTIRE PC market in Q4 of 2012.
    http://gigaom.com/2013/01/31/whoa-tablet-shipments-now-more-than-half-that-of-the-pc/

    That's fully ONE THIRD of all computers sold that won't run Microsoft Office, and will never run Windows.
    That's pretty amazing.

    By the end of this year, more than one-half of computers getting sold will not be running Windows. And from the looks of it, they won't be running Microsoft Office, either.

    Originally Posted by arrrcView Post

    You seem to be really doom and gloom on Microsoft yet they've sold over 60 million Windows 8 licenses and posted record revenues last quarter. That Windows thing that you think makes them no money. How many OS X Mountain Lion licenses are out there?



    Apple is on track to sell maybe 100+ million iPads this year. Who cares about six million Macs? I didn't mention them, because they are almost as irrelevant to the market potential of Microsoft Office as Windows tablets are.

    Originally Posted by arrrcView Post

    Without Windows Microsoft's other software products they make money on, like Office, isn't the profit it is. It's because of Windows that Office is the money machine that it is. They both are literally inseparable.



    Actually, having worked in computer sales for eight years, I can tell you that it's quite the opposite: often enough, the only reason people use Windows is because they require Office, not vice versa. There is a HUGE number of corporate workflows built entirely around Office macros and templates that simply will not work properly on a Mac.

    OFFICE is the cash-cow, OFFICE is what ties companies to Microsoft, along with Exchange, and OFFICE is what a machine needs to be able to run to have a right to existence in many eyes.
    Which is why the announcement that Office would be continued for another five years on the Mac platform was absolutely CRUCIAL in legitimizing the Macintosh, back in 1997, and enabling its survival.

    And this works because Office is an absolute essential, a must have, and the gold standard for productivity (for whatever ****ed-up reason).
    And if this gold standard is put in question, Microsoft loses its primary sales motivator, for its primary source of income.

    The point is NOT that the PC will continue life for years and years to come, slowly declining but still making a lot of money (as I've been very careful to state, over and again).

    The point is that there are 100 million "computers", on track to being well over 200 million, that are being happily used with ZERO traces of Microsoft Office anywhere near them, and that these devices are happy and content proof that Microsoft Office — and by inference, Windows — simply aren't nearly as relevant as people have unquestioningly believed for decades.

    If I were on Microsoft's board, this situation would scare me shitless.

    But then, if anyone on Microsoft's board had any sense, they'd be scared shitless by Ballmer for the past six years at the very least, and he's still the ****ing CEO, so…


    Originally Posted by arrrcView Post

    I see this all the time people like you who think Microsoft is dead or dying. I agree they are facing challenges in mobile but they have a lot of money and own the PC market. Even if it declines, they own it, and it's going to be a market as such for many more years.



    I agree. I don't think they're dying. Not by a long shot. But if they don't act fast, they'll have little to no part of the consumer computing market within a few years, because that is shifting to tablets, and their tablet OS is a complete flop, and they aren't offering Office at all for those platforms that aren't.

  1. arrrc

    Banned

    Joined: 03-13-13

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    Absolutely. But I think they'll likely peter out at maybe 10%, maybe 30% of the market eventually. (In a decade or so.)
    Tablets were already an estimated 35+% of the ENTIRE PC market in Q4 of 2012.
    Whoa: Tablet shipments now more than half that of the PC — Tech News and Analysis



    Says the computer sales guy... why aren't you running your own tech company or on MS's board?

    lol.

    I think some of what you say might happen, but I've been hearing everything you've said for at least the past 6 years... ever since the first iPhone launched.

    All of this. Over and over. Microsoft was supposed to have even died with Vista. But they haven't. All we have is record revenues and still massive profits.

    Microsoft isn't going anywhere. As for Windows and Office, it's simple: Windows is a platform that Office runs on. I have been seeing how iWork, now on the iPad... could be putting a dent into Office... that so many people use iOS devices... and they see first hand how they can live without MS Office. This I see as one major problem for Microsoft because Office loses its monopoly on people's psyche. The other is that Google Docs doesn't want to go away. And again people realize they can exist without Office.

    The reality is nobody knows what will happen... but to distill everything down, productivity Apps with the computer paradigm we're in... these Apps need point and click devices and those devices are PCs. For these reasons, PCs aren't going anywhere... and by implication, Windows isn't going anywhere because it simply owns the PC space and will for many years to come. Sure, declines, but I don't see declines like some people like to think.

    Reality is mobile devices suck for productivity. Sure, you can throw a bluetooth keyboard onto an iPad and use Pages but at the end of the day, I've been seeing people abandon this because it's just not robust enough. You want to make a real presentation with the best animations in Keynote or write a document... it's just not a good experience to do this on something like an iPad.

    And because of the Internet, content creation has exploded since everyone can be a creator. These people need PCs too.

    I think this whole conversation no matter who's behind it is full of hyperbole. No offence to you, I agree with several things you have said... but the indicators still point to a healthy traditional PC world.

    What the Dells don't get is that people don't want cheap junk anymore. They want really well made, well designed stuff. As soon as netbooks fell off the truck, it's like none of these PC makers knew what to do. And they're still scratching their heads.

    Make less but do more guys... Ultrabooks have come close. But not good enough.

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