Microsoft Extends Office Mac 2004 Support

Microsoft extended mainstream support of Office 2004 for Macintosh computers for another five years.

Mainstream support actually ended on Oct. 13, but Microsoft extended it to Jan. 10, 2012. Microsoft made the change to help customers who continue to use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) with Office for Mac.

Customer interest in continuing to use VBA apparently had a side effect. It kept them from upgrading to the current Office 2008 for Mac productivity suite, which dropped VBA support.

"While most customers have upgraded to Office 2008 for Mac, some have remained on Office 2004 in order to take advantage of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which is supported in Office 2004, but did not make it into Office 2008," explained Mike Tedesco, in Microsoft's Mactopia blog.

Microsoft plans to resume support for VBA in the next version of Office for Mac, which is scheduled for public release in the "2010 US holiday season," according to the blog.

"Mainstream support" is Microsoft's technical term for the first phase of product support. For business applications such as Office, this support phase usually lasts five years. Mainstream support includes the delivery of security and nonsecurity hotfixes for free, as well as free incident support.

After mainstream support ends, the product enters the "extended support" phase. In this later five-year stage, users have to pay for requested hotfixes and no longer get free incident support. However, Microsoft will still deliver free security patches.

On top of extending support, Microsoft is also working to integrate its browser-based Office Web Apps for the Mac platform. Currently, these applications, which run in Safari, do not integrate with Office 2008 for Mac, but Microsoft is working on the problem.

"Today, Mac users can view and edit documents stored on Windows Live SkyDrive from the browser only," stated Kurt Schmucker in a Mactopia blog post. "However, the team is developing ways to work with the Web Apps direct from Office for Mac."

Another problem is that extended fonts on the local machine won't transfer upward into the Internet cloud. To maintain document fidelity, Schmucker recommends that users select fonts from the "Windows Office Compatible font collection" that was installed with Office 2008 for Mac.

Microsoft unveiled Office Web Apps in mid-September. They are currently undergoing private beta testing and will be publicly launched in the first half of next year, Microsoft has said.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


  • Microsoft Ups Its Carbon Reduction Goals

    Microsoft on Thursday announced a corporatewide carbon reduction effort that aims to make the company "carbon negative" by 2030.

  • How To Dynamically Lock Down an Unattended Windows 10 PC

    One of the biggest security risks in any organization happens when a user walks away from their PC without logging out. Microsoft has the solution (and it's not a password-protected screensaver).

  • First Stable Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge Browser Released

    Microsoft on Wednesday announced the first release of its Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser at the "stable" commercial-release stage.

  • Microsoft's January Security Updates Come with NSA Help

    Microsoft released its January security updates with a partial assist from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.