Newsletter Issue #533: Just What is Microsoft’s Game?

February 14th, 2010

Someone once said you keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. So we have a situation where Apple’s biggest rival — not including Google of course — remains Microsoft, yet Microsoft continues to create products that run on the Mac. There’s even talk of a version of Office that will be designed specifically for the iPad, no doubt to compete with iWork.

In announcing Office 2011 for the Mac, due out before the end of the year, Microsoft once again boasted about the arrival of Outlook for the Mac platform after all these years. You have to wonder why they’re so late to the party and chose instead to saddle us with the mostly inferior Entourage.

What Microsoft doesn’t want you to remember, however, is that there was once another Mac version of Outlook, an expanded version of Outlook Express, which was available towards the end of the Classic Mac OS era. However, it doesn’t matter so much what features that app contained and what it lacked. You have to wonder why it has taken so long for Outlook to return, and why Microsoft wants us to pretend its predecessor didn’t exist.

It’s fair to say that Office has been a major cash cow for Microsoft both on the Windows and Mac platforms. Indeed, it’s reported that sales of the Mac version remain in the hundreds of millions of dollars, which is surely a huge incentive for its continued existence. At the same time, the Mac development team, known as the Mac Business Unit, is reputed to be the largest collection of Mac programmers on the planet outside of Apple.

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5 Responses to “Newsletter Issue #533: Just What is Microsoft’s Game?”

  1. Andrew says:

    I’m quite anxious to get my hands on Office 2011 and will very likely upgrade my entire office (6 Macs) to the new suite. I don’t use VBA, but I do run an Exchange server and while Entourage works, Outlook for Windows is clearly a better front-end. If the Mac version of Outlook is the same as the Windows version, I’ll be quite pleased, as Outlook, love it or hate it, is an extremely powerful and capable PIM.

  2. shane says:

    i work for NZ Post which is a huge company in New Zealand and work dumped Outllook from Office and only uses google these days for email at least. We of course use Windows boxes but it was nice to kill outlook. Google has a nice system for companies which of course you have to pay for but is alot cheaper by a mile than going the outlook route.

  3. Andrew says:

    Sorry, but I cannot stand webmail and will not move my business to it unless the other alternatives disappear. I will gladly pay for Exchange and Outlook/Entourage rather than using Google, MobileMe or any other email and calendar solution that is accessed in a browser.

    • @Andrew, The systems I mention all work with desktop email clients, as do Google and MobilMe. They also offer Webmail for those who prefer that solution.


    • Shane says:

      the google system is not web mail that nzpost uses it is intranet based so it is own private network and not reliant on an Internet connection. Unless u have used one of these google based systems you wouldn’t see that it is a different approach than their public setups. Most NZ universities and educational instatutions use the commercial google system and we have been very impressed it does a lot more than email of course though.

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