Office 2008 Coming January 2008

We announced today that Office 2008 for Mac will be released to manufacturing (“RTM”) this December, which will allow for retail availability in the US in mid-January (planning for Macworld), and allow us to deliver Office 2008 to our volume license customers and global customers in the first quarter of 2008.

We had hoped to deliver the product in the second half of 2007 and as you know might imagine, this was a tough slip for us. Moving RTM to December means you, our customers, won’t have our product this year, and I am very clear a lot of folks are eagerly awaiting Office 2008. Slipping delays when our team can move on to our next release of Office for Mac - we’re working to get releases out on a more frequent basis, delivering more good stuff to Microsoft Mac customers more often.

As tough as it is, I firmly believe that this slip is the right call for MacBU. Delivering Office at the right quality level is super important to the entire team and to Microsoft’s long standing commitment to the Mac platform, and it was clear from our June and July quality checkpoints that no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t release our product in time for the Christmas season with the kind of quality we wanted.

We’re in an “all hands on deck” mode right now to ensure Office 2008 gets finished on time, and so you will not see final versions of our RDC client or file format converters until sometime after we ship Office.

Starting in September, we are planning a series of “sneak peeks” to show you more of the features and functionality of this release. I’m very pleased that we can soon start sharing more of what the team has been up to – stay tuned.