Friday, August 3, 2007 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Office 2008 Ship Date

Joe Kissell:

As a Mac journalist, I find it highly significant that a company the size of Microsoft can’t hit a release window that’s six months wide even when they set that target a mere six months in advance, and I think that’s worth giving the company at least a mild tongue-lashing. But really: I don’t care about the slip. It’s a pity, but no big deal.

What I do care very much about, though, as someone who uses words for a living, is the language Microsoft chose to use in the press release they sent out announcing this delay. It is, truly, a delay: a difference of (depending on how you interpreted “second half of 2007”) anywhere from two weeks to six months and two weeks. And most of the news sites that reported on the delay described it as such. But Microsoft themselves did not use the word “delay.” They didn’t mention that they’d previously announced an earlier date. They didn’t say they were sorry. Instead, they used standard weaselly marketing language to make it sound like they were announcing a virtual non-event, and perhaps even to subtly suggest that anyone who wanted to think about it differently doesn’t care about quality.

Of course, Microsoft isn’t the only huge Mac developer to miss a multi-month shipping window that it had only recently set. Apple’s reason for its delay sounded a little off, but it did admit that there was a delay.

2 Comments

Also, I liked Apple's reason for the Leopard delay: a good iPhone release. Microsoft's reason is poor management (although it's impossible with software to ever know when a product can ship). I mean, if Office 2008 were something we really needed, then I'd be disappointed by the delay. Or, if Microsoft had a great product they were shifting efforts to, ditto. But neither is the case.

More market share for iWork 2008 then...

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