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Weblog:   Tell The Truth, Someone: Microsoft Deliberately Crashes On Macs
Subject:   There's some technical reasons to be considered, as well
Date:   2005-11-12 06:36:20
From:   klausp
For me, Office has been more or less stable, but nevertheless unusable. One of the absolute show stopppers occurred with PowerPoint, which I used to edit a presentation I made on Windows, which first replaced all graphics with very edgy replacements and finally rendered the document uneditable on Windows, so that I couldn't even reinsert my graphics and had to start all over.


What you have to consider here, that while Office/Mac is all shiny on the outside, it is very conservative in its build process. Especially, it still uses CFM for binding, which imho was only supported on Mac OS X by Apple to allow a fast transition for Carbon apps originally written for 9 and earlier. CFM also allows you to have a "uinversal" Carbon application launching on both 9 and X, but costs substantial penalty under X. I don't think Apple has been promoting CFM for X at any time, but considering Office X came so soon after Mac OS X's launch, they can be forgiven not to have changed to Mach-0, since they did some real work changing the interface to Aqua (even though Office X never ran on OS 9 systems, anyway).


IIRC, Microsoft have stated, that changing the build system is such an effort, that even with Office 2004 they kept using CFM. So, they kept their tradition, on the outside, you get a really shiny car, but under the hood there's still sort of really old technology. I think, for them it leds to better sales, but obviously, they are about the only ones actually relying on CFM support on X now, and part of the blame for their apps being less behaved citizens might go on Apple's behalf, since they certainly invest about no resources into this layer concering testing and maintenance.


Actually, right now, I'm in a dilemma. I swore not to use MS Office since it destroyed my work in a MS-only scenario. On the other hand, the same problems arrive on day when using OpenOffice, which still never renders MS Office documents the way they look on their Windows counterparts. I think it's really time for an open document format for office style applications, but i don't even dare to speculate if and when we will see use of it any time in the future
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  • There's some technical reasons to be considered, as well
    2005-11-12 09:24:12  actic [View]

    Did you try OpenOffice 2.0 ? It's nearer to MS Office than ever, although, there still some work to do on the rendering. For me, Pages and Keynote do what I want. And I use OpenOffice for MS Office compatibility. But I still use sometimes at work MS Office on Windows, especially for Excel spreedsheat. In my point of view, there's not yet a perfect office-kind software. And I would be important that an office software use an open doc format. So we are not trap like with MS Office. But you bring a good point : MS don't put enough effort to bring us a very good software, especially for not using the latest API/technology. Is it deliberately made ? Maybe.
  • There's some technical reasons to be considered, as well
    2005-11-12 07:43:35  l0ne [View]

    CFM is going to be dropped in the first half of 2006 as it will not be supported in Mac OS X for x86 (except inside the Rosetta emulator). Native Intel binaries must be Mach-O.

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