Houston, we have RTM! It’s a big Friday in MacBU as we are celebrating the “Release to Manufacturing” of Office for Mac 2011. This means we’ve signed off on final testing and the product is officially getting sent on its way to production and to customers. We’ll be cranking the Microsoft ship siren and celebrating in all of our team locations (Redmond, Microsoft Silicon Valley, Beijing, Dublin and Tokyo), raising a glass to Office 2011!
As you can likely guess, I’m pretty glad to be posting this news. We started two and a half years ago with some big goals to deliver major improvements customers have requested as well as new stuff we were dreaming up, and to release faster than we had before. We also made a big commitment to invest heavily in “the basics” – fundamentals of software quality including design polish and finish, consistency and usability, and particularly performance and responsiveness, and to re-engineer our internal development processes around those goals. And we’re releasing the bits on the exact day we planned.
It takes every single person on the team to make this happen, and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank everyone on the MacBU product team for their commitment to excellence and going above and beyond to get to done on Office 2011. I’d also like to thank our many partners around the world including MVPs, beta testers and our friends at Apple. Finally, a very sincere special thanks to all of our families and friends for their support during this final push to shipping.
And thank you for your continued support of the product and your feedback to help keep making it better. We think this is our best release yet. (Really. And I say that having started as a developer in 1998 and having used earlier versions of Office for Mac pretty heavily.) We’ve added Outlook for Mac, made big changes in team collaboration including everywhere access, full co-authoring and new connections to Microsoft services such as the Office Web Apps, SharePoint and SkyDrive, designed a new user experience, brought Visual Basic back better than ever, added new tools to easily craft professional docs (look forward to you seeing the new template gallery, Sparklines, in-document photo editing and more), and deep investments to keep bringing the most compatible productivity suite to you and your Mac.
We love building this software, creating tools we hope you can use to make every day a little easier and get your work done fast and well. But our favorite part is shipping and getting it into your hands. The feedback from our usability and beta tests has been great so far, but the real test is when you take the software for a spin and see how well it works for you – we truly hope you do, and we can’t wait to hear what you think.
Thanks again for your support – and Office for Mac 2011 has left the building.
- Geoff Price, Product Unit Manager / MacBU
P.S. For fun here’s a video some folks on the team put together to give a behind-the-scenes look at RTM and some special features that didn’t make the cut (our “deleted scenes” if you will):