Just as Windows 7 will succeed Windows Vista, so will Office 14 be the next version of the Office System, designed to replace Office 2007. And just as Windows 7 is a product version rather than a codename, the same is the case for Office 14. Both product version references are an integer part of the product numbers vs. codename strategy implemented by Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group. Sinofsky applied this tactics when he was at the helm of the Office project, and is doing the same now that he has taken over the Windows development from Jim Allchin, the former Co-President, Platforms & Services Division.
The sole exception to Sinofsky’s own rule is the fact that the Office 2007 System was in fact the 12 version of Office. So, in fact, Office 14 should have been Office 13. A number avoided for obvious reasons. And while the Redmond company is hard at work developing Windows Vista SP1, Windows XP SP3 and Windows Server 2008, it has also found some time to squash incorrect reports about what Office 14 won’t include.
In this context, a number of Microsoft representatives, including Sinofsky, have shrugged off speculations that the company is preparing to cut support for Visual Basic for Applications with the next version of Office. VBA is essentially a Visual Basic macro language subset that has provided the architecture for building formatting on top of Excel and Word. Microsoft has already discontinued the VBA Licensing Program pointing developers to Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) and Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). Still, Sinofsky has guaranteed that VBA will be supported in Office 14. Beyond that, the matter is in the air.
“As someone who is working everyday on Office 14, I can assure you that VBA is not disappearing in the next release of Office. VBA will continue to be a valuable option for developers to customize Office solutions to meet their business requirements. I can’t talk more about Office 14 but we are doing our best to make it a great release for developers,” revealed Clint Covington, Lead Program Manager, Office.
“Following MacWorld earlier this week, there has been some inaccurate information circulating online regarding VBA support in Office for Windows. While it’s true that VBA isn’t supported in the latest version of Office for the Mac and the VBA licensing program did close to new customers last year, we have no plans to remove VBA from future versions of Office for Windows. We understand that VBA is a critical capability for large numbers of our customers; accordingly, there is no plan to remove VBA from future versions of Excel,” added Joseph Chirilov, Office Excel Program Manager.
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