Spring is here and I don't know where the time has gone... So apologies for not posting earlier! A short post today to tackle some questions I have heard and hopefully get your thoughts on these issues.

To localize or not to localize

Will Mac Office 2008 be available in <insert language here>? A question I have heard many times!

What do we look at to decide if we are going to add a language? There are many parameters that comes into play. MacBU's marketing department constantly sifts through a lot of data to take this kind of decision. To name a few areas - we have to look into Apple investments in various markets, Microsoft investments and strategies and information coming from our various subsidiaries. The process is very close to the one we use when we face some feature decisions (see Mary's post on Messenger decision for more complete information). I know I am over simplifying! There is more considered but it's close to this. If Apple sales in a market do not perform well, chances are that Mac Office sales will also not do well!

Look at Office 2004. When we started the process, we decided to include Italian which had been dropped after Office 98. Italian sales were looking good and so did the outlook for Apple... And it does indeed; they are opening an Apple Store in Rome at the end of this month! Then, after a few months, we added a Dutch version. 2 new languages for Office 2004. Who knows what the future may bring?

To switch or not to switch...

... languages not OS, that is! Ever since OS X has been released, we occasionally get the question whether Office will become multi-language. For the moment, it is not. We always try to offer the best to our international customers through localization, templates, proofing tools - OS language switching is something we haven't done. Don't take me wrong, I think it would be a really cool (and useful) thing to offer to people like me who share their Mac with people speaking a different language. I'd love to use Office in French while my wife can keep using it in English. Again, we always face tough decisions when comes the time to select what feature to add or remove. Which one will prove the most useful for most of our users (again, see Mary's post for the details)...

Although I think this would be very cool - along with many other features; at this stage, as Nadyne explained so well, we need to Ship It!

To correct or not to correct

Talking about switching and adding languages to Office, we do provide a good set of proofing tools in all our languages. To proof a Word document in your favorite language, simply select your text and go to Tools/Language. Did you know that a Word document can contain one than more language? You have a paragraph written in English followed by one in French? That's no problem just follow the above instructions for each paragraph and "Voilà!"... You can proof both at the same time!

So what languages can you correct? All our versions of Office 2004 come with the following tools:
Brazilian-Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

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So what do you think? You would like to see a <cool international feature> in Office (ok... maybe not in Office 2008), do send your suggestions and feedback to us! The official way is this way: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/default.aspx?pid=feedback or you can leave us a comment!