Microsoft's decision to cut Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support from Office 2008 for Mac has come back to haunt the company.
The result: Microsoft is prolonging the support date for the Office 2004 for Mac version of the product so as to continue to appease Mac Office users who stuck with the older release in order to keep their VBA support.
From a just-under-the-wire October 12 post on the Microsoft "Mac Mojo" blog:
"Today I am happy to share that we have extended the Mainstream Support date for Office 2004, originally scheduled to end October 13, 2009, through January 10, 2012.
"The date has been extended to 2012 specifically to ensure continuous cross-platform compatibility for Office 2004 customers reliant on VBA until support for VBA is released in the next version of Office for Mac."
Microsoft officials said this past summer that the next version of Office for Mac (which is due out in time for holiday 2010) will add back in VBA support. (The new version also will swap out Entourage for Outlook.)
VBA support is important to users who need cross-platform compatibility. Excel add-ins dependent on VBA, such as Solver, were not bundled into the Office 2008 for Mac release.