What a coincidence. Just as OpenOffice.org prepares to release the latest version of its open source productivity app which for the first time features native support for OS X, Microsoft puts out a story claiming that Office for the Mac is flying off the shelves at unprecedented rate.
I guess I shouldn't be too cynical as our colleague's at CNET News.com claim that Office for the Mac has been selling well for a while now. Back in 2005, Microsoft claimed that it has the best year ever for sales of Office for the Mac, and things have continued to get better if the latest numbers are to be believed.
However, the arrival of native support for OpenOffice.org 3.0 on the Mac will be welcomed by Mac users, including me – who have had to opt for alternatives such as NeoOffice – which work fine but obviously don't have the base or resources of OpenOffice.
According to OpenOffice.org, "OpenOffice.org 3.0 will be the first version to run on Mac OS X without X11, with the look and feel of any other Aqua application. It introduces partial VBA support to this platform. In addition, OpenOffice.org 3.0 integrates well with the Mac OS X accessibility APIs, and thus offers better accessibility support than many other Mac OS X applications."
Be interesting to keep an eye on the development of OpenOffice 3.0 and see what the uptake from Mac users is like as well as trying to find out what the actual numbers are which Microsoft is so proud of as the company isn't disclosing anything useful like actual quantitative information.
The other factor with this story is that while sales of Office for the Mac might be on the up, a lot of that has to do with the fact there are simply more Mac users out there – and a lot of them seem to want to use their Apple device for business if the Office uptake reports are to be believed. An interesting development – could this finally be a sign of Apple trying to do something serious in the business arena. If you combine that with the supposed imminent release of a 3G iPhone – a much more business friendly proposition than the current device – then maybe Steve Jobs is hoping that enterprises will help him weather the consumer downturn which is many foresee halting Apple's prodigious growth to date.