WWDC: Microsoft updates Universal status of Mac apps

While confirming the death of Virtual PC, Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit (MacBU) also offered an update on the Universal binary development status of several Mac applications it’s working on, including Office, as the company transitions to actively develop and support Intel-based Macs.

“Tens of millions of lines of code have been 100 percent transitioned to Xcode on the road to a Universal version of Office for Mac. The Mac BU also will provide free, downloadable converters to allow users of current versions of Office for Mac to read the new Microsoft Office Open XML formats following the availability of Office for Windows,” wrote a Microsoft spokesperson.

Microsoft Messenger for Mac 6.0, a new version of Microsoft’s instant messaging application, is coming “later this year,” according to the company. It will include features such as federation with Yahoo! Messenger, customized emoticons and spell check. Users will also be able to display personal messages or what song’s playing in iTunes.

Microsoft is also developing a new version of its Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client software, which enables Mac users to access Windows PCs on their network. “The next version of RDC will be released as a fully supported free product and details on this release will be shared closer to launch,” stated Microsoft.

Virtual PC isn’t the only Microsoft technology getting the axe — Microsoft also indicates that it is discontinuing support of Visual Basic scripting in the next version of Office for Mac, but on the flip side, the company said it’s going to increase support for standard Mac scripting methods like AppleScript and Automator. VB macros embedded within files will not be accessible, but the files can be edited without affecting or changing the macros, according to Microsoft.

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