If you’re one of those people who use Microsoft’s Office suite and have yet to upgrade to Office for Mac 2008 because of its lack of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support, Microsoft has just handed you a gift. Typically Microsoft maintains a five-year support commitment for Office and other products, but since enough people are hanging on to the older version, they’re extending the Office for Mac 2004 Mainstream Support period—which would have ended today—until January 10, 2012 (just in time for the Mayan apocalypse!).
Microsoft’s Mike Tedesco announced the extension on the Mac BU’s Mac Mojo blog earlier today, noting that this policy does not apply to the company’s other existing or future products. This was provided specifically to cater those who are using Office for Mac 2004. The scope of support will include both security updates and non-security bug-fixes.
While VBA support will make a return in the next version of Office, Microsoft says it will not be released until late 2010. This gives existing users more than a year to evaluate whether the new version, including Outlook, is worth upgrading before Redmond drops support for Office for Mac 2004 completely. If they’re PowerPC users, this also means even more time to consider letting that Intel Mac that’s been knocking on the door since January 2006 into the room.