Ted Landau on Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
January 14th, 2004 • 6:37 am

Ted Landau of MacFixIt.com fame has a column about a “secret” Mac media event organized last year by Microsoft, which he was not allowed to reveal until after the January 2004 Macworld Expo. The motivation behind the event was and remains unclear, and the fact that it was an “all expenses paid” type of deal makes it ethically very dubious from a journalistic point of view.

For me (as a long-time Mac Office user), the most interesting bit is this:

All-in-all, an impressive operation. And I am sure this process eradicates many bugs and helps design a more user-friendly product. Still, I can think of at least a few documented bugs in Word (as an example) that have persisted over several updates. I would have thought that this testing, together with feedback from users, would prevent such persisting bugs. Evidently not entirely.

As an end user, this is by far the most important question to ask. Obviously Ted failed to ask it, or to get a decent answer. All the rest (Will Microsoft continue to support the Mac? etc.) is just politics to me.

I am quite sure that the way the MacBU operation works “helps design a more user-friendly product” and that without a usability testing lab, the product would be much worse. But that’s all relative. Every software company must have some kind of “usability testing lab”. The essential question is indeed: Given that the MacBU has such an “impressive operation” with its usability testing lab, how come there are glaring flaws and bugs that remain in Mac Office even though they have been widely documented for years and the MacBU cannot possibly be unaware of them?

Until someone gets an answer to this question, the rest of the discussion is pretty pointless if you ask me.

One Response to “Ted Landau on Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit”

  1. Betalogue » Microsoft’s Rick Schaut on Word 6 says:

    […] example, to a comment from Sandy McMurray about whether the next version of Office for Macintosh (Office 2004) would support Mac OS X’s built-in spell checker and Address Book functionality, here’s […]

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