Macworld UK is reporting that Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac saw record sales since its release, becoming the best selling version ever. Of particular interest, however, is that Microsoft has announced the next version of Office will return Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to the Mac platform.
You may recall that one of the big brouhahas connected with Office 2008 was the elimination of VBA, which was present in Office 2004 and earlier versions; Microsoft suggested that users rearchitect their macros and automation with AppleScript. While it's generally a good thing for third-party applications to support AppleScript thoroughly, in this case it created a lot of problems for cross-platform users since the Windows version of Office depends on VBA for macros. While it is possible to duplicate some (though not all) VBA functionality with AppleScript, cross-platform macros were completely broken, leaving some users, especially in corporate environments, unwilling to upgrade from Office 2004. In this light, it is good news that VBA will return, though no timeline is yet available.
In addition to the roadmap announcements, today Microsoft is also releasing Service Pack 1 for Office for Mac 2008 with a host of improvements, including improved compatibility with Windows versions and better printing support. It should available for download at noon PDT from Microsoft or via Auto Update in Office. Full change list in the continuation of this post.
Update: Mac BU developer Erik Schwiebert has a post up on the revitalization of VBA; he originally discussed the decision not to implement it for Office 2008 here.