Microsoft Launches Art Of Office – Mac Users Pissed

Here’s a strange new social site that we just got a tip on – ArtOfOffice is a Microsoft site that launched yesterday. It is a place for Mac users to upload artistic content made using Office applications. The community then shares, rates, remixes and discusses the content with other Mac users.

See here and here for example content. As far as I can tell you don’t actually have to be using the Mac version of Office to use the site.

Mac users are not impressed, however. Mostly because the announcement of ArtOfOffice came shortly after the announced delay of Mac Office 2008 from 2007 to 2008. Users were left wondering about Microsoft’s priorities.

In the blog post announcing the new products, the Microsoft Mac team was lambasted for wasting time on side projects while Office 2008 was delayed. The first comment to the post:

Us: Where’s Office 2008 and what’s in it?
You: Look at this nifty website we found!

Another reader:

Jesus, have you guys got a product to ship deadline or not?


Whether or not it took even five seconds of your time, it just looks bad and it sends the wrong message. Read the comments that follow nearly every post you guys put on this blog. Understand the very real frustrations people have with your product. Realize that people are very skeptical that you are going to do much of anything to resolve the issues in the next version of office. In that perceptual environment, does it make good PR sense to unveil some art site? Or, even though it took no staff resources, do you maybe just not go there. Don’t you think it makes it look like you have all the wrong priorities from the perspective of your customers? All we know is that while no one is willing to tell us much, if anything, about how our myriad problems with your product are getting solved in the next version, you sure found it important to let us know about some art site. The disconnect between you guys and your user base is truly stunning.

The Mac team responded by saying that the project wouldn’t cost them “even a day” in shipping Office 2008, but the negative comments kept coming in. The timing of the launch of this new site was, perhaps, a little off.

Thanks for the tip Amit.