Microsoft Office - Supported Operating Systems

Supported Operating Systems

Microsoft supports Office for the Windows and Mac platforms. Beginning with Mac Office 4.2, the Mac and Windows versions of Office share the same file format. Consequently, any Mac with Office 4.2 or later can read documents created with Office 4.2 for Windows or later, and vice-versa. Visual Basic for Applications support was dropped in Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac but was restored in Microsoft Office for Mac 2011.

Microsoft tried in the mid 1990s to port Office to RISC processors such as NEC / MIPS and IBM / PowerPC, but they met problems such as memory access being hampered by data structure alignment requirements. Microsoft Word 97 and Excel 97 however did ship for the DEC Alpha platform. Difficulties in porting Office may have been a factor in discontinuing Windows NT on non-Intel platforms.

Stuart Cohen, CEO of Open Source Development Labs, conjectured in 2006 that Microsoft would eventually release a Linux port of Office, but no release was ever published. Other operating systems were only supported by Microsoft Office Mobile, which supports the more popular features of Microsoft Office, is available for Windows Mobile.

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