Microsoft: VBA's Demise 'Greatly Exaggerated'

Microsoft this week took steps to assure Office developers that it has no plans to kill off Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

Speculation that Redmond might eliminate VBA started last year when the company closed its VBA licensing program, and reached a peak early this week after the new Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 debuted without it.

However, according to Microsoft, the rumors are false.

Wednesday on its Visual Studio 2008 blog, in a post titled, "The Reports of VBA's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated," the company explicitly stated that VBA is not going anywhere.

"The report that the next generation of Office will not contain VBA is untrue -- the next generation of the Microsoft Office system will definitely contain all of the functionality that developers and power users expect from VBA," the post stated.

That message was reiterated today in a posting on the company's Excel team blog. "While it’s true that VBA isn't supported in the latest version of Office for the Mac...we have no plans to remove VBA from future versions of Office for Windows," wrote Joseph Chirilov, program manager for Microsoft Office. "We understand that VBA is a critical capability for large numbers of our customers; accordingly, there is no plan to remove VBA from future versions of Excel."

According to PC Magazine blogger Michael J. Miller, when he asked why Microsoft didn't include VBA in the new Mac Office, "I was told it would have taken two more years to rewrite VBA for the Intel environment."

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital projects at the company, including launching and running the group's popular virtual summit and Coffee talk series . She an experienced tech journalist (20 years), and before her current position, was the editorial director of the group's sites. A few years ago she gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web browser technology would impact online advertising for publishers. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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