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Cuckoo over Cocoa

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Steve Jobs' credibility took another hit on Tuesday when Microsoft let the world know that its upcoming Office for Mac 2011 won't be fully based on Apple's Cocoa frameworks.

In a blog post, as The Reg reported earlier today, Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) noted that "we haven't completed the transition of moving the entire user interface over to Cocoa yet."

For a productivity suite such as Microsoft Office, being not fully Cocoa-based isn't that big of a deal. Cocoa could arguably be described as primarily a developer's aid — and a good one. One of the few drawbacks on the user side for non-Cocoa productivity apps is that they're limited to 32-bit operation, which limits the amount of memory an app can directly access.

The drawback of Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 not being Cocoa-based — for Apple, at least — is that Microsoft's admission shows Steve Jobs to be either uninformed or disingenuous. In his infamous anti-Flash "Thoughts on Flash" letter of late April, Jobs listed a series of complaints about Adobe, including "...although Mac OS X has been shipping for almost 10 years now, Adobe just adopted it fully (Cocoa) two weeks ago when they shipped CS5. Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X."

The Reg believes that it's not a stretch to assert that Microsoft might well be considered to be a "major third party developer." And, not to put too fine a point on it, Apple's own über-popular pro video app, Final Cut Pro, remains non-Cocoa as well.

But we'll cut Jobs slack on FCP — it's not a third-party app, even though it was developed at Macromedia before being purchased by Apple in the late 1990s.

But Microsoft Office? As we said above, Steve Jobs saying that the release of its Cocoa-centric Creative Suite 5 made Adobe the last major third-party developer to port its apps to Cocoa is simply wrong.

We'll leave it up to you, dear reader, to form your own opinion as to whether Jobs was naïvely mistaken or intentionally deceptive. ®

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