Microsoft has already promised what amounts to Windows 7 compatibility inside "Windows 8," its code name for the next Windows version. Why wouldn't that include support for VBA and VSTO (Visual Studio for Office Applications), and thus for Office applications built with any of the current Visual Studio tools? Yes, we know that legacy apps (I love it when somebody calls a Windows 7 app "legacy") won't work on Windows 8 tablets. But on the desktop, where's the beef?
We've been through Office programming shifts before: WordBasic and Excel macros to VBA, then VBA to VB.net, and on to Visual Studio and VSTO. Each of these changes has been met with hand-wringing and botches galore, but somehow we managed to muddle through. VBA is still an integral part of Word and Excel, after more than a decade. So it's hard to believe Microsoft would kill it off. Likewise, those VSTO apps you have right now will no doubt work just fine in the Windows 7 compatibility part of Windows 8. Sure, they probably won't get into the UI in the Live Tile world -- but then, would you really want them to? (Just kidding.)
Before you join the blogosphere's panicfest, let's see what Microsoft says at its Build conference next month. Assuming we hear even one little peep about Office 15 -- by no means a given -- we'll be in a much better position to gauge whether the sky is falling a little bit, a lot, or even at all.
In the meantime, you devs who are waiting with bated breath for the answer -- it could't hurt to learn a bit of HTML5, eh?
This story, "The senseless panic over Microsoft Office 15," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.