Microsoft Office Mac & Retina Displays

There's been quite a few stories in the news lately about Microsoft's plans for the Office suite.  These articles draw the conclusion that Microsoft has no immediate plans to update their office suite to support HiDPI rendering on Macs with Retina Displays.  What source is cited for this conclusion?  The comments from a blog post.  Based on criticisms about the quality of icons and interface elements, a user with the name "Office for Mac Team" posted the following: "The remaining apps will have the same viewing quality as on any non-Retina device... ...Unfortunately at this time, we cannot comment on any future updates regarding supporting Retina on Word, Excel or PowerPoint."

Am I missing something?  This is a really standard PR phrasing for "no comment."  There's no dismissal or discussion of Retina support.  All that is asserted is that the apps work today on Retina Macs-there is no discussion of what's next.

Office icons

I can think of three possibilities regarding Retina support in Mac Office.

  1. Office 2011 for Mac will get an update for Retina displays.  This could be as simple as text rendering, or could include updated bitmaps as well.
  2. The next version of Office will include support for Retina displays.
  3. Microsoft is evaluating retina support and has not reached a conclusion.

I'd be shocked if there's no 2011 build floating around in the Mac BU with Retina text support.  If it exists, it has to be tested.  We also don't know how far along the next version of Mac Office is in development.  It may already be too late for it to ship with native Retina support.  In that case, we may be looking at a patch that comes later.

The point is we don't know.  Microsoft has only issued a "we don't have anything to say" statement.  That does not mean there is nothing to be said.