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Friday, June 08, 2007, 09:40 am PT (12:40 pm ET)

New leadership hits Microsoft's Mac BU ahead of Office 2008 launch

Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU), which is preparing to launch Office 2008 for Mac in the second half of this year, has announced that Craig Eisler has taken over daily operations as the division's general manager.

Eisler replaces Roz Ho, who after seven successful years of leadership in the Mac BU transitioned to a new role within Robbie Bach’s Entertainment & Devices Division at the Redmond, Wash.-based software mammoth.

"As an Office for Mac user, I already knew we had a terrific set of products, and as I dug in, I discovered there was a terrific team of passionate people dedicated to innovation and excellence," Eisler wrote in a blog posting following his appointment. "Furthermore, Apple and Microsoft are great partners (have been for over 20 years), and there is still more we and Apple can do together."

"When I put all of that stuff together, it presented a very compelling opportunity," he continued. "But the icing on the cake - the thing that I love - is the chance to work on Mac products and to get to work with Apple."
 
In a company statement, Microsoft vice president Tom Gibbons welcomed Eisler, commenting that his "deep background in technology and product development" and "his demonstrated business leadership, and his respect for Apple," will help drive a productive relationship between the two companies, reinforcing the Macintosh Business Unit’s "tradition of delivering outstanding native Mac productivity software."   
 
Eisler arrives at the Mac BU with a long history in technology, ranging from his time at Microsoft as development manager for DirectX to forming AOL Wireless in 2005. Under his new position, he'll work closely with a staff of 180 engineers within the Mac BU to deliver Office 2008 for Mac as well as work on future versions of this award-winning productivity suite, Microsoft said in a statement to AppleInsider.

The software maker has maintained that it will ship the Intel native Office 2008 for Mac during the second half of the year. A summary of new features and screenshots were published during this year's Macworld Expo.