Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th May 2008 20:34 UTC
Features, Office Microsoft has released the first service pack to Microsoft Office:Mac 2008. The company also said that sales of Office:Mac 2008 have "soared", and that it is "selling faster than any previous version of Office for Mac in the past 19 years". Microsoft also had a surprise announcement about Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support.
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Soared
by sbergman27 on Tue 13th May 2008 21:46 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

The company also said that sales of Office:Mac 2008 have "soared"


Like Vista.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Soared
by evert on Tue 13th May 2008 22:16 UTC in reply to "Soared"
evert Member since:
2005-07-06

It soared like the Apple sells. Because Vista drives customers to Mac OS X, while they still want to work with their old files and files from others, they have to buy some Office for Mac.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Soared
by bthylafh on Wed 14th May 2008 01:06 UTC in reply to "Soared"
bthylafh Member since:
2006-09-21

I think it's selling better for 2 reasons: Office XML formats & being a Universal Binary.

Mainly the former. That's what's been driving its installation at my workplace.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Soared
by Clinton on Wed 14th May 2008 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Soared"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

Do you mean people couldn't open documents sent to them in the new XML formats, or that people are really excited about the new XML formats?

If the latter, I'd have to politely disagree. Most people wouldn't know an XML based format from the old format, nor would they care.

I think the main reason people upgrade is for the same reason people climb Mt. Everest; because it is there.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Soared
by kaiwai on Wed 14th May 2008 05:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Soared"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Do you mean people couldn't open documents sent to them in the new XML formats, or that people are really excited about the new XML formats?

If the latter, I'd have to politely disagree. Most people wouldn't know an XML based format from the old format, nor would they care.


People might not care about it, but they do want compatibility with those who send Office files. Now sure, there are OOXML filter support for older versions of Office but how many of the non-technical people know about it?

As for OpenOffice.org 3.0 - IIRC it can only open them, but at the same time, there is an ODF plugin for Office, so the better option would be for the Office user to save their file in ODF format in the first place to avoid the importing problem.

As for whether people are excited; for the average person, a file is just a file; whether its in XML, XSL, ABC, 123 or CBC, it doesnt really matter to them. All the intellectual jerking off that occurs here doesnt really change the fact that for the average user, XML (like any other IT related TLA) is of little concern.

I think the main reason people upgrade is for the same reason people climb Mt. Everest; because it is there.


I have to admit, I used to be like that (and kinda like that now) - when I see the latest version of something its like, "I MUST HAVE IT!". I can't nail down why I actually need it, but I feel if I don't have it, I'll be left behind the times.

Reply Score: 3

Probably has been selling well
by bousozoku on Tue 13th May 2008 22:00 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

If you consider that MS Office 2004 for Mac was bloated and didn't perform all that well on PowerPC machines for which it was developed, you can imagine how it ran through on-the-fly emulation.

Of course, MS Office 2008 has been selling well.

I wonder if the performance enhancements are truly good or about equal with the so-so job Adobe did. Are PowerPC users seeing increased performance as well? Do the applications actually go to 0.0 % CPU on idle?

Interesting to see that they're reviving VBA on one side. Does this mean that VBA for Windows will be re-written also?

Reply Score: 2

LobalSurgery Member since:
2006-09-07

I'd attribute the success of Office 2008 to three reasons: Apple's marketshare is up, Intel Mac users have been waiting for a native version, and perhaps most importantly, a true Home/Student version can be found for $130. There was a Student/Teacher edition for Office 2004, but it was technically only for "qualified educational users". Otherwise, I believe it would have cost you around $300. Perhaps iWork's $70 price tag had a positive effect on Microsoft's pricing?

Word 2008 takes about 22 seconds for a cold launch on my dual 2 GHz G5 with 3.5 GB RAM. Subsequent launches take about 10 seconds. By contrast, Word 2004 took about 5 seconds and 2 seconds, respectively. Times for Excel and PowerPoint are similar. Can anyone comment on how fast it is on an Intel Mac?

Activity Monitor shows it taking 0.5 - 1% of CPU cycles at idle. However, it just feels absurdly slow, even when performing simple actions. I think I'm going back to Office 2004, especially since any macros will still work.

Reply Score: 1

bthylafh Member since:
2006-09-21

Office '08 is pretty slow on a Macbook, too. Maybe that's been addressed somewhat in SP1.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Probably has been selling well
by Clinton on Wed 14th May 2008 04:23 UTC in reply to "Probably has been selling well"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

I never bought Office for the Mac because:

I hate Entourage (I've had to help too many people with corrupted email databases).

I like Numbers better than Excel (for what I do with both programs anyway).

I like NeoOffice, Nisus, or Scrivener for documents (depending on my mood).

Keynote kicks PowerPoint's butt all around.

Reply Score: 2

Isn' t it interesting
by kaiwai on Tue 13th May 2008 22:15 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Isn't it interesting that when OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta appears natively on Mac OS X, and contains a basic VBA support, there is Microsoft announcing VBA support to reappear in Microsoft Office after adamantly declaring that it won't appear in it because it would be too complex.

What is Microsoft scared of? an Office suite such as OpenOffice.org which spans Windows, Mac OS X and *NIX; a uniform office experience where, no matter which platform it is run, you will get the same level of support.

Compare that with Office 2008 where major chunks of Office functionality are missing when compared to their Windows counter part.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Isn' t it interesting
by Soulbender on Wed 14th May 2008 13:17 UTC in reply to "Isn' t it interesting"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

What is Microsoft scared of?


My wild guess is going to be "competition".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Isn' t it interesting
by kaiwai on Wed 14th May 2008 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Isn' t it interesting"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

"What is Microsoft scared of?


My wild guess is going to be "competition".
"

Of course, but then again, in that post, I answered the very question with:

"an Office suite such as OpenOffice.org which spans Windows, Mac OS X and *NIX; a uniform office experience where, no matter which platform it is run, you will get the same level of support."

That is what scares Microsoft. Imagine a situation where you can have a heterogenous environment, people running operating systems which suited their particular area best; graphics department using Macs, bean counters using Windows, engineers and other boffins using *NIX - all held together with a single office suite whose features are equal on every platform supported. None of this, "well, there is Office for Mac but it is missing.....[laundry list of missing features when compared to the Windows counterpart]".

Reply Score: 5

RE: Isn' t it interesting
by tomcat on Thu 15th May 2008 00:46 UTC in reply to "Isn' t it interesting"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

What is Microsoft scared of?


What is wrong with competition?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Isn' t it interesting
by sbergman27 on Thu 15th May 2008 01:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Isn' t it interesting"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

What is wrong with competition?

From whose perspective?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Isn' t it interesting
by tomcat on Thu 15th May 2008 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Isn' t it interesting"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

From whose perspective?


From anyone's perspective.

Reply Score: 2

I know I'll look like I'm trolling...
by Moredhas on Wed 14th May 2008 01:51 UTC
Moredhas
Member since:
2008-04-10

I know I'll look like I'm trolling, but I seriously want to know this. Understandably, as with a lot of open source software, there are a lot of people who haven't heard of OpenOffice. Even so, you'd think a totally free office suite would catch on faster. Why do people insist on forking out between $300 and $600 (Australian dollars) or more for Microsoft office? Even if OpenOffice is missing one or two features, or expresses them in a totally different way, free should ALWAYS beat $600. Honestly, MS Office usually costs as much as, if not more, than it's contemporary Windows version, and people are irked by Vista's costs.

Reply Score: 5

bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


...
Why do people insist on forking out between $300 and $600 (Australian dollars) or more for Microsoft office? Even if OpenOffice is missing one or two features, or expresses them in a totally different way, free should ALWAYS beat $600. Honestly, MS Office usually costs as much as, if not more, than it's contemporary Windows version, and people are irked by Vista's costs.


On Mac OS X, it's simple. OpenOffice requires XWindows and even NeoOffice (an offshoot) requires Java.

On Mac OS X and Windows, it's probably the worry of compatibility but I'd find it difficult to believe that many individuals are buying MS Office.

In an office, is there a question? You need the safe choice, even if it's not a very good choice.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" ... Why do people insist on forking out between $300 and $600 (Australian dollars) or more for Microsoft office? Even if OpenOffice is missing one or two features, or expresses them in a totally different way, free should ALWAYS beat $600. Honestly, MS Office usually costs as much as, if not more, than it's contemporary Windows version, and people are irked by Vista's costs.
On Mac OS X, it's simple. OpenOffice requires XWindows and even NeoOffice (an offshoot) requires Java. On Mac OS X and Windows, it's probably the worry of compatibility but I'd find it difficult to believe that many individuals are buying MS Office. In an office, is there a question? You need the safe choice, even if it's not a very good choice. "

OpenOffice 3.0 (due out later this year) no longer requires XWindows on Macintosh.

http://marketing.openoffice.org/3.0/featurelistbeta.html#Mac_OS_X_S...

"Mac OS X Support
With Version 3.0, OpenOffice.org is now able to run on Mac OS X without the need for X11. Thus, OpenOffice.org behaves like any other Aqua application. "

Edited 2008-05-14 07:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

GIMP is free, yet Adobe doesn't show any signs of closing shop.
GCC is free, yet Intel and Microsoft develop their own compilers.
Linux is free ...

You get the idea.

Reply Score: 1

Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

OpenOffice.org's Swedish spell checking in nowhere near that in MS Office. It follows English rules instead of Swedish and gives wrong suggestions almost every time it doesn't recognize a word (which happens a lot). It also lacks grammar checking and such. And somehow the dictionaries isn't included in the installer so I have to install them afterwards.

Maybe it works better with English but as it is, it cannot be compared with MS Office.

Free is not always better...

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

OpenOffice.org's Swedish spell checking in nowhere near that in MS Office. It follows English rules instead of Swedish and gives wrong suggestions almost every time it doesn't recognize a word (which happens a lot). It also lacks grammar checking and such. And somehow the dictionaries isn't included in the installer so I have to install them afterwards.

Maybe it works better with English but as it is, it cannot be compared with MS Office.

Free is not always better...


MS Office's interoperability and compatibility is nowhere near that of OpenOffice.org. You have to download an obscure plugin to get any OpenDocument support at all, and even then it is very poor support and you cannot directly load and save OpenDocument files ... instead you have to jump through hoops to import & export them. You cannot set OpenDocument as the default file format, and you cannot associate OpenDocument file types with MS Office because it will just not work for you.

What is worse, MS Office is constrained to work properly on only the one platform. Not only can you not use a decent, functional and interoperable open format to get your own office files to work properly another platform ... you cannot even use Microsoft's own Office program on that other platform either.

Expensive and proprietary is not always better ...

PS: OpenOffice spell checking works fine in English. If there is a problem with Swedish ... you can help out here:

http://l10n.openoffice.org/

Edited 2008-05-14 09:39 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

You can help them and fix the problems instead of complaining about it

Reply Score: 2

Marcin Member since:
2007-06-06

Why do people insist on forking out between $300 and $600 (Australian dollars) or more for Microsoft office?

I use MS Office because my boss uses it. What's more, even though he complains lots about it and says that the only good version of office was the one released about 10 years ago and everything since than is just rubbish, he is using it. Why? Because other companies, clients and other people are using it. And he is scared of OpenOffice. He is scared that if he prepares something in OpenOffice, send it to someone else, who is using Office, it won't work or formating will not work, etc.

Additionally, using to different office softwares in one company would be problematic, more chaotic. One person is using MS office, another person is using something else, and some secretary is not using MS office nor OpenOffice but she prefers KOffice? It would be nightmare.

I don't say that we in my company should use MS Office. But since it was here, for maybe more than 10 years it will stay here. It would be to difficult to make sudden switch.

Edited 2008-05-15 01:17 UTC

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

He is scared that if he prepares something in OpenOffice, send it to someone else, who is using Office, it won't work or formating will not work, etc.


Your Boss possibly runs a bigger risk of this by using a different version of Office than "someone else" happened to be using.

Office 2007 itself has very much the same problem as OpenOffice in this respect ... it is possibly even a worse problem than OpenOffice has.

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/msoffice/?p=135

http://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=5186

http://education.zdnet.com/?p=1086

Reply Score: 2

Marcin Member since:
2007-06-06

He is scared that if he prepares something in OpenOffice, send it to someone else, who is using Office, it won't work or formating will not work, etc.


Your Boss possibly runs a bigger risk of this by using a different version of Office than "someone else" happened to be using.

Exactly. We have problems with different version of MS Office. One person is using MS Office 2003, another is using 2007 and someone else has Office XP and I have Office 2008 for Mac. Adding OpenOffice to this mixture would introduce additional confusion.

I don't know if there are no problems between different versions of OpenOffice?

Edited 2008-05-15 09:20 UTC

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Exactly. We have problems with different version of MS Office. One person is using MS Office 2003, another is using 2007 and someone else has Office XP and I have Office 2008 for Mac. Adding OpenOffice to this mixture would introduce additional confusion.

I don't know if there are no problems between different versions of OpenOffice?


If you were to introduce OpenOffice into this mixture, there suddenly becomes a single standard that could allow interchange that all parties could easily install at no cost.

There is no reason why you cannot put OpenOffice and MS Office on a machine at the same time. OpenOffice could provide a common format.

Finally ... Microsoft gets additional money if people have to upgrade their copy of MS Office because they are having trouble interchanging documents because they have different versions.

OpenOffice typically only gets installed if it is a way to solve such problems.

So ... which software provider do you think would introduce incompatibilities between Office versions, and which would be trying to solve that issue?

Follow the money ... and you have your answer.

Reply Score: 2

Office 2008 is fast
by Marcin on Wed 14th May 2008 02:11 UTC
Marcin
Member since:
2007-06-06

I've been working with Office 2008 on my Intel Mac, and it is much faster than Office 2004 or Office X, it does not crash and my memory usage does not go 100%. So I'm very satisfied with this it. I'm sure that this is mostly because Office 2008 has native support for Intel Macs.
However, I'm very interested to see how does OpenOffice 3 perform on Intel Mac.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Office 2008 is fast
by kaiwai on Wed 14th May 2008 05:43 UTC in reply to "Office 2008 is fast"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I've been working with Office 2008 on my Intel Mac, and it is much faster than Office 2004 or Office X, it does not crash and my memory usage does not go 100%. So I'm very satisfied with this it. I'm sure that this is mostly because Office 2008 has native support for Intel Macs.
However, I'm very interested to see how does OpenOffice 3 perform on Intel Mac.


When I ran Office 2008 it was terribly slow and unresponsive - it was on a MacBook 2.1Ghz with 2gigs of memory, so it was hardly a machine that didn't have enough grunt. 12.0.1 fixed some of the issues; I haven't tried 12.1 because my laptop was nicked, but from the reviews I've seen so far, the impact has been negligible in terms of performance.

As for what OpenOffice.org is like compared to Office 2008 - when OpenOffice.org loads faster than Microsoft Office, you know there is something wrong. OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta (I tried it before it was 'released' to the public), and it loaded faster than Office 2008.

As said previously; the one enticing thing, its a multiplatform Office suite where all the components are available in equal feature set on all platforms. What you can do in OpenOffice.org on Windows, you can do on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X or even FreeBSD. Hopefully companies will view this as a benefit and start rolling it out in their organisations.

Having been in IT before, I can assure you that alot of their claims of needing 'zyx in Office' isn't based on actual need but the nice feeling know it is there - but never actually using it. Take Active Directory - people may claim it to be great and superior to other directory software such as eDirectory or SUN Directory server - but even by Microsofts own acknowledgment, very few of the customers actually use the features which differentiate it from an opensource LDAP server.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Office 2008 is fast
by lemur2 on Wed 14th May 2008 07:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Office 2008 is fast"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

As for what OpenOffice.org is like compared to Office 2008 - when OpenOffice.org loads faster than Microsoft Office, you know there is something wrong.


OpenOffice.org version 2.3, 2.4 & upcoming 3.0 will load faster than Office 2008 on all platforms except probably for XP.

AFAIK Office 2008 does not load at all on a Linux platform ... on that platform therefore Office 2008 is infinitely slower than OpenOffice.org.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Office 2008 is fast
by BluenoseJake on Wed 14th May 2008 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Office 2008 is fast"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"AFAIK Office 2008 does not load at all on a Linux platform ... on that platform therefore Office 2008 is infinitely slower than OpenOffice.org."

Or infinitely faster, it's a tough call. Signed infinities always give me a headache

Reply Score: 5

Office 2003, the logical end of office
by mickrussom on Wed 14th May 2008 11:13 UTC
mickrussom
Member since:
2006-05-13

Office 2003, perfection compared to 2008.

Between Server 2008, Office 2008 and Vista, Microsoft is seriously screwing up.

I have used office for years, I have old copies of word 2.0 and office 4.3 right here, but this office 2008 - rubbish. At least let us turn ribbon off so we can pretend its 2003.

Reply Score: 1

suryad Member since:
2005-07-09

Finally the voice of reason. At least that is true on Windows I dont know if that version of the office is available for the Mac.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Office 2003, perfection compared to 2008.

Second System Syndrome. Or maybe 3rd, 4th, 5th... I've lost track. Most office suites today would have trouble beating WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS if judged objectively.

Edited 2008-05-14 14:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Office 2008 ... not dogfood
by ameasures on Wed 14th May 2008 12:54 UTC
ameasures
Member since:
2006-01-09

After using Office 2008 for the last few months; it just seems that nobody is eating their own dogfood. If the developers were using it then they would not have let it out of the door.

Switching focus between (Word) windows doesn't bring the right one to the front; interaction with spaces just isn't right; and occasional crashes whilst writing an email in Entourage.

SP1 - yes indeed, lets have stuff fixed.

I have got iWork and NeoOffice too. IMHE: Neo is best; iWork uses spaces properly and Office is needed for paying clients.

Cautiously hopeful having paid so much!
A

Reply Score: 2

ooxml
by Mellin on Thu 15th May 2008 09:27 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

sadly office 2008 doesn't save in standard ooxml

Reply Score: 2

RE: ooxml
by tomcat on Thu 15th May 2008 21:05 UTC in reply to "ooxml"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

sadly office 2008 doesn't save in standard ooxml


Huh? Yes, it does. Read the product description:

Product Features

Open XML file formats, the Office Art graphics engine, and other features that result in compatibility and file fidelity

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Office-2008-for-Mac/dp/B000WR2F2M/r...

Here are converters from OOXML to downlevel formats.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ab66b5bf-3...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ooxml
by lemur2 on Thu 15th May 2008 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: ooxml"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"sadly office 2008 doesn't save in standard ooxml
Huh? Yes, it does. Read the product description: Product Features Open XML file formats, the Office Art graphics engine, and other features that result in compatibility and file fidelity http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Office-2008-for-Mac/dp/B000WR2F2M/r... Here are converters from OOXML to downlevel formats. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ab66b5bf-3... "

Um ... no, it doesn't.

That format that Office 2007 saves to ... that is close to ECMA 376 with extensions. The OOXML that ECMA/Microsoft submitted to ISO is a subset of the Office 2007 file save format.

ISO looked at it and admist vast controversy made quite a number of changes to try to get it approved ... and eventually it was bribed and cajoled through and became ISO/IEC 29500.

The point is though that ISO/IEC 29500 standard which is now known as OXML or DIS 29500 is NOT the same as the Office 2007 default file save format.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML#Standardization
"On April 2nd, 2008, ISO officially published that the DIS 29500 has been approved for acceptance as an ISO/IEC Standard following a JTC 1 fast tracking standardization process. In accordance with the JTC 1 directives the Project Editor will now create the final text for scrutiny by ITTF and when this is complete the text will be published as ISO/IEC 29500. No existing implementation appears to conform to the the future ISO standard and still unpublished format. Microsoft Office 2007 currently conforms to the pre-ISO ECMA standard version, although Microsoft has said they will base their products on the ISO/IEC version of the specification."

Edited 2008-05-15 23:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ooxml
by tomcat on Thu 15th May 2008 23:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ooxml"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

That format that Office 2007 saves to ... that is close to ECMA 376 with extensions. The OOXML that ECMA/Microsoft submitted to ISO is a subset of the Office 2007 file save format.


Relevance?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ooxml
by Moredhas on Fri 16th May 2008 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ooxml"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

The relevance is, if Microsoft were to make a properly conforming Office suite now, that actually works the way their own format specifications SAY it works, it would break all of the 2007 and 2008 OOXML files. This is the biggest problem facing OpenOffice when it comes to importing and exporting OOXML files, as far as I know. Even if OpenOffice were to have a perfect implementation of OOXML, it just wouldn't work. Microsoft have kind of sodomised the whole point of an open standard.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: ooxml
by lemur2 on Fri 16th May 2008 03:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ooxml"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"That format that Office 2007 saves to ... that is close to ECMA 376 with extensions. The OOXML that ECMA/Microsoft submitted to ISO is a subset of the Office 2007 file save format.
Relevance? "

Relevance is directly in response to the quoted exchange.

To whit: ""sadly office 2008 doesn't save in standard ooxml"
Huh? Yes, it does."


MS Office 2007 (and AFAIK Office 2008) does not save files in a standard format, it saves files in Office 2007 format only.

Therefore, in order to reliably exchange such files, the two parties must have the same version of the MS Office application, anything else will not suffice ... even a different version of Office ... even the same version of Office on a different platform ... even a product that is certified compliant to the DIS 29500 standard .... none of them will reliably open Office 2007 files.

Ergo, if any part of your operations involves exchange of your electronicly-stored data, the Office 2007 application is not a suitable product for your operations.

That is the relevance.

Edited 2008-05-16 03:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ooxml
by Mellin on Thu 15th May 2008 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: ooxml"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080421091129596
Microsoft Office 2007 Fails OOXML Conformance Tests

(i believe that it's the same with office 2008)

Reply Score: 3

RE: ooxml
by thjayo on Thu 15th May 2008 21:09 UTC in reply to "ooxml"
thjayo Member since:
2005-11-11

I can tell you first hand that it does. And it is quite fast too.

Reply Score: 1