Halloween, at least in the United States, is upon us, and we're pleased to welcome, along with the usual bunch of trick-or-treating kids, our latest long-term sponsor, Microsoft's, more commonly known as MacBU and pronounced, at least for Halloween, as MacBOO! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Microsoft has sponsored TidBITS at various times over our 16-year history, but I hadn't known the current folks in the MacBU before the conversations that led to this sponsorship, conversations that started in response to their desire to make the MacBU a more active member of the Macintosh community. I was happy to discover that they were both clued into the Mac world in general and fully aware of how Microsoft as a company is often viewed, which is why they've been working on outreach efforts like more user group presentations,, and supporting publications like TidBITS. I expect they'll also be gathering feedback in a variety of ways as they work on the next version of the  applications. (Not surprisingly, I'm lobbying for collaboration features that will simplify sharing files while tracking changes across versions and enabling commentary.)
In the spirit of the season, the MacBU folks wanted to offer a treat for TidBITS readers to launch the sponsorship. Unfortunately, with two members of their team out on maternity leave, they couldn't find the time to create what I suggested - a batch of MacBOO! t-shirts with a bunch of ghostly Office icons floating around. Instead, they're giving away five copies of, which list for $399. If you'd like a copy, we're using our DealBITS system to pick the five winners - just . As usual, all entries are covered under our .
In the end, it's good to see the MacBU making efforts like this, since one way or another, Microsoft remains one of the most important software vendors for professional Macintosh users, and everyone stands to benefit if they become all the more invested in the world of the Macintosh.