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Microsoft Bringing HTML5 and JavaScript to Office 15

Enterprises have long customized Microsoft Office, using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). Now it appears those technologies will have to make room for HTML5 and JavaScript. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports on a new job listing from Microsoft that indicates that the company is adding JavaScript and HTML5 support to Office.

The good news for legacy shops is that, as Foley says, there is no indication that Microsoft is dropping support for VBA and VSTO. But this development advances JavaScript’s supremacy in the development world and demonstrates Microsoft’s seriousness about the language.

The job posting reads:

“Now is the time to take Office programmability to the next level. We’re a small but strong team within Visual Studio that is currently in the planning stages for Office 15 programmability tools. One of our key goals is to enable professional developers to contribute to the Office platform by making development for Office as easy and fun as building applications for the next version of Windows! Integration of JavaScript/HTML5 will enable developers to create rich applications that span clients and server, integrate with Office 365, enhance the SharePoint experience, and unlock new scenarios that unleash the great potential that lies in the combination of Office and the cloud.”

Another listing cited by Foley reads:

“Our mission is to provide the next generation of tools for extending functionality in Microsoft and third party applications through scripting, macros, and add-ins. Those tools allow the business application developer to take full advantage of modern programming platforms (e.g., Visual Basic, C#, HTML, JavaScript) to quickly and easily develop innovative customized solutions for their organization.”

Since the announcement of Windows 8 some developers have worried about the future of Silverlight and .Net as Microsoft increasingly stresses JavaScript, CSS3 and HTML5 along with Visual C++.

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