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Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 sent to manufacturing

post #1 of 38
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Microsoft announced Friday that Office for Mac 2011 is now classified as "Release to Manufacturing." The software should be on track for release by the end of October as previously announced.

The Mac Business Unit team at Microsoft published a celebratory post on their blog Friday announcing that they had "signed off on final testing" and sent the product to production. This latest release was two and a half years in the making, with team members in Redmond, Silicon Valley, Beijing, Dublin Tokyo.

Office for Mac 2011 should be Microsoft's "best release yet," according to Product Unit Manager Geoff Price, who authored the post.

Key features added include Outlook for Mac, co-authoring, ribbons, cloud-based storage, in-document photo editing.

Macworld reported earlier that online retailer Amazon.com had an Oct. 26 availability date listed on its website, but the release date has since been removed. Microsoft had announced in August that the product would ship by the end of October.

Customers who purchase Office 2008 for Mac between Aug. 1, 2010 and Nov. 30, 2010 are eligible for a free upgrade. All other users will have to purchase the standalone versions. Prices start at $119 for the Home and Student version, which lacks Outlook, and $199 for the Home and Business version. An Academic version will also be offered to qualifying students and educators for $99.

For more, see AppleInsider's previous coverage of Office for Mac 2011:

Microsoft showcases co-authoring capabilities of Office 2011 for Mac

Office for Mac 2011 to feature co-authoring, ribbon interface

Road to Office 2011 for Mac: A New Hope

Road to Office 2011: New looks, support for Exchange, VBA

Microsoft officially unveils key Office 2011 for Mac features
post #2 of 38
I can't wait for this.... 2008 is terribly slow and not compatible with windows docs often.
post #3 of 38
Well done, it's hard to finish a large software project on time. I look forward to trying out the new email program.
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The Mac Business Unit team at Microsoft published a celebratory post on their blog Friday announcing that they had "signed off on final testing" and sent the product to production.



Wow. That is certainly good news for Apple! Microsoft treats them very well, all things considered.
post #5 of 38
It's not even funny how much better 2011 is than 2008.
post #6 of 38
This will be nice once it gets updated / secured. Right now I am using 08 for some academic writing. 2011 would be a risk if it changes formatting. But eventually, it will be nice to upgrade.
post #7 of 38
Can't wait. Collaboration features, outlook, VBA, Better UI. All very good reason to upgrade in my book. Will definitely be picking this up.
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post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

It's not even funny how much better 2011 is than 2008.

You are not kidding. I love the beta.
post #9 of 38
I am only going to upgrade from 2008 to 2011 if some Windows' user sends me a file that REQUIRES 2001 to open.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post

I am only going to upgrade from 2008 to 2011 if some Windows' user sends me a file that REQUIRES 2001 to open.

08 already opens all Office file formats, including docx. In fact compatibility between docx's is actually pretty good. So I guess you are safe and don't need to upgrade.
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post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post

I am only going to upgrade from 2008 to 2011 if some Windows' user sends me a file that REQUIRES 2001 to open.

Hopefully Open Office and iWorks will suffice.
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post #12 of 38
Quote:
Microsoft announced Friday that Office for Mac 2011 is now classified as "Release to Manufacturing." The software should be on track for release by the end of October as previously announced.

The Mac Business Unit team at Microsoft published a celebratory post on their blog Friday announcing that they had "signed off on final testing" and sent the product to production. This latest release was two and a half years in the making, with team members in Redmond, Silicon Valley, Beijing, Dublin, Tokyo.


Now, the Mac Business Unit team at Microsoft can work on a 64 bit Objective C, Cocoa version of Microsoft Office applications for those of us who prefer the speed of 64 bit computing. I am running my late 2009 iMac in 64 bit mode and I sure hope that Microsoft catches up.


post #13 of 38
Woot. I am looking forward to this version. I doubt anyone doesn't already know, but in case you don't...Outlook for Mac requires exchange 2008 or above.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Now, the Mac Business Unit team at Microsoft can work on a 64 bit Objective C, Cocoa version of Microsoft Office applications for those of us who prefer the speed of 64 bit computing. I am running my late 2009 iMac in 64 bit mode and I sure hope that Microsoft catches up.



I would like to see iTunes in 64 bit also.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Woot. I am looking forward to this version. I doubt anyone doesn't already know, but in case you don't...Outlook for Mac requires exchange 2008 or above.

No, that is not quite right - Using the Exchange functionality (Corporate email) of Outlook requires Exchange 2007 or above (No such thing as Exchange 2008, you must be thinking of Server 2008 very different). You can still use Outlook with IMAP or POP3 irreguardless.

If you can install and run office 2011, you can run Outlook.
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post

No, that is not quite right - Using the Exchange functionality (Corporate email) of Outlook requires Exchange 2007 or above (No such thing as Exchange 2008, you must be thinking of Server 2008 very different). You can still use Outlook with IMAP or POP3 irreguardless.

If you can install and run office 2011, you can run Outlook.

Yep. I actually like Outlook 2011. It works well, and i like having 1 app for email contacts and calendar instead of 3.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post

No, that is not quite right - Using the Exchange functionality (Corporate email) of Outlook requires Exchange 2007 or above (No such thing as Exchange 2008, you must be thinking of Server 2008 very different). You can still use Outlook with IMAP or POP3 irreguardless.

If you can install and run office 2011, you can run Outlook.

We have been working on a new XenApp server on Windows 2008 r2 the last two days. I must have gotten that in my head. Yes it is Exchange 2007.....my bad. As for IMAP or POP3, yes I realize that those two options are available. For my tastes, that's half ass doing it. To each their own.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

08 already opens all Office file formats, including docx. In fact compatibility between docx's is actually pretty good. So I guess you are safe and don't need to upgrade.

This is simply not true. I believe that you mean that Office 2008 can open Microsoft's new XML-based formats. Office 2008 can most certainly open these and a limited number of the versions of Microsoft's older binary formats. OTOH, Office 2004 cannot open the XML-based formats, but it can open just about every other Microsoft format. This means that Office 2004 can open many more Microsoft formats than Office 2008.

I would like for this situation to improve, but I doubt it. Perhaps someone who has actually used the Office 2011 beta for productive work has updated information. For many of us hoping for improved Exchange support with the new Outlook 2011, this is not to be. If your firm uses Exchange Server 2007, then you will be OK. If your firm is like mine and uses an older version, then you are SOL. Outlook 2011 is the new name for Entourage EWS aka Entourage 13.0, the latest version of Entourage 2008. Entourage EWS is incompatible with all versions of Exchange Server except Exchange Server 2007. Those of us who must access an older version of the Microsoft communications server must stick with the Exchange 12 fork of Entourage 2008.
post #19 of 38
I'd just like to see them make it fast. Features are fine but the vast majority of work is basic office work with text. I don't want a cold-boot to take over 20 seconds and then 5 seconds to start typing. I'd like to see it reach a usable state as fast as TextEdit and also not hog so much RAM.

The ribbon UI looks cluttered. They should have decided which buttons people need to use regularly and put them in there. You're not going to switch theme regularly and the styles palette could have been a drop-down. Insert could have had a single icon.

You shouldn't need submenu groups for items like tables and charts. You just insert a chart and the ribbon should change when you select one. Smart Art doesn't need to be loaded at the start either if you won't be using it.

I've been using OpenOffice 3 recently and it's pretty fast. The UI is not native but the program works well and loads pretty quickly. I'll check out Office 2011 but if it's not much better, I'll just stick to using OO3.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Now, the Mac Business Unit team at Microsoft can work on a 64 bit Objective C, Cocoa version of Microsoft Office applications for those of us who prefer the speed of 64 bit computing. I am running my late 2009 iMac in 64 bit mode and I sure hope that Microsoft catches up.



It would also be great if iTunes and Final Cut Pro were. It think a very small number of Office users need access to more than 4 GB of memory, but almost all FCPro users would benefit, and a lot of folks with big iTunes libraries, as well.

Anyways, there are so few people with more than 4GB (other than professional audio and video types), that this won't really be a general issue for at least a couple years.
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

This is simply not true. I believe that you mean that Office 2008 can open Microsoft's new XML-based formats. Office 2008 can most certainly open these and a limited number of the versions of Microsoft's older binary formats. OTOH, Office 2004 cannot open the XML-based formats, but it can open just about every other Microsoft format. This means that Office 2004 can open many more Microsoft formats than Office 2008.

I don't know what you're talking about. I've been opening lots of larger files created in Office 95 and 2003 on the Windows side and office 2001 for mac side using Office 2008, and have never experienced any problems other than the occasioning missing font, and some minor issues with tables. These were solved by opening in compatibility mode.

Are you talking about pre-95 file formats?
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

I don't know what you're talking about. ...

I can believe that.
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Now, the Mac Business Unit team at Microsoft can work on a 64 bit Objective C, Cocoa version of Microsoft Office applications for those of us who prefer the speed of 64 bit computing. I am running my late 2009 iMac in 64 bit mode and I sure hope that Microsoft catches up.



Umm, exactly what is faster about 64-bit computing? You, and many others, have fallen into the 'bigger numbers are better' trap. 32-bit programs are often notably faster than their 64-bit counterparts. Are you talking 64-bit instructions, which are generally slower except for data movement, or 64-bit memory addressability, helping to write that 4 thousand megabyte Word doc perhaps 0.1% faster since it's all in memory at the same time?

A 64-bit kernel is a great help to running more 32-bit programs at once without memory contention. That's the single biggest thing about '64-bit' unless you are a video editor or scientific/HPC user. Even there, you'd better have more than 3-4 GB of RAM in your machine or you're just slowing it down.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwatson View Post

Umm, exactly what is faster about 64-bit computing? You, and many others, have fallen into the 'bigger numbers are better' trap. 32-bit programs are often notably faster than their 64-bit counterparts. Are you talking 64-bit instructions, which are generally slower except for data movement, or 64-bit memory addressability, helping to write that 4 thousand megabyte Word doc perhaps 0.1% faster since it's all in memory at the same time?

A 64-bit kernel is a great help to running more 32-bit programs at once without memory contention. That's the single biggest thing about '64-bit' unless you are a video editor or scientific/HPC user. Even there, you'd better have more than 3-4 GB of RAM in your machine or you're just slowing it down.

All true. I just happen to fit that bill as I do medical imaging research on drug abusers and I have nearly 20,000 songs in my iItunes library
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I'd just like to see them make it fast. Features are fine but the vast majority of work is basic office work with text. I don't want a cold-boot to take over 20 seconds and then 5 seconds to start typing. I'd like to see it reach a usable state as fast as TextEdit and also not hog so much RAM.

The ribbon UI looks cluttered. They should have decided which buttons people need to use regularly and put them in there. You're not going to switch theme regularly and the styles palette could have been a drop-down. Insert could have had a single icon.

You shouldn't need submenu groups for items like tables and charts. You just insert a chart and the ribbon should change when you select one. Smart Art doesn't need to be loaded at the start either if you won't be using it.

I've been using OpenOffice 3 recently and it's pretty fast. The UI is not native but the program works well and loads pretty quickly. I'll check out Office 2011 but if it's not much better, I'll just stick to using OO3.

If he beta I am using is any indication then it is MUCH faster
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by grking View Post

If he beta I am using is any indication then it is MUCH faster

The laws of physics are not different for you than for everyone else. There is a tiny subset of functions for which 64-bit will be faster, perhaps dramatically so. Without knowing specifically what you are doing, there is no way to evaluate your assertion. Rest assured, however, it will make little difference to the vast majority of people here.
post #27 of 38
This new version will have macro capability, right?
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_markt View Post

This new version will have macro capability, right?

Yes. The return of VBA to the Mac is a major selling point of Office 2011.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Yes. The return of VBA to the Mac is a major selling point of Office 2011.

Its a major issue for us, we run 2004 because we need vba support, but are unable to buy licenses for 2004, or pay for 2008 and install 2004, so it's going to be good to finally be totally license compliant again, i'm sure we arent the only ones in this position
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by grking View Post

If he beta I am using is any indication then it is MUCH faster

I just checked the beta out and I would agree with you. It feels like a huge improvement over the last one. It still takes a while from a cold boot (for example after a system reboot or after the OS stops caching the app) - as much as 35 seconds to reach a usable state. OpenOffice 3 only takes 15-17 seconds from cold. It will vary depending on CPU, HDD etc. If they had a startup helper, it might improve this.

PowerPoint, Excel and outlook take far less time to load from cold though and seem to load very quickly if you've loaded at least one app in the suite already. After that initial load, the startup times are under 2 seconds for every app - previously it would be about 5 seconds and then a beachball before you type. It's now under 2 seconds to reach a usable state, which is great.

Typing is fast and responsive, no lag or delays while it does the spell-check. Templates load in very quickly and as you need them.

The ribbon UI does have more options than I feel is necessary and will take up lots of space on the 13" laptops but you can hide it in favour of a smaller formatting row and even turn it off altogether and use the menus to do the tasks. This works much better than the old inspector panel.

What actually seems better is hiding the toolbars using the view menu and leaving the ribbon open as there's some duplicate function anyway, which you can then close when you like, although the animation for this is a bit sluggish. This will allow you to get nearly the whole screen height on the 13" laptops.

I thought you couldn't get font previews but there's an option in the preferences to turn it on so that's fine.

The charts work very well - you just insert one and it opens a sheet in Excel and it updates live to your changes. Inline would have been better but it works ok and keeping the data in the Excel UI makes complex data edits easier.

The icons are not very good, they look Fisher Price. The 2008 ones were much more refined. It's a small issue but it degrades the appearance of the Dock. Check it out, I didn't even have to Photoshop the colour on the 'O' - the actual Dock icons are shown to the right of the picture in the black square:



Anyway, great improvements all round in the suite. I do feel it should be the same price for all editions, £190 seems a bit steep for the business edition and would probably encourage more people to switch to iWork considering it's £71 per user. A business should buy one per person really but the software doesn't do a network check so you can use one license.

For a business of 10 people, Office would cost £1900 at worst and £1200 at best (using the two machine license) whereas iWork would be at worst £710 and at best £71 as the software will still work. Office shuts down if it detects two people using the same license. I wouldn't encourage misuse of the license but the reality is that some workers will use it all the time and others just use it now and then to read the documents or make minor edits so a full license is wasted.

For home users, £90 for Office vs £71 for iWork is a lightly easier choice, although iWork is still much cheaper for multiple machines. Most home users need a word processor and Word is better than Pages for this. Pages has a better layout mode but for letters and resumes, Word will be a better choice for most people and after seeing Office 2011, I'd be happy to recommend it. Issues may come up when people start using the suite heavily but from what I've seen I think they've done a really good job with it this time. Between this, the IE9 previews and to some extent Windows Phone 7, it shows Microsoft are putting some effort in where it was sorely needed so kudos to them.
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Now, the Mac Business Unit team at Microsoft can work on a 64 bit Objective C, Cocoa version of Microsoft Office applications for those of us who prefer the speed of 64 bit computing. I am running my late 2009 iMac in 64 bit mode and I sure hope that Microsoft catches up.




Count yourself lucky that a company like Microsoft makes ANYTHING for such a small group of potential customers.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Count yourself lucky that a company like Microsoft makes ANYTHING for such a small group of potential customers.

Historically, the Macintosh Business Unit has been one of Microsoft's few profitable ventures. Don't count yourself lucky; count yourself as a profit.
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

It would also be great if iTunes and Final Cut Pro were. It think a very small number of Office users need access to more than 4 GB of memory, but almost all FCPro users would benefit, and a lot of folks with big iTunes libraries, as well.

Anyways, there are so few people with more than 4GB (other than professional audio and video types), that this won't really be a general issue for at least a couple years.


64 bit computing is all about the speed of computing, 64 bit applications running and going through a work load twice as fast as 32 bit applications.

Contrary to what Apple and the laggers would have you believe, 64 bit computing is not all about the amount of RAM you install and use, as RAM used to be expensive and extra RAM, more than 4 GB, was needed only for professional graphic applications like Adobe Photoshop or Apple Final Cut Pro.

64 bit computing is for the rest of us, it's all about the speed of execution for applications like the ones you get from the World Community Grid @

http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/


post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Count yourself lucky that a company like Microsoft makes ANYTHING for such a small group of potential customers.


Twenty years ago, back in the 1988-1990 era, there were no Microsoft Windows, just Microsoft DOS, and, consequently, no Windows version of Microsoft Office applications.

The retail price in Canada in a university student co-op was $600 for Microsoft Word and $600 for Microsoft Excel. Again, there were no Windows version of any applications because Windows had not been invented yet and, to my knowledge, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Outlook had not been invented either.

For that matter, there were no emails before 1995 when the World Wide Web was introduced, the World Wide Web being a graphical user interface of the internet. At the press conference to introduce Windows 95, Bill Gates famously replied that "Internet is irrelevant" when pressed about the absence of software to connect to the internet in Windows 95, either to surf the internet with Netscape Navigator or to write and read emails.


post #35 of 38
Who in their right mind would put the bloated, super expensive, proprietary, Microsoft Office on a mac? iWork is a million times better than this, and not to mention, way cheaper.
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Yes. The return of VBA to the Mac is a major selling point of Office 2011.

Excellent!

Now I hope it doesn't have the layout of the most recent version of office for windows. I have to use windows and the version of office they have sucks, they changed the interface and I spend time looking for what I used to be able to find easily.

That said, if it does have the bad interface, it won't hold me back from buying this new version of office.
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_markt View Post

Excellent!

Now I hope it doesn't have the layout of the most recent version of office for windows. I have to use windows and the version of office they have sucks, they changed the interface and I spend time looking for what I used to be able to find easily.

That said, if it does have the bad interface, it won't hold me back from buying this new version of office.

I know sc! Hey long time, good to see you back!
Anyway, I agree. I. Hate. The. Ribbon. It's like Windows dialogue tabs where they "jump around". Buttons shouldn't move. Office GUI shouldn't change, at least so rapidly, unless proven better. The ribbon isn't easier or more discoverable, just different. Arguably slightly worse IMHO.

However, Office 2007/2010 added a lot of powerful tools to Excel. They still have yet to fix many issues with statistics though. See http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/1263441...soft+Excel.pdf Scary! I can't believe MS wouldn't fix this stuff ASAP. I mean decisions of monumental proportions get made based on graphs professionals create with Excel, in good faith that Excel works right! I hope they tackle those well-detailed statistics bugs, before adding cute buttons. And, of course, VBA/VBScript/C# would be great.
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post #38 of 38
Has anyone else noticed that the use of IMAP in Outlook 2011 kind of sucks compared to Apple Mail? It seems to suffer the same fate as PostBox.. I have multiple IMAP accounts setup at home as well as my laptop.

I had Outlook 2011 (beta 6) running at home, left open. Received about 100 e-mails throughout the day at the office and read them on my laptop, came home and they're all sitting there marked as unread. Goes both ways as well, when I receive mail on my desktop, it won't show as read on my laptop. When I read e-mails received on the phone or ipad, etc.

For that simple fact, I unfortunately, won't be using Outlook 2011.
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