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Mossberg reviews, recommends Office for Mac 2011

post #1 of 52
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After reviewing Microsoft's upcoming Office for Mac 2011, which now includes Outlook, Walt Mossberg concluded that it was "by far the best Mac version of the suite" and recommended it to users.

The newest version of Microsoft's office suite is faster and better, although it is missing a few minor features from the Windows version, Mossberg said in his review for the Wall Street Journal. Office for Mac 2011 is due out Oct. 26.

One of the main draws of Office for Mac 2011 is the addition of Outlook, the email, calendar and contacts program popular with business users. Outlook, which has been built as a Cocoa application from the ground up, will replace Entourage, a Mac-specific email client bundled with previous versions of Office for Mac. Office for Mac 2011 will allow users to import Outlook data files, but it is currently unable to export its data to Windows.

Office for Mac 2011 also adds the ribbon interface that was added to Windows Office several years ago. However, unlike the Windows version, the ribbons can be disabled in favor of the more familiar menu and toolbars, which have been retained in the Mac version.

Though Office for Mac 2011 is missing several features from its Windows counterpart, it has also gained some Mac-only features. According to Mossberg, the "Dynamic Re-order" feature and a new Full Screen view with minimal distractions are features specific to the Mac. Pivot charts in Excel, full video editing in PowerPoint, and a "backstage" feature are missing from the Mac version.

Mossberg conducted several compatibility and fidelity tests between the Windows and Mac versions of Office with generally favorable results, especially with documents created in the most recent Windows version, Office 2010. Cross-compatibility between Windows and Mac versions of Office has been an issue in the past.

Office Mac 2011 is currently available for pre-order from Amazon.com, which is offering release-date delivery. The Home and Student edition is $110 while the Home and Business edition is priced at $175.
post #2 of 52
Slim comments about Outlook, but I'm looking forward to it never-the-less. Hopefully it will be full-featured and on pare with the Win version, finally. Archived mail support would be boon for sure.

Those prices are also quite attractive. This could be a major hit for MS.
post #3 of 52
i think iWork is better compare to the previous version of office for mac, will see how office 11 and iWork 11 are going to be once they are available...

my way or the highway...

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my way or the highway...

Macbook Pro i7 13" with intel SSD 320 series and 8GB RAM, iPhone 5, iPad 3 (Retina)

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post #4 of 52
This article and, I presume, Mossberg's review have a fatal flaw. Without question, it is very important that Office 2011 is compatible with Office 2010. However, it is even more important that Office 2011 be compatible with the user's existing files. I know from personal experience that Office 2008 cannot open many of my legacy files, files that Office 2004 open without issue. I also know from personal experience that the situation is worse for Office 2007 users. Office 2008 can open legacy files that Office 2007 can't. It would certainly be nice if this situation were fixed in Office 2010 and Office 2011, but I doubt that is has been fixed or that it will be fixed.

It is also critical that Outlook 2011 be compatible with the user's Exchange server. Unfortunately, Outlook 2011 is incompatible with all versions of Exchange server older than Exchange Server 2007. Until my firm upgrades, I am stuck with Entourage 2008 (12.2).

The sole reason for Microsoft Office:mac is compatibility with the the vast installed base across both Windows and the Mac. For a significant number of users, Office 2011 is a massive FAIL in this regard. The slobbering over it is not deserved.
post #5 of 52
Wish I could disable the ribbon on my work computer. After 3 years I still cannot find some of the more obscure commands.

So far, there is no word about update pricing from Office 2008
post #6 of 52
Office 2011 is amazing. I've been using it for a couple of months now. It's faster, outlook is awesome, has the same drag and drop feature as mail app, presumably has exchange, though I don't use it. Honestly I already pre-ordered the full version.
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--SHEFFmachine out
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post #7 of 52
Microsoft's bread and butter is Windows and Office, they will NEVER make a Mac version of Office on the same level as the Windows version, and Apple will never make a suite that competes with Office because Microsoft will kill Office for the Mac. The iWork suite is in competition with Microsoft Works and not Office, hence it's previous name Apple Works.
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post #8 of 52
You know what hasn't changed? The apps taking 2 minutes to open if you have a lot of fonts on your machine.

Every time you launch an Office app, it has to go through all of your fonts to make sure none of them are corrupt. Isn't that nice of them? I mean, no other Mac software has to do that but Microsoft felt that they had to.
post #9 of 52
There are many of us who DON'T need to worry about Exchange or Outlook. Is there an opinion (and I'm sure there are), on how iWorks stacks up against Office for those who aren't worried about business integration or backwards Office compatibility? I'm not interested in iWorks vs MS Works.

As background: I first was an Win Office user, then Office w/Entourage on a Mac in 2005, and for the last few years, iWorks with Apple Mail & iCal. Am I wrong to feel that I'm not missing anything by uninstalling the last Mac version of Office?

Thanks!
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Pivot charts in Excel, full video editing in PowerPoint, and a "backstage" feature are missing from the Mac version.

No pivot tables! Really?
I guess I'll continue to use use NeoOffice and donate money to them rather than get ripped off by Microsoft.
They've had a pretty mac-like interface for quite a while now and they didn't have to be begged and cajoled!
post #11 of 52
i'm curious how Office 2011 will fare on the Mac. the productivity suite has been critical for Apple since 1997.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

No pivot tables! Really?
I guess I'll continue to use use NeoOffice and donate money to them rather than get ripped off by Microsoft.
They've had a pretty mac-like interface for quite a while now and they didn't have to be begged and cajoled!

i agree. lack of pivot tables is absurd. maybe MS doesn't want Excel used to do exploratory or serious statistical data work? what i don't get is why they wouldn't want Excel to compete on the Mac platform in this way. i'll switch to SPSS for all my pivot table needs, i guess.
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

No pivot tables! Really?

Wow... that kills 2011 for me. Just learned to use them properly and I am not about to go back to conditional summations. Did they ditch auto-filter too?!
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lales View Post

There are many of us who DON'T need to worry about Exchange or Outlook. Is there an opinion (and I'm sure there are), on how iWorks stacks up against Office for those who aren't worried about business integration or backwards Office compatibility? I'm not interested in iWorks vs MS Works.

As background: I first was an Win Office user, then Office w/Entourage on a Mac in 2005, and for the last few years, iWorks with Apple Mail & iCal. Am I wrong to feel that I'm not missing anything by uninstalling the last Mac version of Office?

Thanks!

iWork is very good, I would say miles better than MS Works. But I find, as cool as Numbers is, it's a poor substitute for serious work in Excell. Similarly, Pages is great in many ways, but missing many features from Word that some might find essential. iWork is such a deal though, I'd say buy it and use it. If you become a power user and run into a limitation down the road, perhaps by then iWork will have a newer version that will work for you. Or you can take all the money you saved and use it to buy exactly what you need when you know exactly what that is. I have been able to satisfy my needs with iWork (I especially like Keynote) and NeoOffice. I also occasionally use an old version of Office (Office X) for some things.
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

No pivot tables! Really?
I guess I'll continue to use use NeoOffice and donate money to them rather than get ripped off by Microsoft.
They've had a pretty mac-like interface for quite a while now and they didn't have to be begged and cajoled!

No kidding. No pivot tables means I'm not upgrading. That's huge. (And, no, I'm not being sarcastic)
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

No pivot tables! Really?
I guess I'll continue to use use NeoOffice and donate money to them rather than get ripped off by Microsoft.
They've had a pretty mac-like interface for quite a while now and they didn't have to be begged and cajoled!

Not accurate. MS Excel 2011 has Pivot Tables; see Mactopia. Read the last paragraph.
patience - now that is a virtue I can't wait for!
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patience - now that is a virtue I can't wait for!
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post #17 of 52
Walter Mossberg recommends I should invest my hard earned money on Microsoft Office?
I suggest Walter Mossberg should temper his heroin addiction with some crack.
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

Slim comments about Outlook, but I'm looking forward to it never-the-less. Hopefully it will be full-featured and on pare with the Win version, finally. Archived mail support would be boon for sure.

Those prices are also quite attractive. This could be a major hit for MS.

I have been using the Beta for awhile, and I have not noticed any differences between the Mac and Windows versions of Outlook.

Overall the suite is fantastic.
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

This article and, I presume, Mossberg's review have a fatal flaw. Without question, it is very important that Office 2011 is compatible with Office 2010. However, it is even more important that Office 2011 be compatible with the user's existing files. I know from personal experience that Office 2008 cannot open many of my legacy files, files that Office 2004 open without issue. I also know from personal experience that the situation is worse for Office 2007 users. Office 2008 can open legacy files that Office 2007 can't. It would certainly be nice if this situation were fixed in Office 2010 and Office 2011, but I doubt that is has been fixed or that it will be fixed.

It is also critical that Outlook 2011 be compatible with the user's Exchange server. Unfortunately, Outlook 2011 is incompatible with all versions of Exchange server older than Exchange Server 2007. Until my firm upgrades, I am stuck with Entourage 2008 (12.2).

The sole reason for Microsoft Office:mac is compatibility with the the vast installed base across both Windows and the Mac. For a significant number of users, Office 2011 is a massive FAIL in this regard. The slobbering over it is not deserved.

I have never had a problem opening legacy files from any previous versions of office back to Office 2002
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Microsoft's bread and butter is Windows and Office, they will NEVER make a Mac version of Office on the same level as the Windows version, and Apple will never make a suite that competes with Office because Microsoft will kill Office for the Mac. The iWork suite is in competition with Microsoft Works and not Office, hence it's previous name Apple Works.

I don't believe a word you just wrote. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

You know what hasn't changed? The apps taking 2 minutes to open if you have a lot of fonts on your machine.

Every time you launch an Office app, it has to go through all of your fonts to make sure none of them are corrupt. Isn't that nice of them? I mean, no other Mac software has to do that but Microsoft felt that they had to.

That is not true with the Beta. All of the apps open in seconds, even on my 2.4 GHz MBP with 4 GB of RAM
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lales View Post

There are many of us who DON'T need to worry about Exchange or Outlook. Is there an opinion (and I'm sure there are), on how iWorks stacks up against Office for those who aren't worried about business integration or backwards Office compatibility? I'm not interested in iWorks vs MS Works.

As background: I first was an Win Office user, then Office w/Entourage on a Mac in 2005, and for the last few years, iWorks with Apple Mail & iCal. Am I wrong to feel that I'm not missing anything by uninstalling the last Mac version of Office?

Thanks!

If your needs do not exceed that of a High School level or maybe a college freshman, Office is overkill and iWork is just fine.
post #23 of 52
I won't be upgrading until we move to exchange 2010 in a couple of months. We get it for free as part of our software license agreement with The Vole. I do very very basic things in word and extremely rarely deal with excel or PowerPoint.
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lales View Post

There are many of us who DON'T need to worry about Exchange or Outlook. Is there an opinion (and I'm sure there are), on how iWorks stacks up against Office for those who aren't worried about business integration or backwards Office compatibility? I'm not interested in iWorks vs MS Works.

As background: I first was an Win Office user, then Office w/Entourage on a Mac in 2005, and for the last few years, iWorks with Apple Mail & iCal. Am I wrong to feel that I'm not missing anything by uninstalling the last Mac version of Office?

Thanks!

You asked a much better question than you may have realized. There is the implication that you either need Office or you don't need power. Unfortunately, today's market equates power and Office. You may hate Microsoft with a passion, but you really have very little choice expect to use its products. Even OpenOffice.org is now little more than a half-step behind clone of Microsoft Office. So, even if you choose not to use Microsoft's products, then you are still doing things the Microsoft way.

It is really a shame.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

You asked a much better question than you may have realized. There is the implication that you either need Office or you don't need power. Unfortunately, today's market equates power and Office. You may hate Microsoft with a passion, but you really have very little choice expect to use its products. Even OpenOffice.org is now little more than a half-step behind clone of Microsoft Office. So, even if you choose not to use Microsoft's products, then you are still doing things the Microsoft way.

It is really a shame.

You need Office if you need to interact with the business world. Numbers can only read about 20% of the Excel files I get from coworkers, and they're not that complex. In fact one of our company's standard document templates won't open properly in Pages; the graphics end up on the wrong page with lots of inexplicable whitespace in them. Keynote seems like the best substitute, but since I need to open PowerPoint documents, edit them and send them back to coworkers in a PowerPoint format, I might as well just use PowerPoint.
post #26 of 52
Outlook does not sync calendars with MobileMe - ONLY EXCHANGE. So that leaves us with just replacing Mac Mail and at this point, what's the use?... I will just stick with Powerpoint, Word and Excel and leave Outlook out of view since it's really only mostly there.. not complete and therefore not worth using.
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

You know what hasn't changed? The apps taking 2 minutes to open if you have a lot of fonts on your machine.

Every time you launch an Office app, it has to go through all of your fonts to make sure none of them are corrupt. Isn't that nice of them? I mean, no other Mac software has to do that but Microsoft felt that they had to.


I've only seen that if you CHANGE your fonts. That said if you have lots of fonts, this is why you use a font manager. Suitcase Fusion, FontExplorer.

Adobe doesn't check your fonts each time, but it also has much more robust font handing capability and assumes that you're in good control of your fonts as its a professional suite and assumes you're professional about your fonts too.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

Wish I could disable the ribbon on my work computer. After 3 years I still cannot find some of the more obscure commands.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/wo...010074432.aspx

There is a similar one for Excel.

One of the first things I did was move the quick reference bar below the ribbon and add several commands I use frequently (like set print area and page preview in Excel). That helped quite a bit, combined with the above file for word and the corresponding one for Excel. Now that I'm finally used to it, I prefer the ribbon to the menus. That doesn't mean I don't occasionally get frustrated when looking for something, but after a couple of weeks it wasn't that bad.
post #29 of 52
Outlook 2011 looks great but the calander function can not sinc whit ical or google calander
big bummer
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appletosh View Post

Outlook 2011 looks great but the calander function can not sinc whit ical or google calander
big bummer

I hoping that is only in the Beta, and that it will be fixed in the final version. I also hope iTunes gets an update to let me sync to Outlook, like they do in Windows.
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

You know what hasn't changed? The apps taking 2 minutes to open if you have a lot of fonts on your machine.

Every time you launch an Office app, it has to go through all of your fonts to make sure none of them are corrupt. Isn't that nice of them? I mean, no other Mac software has to do that but Microsoft felt that they had to.

Thanks for the info... I will probably pass now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

I don't believe a word you just wrote. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

iWork is meant as an AppleWorks replacement. iWork is for consumers not businesses. Go ahead and compare Apple's best offering to MS Office 2010 Professional... See what applications/features would be better for a business. You want to write letters, resume, home budgets, and vacation presentations, than iWork is your suite.
post #32 of 52
Claris Works?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Microsoft's bread and butter is Windows and Office, they will NEVER make a Mac version of Office on the same level as the Windows version, and Apple will never make a suite that competes with Office because Microsoft will kill Office for the Mac. The iWork suite is in competition with Microsoft Works and not Office, hence it's previous name Apple Works.
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post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by skittlebrau79 View Post

You need Office if you need to interact with the business world. Numbers can only read about 20% of the Excel files I get from coworkers, and they're not that complex. In fact one of our company's standard document templates won't open properly in Pages; the graphics end up on the wrong page with lots of inexplicable whitespace in them. Keynote seems like the best substitute, but since I need to open PowerPoint documents, edit them and send them back to coworkers in a PowerPoint format, I might as well just use PowerPoint.

I thought I was clear, but I guess you missed my point. There was a time when users decided what was the best word processor or spreadsheet for them. Now, that question is not asked. Buyers want to choose between Microsoft and the best substitute for Microsoft. On this forum, the questions about Apple's Pages are about how good it is as a Word substitute/reader and Apple's Numbers; as a substitute/reader for Excel spreadsheets. The thing is that Apple's iWork applications are neither designed nor intended to be substitutes for Microsoft products.

Everyone clearly understands the need for Word and the other Microsoft applications. However, not everyone has that need. Those who don't have the need should do all they can to support Microsoft's competition.
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

Wish I could disable the ribbon on my work computer. After 3 years I still cannot find some of the more obscure commands.

So far, there is no word about update pricing from Office 2008

Good News for you re Ribbon - in Office for Mac 2011, you csan show or hide the ribbon (visual menu) as you wish.

Pricing is reduced all round, so they are using the same approach as Apple, in that there are no 'uprgrade specific' versions.

Having used the beta for some time... the suit's great to use, and there are plenty of excellent (impartial) reviews out there from 'Apple' centric journalists..

see Macworld (4.5 mice and Walt Mossberg reviews as per the title article here).
http://www.macworld.com/reviews/prod...ml?expand=true
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

No pivot tables! Really?
I guess I'll continue to use use NeoOffice and donate money to them rather than get ripped off by Microsoft.
They've had a pretty mac-like interface for quite a while now and they didn't have to be begged and cajoled!

Excel on the Mac DOES have pivot tables... and I don't think you can say the pricing is a rip off (well you can say it - but it's not a very reasonable view...

Office H&S is about $100 to $120 or so, for software you'll use for circa 3 years - mabe more. so, $33 to 35 bucks per year, for Word, Excel, PPT, three mainline apps (can I say that or has Apple trademarked it ;-)

so that's maybe $10 an App - about the same as you'll pay Apple for one on the iPad.. but Office is far richer in terms of capability.

Seems OK (actually very good) value to me
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by salamandyr View Post

i agree. lack of pivot tables is absurd. maybe MS doesn't want Excel used to do exploratory or serious statistical data work? what i don't get is why they wouldn't want Excel to compete on the Mac platform in this way. i'll switch to SPSS for all my pivot table needs, i guess.

the initial poster was WRONG... Pivot tables ARE supported (and were on the outgoing 2008 version too come to that!

2011 add's in a whole lot of great new analysis capability to excel (sparklines / new conditional formatting etc.) - plus a big speed increase too.. try it, you won't regret it.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Microsoft's bread and butter is Windows and Office, they will NEVER make a Mac version of Office on the same level as the Windows version, and Apple will never make a suite that competes with Office because Microsoft will kill Office for the Mac. The iWork suite is in competition with Microsoft Works and not Office, hence it's previous name Apple Works.

iWork is not an update to AppleWorks. iWork is aimed at the home business person, not a corporate cubicle dweller who exchanges Office files with their coworkers all day.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

Wish I could disable the ribbon on my work computer. After 3 years I still cannot find some of the more obscure commands.

So far, there is no word about update pricing from Office 2008

I've just joined a company using Office 2007 so have just started using the ribbon, and have to admit I really like it. It's taken me a little while to get used to it, but I find it better than the menu system, which has surprised me, given a lot of the negative press I saw about it.

That said, I'm not really a power user.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by skittlebrau79 View Post

You need Office if you need to interact with the business world. Numbers can only read about 20% of the Excel files I get from coworkers, and they're not that complex. In fact one of our company's standard document templates won't open properly in Pages; the graphics end up on the wrong page with lots of inexplicable whitespace in them. Keynote seems like the best substitute, but since I need to open PowerPoint documents, edit them and send them back to coworkers in a PowerPoint format, I might as well just use PowerPoint.

I have to wonder just how much sharing of Office files goes on. Is my plumber sharing Office files with my electrician? Does a small business share files with other businesses that often? What do they share with other businesses that needs to be edited and sent back?

Outside of a corporate environment, I have to wonder how necessary it is to have 100% compatibility.
post #40 of 52
In Mossberg's review there's a screen shot of a "full screen view" of Word. My first thought was "that's what it would look like if it was on an iPad."

Hmmm...
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