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Microsoft offering Office 2008 free trial for Mac users

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Microsoft's Mac Business Unit this week is making available to Mac users a "fully functional, no strings attached" free trial of Office 2008 so that prospective buyers and users of previous versions can 'kick the tires' on new suite before plunking down the cash for a permanent copy.

The 545 megabyte download is available after a quick registration over at the Redmond-based company's MacTopia website. The registration is required to generate an trial product key that will expire 30 days thereafter.

Although Office 2008 for Mac made its debut over a year ago, this is the first time Microsoft has offered customers the option of trying the software before they buy it. The trial copy will run side-by-side with earlier versions of Office and includes a year's worth of maintenance and security improvements.

"The MacBU is aware that a number of customers have wanted to try Office 2008 for Mac before purchasing, and they have been working to make this available in tandem with updates to 2008," a representative for the software giant told AppleInsider.Â*"Today customers can now check out Office 2008 with the fixes and performance enhancements that have been made since launch."

Once the 30-day product key expires, users will have the choice to either purchase a copy of the suite from an Apple authorized reseller or buy a product key from Mactopia online and be up and running without reinstalling.

Of course, Microsoft fragments the office suite into various versions like it does its Windows operating system. A "Home and Student Edition" costs $149.95, the standard version is priced at $399.95, and the Special Media Edition fetches 499.95. However, Amazon.com has these same editions listed for $111.99, $240.00, and $224.95, respectively. For a breakdown of what's included in each edition, see this article.

Meanwhile, readers interested in familiarizing themselves with Office 2008 and the history of Office without downloading the software may want to check out AppleInsider's six-part series: Road to Mac Office 2008.
post #2 of 63
Still not biting. Start offering the same educational discounts as the pc version and i'll rethink.
post #3 of 63
Doesn't this free trial come already with the purchase of any new iMac or MacBook as well? It used to with the prior Office- I thought it still did.
post #4 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Doesn't this free trial come already with the purchase of any new iMac or MacBook as well? It used to with the prior Office- I thought it still did.

It didn't come with my MacBook Pro in February.
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post #5 of 63
Hahahah Free Trial for Mac owners and just buy it for PC owners. I wonder what caused them to make this move? Maybe all the Mac owners are already broke from buying their computer they cant afford the software to go along with it HAHAHAH!
post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post

Still not biting. Start offering the same educational discounts as the pc version and i'll rethink.

I will never buy it. It took me like 10 minutes just to figure out how to print a page on Windows version. I had a computer class Office 2003 couple years ago and I learned pretty well how to use it. But when I had to use that new bloated version with whole setting changed, I was happy to have iWork and OpenOffice at home. Those people at Redmond just don't get it.
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Marquiz d' Gabber von Gabberaarde

... and Windows Vista...
... fails on the Moon...
... 6x slower!
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post #7 of 63
Does the Mac version have that awful "ribbon" interface? No thanks... I would break down and switch to Open Office before upgrading my 2004 to 2008! MS just doesn't offer much in the compelling reasons to upgrade department.

If they wanted to make it worth an upgrade, bundling Visio for Mac would be a start...
post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabberattack View Post

I will never buy it. It took me like 10 minutes just to figure out how to print a page on Windows version. I had a computer class Office 2003 couple years ago and I learned pretty well how to use it. But when I had to use that new bloated version with whole setting changed, I was happy to have iWork and OpenOffice at home. Those people at Redmond just don't get it.

I've got to disagree here. I've tried iWork and OpenOffice and neither have the power or flexibility I need; numbers simply isn't as powerful as excel and lacks many, many features and OpenOffice isn't as compatible as it pretends to be.

Finally there's the issue of wasting time learning an interface; These are PRODUCTIVITY tools, any change from the normal (in my case office '04) has a negative impact on productivity.

The issue that may face microsoft is the same issue they have with windows; the previous version was very good. I will continue to use '04 until a hardware upgrade renders it useless.
post #9 of 63
I bought it, used it for a month or so, then reverted back to the old office - and iWorks.

Comparing Office and iWorks, Keynote is far superior to PowerPoint in any aspect; Pages is less powerful then Word, but has all the main features and is much less confusing; Numbers may be less powerful then Excel, but has some really niftily features that speeds up simple spreadsheet work.
post #10 of 63
NeoOffice woks great. Stable and fast enough. Can open MS files, even when meta data embeded that Office for Mac fails to open.
post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by shavex View Post

Maybe all the Mac owners are already broke from buying their computer they cant afford the software to go along with it HAHAHAH!

Yeah, because once you buy a Mac you no longer make any more money in your lifetime...

Are you trolling or just that ignorant?
post #12 of 63
iWork has style.
Office has lots of junk almost nobody needs but everyone abuses.
But still I wish people would learn that there's a proper way to align the text to the right without inserting a hundred of spaces or that page and section breaks exist. If you dig that iWork has an easier interface to format your document.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzasus View Post

Finally there's the issue of wasting time learning an interface; These are PRODUCTIVITY tools, any change from the normal (in my case office '04) has a negative impact on productivity.

Absolutely! All the Office apps interfaces were changed so dramatically (at leaset ont eh Windows side), I'm still trying to figure it out.
Thanks heavens for Google...

I have Office 2004 for Mac but rarely use it. Only got it cause it was $20 thru work/Home Use Program and I didn't have any other apps at the time.
No interest in going to 2008, especially since I got the Mac OS box set with iWork (for what little use I need of a spreadsheet, it'll do fine)
post #14 of 63
Wow, finally! It seemed to take forever for the trial to come out When I first wanted to get office 08 I had no idea whether it was good or not (you can't really read the reviews on the apple site, after all)...
post #15 of 63
I haven't used office on a Mac (on wihch I do most of my office-related work) since April 2006 - when I first bought a Mac after a 5-year hiatus from Apple. As soon as I found out about iWork, MS' bloated officeware was off my hard drive. And good riddance, too.
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Does the Mac version have that awful "ribbon" interface? No thanks... I would break down and switch to Open Office before upgrading my 2004 to 2008! MS just doesn't offer much in the compelling reasons to upgrade department.

If they wanted to make it worth an upgrade, bundling Visio for Mac would be a start...


Mac Excel 2004 is nearly perfect. Why MS had to tinker with the look and feel of it for 2008 is beyond comprehension. Then again XP was superceded by Vista.
post #17 of 63
Does 2008 support VBA, or was 2004 the last version to support it?

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #18 of 63
I've mostly been using a Windows laptop lately, and am waiting to get a new Mac Pro. I don't have a lot of experience trying different office suites on OSX, so I wanted to know what you guys think.

Is the Mac Office as good/capable (or more so) than the Windows version. In other words, do most of you use Apple's iWork or Mac Office on OSX, or do you run the Windows version of Office in a virtual machine (or dual-boot)?
post #19 of 63
Perhaps we are weird but it can be said of our family --- 20 years with Mac and no MS -- . We seem to have made it quite well. I know we feel good inside knowing that we have not supported a company that has a rather checkered Legal history (Charges Fines and Penalties). We seem to have done just fine using products and services from a company that creates things, rather than from a company that is forever copying the creative work of others because it lacks imagination. --- So no thank you, free trials do not interest us. PS Macro Viruses are not welcomed here. HT
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

I've mostly been using a Windows laptop lately, and am waiting to get a new Mac Pro. I don't have a lot of experience trying different office suites on OSX, so I wanted to know what you guys think.

Is the Mac Office as good/capable (or more so) than the Windows version. In other words, do most of you use Apple's iWork or Mac Office on OSX, or do you run the Windows version of Office in a virtual machine (or dual-boot)?

Mac Office is unbelievable compared to the Windows version. I've used both Excel and Word now for 10 years for MAc. You're in for a treat if you've only used the Windows version. The look and feel of it in OSX is just sublime. And totally compatible with any files from the PC.
I still use the Windows versions during the day at work and email files home all the time then use the MAC version- no problems.
post #21 of 63
I bought 2008 and used for 1 week and went back to 2004.

Word 2004 runs under Rosetta and launches in a few seconds while Word 2008 is a native application and takes "forever" to launch. I am so confused about that.

Microsoft changed the formatting of copied text somehow so you can no longer copy from a Word doc and paste formatted text into Dreamweaver CS 3. A task I do many times each day. The only solution is to upgrade to Adobe CS4 for only $600. Not ready to do that as my income has been negatively impacted by this recession.
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by htoelle View Post

PS Macro Viruses are not welcomed here. HT

It's not the Windows version- its a MAC version. Totally different - virus wise.
post #23 of 63
Yay! Slow your machine to a crawl for free!
post #24 of 63
I hear the mac version is as good - if not better than the windows version, but that's a lot of lettuce for office software.
post #25 of 63
The Mac version of Office is simply not as robust as the Windows version. A year later it's still slow to launch though less prone to crash than in it's first version. A year later, MBU acknowledge that Office doesn't work property with Leopard SPACES, but they're not about to do anything about it. The installation in bloated. UGH. Unfortunately, Word and PP makes themselves inevitable because my clients use it.
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdyates View Post

I hear the mac version is as good - if not better than the windows version, but that's a lot of lettuce for office software.

M$ has to get a lot of cash to pay for the Seinfeld ($10 million) and "I guess I'm not cool enough for Apple" ads.
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

I've mostly been using a Windows laptop lately, and am waiting to get a new Mac Pro. I don't have a lot of experience trying different office suites on OSX, so I wanted to know what you guys think.

Is the Mac Office as good/capable (or more so) than the Windows version. In other words, do most of you use Apple's iWork or Mac Office on OSX, or do you run the Windows version of Office in a virtual machine (or dual-boot)?

I use Max X Office 2001. It's fine, but as with everything Microsoft for Mac, it seemed like it was purposely a downgrade from the previous version. It came out just about the time Gates ceased boosting that he made more money from every Mac sold then Apple.
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post #28 of 63
MS Excel is the only thing I need. Who wants to use word with Pages being compatible and great programs like Nisus Writer Pro out there???

Not me. Me and my office purchase Office for Excel only and I hope one day some one can make a spreadsheet equal to Excel in today's form. Past that, MS Office blows if you have tried anything else.
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post #29 of 63
I've never cared for either Word or Powerpoint (both Windows and Mac versions) but will admit that the Mac versions just seem better. Maybe that's because everything looks one degree more ugly on Windows.

That said, Excel is the gold standard in spreadsheet software and not without reason. It works and it works well, regardless of the platform.
post #30 of 63
I think MS Office 08 is to buggy and reaaaally slow!
And of course isn't better than the windows one which is very good and doesn't miss Access too!

Although i really like the interface of Office 08! I wish it could work as the windows one!

if it has greek spelling too....

Too expensive btw! :P
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by psjofors View Post

Comparing Office and iWorks, Keynote is far superior to PowerPoint in any aspect; Pages is less powerful then Word, but has all the main features and is much less confusing; Numbers may be less powerful then Excel, but has some really niftily features that speeds up simple spreadsheet work.

Agreed. I'd used PowerPoint in the past, but just for simple presentations. When I started having to actually give full presentations, I decided to try Keynote and found it quick and easy and makes much better-looking presentations (partially it's because of the way the Mac anti-aliases fonts, but also just because Keynote makes it much easier for placing options and creating transitions). When I had to collaborate on a few presentations recently with co-workers who were using PCs, I found myself back in PowerPoint. I realised that beating my head against a wall repeatedly was far more enjoyable. Everything just takes so much longer in PP. Editing multiple objects takes many many round-trips through dialogs that can be done far more quickly and intuitively using Keynote's inspector pane. ...and with multiple inspectors up, the job is even that much faster.

Pages long ago replaced Word as my editor. It's layout functions are light-years ahead of Word's. Word isn't bad, I just find Pages preferable. I love Numbers for its take on laying out worksheets free-form, but is still missing some very needed features (such as Auto Filter and acknowledging that sorts should ignore the header).

Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

NeoOffice woks great. Stable and fast enough. Can open MS files, even when meta data embeded that Office for Mac fails to open.

I have MS Office 2008 on my Mini at the office, but for the most part only use it because of Entourage. For Word and Excel files I use NeoOffice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Does 2008 support VBA, or was 2004 the last version to support it?

Nope. 2008 recognises macros but will not run them. The MBU at MSFT has recognised this is a huge barrier and has announced that the next version of Office will again support macros.

My guess is that porting Office from CodeWarrior over to xcode and from Carbon to Cocoa was such a huge undertaking that they simply didn't have the time to include support for VBA. Either that or (dons cynical hat) monkey boy didn't want to leave in that bit of incentive for business users to switch to the Mac

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Mac Office is unbelievable compared to the Windows version. I've used both Excel and Word now for 10 years for MAc. You're in for a treat if you've only used the Windows version. The look and feel of it in OSX is just sublime. And totally compatible with any files from the PC.
I still use the Windows versions during the day at work and email files home all the time then use the MAC version- no problems.

Well I don't know about totally compatible. Have you tried opening up Word documents that use forms? Those often times don't render very well on my machine, and scrolling through a form is horrendously painful. Also, I don't believe that embedded documents work quite right (as in, an Excel worksheet embedded into a Word document, ala OLE, or whatever the current name for DDE/OLE is). And forget about an Excel spreadsheet linked to an Access or ODBC database. That's pretty well guaranteed not to work correctly--at least if you want live data.

Point taken though that most common documents do work just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdyates View Post

I hear the mac version is as good - if not better than the windows version, but that's a lot of lettuce for office software.

Better is quite a subjective term. I don't know that I'd say it's better. Entourage has some nice functionality, some of which is not available in the Windows Outlook client. One feature alone (which I've mentioned elsewhere before) is absolutely fantastic--the project center. It takes some advance setting up, but it's a great way to organise projects and their associated tasks. For example, if you go through you contact list and associate the appropriate people with their projects, then any emails you receive will automatically be organised into the project center. Any attachments included in those emails will be organised into the project's folder within the project center. Likewise for meeting invites and calendar entries. This is all done automatically for any emails sent from contacts associated with a project, and of course you can also flag items manually.

I found it very powerful when I was taking a class, for example. All of the due dates and homework assignment handouts were easily found from within the project center, as was the history of emails sent and received.

However, equally as bad is the fact that while Entourage can properly display html and rtf formatted messages, it cannot create (or even properly edit/forward) them. If you receive a message with tables (or even tab stops), when you forward or reply to that message, that formatting will be lost and the message will become an absolute mess. Likewise you cannot create hyperlinks in a message.

What's odd is you can work around much of this limitation by creating the message as a Word document, formatting it (including tables, hyperlinks, etc), and then using mail merge to send the (Word-formatted) message as an HTML-formatted document.

I seriously hope Microsoft takes care of this in the next release. Even Netscape Mail (circa-1997) had the ability to send messages with full html formatting.

That said, if there was an alternative to Entourage (which Snow Leopard may provide), then I'd have no reason to have Microsoft Office on my Mac. I don't have it on my laptop, and have never missed it.
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

iWork has style.
Office has lots of junk almost nobody needs but everyone abuses.
But still I wish people would learn that there's a proper way to align the text to the right without inserting a hundred of spaces or that page and section breaks exist. If you dig that iWork has an easier interface to format your document.

IMHO - In normal business communications, justifying the right side of text makes it difficult to read and is out of use.
post #33 of 63
Office for mac is horrible. It barely is powerful enough to do things that were a breeze in office 97 for the pc. I am not splitting hairs, MS simply does not provide a robust office product for macintosh. Excel is an atrocity in this children's version of microsoft's rather powerful PC version. If you think office for mac is good, just buy iWork. It is cheaper and also relatively unsophisticated just like "office" (giggle) their misleading title for this software that omits most of the features I need for even mid level corporate and academic work. That was microsoft's goal by the way: keep mac out of enterprise.
post #34 of 63
Office 2004 is fine. I plan to keep using it as long as possible, even under Rosetta on my MacBook. I'd rather have a Universal version of 2004 than 2008, period.

If I can no longer use 2004 then I'll move over to OpenOffice; the ribbon interface is garbage.
post #35 of 63
Since Entourage still keeps everything in one big database file (making Time Machine backups problematic), I switched to Mac Mail a few years back. I'm surprised that Office 2008 didn't update Entourage in order to fix this issue. A big problem I've been having with Office v.X is with the "find" command. Often it will simply not accept anything typed into the "Find what:" field, and I have to switch to a different app such as Safari and then switch back again for it to work again. I'm not sure if this is a bug in Office or in the Rosetta emulator, but since I use Excel on a daily basis, it is a pain in the butt.

I just downloaded the new Office 2008 test version, so we'll see how it works over the next 30 days.
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpf1952 View Post

The Mac version of Office is simply not as robust as the Windows version. A year later it's still slow to launch though less prone to crash than in it's first version. A year later, MBU acknowledge that Office doesn't work property with Leopard SPACES, but they're not about to do anything about it. The installation in bloated. UGH. Unfortunately, Word and PP makes themselves inevitable because my clients use it.

Oh good, I thought it was just me who was having so much trouble with Word in Spaces.
post #37 of 63
You know . . .

The MacBU has at least 50 employees I'm guessing. What the hell do they work on all day?
post #38 of 63
I cannot speak for the rest of you on this list, but I find it distasteful that MS first has the inclination to insult Mac users , then has the chutzpah to try and sell their wares to us. The only MS office product used at my house is Word, and that is because it is difficult for my wife to learn new software (brain injury). If she could without freaking out, I would switch to OO, and NeoOffice for everything. Since I do not use spreadsheets, I could not care less about Excel. So the last office purchased, is truly the last office purchased.
post #39 of 63
I bought Office 2004 for the Mac on black friday in 2007 for $50 and I got a upgrade to 2008 for $8 a few months later, Best deal ever.
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Microsoft's Mac Business Unit this week is making available to Mac users a "fully functional, no strings attached" free trial of Office 2008 so that prospective buyers and users of previous versions can 'kick the tires' on new suite before plunking down the cash for a permanent copy.

The 545 megabyte download is available after a quick registration over at the Redmond-based company's MacTopia website. The registration is required to generate an trial product key that will expire 30 days thereafter.


On a more serious tone, a very welcomed offer. Equally great would be to pre-install a copy on every new Mac (as Microsoft once did).


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