Mossberg reviews, recommends Office for Mac 2011

Posted:
in Mac Software edited February 2015
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    dualiedualie Posts: 333member
    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.
  • Reply 2 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...
  • Reply 3 of 52
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    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.
  • Reply 4 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
  • Reply 5 of 52
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    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.
  • Reply 6 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.
  • Reply 7 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.
  • Reply 8 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!
  • Reply 9 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!
  • Reply 10 of 52
    i'm curious how Office 2011 will fare on the Mac. the productivity suite has been critical for Apple since 1997.
  • Reply 11 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.
  • Reply 12 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?!
  • Reply 13 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.
  • Reply 14 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)
  • Reply 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!



    Not accurate. MS Excel 2011 has Pivot Tables; see Mactopia. Read the last paragraph.
  • Reply 16 of 52
    mj webmj web Posts: 918member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    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
  • Reply 19 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.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    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
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