Sunday, January 13, 2008

Microsoft Office 2008 for Macintosh is a deal -- and shipping

Microsoft Office 2008 for ... $130.99 from Amazon. My copy just shipped. This is the student/home edition that allows you to install it on up to 3 computers. That price is a really good deal. The only significant differences between this version and the version that retails for $399.95 ($354.99 from Amazon) are that Entourage in the less expensive version doesn't allow MS Exchange support and you won't be able to buy an upgrade of this version to Office 2012 or whatever it will be--given that MS took four years to offer an upgrade of the last version (2004) this seems a decent bet. Comparison between editions can be found on the Apple site, here: LINK.

The big reason to buy this for your Macintosh is that MS Office 2004 barely works with OS X if you're running an Intel based Mac. It has to run under emulation. For me, it makes Excel and Powerpoint in particular essentially unusable because of crashes with large files--and my files tend to always be large. For this reason I wouldn't worry about this new version being buggy. Can't be worse than Office 2004 on Intel Macs.

Later

This from a friend:
"I was a big fan of office a while back, but have found the Mac version really over rated. The exchange server tools are clunky and unreliable. It's expensive and doesn't play well with the other kids. You can't seem to do intuitive things like turn a task into a calendar event like you can on Windows or ical. I'm actually moving more and more stuff over to the apple versions and will be giving iwork a try soon. Of course these experiences may have more to do with my heavy graphics needs and very light office needs. $350 for an upgrade is insulting for the few new features they implement every time. I always tell people that if Office is their main application, forget the Mac. I haven't used Vista or the new ribbon office thingy but XP and office 2003 works great."
A few points:

1. Upgrade is not $350 but $215 on Amazon.
2. Confession: I don't use a Mac day-to-day. I bought this upgrade for my wife and for my mother. I use Windows XP because Powerpoint and Excel are my most important programs. No crashes and no viruses, in part I think because I run all my mail through GMail (and what is SPAM? Google has cured that for me). Lately XP has been running beautifully, as have Excel and Powerpoint 2003. Certainly no need for Vista. And no need for me to switch to the Mac right now, unless I'm seduced too heavily by the Macbook Nano rumored for Tuesday, January 15.
3. If you use a Mac in a mixed environment and need to coordinate with others using shared Calendars, you pretty much have to use have to use Entourage. (Though you could experiment with iCal and Snerdware's Groupcal program.)
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