Pros Outlook syncs notes, uses ribbon now instead of palettes, no more formatting issues across platforms
Cons still doesn't have Publisher or OneNote, can't use Excel statistical tools
Summary I gave it 2 stars for value, because in this day and age- office productivity applications should be dirt cheap.
The new Office is great to use. Finally the formatting doesn't get mangled anymore when switching between Windows and Mac OS. Outlook seems barebones compared to Office for Windows, but I haven't found any missing features, so it must be an aesthetics thing. Outlook for Mac has Microsoft Exchange support and syncs notes (unlike Entourage).
Microsoft started using the ribbon instead of the ghastly (and cluttered) palettes (though the palettes can still be activated through Options).
There are still dropdown menus in addition to the ribbon, but you won't need them as much as you did before.
They added some great animations to PowerPoint that really give your presentations some flare. I've had numerous people approach me wanting to know if I was using the "new" Office, because my animations were amazing.
Word added a nifty 'notebook' template. At first I thought it was OneNote combined into Word, but after opening the same document in Windows, I realized that the 'notebook' was merely an illusion using margins, tables and headers.
Most of the other features will be familiar to you if you already use Office 2010 or 2007 for Windows.
NOTE FOR EXCEL USERS: Excel 2011 doesn't let you install the Analysis Toolpak. :-( There is a Mac alternative called StatPlus, but you're better off running Excel in Parallels 6 if you're going to be using the data analysis tools often. Most everything else works the same as Windows though.
There is NO PUBLISHER for Mac still, so if you're ever in a jam and need to open Publisher or Access files, then be sure to have Windows installed via Parallels or Boot Camp, because you will not be a happy camper when that moment comes if you're not prepared. There is an OpenOffice alternative that opens Publisher files, but you will run into formatting issues.
For Microsoft Project users, there's a program called OpenProj that's free. It works really well and is compatible with Microsoft Project.
Visio is still better used in Windows also.
While Office 2011 will suffice for most of your day to day office productivity, there will still be occasions where certain users need access to Office for Windows.
Pros Seems more stable in some ways. I would replace all the new bells and whistles for a stable program that works as it is supposed to.
Cons It erases text and replaces it with asterisks in Microsoft Word (pretty much the worst possible sort of bug). The autosave saves asterisks as well, so the data is definitively lost. I lost 3 days of work!
Summary I could not reinstall Office 2008 after installing 2011 (the toolbar wouldn't work) so ended up reinstalling the operating system. Disaster all around. Microsft needs to get its act together.
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