Pros Better tool palette organization for improved productivity; 3-user license; cleaner install process; a few more capabilites than Office 04
Cons Serious Mac Keychain bug (masquerading as Safari bug) created when simply trying to register product online; bug in MS website won't LET you complete registration; price for marginal amount of benefit
Summary I bought this upgrade in the hope that I could do three things I couldn't do with Office 2004: 1) Create keyboard shortcuts in Powerpoint (to improve my speed of use); More easily edit and manage animations on a slide (Office 2004's interface for this was primitive, clunky and laborious for even the smallest changes) and create animations with elements on a slide such that I could move one or more elements from one area of the slide to the other.
The first feature I expected, given that this is the first upgrade in 4 years, and Word 2004 and Excel 2004 both had this capability. Microsoft has graciously provided this feature.
Feature #2 I noted from a friend's Office 2007 for Windows; I simply assumed that Microsoft would give this upgrade features similar to those in Office 2007. I was wrong.
Ditto with Feature #3. While MS has revamped *where* this information is displayed (now in the tool palette instead of a dialog box that goes away once you're done), the user is still, frustratingly, required to move elements in the order of animation window up and down via two up and down arrow buttons -- not by dragging and dropping the elements in the list themselves. This interface *has* been marginally improved by the ability to reorder multiple selected elements in the list at the same time -- but that seems to be it. No Feature #2 at all -- i.e., no ability to specify so-called "sprite" movement (elements on a slide that can move around the screen a user-specified amount.
Very little progress in 2 years -- despite the appearance of all these features in Office 2007 for Windows. Keeping such features out of their software on purpose, for use later in subsequent versions of the product -- so-called "dry powder" -- is inexcusable in today's climate of innovation.
But what I didn't expect was to find that my attempt to register the product -- be a good doobie and check in with Microsoft about my purchase -- not only resulted in an inability to register after going through a multi-step process (MS "failed to recognize" the product ID its own install disk gave me once I put in my license key), but it created a bug in my Keychain. The only fix that worked, after combing discussion lists for several hours, mind you -- was to delete my keychain. This confusing process wound up erasing all my keychain data.
In sum, beware registering this product, until Microsoft publishes a fix for it, and publicizes it. And, as a new user to this version, I can only imagine what other ugliness lies in store.
"Unimpressive"on by Joe M
Pros Long list of features.
Cons Sluggish, poor OS integration, compatibility problems with other Office versions.
Summary I bought Office:mac 2008 Home and Student Edition because I use Office on a PC at work, and I figured it was the best way to assure compatibility between home and job. If I had it to do over again though, I would not.12.1.7 update won't install. Says product to which it applies is not found. That's it. I'm done. Bye bye Office...
The applications are sluggish and clunky. Integration with the operating system is inconsistent, and not all the menus and dialogs are very ?Mac-like.? Even after installation of the Service Pack and numerous (large) updates and patches, Office:mac 2008 seems like a beta release.
Aside from the much-complained-about omission of VBA, there are numerous other incompatibilities with Windows versions of Office, and older Mac versions, that are not as well-known, but possibly even more problematic. Look at some of them here: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/help.mspx?MODE=pv&CTT=PageView&clr=99-0-0&target=a6423962-3417-4974-b489-479794e52dcd1033
In short, even though I use Office at my job, even though I?ve used Office for years, and even though I?ve already spent money on Office:mac 2008, I now use Apple?s own iWork 2008 on my Mac and am much happier with it. I manage to share files and data with everyone I need to, and no one knows (or cares) what software I?m using to do it.
Updated on Apr 26, 2009
Pros Very polished, easy to get used to
Cons Inscrutable documentation
Summary I had used MS Office since the days of Win 3.1. When I switched to MAC a year ago, tried several products. OpenOffice (and NeoOffice) both work, but I thought both a bit clunky; I experienced maddening printer problems frequently.
iWork looked very nice, but I didn't really want to learn another new application.
Since I own 3 Macs, I liked the 3-user license for $139.95 (at BB) and I bought it (after persuading the BB-brain that there was such a thing). I am generally very happy. I can do everything I want to - pretty easy to learn. I don't miss the VBA macros - those days are past me (I am retired). If I need one, I'll take e crack at AppleScript.
My problem is the truly awful manual - it might as well be in Sanskrit.
Pros ...umm...looks a bit better
Cons ....crashes like it's on a Windows OS
Summary I purchased Office 2008 as I consider myself an advanced user of productivity software and wanted to have access to the latest suite.
In support of Office 2008, it looks like Mac software and is not so different to office 2004 that it leaves you intimidated and confused as to what happened. I like the 3 user license available as well, which means if I go to a Intel Mac I don't need to buy Office 2008 all over again.
The negatives are numerous though. Whilst I appreciate that on a G5 iMac I might not own the best platform to run 2008, it is markedly slower to Office 2004 in everything it does; from starting up, to simply moving between sheets in Excel or e-mail messages in Entourage. Like others I cannot register the product, there a bugs all over the place and best of all, unlike any other Apple software on my iMac, it crashes all over the place. Ask it to do anything even vaguely taxing, such as deleting multiple files and down it goes, just like the bad old days when I used to be a PC user. My biggest concern is that it is so bad, that sales should be so low, that they wont do much to fix it for months. Like XP Service Pack 2, I expect the fixes will warrant a 200MB+ download.
They should also make it clearer that all default save formats are incompatible with any other software. I note on Mactopia they have at least started to list the known errors. At AU$229 the problems are bearable, just, but if you brought the full product at AU$600+ I would be absolutely disgusted at the issues. If you can wait - do. There has to be an Office 2008.1 coming along soon....please!
Pros The box is pretty
Cons garbage compared to NeoOffice
Summary Excel is unusable; extremely slow, I'm using NeoOffice until it's fixed. Word is just OK.