View Full Version : MS Office consensus?
Feb 10, 2002, 12:06 PM
I've a long-time PC owner but Mac user (on horribly outdated machines in various labs). I have an iMac G4 on order and am fully committed to "making the switch," so to speak. I will definitely be purchasing MS Word X, because I do freelance book editing/indexing and need the compatibility (yes, I realize that AppleWorks is fully compatible - but try telling that to an 80-year-old professor who is hesitant to give you the job at all!). My dilemma is this: I'm finishing school in May and will likely be taking at least a year off before gradute school. So, given the opportunity to buy the whole Office suite for just $200, should I do so? I've never used and likely never will use Excel, use PowerPoint only for simple slideshows that will easily be done by AW (or iPhoto/Movie), and honestly am overwhelmed by the complexity of Entourage. I'm concerned about the accusations that Office is "bloatware" - but then again, I'm still in the "don't want to fill up my 10 gig HD" paradigm. I'd only save $80 by only getting Word. And, the reason I'm trying to decide before I actually receive my computer (to preempt any "take the test drives and see what's best for you" posts) is that I ws given a 350+ manuscript to index last week. I'm not sure when my iMac will arrive, but when it does I need to be able to hit the ground running, so I'm going to place my order for Word or Office this week.
What would you do?
Feb 10, 2002, 12:35 PM
Honestly, although it's a bit hard for me to swallow myself, I'm suggesting going with Office.
Yeah, "bloatware" it is, but Appleworks just doesn't cut it anymore. (argue away...I'm just spouting my 2 cents)
Our district (8th largest in the country) is going through major changes, and although we're 80% Mac, I am "sniffing" the air and detecting movements to phase out Apple for our future technology needs. Now, I'm not too worried, because I'm a powerful voice, as are many that are high up that are committed Mac users. We're moving towards "standards", and are very close to going with Office for everyone...teachers, admin, students.
At San Diego Unified (as many other districts) you'll find people using everything from Simple Text, ClarisWorks 2.0, 4.0, 5.0, Appleworks 5, 6 and every Word version on the planet. It's become intolerable, and moving us to Office as a standard is a happy solution, and will bode very well, of course, towards keeping the Mac where it belongs...in front of our students. Yeah, it's a biased statement, but where am I writing this anyway?:)
Yeah, I never use Excel and rarely play with PowerPointless, but if I recieve a document made with either, I'm prepared. And I've actually used some of PowerPointless's backgrounds in creating and printing nice looking word processing documents. So given these two points, it's worth the extra 80 bucks to go with the whole suite.
Since Steve and Bill became "buddies" a few years ago, Microsoft has made great strides towards making Office a pretty cool ap for the Mac side, and I'm not unimpressed. For better or worse, Office is pretty much "the standard" and because of their relationship with Apple (and Bill truly does love the Mac) I can see it being a choice you can be pleased with.
So, Word standalone, or Office? Well, you can certainly afford the hard drive space, you will be prepared for those "other" documents you may recieve on ocassion, if ever, and it's an $80 difference. I'd go for the whole shebang.
Feb 10, 2002, 12:44 PM
I would get office, heck I work in a repro company that accepts on PS and PDF files and we get design files sometimes done it Powerpoint!
It may come in useful so I would get the whole suite!
Feb 10, 2002, 01:36 PM
Page layouts done in powerpoint... *ugh* I remember getting those when I worked prepress. Then there were people that used m$ publish software for their designs and expect them to come out wonderfully (major work for us).
I am also suggest getting m$ orfice, simply for the reason that most businesses don't know what to do with Appleworks formatted files, even ones that are converted. I would also suggest trying to use Appleworks whenever possible. I just made a test file, and was able to save a word processing document as word window$ 97, 2000 version. The only problem you might encounter is with repagination or loss of odd formatting. If you are accepting pc word files, try Appleworks first before you go out and buy office. I believe that you will get the latest version with you iMac, so it won't cost you anything extra. I would also suggest updating it if any are available.
Feb 10, 2002, 02:26 PM
I bought Office 98 my last year of school along with a new iMac and I've never regretted the fact that I did. Now, I have the Office v.X upgrade and I use the every application for work and mostly Word and Entourage for myself. Some may call Office "bloatware", but for me it is just feature rich. I was working on a writing project with a friend of mine just last night and learned about another three for four features that I had never used before that really make work flow better. I love using Entourage - now if they would only add Palm compatibility (which I am told is on its way), everything would be great.
So, for the $80, get the whole package. I'm sure you'll have plenty of opportunities to use the other applications and at some poiny you'll wish you had them. You can also show off how much cooler the Mac versions are in comparison to the Windows versions.
Feb 10, 2002, 02:34 PM
this always makes me happy, in office 98 try using the serial number:
Bit of an easy sn to guess!
Feb 10, 2002, 02:37 PM
It's feature-rich bloatware. The primary reason to get it and use it is that is is the de facto standard. It is not the best office suite--although it might be the best one for OS X right now.
I'd get M$ Office for $200--which is what I did do. I am a professor at a university in Denver, and it's simply the easiest solution. Also, it works (albeit slowly). Converting documents is such a hassle, and I've yet to see a program do it perfectly every time.
Buy M$ Office. Save yourself the hassle.
My $.02, anyway.
Feb 10, 2002, 02:54 PM
My personal opinion of Office is that it offers only one strong reason for purchasing it: compatibility. Sure it has a lot of features that aren't in other programs, but I consider most (if not all) of those features needless and often annoying.
So the question to ask yourself is: do you need the compatibility?
What is your answer?
Yes? Get office (though I wouldn't shell out for the full office if your onlly planning on using Word--sounds like you wouldn't use Excel and I personally don't think Entourage is all that great.)
No? Stick with Appleworks. It has most of the features you'll need. Its not great, but after a long run of being horrible, its getting better. Personally, I get by writing with TextPad and putting graphics in as pics. I also write a lot of html. I don't really need all the formatting, though I realize a lot of people do.
Feb 10, 2002, 05:05 PM
I suggest buying the entire Office suite. The last time I used AppleWorks was back in 1994 when it was Claris. I have found that its word processor is not that powerful. However, its drawing programs are very easy to use and work fine. I too used to only use Microsoft Word out of the other three programs. Just this year though my school got this big technological grant and started demanding PowerPoint presentations. Now I use it all the time I say go for the whole suite, you never know when it might come in handy.
Feb 10, 2002, 06:11 PM
Get the whole suite. You may find uses for excel or the other stuff down the road as you get more comfortable with it all.