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MacRumors
Mar 30, 2007, 04:03 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

According to apcmag.com, Microsoft's Office 2008 for Mac has proceeded into private beta (http://apcmag.com/5780/office_2008_for_mac_hits_beta_shows_slick_ui_and_draws_on_escher) stages of development (note: mirror may be slow).

"We're in private betas right now" confirmed Sheridan Jones, Lead Marketing Manager for Microsoft's Mac Business Unit (MacBU), during an exclusive interview with APC magazine.

Microsoft announced Office 2008 for Mac at Macworld San Francisco (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/01/09/microsoft-announces-mac-office-2008/) in January, and previewed an alpha release which included features from Office 2007 for Windows such as the Ribbon, and new Mac-only features such as a Publishing Layout View that will allow Word users to create layout-rich documents (newsletters, fliers, and brochures), Ledger Sheets in Excel, and "My Day" priority tracking in Entourage.

"Part of our mission with Office 2008 is to expose all the things that are already there and make the product easier to use" says Jones. "We wanted to make it more discoverable, to bubble up the features that people didn't always find. We also have an opportunity to have a simple UI and a more intuitive interface.

"We got a lot of customer feedback (on the UI), we've kept the menus and embedded toolbars, but I can hide rid of embedded toolbars to have a really streamlined interface."

Parts of the redesign are peeking through almost every application, as well as application modules such as the notebook view in Word, and Jones promises that there's plenty to share in the months ahead.

Microsoft has stated that Office 2008 will be a Universal Binary, and will bring compatibility with Office 2007 for Windows' Open XML file format. To the dismay of many corporate and cross-platform users, however, Microsoft has said that it will not be supporting Visual Basic scripting (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/).



crees!
Mar 30, 2007, 04:07 PM
"Part of our mission with Office 2008 is to expose all the things that are already there and make the product easier to use" says Jones. "We wanted to make it more discoverable, to bubble up the features that people didn't always find. We also have an opportunity to have a simple UI and a more intuitive interface.


Bubbling up better not be anything like those Windows System Tray balloons you get ALL THE TIME.

elppa
Mar 30, 2007, 04:07 PM
Will this likely be the last release for the Macintosh?

epochblue
Mar 30, 2007, 04:08 PM
I'll be interested to see what the final product looks like because so far, I've been less-than-impressed with some of the screenshots I've seen.

mcarnes
Mar 30, 2007, 04:08 PM
Cool. So in MS time we're looking at a release around June 2011. Can't wait!

lazyrighteye
Mar 30, 2007, 04:10 PM
Being MS, I wouldn't' imagine them having any inside track to Leopard's UI, assuming there are UI changes (surely there must be, right?).

yzp
Mar 30, 2007, 04:17 PM
Cool. [...] a release around June 2011. Can't wait!


Damn, 4 freaking years!!!!! :eek:

Clive At Five
Mar 30, 2007, 04:21 PM
Will this likely be the last release for the Macintosh?

I think they have to support the Mac until 2011, correct? That includes the same number of major releases for the Mac than for the PC. I would bet they'll make one more... unless they extend the contract again, which MS will undoubtedly drag their feet on, seeing as how they'll do just about anything to kill the Mac... rather keep it at 5% Market Share so that MS isn't a monopoly. *laughs*

-Clive

johnee
Mar 30, 2007, 04:24 PM
Being MS, I wouldn't' imagine them having any inside track to Leopard's UI, assuming there are UI changes (surely there must be, right?).

i knew we would be in single digits when leopard was brought up :)

Object-X
Mar 30, 2007, 04:24 PM
Being MS, I wouldn't' imagine them having any inside track to Leopard's UI, assuming there are UI changes (surely there must be, right?).

Let's hope they do a better job with the Mac version, because Office 2007's UI is horrid! It's just plain fugly. I much prefer Office 2003, and I'm not talking about the ribbon menus either, just the overal UI appearance is terrible and clashes with every other windows application. And Vista isn't much better for that matter. Why do they put exagerated drop shadows on all four sides of a window? It looks terrible.

Bern
Mar 30, 2007, 04:26 PM
I'm sure for some people having a Mac version of MS Office is essential, but I'm equally as sure for others it's really not that essential (but they think it is). For the past two years I've used Pages to replace MS Word and have never had an issue. I don't send .doc files via email that's what pdf's are for and on the rare occasion when I receive a .doc rather than a pdf Pages has handled it well.

Clive At Five
Mar 30, 2007, 04:29 PM
Bubbling up better not be anything like those Windows System Tray balloons you get ALL THE TIME.

BTW, you can get rid of those by adding a parameter to your registry.

http://blogs.imason.com/scott.howlett/archive/2004/09/01/190.aspx

Don't'cha love windows?

-Clive

speakerwizard
Mar 30, 2007, 04:31 PM
most people 'THINK' they need ms office, others keep it as a security blanket, (remember a lot of people are making the os just, take it one step at a time) we all know neo office and iwork (if it gets excel equivelent will do), neo office supports macros, ms office 2007/8 for mac does not.

Clive At Five
Mar 30, 2007, 04:33 PM
I'll be interested to see what the final product looks like because so far, I've been less-than-impressed with some of the screenshots I've seen.

The ribbon is a disgrace. It eats even more document space than the thirty rows of buttons.

Third party productivity suites: Now is your time to shine... XML has opened document format compatability for much less hassle! Go! Steal that Market Share! But most importantly, bring us an elegant, simple yet power set of productivity tools!

-Clive

Avatar74
Mar 30, 2007, 04:33 PM
I'm sure for some people having a Mac version of MS Office is essential, but I'm equally as sure for others it's really not that essential (but they think it is). For the past two years I've used Pages to replace MS Word and have never had an issue. I don't send .doc files via email that's what pdf's are for and on the rare occasion when I receive a .doc rather than a pdf Pages has handled it well.

Same here. I haven't written tons of documents in either outside of work since most of my communication is via e-mail, but when I do I use pages. I initially still used Word for some envelope support but the Pages envelope printing options are nicer.

odedia
Mar 30, 2007, 04:34 PM
I care about one thing: Will it FINALLY do Hebrew? (Or any Right-to-left language, for that matter...)

jellomizer
Mar 30, 2007, 04:35 PM
Will this likely be the last release for the Macintosh?

I don't think so. Microsoft has enough Monopoly problems right now imagine the outrage you will get from the EU and DOJ if MS drops Office for the Mac.

Secondly if Microsoft stops Office for the Mac, A lot of the Mac people will switch to Linux. Normally if a person who doesn't like Microsoft will either go with Linux or a Mac. The reason why they go with Mac a lot of the time is because Office is there so they feel that they wont loose anything. But without office Next Upgrade cycle they may just consider Linux on a cheaper PC. What will not happen is droves of Mac users switching to windows. So better off keeping them on the Mac and make money selling your product to people who generally hate you.

Third Mac Users and office for the Mac are a good experimental base for the next version of office. They are able to try new things without a major public outcry, from companies.

Forth it is profitable.

Fifth, it will keep droves of people who know what good User Interfaces are from decided to contribute there effort in making programs like open office good.

...

Apples iWork suit is by no way close to office. It is at best closer to MS. Works.

xJulianx
Mar 30, 2007, 04:37 PM
Lovely stuff.

glennyboiwpg
Mar 30, 2007, 04:40 PM
I have used versions of office on PC for years, and it has come along way. I've heard that people love the newest version of office, although i havne't tried it. But I have no intentions of having office on my mac. I've tried the 30 demo that came with my powerbook and I didn't mind it, its just there is NO way i'm spending 400-500 dollars on a home office suite!

I"m waiting for iwork07 to come along.

although i hope iwork07 comes before 08 ...

Westside guy
Mar 30, 2007, 04:41 PM
I'll likely get it when it comes out since 1) the academic price is reasonable, and 2) I still run across occasional oddities with document formatting whenever I try to move away from it (be it with Pages, or NeoOffice, or Abiword, or whatever). MS Office is still the defacto standard where I work, so compatibility does matter.

Of course if this one wasn't going to be universal then I'd just stick with v.X, since that still does what I need.

psychofreak
Mar 30, 2007, 04:42 PM
most people 'THINK' they need ms office, others keep it as a security blanket, (remember a lot of people are making the os just, take it one step at a time) we all know neo office and iwork (if it gets excel equivelent will do), neo office supports macros, ms office 2007/8 for mac does not.

Yeah, I use Pages for taking my notes in school and NeoOffice for more advanced things...

Westside guy
Mar 30, 2007, 04:47 PM
Secondly if Microsoft stops Office for the Mac, A lot of the Mac people will switch to Linux. Normally if a person who doesn't like Microsoft will either go with Linux or a Mac.

I admit to being biased on this (having migrated from Windows -> Linux -> Mac); but based on my personal experience and what I observe around my department - there are likely a lot more people that move from Linux to Mac than the other way around. As a matter of fact, Macs have made much stronger inroads here among the Linux/BSD/Solaris crowd than they have among Windows users.

I should qualify this, and note that I'm strictly speaking about their desktop/laptop machines. On the server end I think we've got a grand total of TWO Xserves, compared to several hundred RHEL Linux boxes.

Marx55
Mar 30, 2007, 04:54 PM
OPEN DOCUMENT STANDARDS NOW!!!!

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument

The day we get them, we can get rid of the awfull M$ Office for ever!!!

psychofreak
Mar 30, 2007, 04:59 PM
OPEN DOCUMENT STANDARDS NOW!!!!

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument

The day we get them, we can get rid of the awfull M$ Office for ever!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument

That is the English link...

kainjow
Mar 30, 2007, 05:04 PM
TUAW has some screenshots here (http://www.tuaw.com/photos/office-2008-for-the-mac-screenshots/).

psychofreak
Mar 30, 2007, 05:06 PM
TUAW has some screenshots here (http://www.tuaw.com/photos/office-2008-for-the-mac-screenshots/).

I like it, BUT, on a 12 or 13.3 laptop screen, that ribbon will take up a LOT of screen real estate...

akadmon
Mar 30, 2007, 05:07 PM
So how does one get to be a "private" beta tester of this stuff?

twoodcc
Mar 30, 2007, 05:07 PM
well i am glad to see it coming along.....too bad no VB support though

kainjow
Mar 30, 2007, 05:09 PM
I like it, BUT, on a 12 or 13.3 laptop screen, that ribbon will take up a LOT of screen real estate...

I would guess you could hide and show it like a normal toolbar using the standard button in the window:
71222

So how does one get to be a "private" beta tester of this stuff?

You don't.

bigandy
Mar 30, 2007, 05:13 PM
the ribbon thing needs to be collapsible, but right now, Office 2008 is one damn nice looker.

however, i've moved to NeoOffice 2.1 (http://www.neooffice.org), and am finding it very good... i'm not sure i'll be upgrading to 2008 when it appears...

xmlguy
Mar 30, 2007, 05:15 PM
TUAW has some screenshots here (http://www.tuaw.com/photos/office-2008-for-the-mac-screenshots/).Wow - thats an abomination! Its not a toolbar-based app and its certainly not a ribbon in Office 2007 style.

As someone who has been using Office 2007 at work every day since beta 2 came out, I love the ribbon over the old toolbar explosion ... but just looking at this Mac version makes me angry :mad:

Of course, the ribbon is intended to do away with the need for menus, which makes little sense on the Mac ... but this is still a pretty shabby hybrid.

dswoodley
Mar 30, 2007, 05:16 PM
I don't think so. Microsoft has enough Monopoly problems right now imagine the outrage you will get from the EU and DOJ if MS drops Office for the Mac.

Secondly if Microsoft stops Office for the Mac, A lot of the Mac people will switch to Linux. Normally if a person who doesn't like Microsoft will either go with Linux or a Mac. The reason why they go with Mac a lot of the time is because Office is there so they feel that they wont loose anything. But without office Next Upgrade cycle they may just consider Linux on a cheaper PC. What will not happen is droves of Mac users switching to windows. So better off keeping them on the Mac and make money selling your product to people who generally hate you.

Third Mac Users and office for the Mac are a good experimental base for the next version of office. They are able to try new things without a major public outcry, from companies.

Forth it is profitable.

Fifth, it will keep droves of people who know what good User Interfaces are from decided to contribute there effort in making programs like open office good.

...

Apples iWork suit is by no way close to office. It is at best closer to MS. Works.

What would be the benefit of switching to linux? you have an even more huge dearth of popular applications.

Codeweavers will get Office 2007 running just fine a mac before too long if it is that big a deal.

Bottomline with open formats and improving web apps, Office is quickly becoming a dinosaur.

PlaceofDis
Mar 30, 2007, 05:25 PM
am i one of the few people actually looking forward to this?

i use Word. a lot. and i share my files. a lot. so i'm looking forward to an update to the app.

lazyrighteye
Mar 30, 2007, 05:26 PM
i knew we would be in single digits when leopard was brought up :)

Well, it was that or speculation on Phish's next tour opener. :p

motulist
Mar 30, 2007, 05:29 PM
... I still run across occasional oddities with document formatting whenever I try to move away from it (be it with Pages, or NeoOffice, or Abiword, or whatever). MS Office is still the defacto standard where I work, so compatibility does matter.

There is no reason why MS should be allowed to maintain their illegal monopoly merely because people like you need to stay compatible with their formats that maintain their monopoly. For this reason I feel totally morally justified in keeping a "borrowed" copy of office around so I can use my preferred apps and still be certain I can open any document I come across. (though the times my preferred app can't open everything I come across is almost never.)

Airforce
Mar 30, 2007, 05:36 PM
There is no reason why MS should be allowed to maintain their illegal monopoly merely because people like you need to stay compatible with their formats that maintain their monopoly. For this reason I feel totally morally justified in keeping a "borrowed" copy of office around so I can use my preferred apps and still be certain I can open any document I come across. (though the times my preferred app can't open everything I come across is almost never.)

Pirate ;)

motulist
Mar 30, 2007, 05:39 PM
Pirate ;)

I'm no pirate, I'm just a borrower! ;) Seriously though, I feel like if I'm not using the program, merely using it as an overblown format converter to be sure that I can open MS formatted files and transfer their contents into a different program. So I really don't consider it pirating since I'm not using the program.

thejadedmonkey
Mar 30, 2007, 05:40 PM
Apples iWork suit is by no way close to office. It is at best closer to MS. Works.

Except MS Works can't read or save the proprietary .doc file format.:rolleyes:

Airforce
Mar 30, 2007, 05:42 PM
I'm no pirate, I'm just a borrower! ;) Seriously though, I feel like if I'm not using the program, merely using it as an overblown format converter to be sure that I can open MS formatted files and transfer their contents into a different program. So I really don't consider it pirating since I'm not using the program.

Don't try to morally justify your pirate antics :p

JNB
Mar 30, 2007, 05:42 PM
I think moving forward it's going to be BC/Parallels rather than an Office Mac product. I still hafta have Visio, Project, Access. Huge "Eeewww!" on all counts, but it's easier than fighting both my IT department and my customers.

Darkroom
Mar 30, 2007, 05:45 PM
office is needed as much as new versions of the windows os is needed... mostly for the large scale business world... but what i find humorous is that even the multi-billion dollar financial corporations and banks still use windows 98/2000 (in canada anyway), 'cause it's just too much to upgrade to xp, and forget about vista, and forget about office 2008... silly microsoft

thejadedmonkey
Mar 30, 2007, 05:47 PM
so I read the comments, I looked at the screen shots..
There's some really cool things that I'll be looking forward to! Like, how you can more-easily edit the header and footers, and there's a dedicated button for a bibliography in word. Little things like that'll be AMAZING for any highschool/college students who are still up at 3am working on term papers.

I think that this'll be a must have upgrade, at least as much as you can have a must-have upgrade of Office :p

EagerDragon
Mar 30, 2007, 05:53 PM
I say negative since it does not support the basic scripting, as such it makes it next to impossible to share some files between windows and Mac's.

sushi
Mar 30, 2007, 06:06 PM
To me, Office should have the same features and interface on both the Mac and PC. Many folks use Office on the Mac at home to be compatible with Office on the PC at work. If they are not the same, then why use Office for the Mac at home?

Lack of support for VB is terrible.

Makes me wonder about Microsoft leadership or lack there of.

mrrory
Mar 30, 2007, 06:06 PM
Will this likely be the last release for the Macintosh? Well, as a software company, when Microsoft finally realise they're losing the OS battle, they'll have to try and survive somehow. Word may be their last hope!

thestaton
Mar 30, 2007, 06:13 PM
TUAW has some screenshots here (http://www.tuaw.com/photos/office-2008-for-the-mac-screenshots/).

I think the screen shots look pretty good. thanks for the link.

Macula
Mar 30, 2007, 06:15 PM
Like other people in the forum, I've been using Pages and TextEdit exclusively for the past year and I've never really regretted it.

If I ever need to revert to a heavier word processor I will do my best to avoid Microsoft's and will consider every single Open Source alternative possible.

With a single exception: I need to use word once in a while because it is the only popular word processor interfacing well with Thomson's EndNote bibliographic manager... Too bad...

slughead
Mar 30, 2007, 06:19 PM
To the dismay of many corporate and cross-platform users, however, Microsoft has said that it will not be supporting Visual Basic scripting (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/).


This marks the end of Office for mac in many settings, and will probably stall out many plans to switch to mac from within the corporate arena.

sushi
Mar 30, 2007, 06:27 PM
This marks the end of Office for mac in many settings, and will probably stall out many plans to switch to mac from within the corporate arena.
Unfortunately, this looks to be true.

Anonymous Freak
Mar 30, 2007, 06:32 PM
most people 'THINK' they need ms office, others keep it as a security blanket, (remember a lot of people are making the os just, take it one step at a time) we all know neo office and iwork (if it gets excel equivelent will do), neo office supports macros, ms office 2007/8 for mac does not.

Unfortunately, I have lots of horrendously large Excel spreadsheets with functions that just aren't the same in other spreadsheet apps, so they fail to calculate properly. (Usually with data link errors.) No macros, just pure function calls. LOOKUP is one of those that I use that OpenOffice/NeoOffice doesn't handle correctly.

I converted ONE such spreadsheet to work correct with OpenOffice. It took me about 20 man-hours to do, and it wasn't even one of the bigger ones. That is just ridiculous, especially when I only need to look in some of these 'broken' spreadsheets once a year. It is much easier to just use Excel. (Not to mention that some of the errors aren't even obviously evident. Some errors are easy, a cell says "N/A" or something similar when it should have a number. Other errors just show the wrong number. In some of the larger spreadsheets, I *KNOW* I would miss this kind of error too often to be acceptable.)

eenu
Mar 30, 2007, 06:56 PM
With a single exception: I need to use word once in a while because it is the only popular word processor interfacing well with Thomson's EndNote bibliographic manager... Too bad...

Same here, if it wasn't for this i could switch to NeoOffice

wolf359design
Mar 30, 2007, 07:48 PM
MS Sucks....Worthless Havn't used Office in over 3 years. Neo Office is cool and the customer service is great.
Ed

MacAodh
Mar 30, 2007, 08:06 PM
MS Sucks....Worthless Havn't used Office in over 3 years. Neo Office is cool and the customer service is great.
Ed

I've been using a "borrowed" version of word ever since my first mac and it was only when i started studying in the college library that i had to change (kept not allowing me to open it since some one else on the network was using a copy) Thats when i discovered neooffice. Why bother using a pirated copy (unlike others i don't mind admiting it :p ) when i can use neooffice which is just as good. Haven't opened word in a couple of months now i'd say. Pages is used to open all .doc files i get and then i copy them into neooffice. works like a charm. They can keep there '08 version.

miniConvert
Mar 30, 2007, 08:09 PM
Roll on a public beta - I need Intel native! Talk about waiting for God.

Still, I'd lose my coffee breaks I take while waiting for Excel to save out my jamassive workbooks... hmm...

...but then again I'd also be able to add new worksheets without Excel crashing... hmm...

Who? Hmm...

digitalbiker
Mar 30, 2007, 08:09 PM
am i one of the few people actually looking forward to this?

i use Word. a lot. and i share my files. a lot. so i'm looking forward to an update to the app.

Trust me you are not alone. There are millions of mac business users that need office to stay compatible with co-workers.

The general hatred that you read here is due to the fact that it is Microsoft. For some reason there are a lot of mac loyalists on this forum that believe if you love Apple that you must hate Microsoft.

In reality Microsoft-Apple have a yin-yang relationship. One would not exist without the other, and together they make a perfect union.

Microsoft is not going to abandon Apple because they sell too much software to mac users. Apple is never going to eliminate making products that work for Microsoft users because they sell way too much software to them.

bigwig
Mar 30, 2007, 08:21 PM
Why would I want this when I can have NeoOffice?

Willis
Mar 30, 2007, 08:23 PM
I quite like the new look of Office. They certainly used a bit more of the creative section of their brain. Although, it does look like I've seen those tabs before *cough*Apple website*cough*

Hope it runs longer than 20mins when Idle... stupid software

...but then again I'd also be able to add new worksheets without Excel crashing... hmm...

proves my point!!

failsafe1
Mar 30, 2007, 08:25 PM
I just downloaded NeoOffice two days ago. I did this in anticipation of going MS free soon. I work at a university and am able to purchase MS products for really cheap prices and I might not even bother. Time will tell.

john7jr
Mar 30, 2007, 08:27 PM
Secondly if Microsoft stops Office for the Mac, A lot of the Mac people will switch to Linux.

:confused:

Sure...

A "lot" of Mac users are going to go sell their MacBooks and go buy a cheap HP, install some flavor of Linux and have to recompile their kernel to get wireless to work... all because there was no brand new version of Office for Mac.

No.

They will simply continue to use the existing released version. Mac users (and average Windows users) don't use Linux for a reason. For all but IT geeks and masochists - Linux on the desktop is a failure.

john7jr
Mar 30, 2007, 08:39 PM
BTW... NeoOffice is pretty sweet in Aqua. I hadn't seen it in a while. Just DLed 2.1 Intel and it looks great.

FoxyKaye
Mar 30, 2007, 09:16 PM
...to bubble up the features that people didn't always find...

"It appears as if you are writing a letter..."
"It appears as if you are making a list..."
"It appears as if you are composing a suicide note..."

Joy. Just was Office:Mac needs. :rolleyes:

I'm seriously evaluating Neo-Office as a replacement for Office 2004 - I'm thoroughly sick of M$ at this point.

EagerDragon
Mar 30, 2007, 09:31 PM
To me, Office should have the same features and interface on both the Mac and PC. Many folks use Office on the Mac at home to be compatible with Office on the PC at work. If they are not the same, then why use Office for the Mac at home?

Lack of support for VB is terrible.

Makes me wonder about Microsoft leadership or lack there of.

Well said

EagerDragon
Mar 30, 2007, 09:47 PM
:confused:

Sure...

A "lot" of Mac users are going to go sell their MacBooks and go buy a cheap HP, install some flavor of Linux and have to recompile their kernel to get wireless to work... all because there was no brand new version of Office for Mac.

No.

They will simply continue to use the existing released version. Mac users (and average Windows users) don't use Linux for a reason. For all but IT geeks and masochists - Linux on the desktop is a failure.

I used Linux for many years, and finally gave up. Hardware support was a big issue no matter which distribution I used. Sometimes when patching. the patch would break something. Linux is a great OS, but it is not like OSX where everything just works. IMHO Linux has and will continue to do well on the server side, but it will not be a competion for windows or OSX in the desktop area until it just works. Most people do not want to compile anything to make things work, they don't want to edit multiple files to make things work, and do not want to download a program to find later that it is missing a library that they now need to hunt for, and later find out that it clashes with something else. It is a nightmare.

Happy now 3 years since I switched to my Macs and I have 3 now and converted my kid and wife also. No more Linux and no more windows. Don't have the time for virus and no time to make things work.

coachingguy
Mar 30, 2007, 10:16 PM
While I haven't used Neo Office 2.1, I've tried to hold the line on using Office and used earlier versions. I haven't liked the earlier versions and where I work, Office is the ONLY suite being used. And I, as the ONLY Mac guy, continue to use Office. I thought the screenshots looked good.

Why should I download Neo 2.1? I keep hoping iWork '07 will improve dramatically. Keynote is my primary presentation tool now, but Pages is still limited IMHO.

Anyhow, just my .2¢.

Coachingguy

Sinsinnati
Mar 30, 2007, 10:18 PM
I used Linux for many years, and finally gave up. Hardware support was a big issue no matter which distribution I used. Sometimes when patching. the patch would break something. Linux is a great OS, but it is not like OSX where everything just works. IMHO Linux has and will continue to do well on the server side, but it will not be a competion for windows or OSX in the desktop area until it just works. Most people do not want to compile anything to make things work, they don't want to edit multiple files to make things work, and do not want to download a program to find later that it is missing a library that they now need to hunt for, and later find out that it clashes with something else. It is a nightmare.

Happy now 3 years since I switched to my Macs and I have 3 now and converted my kid and wife also. No more Linux and no more windows. Don't have the time for virus and no time to make things work.

You are 100% right. As a former Linux user since Red Hat 6, Linux on the desktop is a failure. I also got burned on numerous occassions by using Linux and Open Office at work. I sent a document to my boss that I created in Open Office and when he opened it in Word, it was all screwed up. After that day I lost faith in Linux. When I switched to Mac, I couldn't believe the ease of use. My day to day job is working with Solaris and if there is a negative with Macs, it is the lack of patience you get with other operating systems because they aren't Macs.

iW00t
Mar 30, 2007, 10:49 PM
You are 100% right. As a former Linux user since Red Hat 6, Linux on the desktop is a failure. I also got burned on numerous occassions by using Linux and Open Office at work. I sent a document to my boss that I created in Open Office and when he opened it in Word, it was all screwed up. After that day I lost faith in Linux. When I switched to Mac, I couldn't believe the ease of use. My day to day job is working with Solaris and if there is a negative with Macs, it is the lack of patience you get with other operating systems because they aren't Macs.

So true.

Now if only someone managed to make Windows applications run natively in OS X (no Parallels etc), that'd be the end of Windows as we know it :D

akadmon
Mar 30, 2007, 10:55 PM
Can someone tell why MS should bother continuing to port Office to Apple OS, now that the Windows version runs on every new Mac sold? :rolleyes:

failsafe1
Mar 30, 2007, 11:03 PM
Looking at the TUAW screen shots things look more complicated than ever before. I hope this does not mean less functional. I like NeoOffice more and more.

alec
Mar 30, 2007, 11:03 PM
No VB Support = No corporate use (what else is new)

dicklacara
Mar 30, 2007, 11:03 PM
...if there is a negative with Macs, it is the lack of patience you get with other operating systems because they aren't Macs.

I'd like to use that in a sig!

Dick Applebaum

wolf359design
Mar 30, 2007, 11:04 PM
I meant Mariner Calc was cool and their customer service was great! oops!
MS still sucks!
Ed

richard4339
Mar 30, 2007, 11:16 PM
Anybody got any screenshots? I for one never saw the initial ones MS showed, and would love to know what Office '08 will look like.

failsafe1
Mar 30, 2007, 11:24 PM
Anybody got any screenshots? I for one never saw the initial ones MS showed, and would love to know what Office '08 will look like.

Just saw some over at TUAW

SiliconAddict
Mar 30, 2007, 11:27 PM
*shrugs* I've got office 2003 running under Parallels. Screw Mac Office '08. While its no doubt more integrated into the OS, I doubt its worth the small fortune I, Read: A non-student, would have to pay to get a copy.

So true.

Now if only someone managed to make Windows applications run natively in OS X (no Parallels etc), that'd be the end of Windows as we know it :D

Yah, just like Apple is 6 months away from going under. We've all heard this again and again. Microsoft and their 40 billion isn't going anywhere. And if the above was a joke. Sorry but I didn't see a ;)

Mr. Dee
Mar 31, 2007, 12:43 AM
Well, as a software company, when Microsoft finally realise they're losing the OS battle, they'll have to try and survive somehow. Word may be their last hope!

I wouldn't count out Office 2008 as the last version for the Mac, according to this recent blog entry on Developer Teams official blog, the Mac Office Team is already in planning for the release that comes after Office 2008. Can anyone say Office 2010 for Mac? ;)

Every day, we get closer and closer to being able to ship it. I'm looking forward to that day. Until we ship it, we have to avoid the siren song of feature creep. The good part about your software never being done is that some of us are already working on the version after Office 2008 for Mac, and all of these (and so much more!) will get their due consideration based on research and customer feedback (isn't this where I came in?).

Read the rest here (http://blogs.msdn.com/macmojo/archive/2007/03/15/ship-it.aspx)

Duff-Man
Mar 31, 2007, 01:11 AM
Duff-Man says...I have always gotten freebies of Office since I had a friend that worked for M$...but now that he has moved on I don't think I would shell out much for a new version...if I could upgrade for say like $99 I might think about it but anything much more than that I'd say forget it...oh yeah!

JeffTL
Mar 31, 2007, 01:16 AM
I haven't done anything with VBA scripting yet, but I am very much uneasy about the idea of Excel without it and and doubly so about non-Excel spreadsheet software, so as long as it keeps working, you can pry my Office 2004 from my cold, dead hands.

I could be quite happy with another presentation program -- Keynote works for Al Gore and seemed nice on the demo -- and any responsive, Aqua-native word processor is sufficient for 90% of what I do, but Excel is the standard spreadsheet package to such a degree that there really are no practical alternatives if you need full compatibility. I use Apple Mail and Lotus Notes, so Entourage really isn't any concern.

superleccy
Mar 31, 2007, 01:41 AM
I'm confused.

If the new version of Microsoft Office is at the beta stage already, then why isn't it in the shops yet?

:p :D

SL

RealDeal
Mar 31, 2007, 01:44 AM
I am so ready to quit expensive low-track Office.

Even with good Windows and OSX kit, Office crashes, and has dumb 'help'. Word is ok for a 1 pager but geez-help-you if you want a paper with formatting and tables/charts, never mind a 100 pager plus. Powerpoint (death) - seeing now more than 10,000 presenters at trade shows and academic settings, with 30% fail-rate. Copy & past between versions of MS- forget it- everything changes. Copy & paste from Word to Powerpoint tables or charts- forget it, might as well start again. PDF output.. maybe in 2008. Excel, the wimpy spreadsheet with fun 3-d charts but non-power user macros and functions compared with the other two 90s ones. I'm a Matlab guy anyway for real math.

iWork 07 with a split word processor or DTP mode; Keynote digging deeper; and a spreadsheet all compatible with legacy Office- great! Price is very keen.

Openoffice for OSX native aqua- great as well- free. PDF outputs, help that is not dumb, stability, and very good graphics programs. Bring it on!

My only real hassle is migrating decades of legacy Office files (all incompatible fully with every other office version, anyway), is formatted table exported to other formats. MS is good here, but does not play well with others due to their non-standard XML.

Tehy
Mar 31, 2007, 01:48 AM
I think this new office for Mac looks great! Microsoft Office is an very important software...

thogs_cave
Mar 31, 2007, 02:22 AM
I have used versions of office on PC for years, and it has come along way. I've heard that people love the newest version of office, although i havne't tried it. But I have no intentions of having office on my mac. I've tried the 30 demo that came with my powerbook and I didn't mind it, its just there is NO way i'm spending 400-500 dollars on a home office suite!

I couldn't agree more. Many (many) years ago, I used Word 1.0 for the Mac. For many years, Word and Excel were my tools of choice be it Mac, DOS, or Windows. Then, around Word 6.0 I lost interest. Too many features, bloat, and incompatibilities. Office is almost a joke now - most people use about 1% of the feature set, but somehow companies are convinced they need it.

Now, Microsoft is up to their usual stupidity by eschewing the Open Document Format for their own "Open" format. Wonderful. Luckily for me, there's Open/NeoOffice. I still don't need 99% of the features, and yes, it's a bit slow at times, but it's free. (Well, I do dontate to the projects.)

For me, it's somewhat like Photoshop. I used to pay many dollars to keep upgrading to the latest version until I tried Elements and realized that between that and Graphic Converter I was well covered for a good deal less. Some people need the power, not me.

I have this pet theory (think of it what you will): Much like legislators, who have to justify their existance by making more laws, software companies need to continue their existance by adding more and more features. Even if they aren't necessay.

dAlen
Mar 31, 2007, 02:32 AM
I think this new office for Mac looks great! Microsoft Office is an very important software...

All my years as a Director/Producer - manager - I have never needed Microsoft apps...apple 'text' is as great as their word app, who really cares.

People act like this is a Final Cut Pro, Maya, or something that can do something of some significance...if your into writing, get Final draft. :-)

Office docs...seriously...maybe people need to branch out and do something else for awhile. :)

Peace

dAlen

Westside guy
Mar 31, 2007, 02:48 AM
I'm confused.

If the new version of Microsoft Office is at the beta stage already, then why isn't it in the shops yet?

Have you forgotten the code?

When they call it a beta, that means it's an alpha release. The actual (that is, beta) release will be in the second half of this year.

I think there's even a MS Knowledgebase article somewhere, spelling this out.

:D

matticus008
Mar 31, 2007, 04:56 AM
Even with good Windows and OSX kit, Office crashes, and has dumb 'help'. Word is ok for a 1 pager but geez-help-you if you want a paper with formatting and tables/charts, never mind a 100 pager plus.
Actually, when assembling long and complex documents, Word is the *only* one that is full featured and stable (600+ pages with tables, charts, and extensive formatting). Pages is okay, but you can't do pleadings in it, and not just for lack of templates. Word handles large documents with far greater stability than Wordperfect (the only other real competition in town), especially in document finishing, and OpenOffice is utterly useless for a large number of document types simply for compatibility reasons--if you work with lots of important text on a regular basis, in a legal or publishing context in particular, you need something beyond what a PDF can offer. XML formats aren't standardized or effective yet, but that could change the scene.

We've never had a stability problem with Word (for Windows or OS X) in any of my workplaces, from when I did systems administration all the way to today. I've dealt with hundreds of computers in various environments.
All my years as a Director/Producer - manager - I have never needed Microsoft apps...apple 'text' is as great as their word app, who really cares.
That's absurd. That's like saying that Quicktime's video capture is equivalent to Final Cut. You need the right tools for the right job. Most home users and many business and professional fields don't need all the features of the various Office applications, but there are those that do and there are few real competitors in the field.

I really do love Keynote, but PowerPoint is still a great deal more powerful. Keynote has the advantage of a lower learning curve and a more sophisticated experience, but simplification comes at a price (a fair one, since presentations should generally lean toward simple rather than flashy). However, I've been around for presentations from medical professionals and aeronautics engineers who do use the advanced features of Powerpoint and write off Keynote as a child's toy in comparison--yes, even dedicated Mac users who, like myself, love Keynote for what it can do. Pages, on the other hand, is not a Word replacement for text-based professions.

People act like this is a Final Cut Pro, Maya, or something that can do something of some significance...if your into writing, get Final draft. :-)
If you're into writing, get a pen and paper or type into Stickies, for all it matters. If you work professionally with documents, Word (or InDesign, etc., depending) is tough to beat. OpenOffice and iWork certainly don't cut it, and Corel's suite is old and spotty (but still exists because lots of lawyers simply won't let go).

motulist
Mar 31, 2007, 06:06 AM
...Word is the *only* one that is full featured and stable

Wow, you must be using a different version of Word than I use. The 2004 version I used to use would crash maybe once a day when I was writing on it all day working on light to medium complexity documents. I moved to a different word processor, Mellel, and it never ever never ever crashes, which is what should be expected from all word processors.

J Radical
Mar 31, 2007, 07:16 AM
Why do people vote this negative?

I'm getting sick of this mac user hypocrisy- to cry monopoly at microsoft when ignoring all apple's iPod indiscretions. And then to claim MS apps are unstable/bad despite having never used them.

Thank god MS ignores you and OS X can enjoy another industry leading application for a few more years. Office 07 is an excellent product for which there is no substitute.

psychofreak
Mar 31, 2007, 07:46 AM
The difference with MS's monopoly is the need for compatibility. With Apple, you could always buy another music player and use another peice of software, but with microsoft, people need compatibility with their offices etc...

Vidd
Mar 31, 2007, 07:53 AM
As much as I'm looking forward to a native Office being available, without Access, I'm still stuck with some need for Windows.

psychofreak
Mar 31, 2007, 08:00 AM
As much as I'm looking forward to a native Office being available, without Access, I'm still stuck with some need for Windows.

Can I ask what access offers that NeoOffice does not?

gregorsamsa
Mar 31, 2007, 08:10 AM
Why do people vote this negative?

I'm getting sick of this mac user hypocrisy- to cry monopoly at microsoft when ignoring all apple's iPod indiscretions. And then to claim MS apps are unstable/bad despite having never used them.

Thank god MS ignores you and OS X can enjoy another industry leading application for a few more years. Office 07 is an excellent product for which there is no substitute.

I find your level of praise for MS to be...rather over-ebullient. Why get so carried away? Some hypocrisy exists on both sides, but if you read this forum on a regular basis you'll know that people criticize Apple quite freely & fairly often when they feel just cause to do so.

Personally I don't hate MS & I'm looking at perhaps buying a PC later in the year. However, the truth is that for many Mac users there are excellent alternatives to MS Office: Neo Office & iWork 2007/08 will be more than fine for lots of users.

Roller
Mar 31, 2007, 08:12 AM
I really do love Keynote, but PowerPoint is still a great deal more powerful. Keynote has the advantage of a lower learning curve and a more sophisticated experience, but simplification comes at a price (a fair one, since presentations should generally lean toward simple rather than flashy). However, I've been around for presentations from medical professionals and aeronautics engineers who do use the advanced features of Powerpoint and write off Keynote as a child's toy in comparison--yes, even dedicated Mac users who, like myself, love Keynote for what it can do. Pages, on the other hand, is not a Word replacement for text-based professions.

Anyone who writes off Keynote as a child's toy in comparison to the Mac version of PowerPoint hasn't taken the time to learn Keynote. What can these professionals accomplish in PowerPoint than they can't do in Keynote? Keynote does lag behind the Windows version of PowerPoint in animation tools, but I expect Keynote 4 to be better in this area.

I agree that Pages cannot cut it for text-based documents. I rely heavily on Word in my work, which often involves viewing and editing complex documents that I receive from colleagues who use Windows. Ditto for Excel.

Applespider
Mar 31, 2007, 08:23 AM
most people 'THINK' they need ms office, others keep it as a security blanket, (remember a lot of people are making the os just, take it one step at a time) we all know neo office and iwork (if it gets excel equivelent will do), neo office supports macros, ms office 2007/8 for mac does not.

For people who only use the basic features in Office - writing 1-10 page memos, creating spreadsheets that are more 'to do' lists with a few simple sums etc, then yes, Neo Office or iWork (with a spreadsheet) would do. And I suspect that's the majority. Those power Office users need Office. I work with spreadsheet in the thousands of rows and a few alphabets-worth of columns that I need to condense into pivot tables, run complex IF statements, LOOKUP functions and pull in information from OLAP cubes or use VB. Mac Office 2008 is only going to let me do 'half' of my job and NeoOffice the other half. I'm better off running with Office 2004 or with Windows Office under Parellels.

To me, Office should have the same features and interface on both the Mac and PC.

The existing Mac Office can't handle the same things at the PC version does. I have a few pivot tables that I brought over to the Mac and which seemed to work until I started trying to drill down - no go. Mac Excel is crippled in comparison to the PC version.

psychofreak
Mar 31, 2007, 08:28 AM
I would say that a majority of Word users use:

1. Emboldening and centring for their titles
2. Justifying
3. Paragraphing
4. Header and/or footer

Most people would be better off with NeoOffice, but are more comfortable with the suite they know...

Eraserhead
Mar 31, 2007, 08:33 AM
Actually, when assembling long and complex documents, Word is the *only* one that is full featured and stable (600+ pages with tables, charts, and extensive formatting).

What about LaTeX? Or InDesign? If you are making long documents surely you would use one of those programs not Word.

HasanDaddy
Mar 31, 2007, 08:35 AM
I would say that a majority of Word users use:

1. Emboldening and centring for their titles
2. Justifying
3. Paragraphing
4. Header and/or footer

Most people would be better off with NeoOffice, but are more comfortable with the suite they know...

I definitely agree

As much as I dislike WinDoZe, Office is a terrific suite --- you really have to take the time to go through Word's features in order to appreciate it --- I love the proofreading capabilities, for example

BTW -- I LOVE PAGES (iWork) as I create many brochures and creative docs, but for simple word processing, that program leaves me hitting my head against a table

buffalo
Mar 31, 2007, 08:41 AM
TUAW has some screenshots here (http://www.tuaw.com/photos/office-2008-for-the-mac-screenshots/).

I think Office 2008 looks great! Bring it on.

eenu
Mar 31, 2007, 09:03 AM
What about LaTeX? Or InDesign? If you are making long documents surely you would use one of those programs not Word.

Exactly.....there are reasons why those of us that write thesis don't use word or if we do we have to make each chapter a seperate file!

sushi
Mar 31, 2007, 09:29 AM
The existing Mac Office can't handle the same things at the PC version does. I have a few pivot tables that I brought over to the Mac and which seemed to work until I started trying to drill down - no go. Mac Excel is crippled in comparison to the PC version.
Exactly...unfortunately.

PowerPoint is another case of aggravation.

Why can't the folks at Microsoft make a completely compatible Office for both major platforms?

iBunny
Mar 31, 2007, 09:50 AM
Microsoft Office is a phenominal product. I use all its components for 10 hours, every day. And without it, Work would not get done as effeciantly as it does now.

EagerDragon
Mar 31, 2007, 09:54 AM
I do not expect that MS Office for Mac has much of a life left. I think MS Office 2008 maybe the last one, but there maybe one more before the end. Past that I do not expect any more versions of it. M$ just killed it by not providing VB support. Also if I remember correctly M$ promized to continue support thru 2010 but that is it to my knowledge. So maybe one more version but 2008 version maybe it.

We are looking at OpenOffice, NeoOffice and iWorks to pickup the slack. So expect major changes to iWorks either this year or next.

Apple has to pick up the slack if they want to have a chance in the Enterprise and with people that wants to bring work home.

I plan to stay with the old version of office and continue to play with iWorks.

I feel that both OpenOffice and NeoOffice feel baren, I pop them up and feel I have no idea where to go next, it feels empty. I know it is all there but both products to me feel baren.

Maybe it is just me, but I imagine switchers may feel the same and become disapointed.

RogueWarrior65
Mar 31, 2007, 10:00 AM
So how the F are you supposed to run stuff with macros in it?
Jesus H... I'm so sick and tired of the big software companies not engineering cross-platform capability from the start. Quickbooks is a prime example of Mac users getting versions that are years out of date. Now this. Dumb dumb dumb. And don't give me that whining line about marketshare...it's bull. That's a piss poor excuse for not thinking.

EagerDragon
Mar 31, 2007, 10:27 AM
Why do people vote this negative?

I'm getting sick of this mac user hypocrisy- to cry monopoly at microsoft when ignoring all apple's iPod indiscretions. And then to claim MS apps are unstable/bad despite having never used them.

Thank god MS ignores you and OS X can enjoy another industry leading application for a few more years. Office 07 is an excellent product for which there is no substitute.

People vote negative because the new office does not bring feature equality on the Mac Platform. The Mac version is crippled.

Adobe and others bring the same features to both OS's. Microsoft could do the same but they chose not to do so.

Why are you so angry, have you really tried to exercise the Mac version of Office?
A lot of the bundled pieces of the current office are crippled in many ways like pivot tables, no VB support, and many others.

Have you located Access for Mac?
Have you located Project for Mac?
Have you located Visio for Mac?
Neither one exist today.

Are you a Mac user or a Windows user, I wonder why you come accross so angry?

Yes, we sometimes are unfair to Microsoft, but the above are not unfair, they are real, Microsoft produces a windows and OSX version yet they are not the same features wise.

superleccy
Mar 31, 2007, 10:38 AM
To the dismay of many corporate and cross-platform users, however, Microsoft has said that it will not be supporting Visual Basic scripting (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/).

I wonder if the "Get a Mac" ads have goaded Microsoft into making this move. For example...

Mac: Hello, I'm a Mac
PC: Hello, I'm a PC
Mac: I'm good at fun stuff.
PC: I'm good at Business Stuff.
Microsoft: You won't be needing VB Scripting, then. Stuff you, Apple.

I can't imagine that M$ thinks it owes Apple any favours.

SL

EagerDragon
Mar 31, 2007, 10:44 AM
What about LaTeX? Or InDesign? If you are making long documents surely you would use one of those programs not Word.

The above products are primarly document design, and do not cover the same functionality as any of the versions of office in either platform. They are dedicated products.

We are talking about having full and equal fuctionality on both platforms (Mac, Win). There are a lot of very nice dedicated products out there that will meet the needs for specific tasks but not for co-editing between the platforms. Not all specialized allow insertion of others document formats either so creating a graph, based on calculations, inserting a table look up and then making it all look pretty in the document takes a lot of different and sometimes not inexpensive products and the resulting document is not likely to be able to be loaded by Ms Windows office, be edited and the result brought back.

Is this co-editing between platforms that people want.

Macs can produce superior documents but does not allow the cros-editing without equal fuctionality between the platform.

jaw04005
Mar 31, 2007, 10:58 AM
Microsoft Office for Mac is a mixed blessing. Since the application is developed by a separate division of Microsoft, it tends to lack some of the features of the Windows version.

However, lots of features are exclusive to Mac. For example, "PowerPoint to QuickTime Movie" and Word's "Notebook View."

Some of the Mac versions (namely v. X and 2004) were even considered better than their Windows counterparts.

VB scripting was removed because its made up of legacy code, inherently insecure and Apple already provides a system-wide scripting service. Why reinvent the wheel? Office for Mac OS X should have taken advantage of Apple's built-in services all along.

Yes, I'm aware this is going to cause problems with corporate forms and other macro-heavy documents. But isn't it worth it for tighter integration with Mac OS X?

Hopefully, MacBU will also ship Office with pre-built Automator actions and a spell check that uses Mac OS X's system-wide dictionary.

CoreWeb
Mar 31, 2007, 11:07 AM
Microsoft Office for Mac is a mixed blessing. Since the application is developed by a separate division of Microsoft, it tends to lack some of the features of the Windows version.

However, lots of features are exclusive to Mac. For example, "PowerPoint to QuickTime Movie" and Word's "Notebook View."

Some of the Mac versions (namely v. X and 2004) were even considered better than their Windows counterparts.

VB scripting was removed because its made up of legacy code, inherently insecure and Apple already provides a system-wide scripting service. Why reinvent the wheel? Office for Mac OS X should have taken advantage of Apple's built-in services all along.

Yes, I'm aware this is going to cause problems with corporate forms and other macro-heavy documents. Ultimately, isn't it worth it for tighter integration with Mac OS X?

Hopefully, MacBU will also ship Office with pre-built Automator actions and a spell check that uses Mac OS X's system-wide dictionary.

And now that Mac OS X Leopard has grammar checking, Microsoft shouldn't need to add their own version of that either.

one09jason
Mar 31, 2007, 11:19 AM
It sort of doesn't matter what they do to it, if it crashes like all the previous versions, it's still crap software. That's my only real beef with MS software: display anomalies like disappearing text and objects, crashes, "corrupt" documents, and on and on. There are bugs in office that have been there version after version. In my view, this is the damage that their monopoly power really does: they have no real incentive to improve the quality. How is this one any different?

boffo
Mar 31, 2007, 12:25 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

To the dismay of many corporate and cross-platform users, however, Microsoft has said that it will not be supporting Visual Basic scripting (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/).

If it won't support VBA, will it support any other kind of scripting or user-defined functions? Perhaps AppleScript?

If it doesn't, that makes it significantly less useful to me.

richard4339
Mar 31, 2007, 12:37 PM
Just saw some over at TUAW

I must have missed the one comment above, sorry about that =/

TheChemist
Mar 31, 2007, 12:38 PM
Duff-Man says...I have always gotten freebies of Office since I had a friend that worked for M$...but now that he has moved on I don't think I would shell out much for a new version...if I could upgrade for say like $99 I might think about it but anything much more than that I'd say forget it...oh yeah!

Educational Discount my friend.

Full versions of Office Pro are 99$ + tx at school.

Eraserhead
Mar 31, 2007, 12:42 PM
I wonder if the "Get a Mac" ads have goaded Microsoft into making this move. For example...

SL

Well it was like this before, what about MSN Messenger and no video support :rolleyes: (rolleyes at MS's badness not you ;) )


Is this co-editing between platforms that people want.


LaTeX and Indesign both run on Windows too, though you probably can't edit graphs/charts.

Object-X
Mar 31, 2007, 12:57 PM
Given how Microsoft for the last few years released beta after beta to the public, why is Office 2008 for the Mac a private beta?

chuckzee
Mar 31, 2007, 01:10 PM
Can someone tell me who is this Mac Office 2008? And why did he/she hit Private Beta? :confused:

EagerDragon
Mar 31, 2007, 01:10 PM
Microsoft Office for Mac is a mixed blessing. Since the application is developed by a separate division of Microsoft, it tends to lack some of the features of the Windows version.

However, lots of features are exclusive to Mac. For example, "PowerPoint to QuickTime Movie" and Word's "Notebook View."

Some of the Mac versions (namely v. X and 2004) were even considered better than their Windows counterparts.

VB scripting was removed because its made up of legacy code, inherently insecure and Apple already provides a system-wide scripting service. Why reinvent the wheel? Office for Mac OS X should have taken advantage of Apple's built-in services all along.

Yes, I'm aware this is going to cause problems with corporate forms and other macro-heavy documents. But isn't it worth it for tighter integration with Mac OS X?

Hopefully, MacBU will also ship Office with pre-built Automator actions and a spell check that uses Mac OS X's system-wide dictionary.

The lack of VB is the main killer, authomated documents / applications created with Application Visual Basic will not work on the Mac and Mac documents that use Mac related authomation (Script and authomator) will not work on Windows.

For users that do not need this feature, Microsoft Office for Mac is a great product. However the corporate world is not likely to adopt Macs or rely on moving documents between the two platforms without VB scripting capability.

Authomator actions while nice for Mac users will not port across.

ogee
Mar 31, 2007, 01:53 PM
Will this likely be the last release for the Macintosh?

I would doubt it as MS has rewritten the complete package for intel Mac. I doubt they would do that if they were going to drop it. There is a very interesting Blog from the MBU and one of its employees which goes into a lot of detail about why VBA for mac has been dropped and what would have been involved in re-writing it for intel mac. I can understand their point of view, but thats a real pain for me.

I was also reading the other day, that the MBU is the biggest single mac developer, except for Apple. I guess that programs like Iview Media pro and other products they have bought are included in that calculation

Westside guy
Mar 31, 2007, 02:03 PM
If it won't support VBA, will it support any other kind of scripting or user-defined functions? Perhaps AppleScript?

If it doesn't, that makes it significantly less useful to me.

It's a long read, but a ways down in that linked Mac BU post it explicitly says Mac-compatible scripting languages are supported.

Personally I think security wise this is a good decision; and it won't affect the majority of Office users. But it certainly may cause significant pain in those cases where Mac users are trying to co-exist in an environment where Macs aren't officially supported.

Project
Mar 31, 2007, 02:20 PM
Been using this.... some definite nods to Pages....

matticus008
Mar 31, 2007, 02:33 PM
What about LaTeX? Or InDesign? If you are making long documents surely you would use one of those programs not Word.
Certainly not. LaTeX is for writing, not for document formatting. LaTeX gives you content to feed into a real word processor. InDesign is for publishing layouts and printed copies, not for electronic exchange. Its files are far too large to be practical for filing and emailing, especially in cases where there easily could be in excess of 10,000 total pages associated with it. InDesign takes several seconds to load a 6-page brochure; I can't imagine opening a 200-page brief with it. Neither of those programs is a word processor.
Anyone who writes off Keynote as a child's toy in comparison to the Mac version of PowerPoint hasn't taken the time to learn Keynote. What can these professionals accomplish in PowerPoint than they can't do in Keynote? Keynote does lag behind the Windows version of PowerPoint in animation tools
Animation tools, flow chart design, embedding and scripting, drawing tools, layering, and text placement options are all lacking in Keynote compared to PowerPoint. If you're using basic pictures and text boxes with bullet points, none of this really matters. But if you're presenting a complex scientific data set, you often need to work more into a slide than Keynote currently will allow.

Like I said, I love Keynote. I use it for nearly all of my presentations, and everything it can do, I think it's both easier and superior to PowerPoint. However, it is not as feature-complete as PowerPoint in the corners and niches where 95% of people never go. It doesn't need to be in order to be a great product. But PowerPoint has its uses and benefits.
Can I ask what access offers that NeoOffice does not?
Sure. Microsoft Access, just as he said. You can't just switch database infrastructure willy-nilly. If you're connected to networked Access databases, you need Access. Would MySQL or Oracle be better? Maybe in some ways. If I have to enter client data into Access, though, there's not really a question of what to use. Same with financial data still running on AS/400 through terminal software and flight information systems running on Windows NT 4. It's not Microsoft's monopoly that does it, it's corporate standardization. Once you have enough data in a single application, you've put yourself into a situation where you need that application.

bill4588
Mar 31, 2007, 02:35 PM
what exactly is visual basic? i keep hearing people whine about it not being included and im completely lost.

Eraserhead
Mar 31, 2007, 02:54 PM
Certainly not. LaTeX is for writing, not for document formatting. LaTeX gives you content to feed into a real word processor.

This isn't really true, admittedly with LaTeX you can't change the font and stuff easily (but I'm sure you can if you want to), but it produces an output PDF, which you can then send off to be printed, or whatever you want to do with it. You don't use Word or something with the result, otherwise you might as well write the document in Word in the first place.

NorCalLights
Mar 31, 2007, 02:56 PM
Why should I download Neo 2.1? I keep hoping iWork '07 will improve dramatically. Keynote is my primary presentation tool now, but Pages is still limited IMHO.



Um... why keep hoping you'll get a full-featured word processor sometime in the indefinite future? Go download NeoOffice 2.1 (it's free, by the way) and be happy NOW.

irbdavid
Mar 31, 2007, 02:58 PM
Certainly not. LaTeX is for writing, not for document formatting. LaTeX gives you content to feed into a real word processor.
...
Neither of those programs is a word processor.

I entirely agree that LaTeX is not a word processor. I think it's best described as a markup language, and as such the formatting is implicit - 'this is a figure, this is a section heading, table of contents goes here' etc.

I think EraserHead was right though - I simply would not want to try and write up a thesis in Word (at least, in the 2004 Mac version - I haven't tried 2007+). There are several reasons for this - top three:

1) Equations in word are painful to write, and look awful. Having to use their little built in editor thing drives me up the wall as it requires you to click through tabs and drop down menus just to write a single mathematical symbol. With LaTeX no such fiddling around is required, and my fingers never need to leave the keyboard at any point.

2) Figures & Formatting them is also fantastically irritating. Throw an image into a word document (which seems to have some big bones about including most vector graphics formats), only to have them disrupt the text in horrific ways and move about the page of their own accord.

3) Cross-referencing within a word document is fantastically poor. Sure maybe I have to call pdflatex/bibtex a few times to get it to work, but the only way to get a reference to update itself in word, according to the documentation is to select it and hit F9 or something, and the only way to update ALL references in a document is to select EVERYTHING and do it. In a document that runs well into the hundreds of pages, this doesn't sound like fun. Spreading this across several .doc files... doesn't sound fun at all.

I could go on. LaTeX has a pretty tricky learning curve, it must be said. But once you've got over it.... well, I hope I don't have to go back to using Word full time...

As a final point, I am told that the Equation and referencing in Word 2007 is much improved over previous versions, and modelled on the way these things are done in LaTeX no less. Whether or not it is actually usable, we shall see.
</rant>

phuong
Mar 31, 2007, 02:58 PM
I like it, BUT, on a 12 or 13.3 laptop screen, that ribbon will take up a LOT of screen real estate...

the ribbon is collapsible. moreover, it can adjust its size according to the size of your screen so that it won't take too much screen space. the ribbon interface, although i can't say it's innovative, but there certainly are a lot of new and powerful features in it. please dont judge it if you haven't tried it.

what i've observed is that, people who haven't tried MS Office 2007 but only seen screenshots of its interface, especially "Mac" people, are usually the ones who complain the most about "ugly interface" or "unfriendly interface" and so on.. and talk about the superiority of the alternatives, and keep wondering why other people (who obviously is using or have tried MSO2k7) love it.

SiliconAddict
Mar 31, 2007, 02:59 PM
All my years as a Director/Producer - manager - I have never needed Microsoft apps...apple 'text' is as great as their word app, who really cares.

People act like this is a Final Cut Pro, Maya, or something that can do something of some significance...if your into writing, get Final draft. :-)

Office docs...seriously...maybe people need to branch out and do something else for awhile. :)

Peace

dAlen

If you don't get what so special about Microsoft Office then you are either
1. Using the Mac version
2. Not using even a quarter of its features.

For all the complaining about MS office, and yes there are things to complain about, its a VERY powerful suite, as long as you know how to use it and know where kick and hit it just right when it acts up.

phuong
Mar 31, 2007, 03:00 PM
what exactly is visual basic? i keep hearing people whine about it not being included and im completely lost.

VB is powerful for automated tasks. imagine you're a book keeper and you have to enter thousands of journal entries every day. now imagine doing it with 1 click and with 10,000 clicks.

matticus008
Mar 31, 2007, 03:01 PM
This isn't really true, admittedly with LaTeX you can't change the font and stuff easily (but I'm sure you can if you want to), but it produces an output PDF, which you can then send off to be printed, or whatever you want to do with it.
PDFs are useless as an output format for collaboration and drafting. LaTeX does not produce meaningful output containing figures and tables, nor does it conform to required layout standards for documents in many industries (government documents and court pleadings, for example). It is not intended to be a word processor--it is a content engine, which then goes to the layout designers or publishers. It's the "send off" part that is called document finishing, and LaTeX doesn't do it at all.
You don't use Word or something with the result, otherwise you might as well write the document in Word in the first place.
You don't go straight from LaTeX output to the reader. Of course you don't use Word, but you're not done once you've got everything down in LaTeX. If you're writing a scientific article that can go in a simple FDF or PDF layout instruction with coordinates, that's great. But if you're working with complex layouts and in documents where the body text itself is all uniform (and therefore you start with templates), LaTeX doesn't save you any time, since all you're doing is replacing the text.

dr_lha
Mar 31, 2007, 03:02 PM
am i one of the few people actually looking forward to this?

i use Word. a lot. and i share my files. a lot. so i'm looking forward to an update to the app.
No you're not, trust me. I use Office every day and I am very much looking forward to this upgrade which looks much more "OS X" like than the current Office 2004. Intel native will be fine too, but with my current machines (apart from the mini maybe), Office 2004 runs great under Rosetta.

For those who don't need Office, fine, use NeoOffice (which is great, but still has the millstone of the old StarOffice around its neck in its odd way of working) or iWork. Sadly for those of us who use Macs at work those apps simply don't cut it yet, especially iWork (I tried once producing a galley proof paper for publication on Pages, what a joke).

Of course my anticipation of Office is probably due to the fact I won't have to pay for it as my work has a site license!

Eraserhead
Mar 31, 2007, 03:06 PM
PDFs are useless as an output format for collaboration and drafting. LaTeX does not produce meaningful output containing figures and tables, nor does it conform to required layout standards for documents in many industries (government documents and court pleadings, for example). It is not intended to be a word processor--it is a content engine, which then goes to the layout designers or publishers. It's the "send off" part that is called document finishing, and LaTeX doesn't do it at all.

You can format the margins and stuff, but I suppose you can also export from LaTeX to postscript and then use another application to finish it off if you want to, which is your point and is correct.

dr_lha
Mar 31, 2007, 03:12 PM
the ribbon is collapsible. moreover, it can adjust its size according to the size of your screen so that it won't take too much screen space. the ribbon interface, although i can't say it's innovative, but there certainly are a lot of new and powerful features in it. please dont judge it if you haven't tried it.

what i've observed is that, people who haven't tried MS Office 2007 but only seen screenshots of its interface, especially "Mac" people, are usually the ones who complain the most about "ugly interface" or "unfriendly interface" and so on.. and talk about the superiority of the alternatives, and keep wondering why other people (who obviously is using or have tried MSO2k7) love it.

Yeah, I have to admit I tried Office 2007 under Parallels and thought it was pretty nice. Took a while to get used to, and I'm not convinced about the huge "Office button", but the ribbon is pretty cool. The only real issue is that MS seem to have designed this interface only for Office, where they should use it across the board on Vista.

NorCalLights
Mar 31, 2007, 03:14 PM
I haven't done anything with VBA scripting yet, but I am very much uneasy about the idea of Excel without it and and doubly so about non-Excel spreadsheet software, so as long as it keeps working, you can pry my Office 2004 from my cold, dead hands.

I could be quite happy with another presentation program -- Keynote works for Al Gore and seemed nice on the demo -- and any responsive, Aqua-native word processor is sufficient for 90% of what I do, but Excel is the standard spreadsheet package to such a degree that there really are no practical alternatives if you need full compatibility. I use Apple Mail and Lotus Notes, so Entourage really isn't any concern.

From the NeoOffice website:


NeoOffice 2.1 Early Access contains a number of unique features including:

•Opening, editing, and saving of Microsoft Office 2007 Word documents
•Execution of Visual Basic for Applications macros in Excel documents
•Support for linear programming extensions for spreadsheets


I have a number of very complex Excel spreadsheets with lots of scripting that all run fine.

irbdavid
Mar 31, 2007, 03:16 PM
PDFs are useless as an output format for collaboration and drafting. LaTeX does not produce meaningful output containing figures and tables, nor does it conform to required layout standards for documents in many industries (government documents and court pleadings, for example). It is not intended to be a word processor--it is a content engine, which then goes to the layout designers or publishers. It's the "send off" part that is called document finishing, and LaTeX doesn't do it at all.

Firstly, revision control etc are generally done within the scope of the LaTeX source rather than the PDF output - there are several common tools to do this. I personally use a combination of an SVN repository and the 'latexdiff' command.

I don't understand your point about 'meaningful output...', what do you mean by this?

Does the software used by publishing companies to 'produce' books etc accept .tex files as input then? I could point you in the direction of many books that are, or appear to be, written exclusively in LaTeX, including statements in the forwards that confirm this.

I don't know of any journals, that explicitly DONT accept LaTeX documents for publishing, within the circles I frequent, while there are a minority that refuse to accept .doc files.

You don't go straight from LaTeX output to the reader. Of course you don't use Word, but you're not done once you've got everything down in LaTeX. If you're writing a scientific article that can go in a simple FDF or PDF layout instruction with coordinates, that's great. But if you're working with complex layouts and in documents where the body text itself is all uniform (and therefore you start with templates), LaTeX doesn't save you any time, since all you're doing is replacing the text.

I don't quite follow you here either - uniform body text? Surely though, a .tex file, because of it's nature as a markup language provides a much better starting point to generate a proper book/similar from than a .doc because it contains only formatting/stylistic info and not any content markup. An oversight perhaps, since it has that 'heading/subheading/section heading' stuff, but the kind of word documents that come my way daily never seem to use this, people just writing whatever formatting they feel like at any point in the document.

irbdavid
Mar 31, 2007, 03:18 PM
After saying all this, however, I'll still be buying a copy of 2008 when it comes out :D

OpenOffice is still kinda a mess, and 2004 is slow as a dog under Rosetta.

matticus008
Mar 31, 2007, 03:23 PM
You can format the margins and stuff, but I think I'm wrong, you can also export from LaTeX to postscript and then use another application to finish it off if you want to, which is your point and is correct.
Right. Of course all of that isn't to say that LaTeX isn't very good for authors (and particularly journalists and scholars), where it's probably better suited than Word, which I think was your point. It works very well for keeping authors off the publishing wagon and concentrating on getting their work done. This makes it faster for writers, and publishers also love it because they don't have to undo all kinds of strange formatting decisions made by the authors.

Also, being based on codes (like extremely old school Wordperfect or Wordstar), it's far easier to work with unusual characters or equations in LaTeX. I've never understood why Word doesn't allow simple keyboard entry like this. Alt codes and option-shortcuts aren't really the same.

johnee
Mar 31, 2007, 03:26 PM
now is this going to be the last office version for mac from microsoft?

Freyqq
Mar 31, 2007, 03:48 PM
the thing is..everything at my university is done in microsoft office format. If you've ever tried opening an office document in openoffice, you'd know that the formatting is never quite right. Therefore, people need microsoft office for that reason. Until they share formats or something I can't function without it.

Also, personally, office 2004 is a much better program than neooffice...worth 150$ since i use it every day.

matticus008
Mar 31, 2007, 04:29 PM
Firstly, revision control etc are generally done within the scope of the LaTeX source rather than the PDF output - there are several common tools to do this.
Right, but there's no advantage to this over a Word file, and a number of disadvantages.
I don't understand your point about 'meaningful output...', what do you mean by this?
LaTeX files don't give you a finished product if you're still editing them. What you see is NOT what you get (unlike in Word and InDesign). In my line of work, people need to know where pages and sections end in the finished formatting and work with drafts in the form they would be filed. Formatting is part of the process from the beginning, and not simply an afterthought, because the formatting affects content directly and internal referencing is done without direct quotes or anchors, where part of the content is a reference to page numbers and lines in the same document and others which are in parallel development. Furthermore, there's no need for the "time saving" markup of LaTeX, because nearly everything is produced from templates which are already fully formatted. LaTeX therefore offers no advantage, because we're already spending no time at all on the formatting, except a few tweaks at the end of the process. The medical, legal, government, and financial industries are all largely the same in this regard. LaTeX is not good with working within template confines, where certain sections are character-limited and others are physically length-limited, or where you can't rely on automatic breaks to distribute things properly. You need to see what the document looks like.
Does the software used by publishing companies to 'produce' books etc accept .tex files as input then? I could point you in the direction of many books that are, or appear to be, written exclusively in LaTeX, including statements in the forwards that confirm this.
Of course they do. But I'm not sure what your point is. LaTeX works great where authoring and publishing take place discretely. It does not work at all when you need to work with "production ready" documents at all stages.
I don't quite follow you here either - uniform body text? Surely though, a .tex file, because of it's nature as a markup language provides a much better starting point to generate a proper book/similar from than a .doc because it contains only formatting/stylistic info and not any content markup.
If you've already got a template and don't spend any time on formatting because it's wholly uniform, then there's no appreciable advantage to LaTeX, especially given the fundamental lack of WSIWYG quality to it. When a second group of people wants to control typefaces and layout, LaTeX is best. When the first group knows what they're doing and doesn't pass their work on to a finishing group, LaTeX is awfully inefficient and impractical. Switching to LaTeX in these professions would be a major step backwards.

SPUY767
Mar 31, 2007, 06:17 PM
TUAW has some screenshots here (http://www.tuaw.com/photos/office-2008-for-the-mac-screenshots/).

Judging by the screenshots, it looks to me like MS took more than a few pages out of the Apple UI handbook.

Roller
Mar 31, 2007, 06:24 PM
Animation tools, flow chart design, embedding and scripting, drawing tools, layering, and text placement options are all lacking in Keynote compared to PowerPoint. If you're using basic pictures and text boxes with bullet points, none of this really matters. But if you're presenting a complex scientific data set, you often need to work more into a slide than Keynote currently will allow.

Like I said, I love Keynote. I use it for nearly all of my presentations, and everything it can do, I think it's both easier and superior to PowerPoint. However, it is not as feature-complete as PowerPoint in the corners and niches where 95% of people never go. It doesn't need to be in order to be a great product. But PowerPoint has its uses and benefits.

It's true that you often need other apps to prepare charts, graphs, animations and such, as I do with my scientific and educational presentations. But Mac PowerPoint isn't much better in this regard, and Keynote's UI is so much cleaner that my work proceeds more quickly once I've prepared all the content.

Other than adding some animation tools (especially path-based animation) and a few other features, I'm happy with Keynote as it is. I'm rather have an uncluttered UI than a bloated program that tries to pack in every charting and other function, since I'll probably still have to use other tools anyway.

Unfortunately, files exported from Keynote to PowerPoint often need considerable tweaking, especially in build timings. So I use PowerPoint for presentations that I give at meetings where I can't use my own computer.

To be fair to MS, PowerPoint was first in a number of areas, such as Presenter Display. Competition is good, and I'm looking forward to Office 2008.

notsofatjames
Mar 31, 2007, 07:24 PM
no visual basic scripting will kill any business users of macintosh. lots of businesss rely on vb to run applications. Removing support for VB scripting is just another way for MS to keep market share, without making it look like it is... if you get what i mean. they say that they we can use applescript, but hundreds of business rely on vb, so they cant use it on intel macs. the business is left with two choices. run windows, or re-create all your spreadsheets, macros, formats etc to run on a different office suite.

for average joe, Pages and Keynote are fine IMO. I only ever use TextEdit at home.

and for who-ever asked what visual basic is.. its a programming language that is included with office (well was as of 2008), which is used to perform more functions than the standard set, or to do complicated calculations.
I remember learning it in school to write programs for school work. One of the easist languages i have ever learnt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_basic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_basic)

SPUY767
Mar 31, 2007, 07:52 PM
no visual basic scripting will kill any business users of macintosh. lots of businesss rely on vb to run applications. Removing support for VB scripting is just another way for MS to keep market share, without making it look like it is... if you get what i mean. they say that they we can use applescript, but hundreds of business rely on vb, so they cant use it on intel macs. the business is left with two choices. run windows, or re-create all your spreadsheets, macros, formats etc to run on a different office suite.

As much as I love an use the bollocks out of AppleScript, it is not even close to a replacement for VB, it would take MS giving Apple unabated access into the API of Office. You couldn't even come close to re-writing some of my macros in applescript. This is why I hate MS, they could easily write a port of office for windows but they chose to release a pared down crap version for the same price.

mflender
Mar 31, 2007, 08:10 PM
Will this likely be the last release for the Macintosh?

Microsoft wouldn't have went through the painstaking process of converting Office from Carbon to Cocoa if it was going to cancel it. Ofiice 2004 would have been the last one.

CoreWeb
Mar 31, 2007, 11:55 PM
no visual basic scripting will kill any business users of macintosh. lots of businesss rely on vb to run applications. Removing support for VB scripting is just another way for MS to keep market share, without making it look like it is... if you get what i mean. they say that they we can use applescript, but hundreds of business rely on vb, so they cant use it on intel macs. the business is left with two choices. run windows, or re-create all your spreadsheets, macros, formats etc to run on a different office suite.

for average joe, Pages and Keynote are fine IMO. I only ever use TextEdit at home.

and for who-ever asked what visual basic is.. its a programming language that is included with office (well was as of 2008), which is used to perform more functions than the standard set, or to do complicated calculations.
I remember learning it in school to write programs for school work. One of the easist languages i have ever learnt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_basic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_basic)

It was the first language I learnt. Now, though, I only use PHP, C/C++, and (recently, only slightly, really, just bragging here - insert a dozen more qualifiers) a programming language of my own invention meant for traversing a specialized database. I did use VB.NET for awhile, though.

sushi
Apr 1, 2007, 05:18 AM
As much as I love an use the bollocks out of AppleScript, it is not even close to a replacement for VB, it would take MS giving Apple unabated access into the API of Office. You couldn't even come close to re-writing some of my macros in applescript. This is why I hate MS, they could easily write a port of office for windows but they chose to release a pared down crap version for the same price.
Yes, no VB support is frustrating.

Maybe all of us who feel affected should provide feedback to Microsoft. Who knows, they might take notice.

Other companies can make comparable applications that run on both platforms. Evidentially, right now anyway, it is in the too hard box for Microsoft.

psychofreak
Apr 1, 2007, 05:23 AM
Judging by the screenshots, it looks to me like MS took more than a few pages out of the Apple UI handbook.

Is that a good thing?

deejemon
Apr 1, 2007, 07:42 PM
*

Onkelskrue
Apr 2, 2007, 05:27 AM
Thoughts? I don't need word since I use Neo Office, but a new Outlook client would be more than welcome.

Thougths?

Cheers,
Lars

Evangelion
Apr 3, 2007, 08:57 AM
A "lot" of Mac users are going to go sell their MacBooks and go buy a cheap HP, install some flavor of Linux and have to recompile their kernel to get wireless to work

What do you mean "recompile their kernel"? When was the last time you used Linux? 1998? Last time I recompiled my kernel was maybe in 2002, and that was because I wanted to do it, not because I had to do it.

They will simply continue to use the existing released version. Mac users (and average Windows users) don't use Linux for a reason.

What would that reason be?

For all but IT geeks and masochists - Linux on the desktop is a failure.

I beg to differ. Linux on the desktop works very very well indeed. It's very easy to use, things "just work" etc. etc. If Linux on the desktop is a "failure", then Mac on the desktop is a failure as well, since the two have more or less same number of users.

That said; I currently use only OS X, but I still like Linux as well.

Evangelion
Apr 3, 2007, 09:02 AM
I used Linux for many years, and finally gave up. Hardware support was a big issue no matter which distribution I used.

Actually, OOB, Linux has BY FAR best hardware-support of any OS out there.

Linux is a great OS, but it is not like OSX where everything just works.

Last time I used Linux everything "just worked". I had no problems with anything. But then I suffered a hardware-failure, so I went back to my Mac Mini, and that meant that my wife had to move from Linux to Mac as well. End-result? She hated it. It was too hard to use, everything was strange. She is tolerating it these days, but she still occasionally asks me "why is this thing so hard, when it was so easy in Linux?"

Most people do not want to compile anything to make things work

Where does this idea of "compiling" come from? I never, EVER compiled ANYTHING when I used Ubuntu. whenever I plugged some piece of hardware in to the machine, it just worked. No hassle, no problem.

and do not want to download a program to find later that it is missing a library that they now need to hunt for, and later find out that it clashes with something else. It is a nightmare.

Um, what you are describing is called "dependancy hell". It was solved years ago. It's like if I called Macs crap because I hated OS 8.

dr_lha
Apr 3, 2007, 09:26 AM
Actually, OOB, Linux has BY FAR best hardware-support of any OS out there.

Legacy hardware (i.e. OLD) maybe, but for new hardware Windows XP has the best support, and that is what really matters. Wireless "N" work on Linux? No. Accelerate Graphics card support? A mixed bag at best. The fact is that you can't just install Linux on any newly purchased PC and expect everything to work out of the box. If you believe that you are simply misguided. I know this because I administer 20 Linux boxes at work.

Last time I used Linux everything "just worked". I had no problems with anything.

OK. Try this: Plug a second monitor in. Does it "just work"? It does on a Mac and Windows.

How about changing monitors, does the automatically change to the best resolution if you upgrade? If not can you fix this without editing a text file?

Ubuntu is a great Linux OS, but its just not there yet in terms of "just working" compared to Windows (I'm specifically not bring Mac into this because we all know it works on a small subset of hardware).

Evangelion
Apr 3, 2007, 09:37 AM
Legacy hardware (i.e. OLD) maybe, but for new hardware Windows XP has the best support, and that is what really matters.

Windows has crappy support for even never hardware. Plug something in, and it will propably prompt you to feed it drivers.

Wireless "N" work on Linux? No.

Yes (http://www.broadcom.com/collateral/pb/4321_2055-PB02-R.pdf)

Accelerate Graphics card support? A mixed bag at best.

I had no problems with 3D-graphics in Linux.

The fact is that you can't just install Linux on any newly purchased PC and expect everything to work out of the box.

Can you do that with Windows? No. I HAVE installed Windows on PC's. And if I don't prepare a driver-CD beforehand for all the components, it will simply not work. I don't have to do that with Linux, since it has built-in support for the hardware.

If you believe that you are simply misguided. I know this because I administer 20 Linux boxes at work.

Good for you! But that doesn't change the fact that my findings differ from yours.

OK. Try this: Plug a second monitor in. Does it "just work"? It does on a Mac and Windows.

I don't have Linux or second monitor at hand, so I can't test that. OK, try this: Take a Matrox vid-card and plug it in your Mac. Does it work? How about that Creative soundcard? NVIDIA vid-cards in SLI-setup?

How about changing monitors, does the automatically change to the best resolution if you upgrade?

Since I don't routinely change monitors, I have no firsthand knowledge.

And why is it that you seem to think that I'm attacking Mac or something? I'm not. I use it every day, and I love it. What I AM attacking against is this notion of "you need to recompile your kernel to get your hardware to work in Linux!".

nplima
Apr 3, 2007, 09:43 AM
I used Linux for many years, and finally gave up. Hardware support was a big issue no matter which distribution I used. Sometimes when patching. the patch would break something. Linux is a great OS, but it is not like OSX where everything just works.

At Apple inc. someone does the hard work of ensuring that the hardware and software will work well together, with Linux you have to do that by yourself, by checking hardware compatibility lists (well, people do that with Windows to ensure their US$500 on Premium Xtra Gold Edition are well spent).

What do you get in return for your hard work picking your own components? loads of choice in hardware and software.
That may not be enough motivation for many, but the wise MacRumor Forum readership will agree that Apple cannot possibly provide all the right options at the right time (headless iMac, 12" MacBook Pro, ...).

Still on the subject of hardware/software tinkering: all those servers where Linux works great, they weren't "born" 100% hardware compatible. everyone benefits from hobbyists tinkering with computers, what's with the permanent insult and discouragement?

dr_lha
Apr 3, 2007, 10:07 AM
Windows has crappy support for even never hardware. Plug something in, and it will propably prompt you to feed it drivers.

Needing a driver is not the same as having bad hardware support. As long as a driver is available, Windows has the hardware support. Sure its nicer to have everything built into the box, but I'd sooner have a CD to install than just being told "its not supported". Quite simply more hardware is supported on Windows XP than on Linux, if you argue against this you are either a fool or a liar.

Good for you! But that doesn't change the fact that my findings differ from yours.

I'm suggesting your findings are based on a smaller sample than mine, that's all. I've used Linux since 1995, so I have some experience in this, and have worked as a system admin of Linux systems. I love Linux, but one of the reasons I left it behind for my everyday desktop is that you have to spend to much time getting it to work, rather than just being productive.

I don't have Linux or second monitor at hand, so I can't test that.

Hint: It doesn't work. You have to reconfigure the whole X11 configuration, often by hand editing th XF86Config file (or xorg.conf, whatever).

Since I don't routinely change monitors, I have no firsthand knowledge.

Again. You have to resort to editing the XF86Config to add the extra resolutions on most Linux setups (including Ubuntu).

And why is it that you seem to think that I'm attacking Mac or something?

No, I'm just pointing out fallacies in your argument. If you noticed I mainly talked about Windows in my post, not Mac.
I'm not. I use it every day, and I love it. What I AM attacking against is this notion of "you need to recompile your kernel to get your hardware to work in Linux!".
Indeed, that is no longer true, and actually hasn't been true for a long time. However the fact is that Linux has not reached the level of "it just works" that Windows and Mac have. If you believe it has I say you need to try installing Linux on a few more diverse platforms, as see if it works without effort. It's getting there, sure, but it has been gettting there for a long time now.

Evangelion
Apr 3, 2007, 12:42 PM
Needing a driver is not the same as having bad hardware support.

I was talking about hardware-support out of the box.

As long as a driver is available, Windows has the hardware support. Sure its nicer to have everything built into the box, but I'd sooner have a CD to install than just being told "its not supported".

And I haven't really ran in to a situation where a piece of hardware I have owned was not supported in Linux. They just worked, straight out of the box. Compare that to the time when I was re-installing Windows. My computer had no floppy-drive anymore, but in order to install windows, I actually had to scavenge one, so I could get Windows to install. Reason being that it did not support the SATA-controller in my computer, and it only accepted driver-floppies during installation. Linux had no such problems.

How about installing the Apple USB Keyboard? Plugged it in to the machine, and it just worked on Linux. On Windows it required several different drivers and 2-3 reboots. And if I accidentally plugged it to a new USB-port, it had to be re-installed.

Quite simply more hardware is supported on Windows XP than on Linux, if you argue against this you are either a fool or a liar.

Again: I was talking about support OUT OF THE BOX. That is, built-in support right in the OS.

Indeed, that is no longer true, and actually hasn't been true for a long time. However the fact is that Linux has not reached the level of "it just works" that Windows and Mac have.

It did "just work" on my desktop. It "just works" on my neighbours desktop. I have seen it "just work" on numerous desktops. The Windows-machine at my in-laws place? It does not "just work".

Yes, of course I have seen Linux-installs that have some kind of problems. And I have seen A LOT of Windows-installs that have had problems (I actually admin Windows-machines for a living). I have also seen few Macs that have had problems. I'm not saying that Linux is perfect, But I am disputing the claim that Mac and Windows "just work", whereas Linux does not.

If you believe it has I say you need to try installing Linux on a few more diverse platforms, as see if it works without effort.

So far I have installed Linux on half a dozen different laptops, dozen or so desktops of varying configurations, few oldish rack-servers and a Mac Mini. I had some issues years ago, but not recently. There were some issues with Mac Mini, mainly due to the fact that Adobe does not provide Flash-player for PPC-Linux.

No, I'm just pointing out fallacies in your argument.

Really? It seems to me that we have people making totally baseless arguments about Linux. And when someone says "you know, Linux actually just works these days", out comes the jihad-squad.