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MacBytes
Jan 2, 2008, 08:06 AM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: 3rd Party Hardware
Link: First look at Office 2008 for Mac: final code (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080102090639)
Description:: The biggest software release of '08 is Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, and it's hitting the streets this month. Read on to find out all you need to know about the new package.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug



palmerized
Jan 2, 2008, 09:30 AM
Cool. I'm looking forward to trying out Office. We'll see in a couple weeks I guess.

Peace
Jan 2, 2008, 09:34 AM
"Microsoft has applied some of the Vista version magic to Office 2008 with regard to pricing. Thankfully, however it's a bit easier to follow. There are two main options; a basic Office 2008 for Mac standard edition ($649 or $399 for an upgrade) or an Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition ($849, or $549 for upgrade)"


Unbelievable !!

gerardrj
Jan 2, 2008, 10:18 AM
"...It's been a long time between drinks for Mac users waiting for a new version of Office..."

With the exception of Palmerized in the first post, I've not heard of anyone wanting or needing an upgrade to Office. Specifically to Palmerized: why do you look forward to it? It is simply the "something new" factor, or are there some features of Office that you need and are not present in the shipping version? Sure it looks different and may perform advanced functions easier, but do you use any of those functions? Personally I've not used Office in years and I don't even launch iWork all that much. TexEdit is my go-to workhorse for anything that isn't page-layout.

I work for a Mac reseller and I know that almost our entire user base uses Office simply for MS Word to write simple letters and school papers. 90%+ of that work could just as easily have been completed with Mac's TextEdit program for free.
For those looking for more complex layout, I always suggest iWork at 1/2 the price (of Student Teacher) first. It's faster, easier and integrates with all your other media on the Mac more easily.
The maybe 2% of people who actually "need" Office are those who are sending documents via email to others who will edit and return those documents. Sure you could do this with iWork via export, but it's an extra step and you really have to use the menu items or be a contortionist to hit the shortcut key for "Save as...". iWork needs a "default to Microsoft" save option.
Even for those who send lots of documents, most don't need the recipient to edit them, and I still suggest iWork and "Save as PDF", it's more universal and no worries about changes on the other end.

So I really do want to know... what is in it for the consumer to get an Office upgrade? I know what's in it for MS, lots of money.

rikers_mailbox
Jan 2, 2008, 11:00 AM
Unfortunately, Microsoft has dropped macro and Visual Basic (VB) support in Office 2008

Wait ... really?! No macro or VB support in Office 2008?

This is a big gotcha for me, macros are used extensively at my place of employment. Crapola. :mad:

skinnylegs
Jan 2, 2008, 11:06 AM
Honestly, I don't see why someone would shell out that kind of money for MS Office given all of the other alternatives.

MacRumors
Jan 2, 2008, 11:39 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Microsoft has given some websites the opportunity to test drive (http://www.macworld.com/article/131352/2008/01/office08preview.html) the upcoming Mac Office 2008 suite ahead of its official launch at Macworld Expo. Aside from Intel compatibility, Office 2008 also tries to reorganize the Office experience:
“One of the goals for this release was to allow people to rediscover the power of Office,” said Microsoft’s Han-Yi Shaw, lead program manager for Word, Compatibility, and User Experience. “Sometimes we get requests from power users for features we already have.”

APCMag explores (http://apcmag.com/7766/first_look_office_2008_for_mac) some of the new features in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage.

- Word offers more desktop-publishing features, allowing easy document formatting
- Excel adds a new formula builder, increases max sizes of spreadsheets, but drops macro and Visual Basic support
- Powerpoint can create diagrams easily, Send to iPhoto which can be viewed on your iPod
- Entourage with improved Exchange connectivity, but still no encrypted MAPI mode

Macworld also has brief looks at Word 2008 (http://www.macworld.com/article/131351/2008/01/word08_fl.html) and Excel 2008 (http://www.macworld.com/article/131350/2008/01/excel08.html) with similar notes.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/02/first-looks-at-mac-microsoft-office-2008/)

theheadguy
Jan 2, 2008, 11:41 AM
Hopefully this will step up the game so we can get Apple to look at iWork more seriously.

That's the only reason I care about these Microsoft updates... Same goes for the Zune and all the other players out there. People should be happy when those products improve. The more they improve, the faster Apple has to work to stay that much more superior. It's always funny to see some new product by a competitor and the article is rated "97 positives, 462 negatives."

Fiallo1984
Jan 2, 2008, 11:44 AM
Now the real question is whether it's the same slow awful program it was in 2004. I can't count the number of times I've had to wait for Word or Excel to resolve it's pinwheel of death.

savar
Jan 2, 2008, 11:46 AM
Hopefully this will step up the game so we can get Apple to look at iWork more seriously.

That's the only reason I care about these Microsoft updates... Same goes for the Zune and all the other players out there. People should be happy when those products improve. The more they improve, the faster Apple has to work to stay that much more superior. It's always funny to see some new product by a competitor and the article is rated "97 positives, 462 negatives."

I'm actually looking forward to this release. It hit home last week when I was trying to print some file labels ... NeoOffice completely bungled a simple label format. I ended up switching to MS Office on my Dell and it got the labels perfect on the first go.

If they remove some of the bloat then I will probably be purchasing Office 2008 for my Mac. There is still just no substitute.

mattvolp
Jan 2, 2008, 11:47 AM
Now the real question is whether it's the same slow awful program it was in 2004. I can't count the number of times I've had to wait for Word or Excel to resolve it's pinwheel of death.

Yes, if they can fix this then maybe I'll go back to Word and move away from Google Docs.

iSee
Jan 2, 2008, 11:48 AM
Yay...
I bought an extra copy of Mac Office 2004 on "Black Friday" just to get the almost-free upgrade to 2008. So I'm getting impatient to use the software I've (essentially) already bought.

By the way, MS just confirmed my 2008 order. I hope that somehow means they'll ship it earlier than six weeks (or whatever they said) after general availability.

jmsait19
Jan 2, 2008, 11:49 AM
dropped macro support... that's interesting. that seems like something that the real power users use.

but i'm all for dropping the bloat... here's to hoping!

OnaMacSince1989
Jan 2, 2008, 11:49 AM
The new Excel drops Macros?? WTF!?!?! :mad:

iSee
Jan 2, 2008, 11:51 AM
Now the real question is whether it's the same slow awful program it was in 2004. I can't count the number of times I've had to wait for Word or Excel to resolve it's pinwheel of death.

I had this problem (frequent pauses of 5-10 seconds or longer) with a Mac I used to use at my old job--more RAM was the solution. Anyway, I'd bet anything that 2008 will require more RAM.

fastbite
Jan 2, 2008, 11:51 AM
Let's hope it doesn't feel like this...

Brianstorm91
Jan 2, 2008, 11:52 AM
Aqua.. AQUA!
:eek:

CptnJustc
Jan 2, 2008, 11:54 AM
Drops macro support? Bloody heck... not that Excel 2004's compatibility was all that great, but I was hoping that would be fixed in this 'upgrade'.

NYmacAttack
Jan 2, 2008, 11:55 AM
The new Excel drops Macros?? WTF!?!?! :mad:

This is crazy. This is one feature that people will miss the most. Microsoft really dropped the ball on this.

SPUY767
Jan 2, 2008, 11:58 AM
Excel without macros = fail. More crap being shoveled on us from the industry leader. Erwe all knew that MS would give us a sub par product tho. The Mac OS is just a productivity suite away from replacing Ms in the enterprise.

tjcampbell
Jan 2, 2008, 12:00 PM
Since I started using Pages I've never looked back. The only thing I'm awaiting is the ability to view and edit pages docs on my iphone.

Popeye206
Jan 2, 2008, 12:02 PM
I actually loved it when MS word did word processing (i.e. I type, it corrects my spelling and grammar). I do like some of the list printing features as one person pointed out... but I think MS and others would better service the customers by giving us reliability and speed over fancy features I'd rather leave to the DTP applications.

No Macro support? Now that is a shame... must be another ploy to try and keep corporate america on Windoze.

Cameront9
Jan 2, 2008, 12:02 PM
Not sure why everyone is up in arms about no macros...it was announced that it would not have macro support MONTHS ago....

CptnJustc
Jan 2, 2008, 12:03 PM
Since I started using Pages I've never looked back. The only thing I'm awaiting is the ability to view and edit pages docs on my iphone.

Autosave, please. (Yes, without resorting to Applescript.) Mild insanity to have a productivity suite without it.

Not sure why everyone is up in arms about no macros...it was announced that it would not have macro support MONTHS ago....

Sorry, wasn't keeping that careful track. But it still sucks.

zelet
Jan 2, 2008, 12:04 PM
MS dropped Macro support for the same reason they don't make Office 100% compatible... they don't want to help Apple.

I guarantee that if Apple continues down this path of success much longer MS is going to pull the plug on ANY Exchange integration or Office integration thus forcing Apple to stay on the sideline in the business arena.

:mad:

fanbrain
Jan 2, 2008, 12:05 PM
"- Excel adds a new formula builder, increases max sizes of spreadsheets, but drops macro and Visual Basic support"

I'd like to see a spreadsheet that pushes the size limit of the current version of Excel. It boggles the mind.

powderblue17
Jan 2, 2008, 12:06 PM
It's been known ever since the Intel transition was announced that the next version of Office would not have macro support because most of the code for it was processor dependent. Microsoft has only been telling us this for the past 2 years.

NYmacAttack
Jan 2, 2008, 12:06 PM
Not sure why everyone is up in arms about no macros...it was announced that it would not have macro support MONTHS ago....

Yea but that was waaayyyy before it was actually shipping. I was hoping Microsoft would fix the glaring omission.

jettredmont
Jan 2, 2008, 12:07 PM
I'm actually looking forward to this release. It hit home last week when I was trying to print some file labels ... NeoOffice completely bungled a simple label format. I ended up switching to MS Office on my Dell and it got the labels perfect on the first go.

If they remove some of the bloat then I will probably be purchasing Office 2008 for my Mac. There is still just no substitute.

Yeah, Office/Windows does labels really nicely. Can't tell you how many issues I've had trying to get Office/Mac to print labels, especially with any graphics pasted in!

Unfortunately, the codebase seems to have been completely split. The two teams share some interface design ideas, but that seems to be about it. So, like NeoOffice, Office/Mac is its own little development ghetto with its own set of (really longstanding and productivity-zapping) bugs which get no attention because, hey, if you want to do "real" work you can just buy Windows like all the other kool kids!

137489
Jan 2, 2008, 12:12 PM
Eww. Doen't look good. I am a power user of office on the PC side of things. I was hoping to use Office 2008 when I buy my MAC. Now :confused: ... to say the least. I use Macros (VBA to be exact - especially when importing data from text files). I was hoping the delay in the release would mean that they would finally bring OneNote to the MAC, as I am a heavy user of that (to the point I can't live without it). I do not want to use BootCamp. Maybe I will just need to run parallels and use Office 2007 Ultimate in Windows XP.

When I do finally get my mac, I know that I will use iwork for most things, but Office products (word, excel, access, OneNote, visio, etc) are things I cannot live without; being still in the corporate world..... I just become to used to them and need true compatibility with PC users.

Dang Microsoft, why? why? They have a Mac Business Unit, can't they see that mac users are increasing every day. They need to stop living like they are the only ones out there. I know they are interested with Linux since that article about them backing Novell Linux (formally SUSE).

zioxide
Jan 2, 2008, 12:12 PM
Hopefully my school bookstore doesn't take too long to get it in there for $5.35 :D

jettredmont
Jan 2, 2008, 12:17 PM
So, here are my demands:

1. Is clipboard pasting of graphics fixed yet? For the past umpteen versions, any graphic you paste into any Office document (including PowerPoint and Word of course) gets pasted as a "PICT" graphics format which no one else (meaning, Windows users) can see. This is the mother of all compatibility issues, as there is absolutely NO indication that your document is completely FUBAR until you try loading it under Windows, and there's no way to repair the images either without finding the original image files and using the "Insert Graphic from File" command instead! If Microsoft still hasn't fixed this bug, they will not be getting my money. Period. I'm just plain embarrassed for you, MacBU!

2. Add a ******* shortcut to paste as plain text, dammit! Maybe it's just the eternal development cycles at Microsoft here, but it seems that every other app has figured out that people often want to paste in just plain old text, and needing to use the mouse to bring up a menu then a sub-menu then a dialog, click the "Unformatted Text" then click the button ... it's just plain insane. Command-Shift-V was put on the keyboard just for this purpose. Sigh.

Stella
Jan 2, 2008, 12:18 PM
Wait ... really?! No macro or VB support in Office 2008?

This is a big gotcha for me, macros are used extensively at my place of employment. Crapola. :mad:

I thought ( on this website ) that VBScript was also going to be dropped in future windows releases too. If windows version follows suit then there's isn't much disadvantage.

Nothing about a video enabled MSN client though.. ( which also gets shipped with Office - )

CptnJustc
Jan 2, 2008, 12:19 PM
It's been known ever since the Intel transition was announced that the next version of Office would not have macro support because most of the code for it was processor dependent. Microsoft has only been telling us this for the past 2 years.

Again, it still sucks, and is of particular relevance now that it's actually coming out.

As for the code being 'processor dependent', I don't see why this is such a roadblock, since MS found it worthwhile to code it that way once, and now Apple has a larger market share and the same processor architecture as Windows boxes.... Sounds like spin on feature crippling to me.

Bad Paper
Jan 2, 2008, 12:21 PM
iWork rocks. Seriously. I prefer Pages to Word, Numbers to Excel, and Keynote to Powerpoint. Numbers actually feels like a Quark product.

The only reason people shell out for Office is because everyone else does. I make a habit of only distributing documents in .rtf format so that everyone can read it everywhere.

Office is stupid. Please make it go away.

quandmeme
Jan 2, 2008, 12:24 PM
The obvious answer is parallels, but that is the wrong answer. MBU had an obvious choice. Rewrite the VBA underpinnings for Mac Intel or just assume that anyone who really needed it would just use parallels. This is not the answer that Mac Users want longterm. The ONLY reason I'm not using a mac at my law firm is Amicus Attorney. The CEO of the company that makes it uses parallels to run it on his Mac, it works perfectly so there will be no Mac support for the product. This means that the law firm will continue to reject my requests for the ability support Macs on their network.
The easier it is for developers to say that their Windows version is the only version that matters because it is compatible with everything the worse the consumer environment will continue to be.

Digital Skunk
Jan 2, 2008, 12:24 PM
If Office doesn't handle graphics as easily as Pages and Keynote can then there isn't much that Office 2008 is offering. I don't need compatibility from machine to another because everyone i work with either uses Pages or exports to PDF.

Not that Pages is a Godsend, but Office has failed to adapt in a multimedia world.

Airforce
Jan 2, 2008, 12:25 PM
iWork rocks. Seriously. I prefer Pages to Word, Numbers to Excel, and Keynote to Powerpoint. Numbers actually feels like a Quark product.

The only reason people shell out for Office is because everyone else does. I make a habit of only distributing documents in .rtf format so that everyone can read it everywhere.

Office is stupid. Please make it go away.

I tried out iWork. I hated it. It doesn't touch Excel's usability. I think most people shell out for Office because it is a great product that works ;) Plus the fact that if you're a student and/or DoD worker, you can get it dirt cheap :D

PlaceofDis
Jan 2, 2008, 12:31 PM
i'm actually looking forward to the release. hopefully word will be a bit easier to use for me instead of so spread out as it is now.

digitalbiker
Jan 2, 2008, 12:31 PM
MS dropped Macro support for the same reason they don't make Office 100% compatible... they don't want to help Apple.

I guarantee that if Apple continues down this path of success much longer MS is going to pull the plug on ANY Exchange integration or Office integration thus forcing Apple to stay on the sideline in the business arena.

:mad:

This comment makes no sense. You do realize that regardless whether a person uses a Mac or a Windows based machine Microsoft gets a sale either way.

Office is one of Microsoft's largest money making divisions. Why would they want to exclude the Apple market share?

Most mac users have purchased their fair share of software from Microsoft, especially if they are running VM's or boot camp. Microsoft makes money either way. However if they alienate the Apple users then they lose software sales they do not gain OS market share.

bit density
Jan 2, 2008, 12:34 PM
Simply use Vmware or Parallels.

The integration with the Mac is amazing. Cut and Paste and keyboard shortcuts simply work. And the compatibility with windows is PERFECT. And they are all intel products. But it runs like windows, but the compatibility is perfect for those that need it. This would almost precisely define WHY these programs exist.

For the rest. The compatibility will be extremely good, but a ways away from being perfect, as some features will simply not be there. And if you are an entourage user, well this is what will get you there.

The rest of the whining is mostly just whining. Much of the OSS whining, and new word processor whining, is just horrible. Go back and find some old discussions (like Jerry Pournelle and Chao Manor) about what is important to *writers* and you will start finding all of the gigantic holes in the "modern" word processing programs.

I will state for those that are just upgrading in order to get intel code, this seems like a pretty expensive upgrade for that purpose. Like the ribbon or don't, but for the other 97% of the users that barely use the product, the Ribbon opens up the power of the program to those that have not spent the effort to really get into it. And for them it is a likely upgrade. But here you are just not being given that much.

For most users, for most situations, running the windows version will probably work best. For most others running the current version, especially if you find it cheap will work fine. For some small subset, I suppose that upgrading will be best.

wjbombo
Jan 2, 2008, 12:35 PM
iWork rocks. Seriously. I prefer Pages to Word, Numbers to Excel, and Keynote to Powerpoint. Numbers actually feels like a Quark product.

The only reason people shell out for Office is because everyone else does. I make a habit of only distributing documents in .rtf format so that everyone can read it everywhere.

Office is stupid. Please make it go away.

I agree completely. iWork is not that far away from becoming a really REALLY nice integrated suite. If Apple added more Automator support to replace the "Macros" functionality that M$ just pulled out, they would cover a huge percentage of tasks that most users need in a productivity suite.
What I really like about iWork is that all the programs (Pages, Keynote & Numbers) have a very similar user interface and the pricing makes it a good value.

As always though, to each his own. Some people like the familiar and M$ Office is familiar to most of us who have used a computer in the past decade so I can understand their desire to stick with what they know. It's just too bad for the many people who are "missing out" on what they don't know... iWork. Good luck to you M$ Office diehards!... Sincerely.

Peace,

Will

gugy
Jan 2, 2008, 12:36 PM
I am looking forward to this product. Even though I am seriously considering iWork, most of folks in my industry use Office. So unless this version is lame, I guess Microsoft will still have my business, unfortunately.

weckart
Jan 2, 2008, 12:36 PM
[I]
I'd like to see a spreadsheet that pushes the size limit of the current version of Excel. It boggles the mind.

Serious? You can't be Excel's target market, then. I have loads, which often have to get thrown into Access, because Excel just falls over. As far as capacity is concerned, it is just playing catchup with the competition.

lazyrighteye
Jan 2, 2008, 12:37 PM
"Microsoft has applied some of the Vista version magic to Office 2008 with regard to pricing. Thankfully, however it's a bit easier to follow. There are two main options; a basic Office 2008 for Mac standard edition ($649 or $399 for an upgrade) or an Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition ($849, or $549 for upgrade)"

Unbelievable !!

Those prices are asinine and will more than likely ensure a high piracy rate* and/or adoption of other software alternatives <cough> iWork </cough>.
Sure, iWork is not as robust and MS' comparable offerings, but ~90% of what Word/PowerPoint/Excel users do can be accomplished (often times, more efficiently) in iWork. And at a fraction of the cost.


* which may not be such a bad thing for MS. I mean, users using is better than the alternative. Yes?

digitalbiker
Jan 2, 2008, 12:40 PM
The obvious answer is parallels, but that is the wrong answer. MBU had an obvious choice. Rewrite the VBA underpinnings for Mac Intel or just assume that anyone who really needed it would just use parallels. This is not the answer that Mac Users want longterm.

Is this really a longterm decision that MBU made or is no macro support just a response until the MBU gets a clear directive about the future of Mac Office? I think Microsoft is near the end of it's agreement to support Mac for office.

Maybe MS was willing to spend enough resources to get out MSOffice 2008 but they didn't want to work on VB for Mac until they had a better understanding of the mac market. The MBU is fairly small and may need a lot more help to take on the task of VB for intel mac.

MichaelLatta
Jan 2, 2008, 12:41 PM
So, here are my demands:

1. Is clipboard pasting of graphics fixed yet? For the past umpteen versions, any graphic you paste into any Office document (including PowerPoint and Word of course) gets pasted as a "PICT" graphics format which no one else (meaning, Windows users) can see. This is the mother of all compatibility issues, as there is absolutely NO indication that your document is completely FUBAR until you try loading it under Windows, and there's no way to repair the images either without finding the original image files and using the "Insert Graphic from File" command instead! If Microsoft still hasn't fixed this bug, they will not be getting my money. Period. I'm just plain embarrassed for you, MacBU!


What has been working for me is to either insert>picture from file, or drag and drop PDF content. Office 2007 does not seem to have any issue with this, while earlier versions did.

Adokimus
Jan 2, 2008, 12:44 PM
Hopefully my school bookstore doesn't take too long to get it in there for $5.35 :D

May I ask which school?

-Ado

(GO PATS)

CrackedButter
Jan 2, 2008, 12:48 PM
Those prices are asinine and will more than likely ensure a high piracy rate* and/or adoption of other software alternatives <cough> iWork </cough>.
Sure, iWork is not as robust and MS' comparable offerings, but ~90% of what Word/PowerPoint/Excel users do can be accomplished (often times, more efficiently) in iWork. And at a fraction of the cost.


* which may not be such a bad thing for MS. I mean, users using is better than the alternative. Yes?

Good job the alternatives came in time hey?

Bruizer
Jan 2, 2008, 12:51 PM
"...It's been a long time between drinks for Mac users waiting for a new version of Office..."

So I really do want to know... what is in it for the consumer to get an Office upgrade? I know what's in it for MS, lots of money.

Word is painfully slow on Intel macs. PAINFULLY. I have documents (We maintain about 56 documents each with 500+ pages) where it takes 2-3 seconds per keystroke to respond. On the G5, it is more like 4-5 keys/second.

No, I can't use OpenOffice (corrupts headers and page numbers). No, I can't use Pages (looses too many formatting attributes). I have tried and tested and they simply are not very compatible yet.

Bruizer
Jan 2, 2008, 12:52 PM
"- Excel adds a new formula builder, increases max sizes of spreadsheets, but drops macro and Visual Basic support"

I'd like to see a spreadsheet that pushes the size limit of the current version of Excel. It boggles the mind.

When using Excel to crunch numbers and data, it is a VERY VERY small worksheet.

gauchogolfer
Jan 2, 2008, 12:54 PM
"- Excel adds a new formula builder, increases max sizes of spreadsheets, but drops macro and Visual Basic support"

I'd like to see a spreadsheet that pushes the size limit of the current version of Excel. It boggles the mind.

I'm actually going to use this feature, since I work with very large arrays of data at work. (Think megapixel cameras.) While it certainly won't replace our dedicated analysis software, being able to dump a whole array into Excel will be nice in a pinch.


BTW, the new size limitations are 16000 columns x 1 million rows.

notjustjay
Jan 2, 2008, 12:57 PM
Hopefully my school bookstore doesn't take too long to get it in there for $5.35 :D

I'm hoping to get it for $30 through Microsoft's Home Use Program for my workplace.

Maybe. I don't really see anything wrong with the version I'm running now, except it's a tad slow for not being intel native.

Actually, now that I think of it, speed is the ONLY thing that bugs me about Office 2004. Can anyone say definitively how much faster this new version is on the same hardware?

ChrisA
Jan 2, 2008, 12:58 PM
Excel without macros = fail.


I'm 100% sure Microsoft knows this and did it intentionally.

This means that Office 2008 can't be used in a corporate environment that depends on Excel. Microsoft has to protect their own turf.

Bruizer
Jan 2, 2008, 12:59 PM
So, here are my demands:

1. Is clipboard pasting of graphics fixed yet? For the past umpteen versions, any graphic you paste into any Office document (including PowerPoint and Word of course) gets pasted as a "PICT" graphics format which no one else (meaning, Windows users) can see. This is the mother of all compatibility issues, as there is absolutely NO indication that your document is completely FUBAR until you try loading it under Windows, and there's no way to repair the images either without finding the original image files and using the "Insert Graphic from File" command instead! If Microsoft still hasn't fixed this bug, they will not be getting my money. Period. I'm just plain embarrassed for you, MacBU!


Drag in a JPEG. That works fine. I do agree that Word for Window's inability to read TIFF files and cut/paste of images from a Mac is a serious drag in life.


2. Add a ******** shortcut to paste as plain text, dammit! Maybe it's just the eternal development cycles at Microsoft here, but it seems that every other app has figured out that people often want to paste in just plain old text, and needing to use the mouse to bring up a menu then a sub-menu then a dialog, click the "Unformatted Text" then click the button ... it's just plain insane. Command-Shift-V was put on the keyboard just for this purpose. Sigh.

In the current version, make a macro to do this. Turn on macro record (record to your personally macros), paste special/plain text, stop recording. Assign macro to any key combination you want. Poof. Shortcut for paste plain text.

julianbc
Jan 2, 2008, 01:00 PM
I'm actually going to use this feature, since I work with very large arrays of data at work. (Think megapixel cameras.) While it certainly won't replace our dedicated analysis software, being able to dump a whole array into Excel will be nice in a pinch.


BTW, the new size limitations are 16000 columns x 1 million rows.
yeah, the size limitations of excel leave it useless for a lot of the GPS based tracking data we use for several classes at my school. you'd be amazed how many cells it can take up when you plot all of the GPS coordinates of where a beaver has traveled in the last 18 months. :D

tyr2
Jan 2, 2008, 01:01 PM
[Entourage] still doesn't support the single feature that Mac users really want: the ability to connect to an Exchange server in its encrypted MAPI mode. Instead, you'll still have to beg and plead with your Exchange Server administrator to turn on IMAP and WebDAV

Why oh why. Is it that difficult? I can't believe after all this time it still doesn't have full compatibility.

autrefois
Jan 2, 2008, 01:01 PM
"Microsoft has applied some of the Vista version magic to Office 2008 with regard to pricing. Thankfully, however it's a bit easier to follow. There are two main options; a basic Office 2008 for Mac standard edition ($649 or $399 for an upgrade) or an Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition ($849, or $549 for upgrade)"


Unbelievable !!

These are Australian prices, correct?

Mindflux
Jan 2, 2008, 01:02 PM
yeah, the size limitations of excel leave it useless for a lot of the GPS based tracking data we use for several classes at my school. you'd be amazed how many cells it can take up when you plot all of the GPS coordinates of where a beaver has traveled in the last 18 months. :D

GPS tracking of a beaver? Are you that concerned with where your woman has been? ;)

goosnarrggh
Jan 2, 2008, 01:03 PM
"Microsoft has applied some of the Vista version magic to Office 2008 with regard to pricing. Thankfully, however it's a bit easier to follow. There are two main options; a basic Office 2008 for Mac standard edition ($649 or $399 for an upgrade) or an Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition ($849, or $549 for upgrade)"


Unbelievable !!

The Home and Student edition is a more reasonable (but still hefty) $150. Differences from the Standard Edition:
1) No Exchange integration.
2) No Automator intgration.

[edit] And somebody else already noticed that the $649/$849 price tags were in Australian dollars too... However, that still seem inflated. Probably accounts for the physical remoteness and size of the market, and possibly includes GST. It's expected to be more like $399.95; $239.95 upgrade for Standard edition, and $499.95; $299.95 upgrade for Special Media Edition in the USA.

gauchogolfer
Jan 2, 2008, 01:03 PM
yeah, the size limitations of excel leave it useless for a lot of the GPS based tracking data we use for several classes at my school. you'd be amazed how many cells it can take up when you plot all of the GPS coordinates of where a beaver has traveled in the last 18 months. :D

You might be similarly surprised with how many cells of data you get from 1000 video frames off of a 49 megapixel sensor....wait, you could probably calculate that in your head...nvm. :D

dolphin842
Jan 2, 2008, 01:08 PM
For me at least, Office 2008 is too little, too late. After a powerpoint file corruption and too many Word quirks, I uninstalled Office. I haven't had a copy of Word around for months and couldn't be happier. For smaller projects or page layout stuff, I use iWork. For larger papers, I use LaTeX (and with the LyX editor, it's not as hard as you think). It's a nice combination for academic folks, especially since you get a free bibliography manager in the form of BibDesk.

Farewell Office, it was frustrating while it lasted... :p

kwfl
Jan 2, 2008, 01:11 PM
i am sure i will be using it, at least till i get used to iWork.

DTphonehome
Jan 2, 2008, 01:11 PM
Since my university offers it for like $75 (media only, no packaging), I may as well pick up a copy before I graduate. Otherwise I'd just stick with Office X, which works just fine for me.

CWallace
Jan 2, 2008, 01:16 PM
I've been using the beta for some time and I am very pleased with it. I use Office 2007 on the PC, so iWorks really wasn't an option for me (as good as I hear it is). I intend to purchase it when released.

SheriffParker
Jan 2, 2008, 01:16 PM
Well, a UB office for my MBP sounds better than Office 2004, but I bought iWork a couple months ago, and I don't see myself needing what MS has to offer...

Manatee
Jan 2, 2008, 01:28 PM
I wish they would just clone the functionality of the PC version for the Mac -- especially Outlook.

The main reason I want MS Office on the Mac is because I need to use these apps due to compatibility the the Windows machines I use at work. I don't want to have to learn a different interface, or different features. I just want the "office" apps I need -- without the stigma or unpleasantness of Microsoft Windows. ;)

I really wish they would "port" Access to the Mac also. That would be more useful than any of the other apps, since there are already other file-compatible apps out there to deal with .doc, .xls, and .ppt. The lack of Access on OS X is a gaping hole in one's ability to ditch Windows. (Visio, and a Project client would be nice too.)

SciTeach
Jan 2, 2008, 01:32 PM
It better be a lot cheaper for me to switch back from Pages/Numbers. I do hope that Apple continues to improve these two products. For now, M$ won't be getting my money.

Westside guy
Jan 2, 2008, 01:41 PM
I'd like to see a spreadsheet that pushes the size limit of the current version of Excel. It boggles the mind.

In my old job - working in a climate research lab - we actually ran up against this problem with Excel 95. The row limit was 16384 or thereabouts, while we had datasets that were 20K+ in size. We were happy to see Excel 97 get bumped to 65535 rows (or thereabouts), but I can certainly think of circumstances where even that wouldn't be enough.

I wasn't actually planning to get Office at all; but the Black Friday deal was just too tempting (home/student edition, meaning 3 licenses, for basically $50-60 total after rebate). I'm very happy using the iWork apps though, and it's still my intention to stay Office-free if possible.

Manatee
Jan 2, 2008, 01:42 PM
I'm puzzled over the lack of "macro support". Does that mean that all my PC-created files that contain macros will no longer work properly? Less compatibility than the 2004 version?

It's a sticky issue for Microsoft. They've moved toward real language support in the Office apps, with the .NET framework runtime. I certainly don't see them porting much of .NET to OS X.

Maybe Microsoft could put the language support in Mac Office and make it work with Mono. ;)

pdjudd
Jan 2, 2008, 01:42 PM
I really wish they would "port" Access to the Mac also. That would be more useful than any of the other apps, since there are already other file-compatible apps out there to deal with .doc, .xls, and .ppt. The lack of Access on OS X is a gaping hole in one's ability to ditch Windows. (Visio, and a Project client would be nice too.)

AppleInsider has written an article about this. There are already other mac programs that exist out there that MS would have to fight for (IE filemaker vs access) so they don't bother. The last thing MS want to do is promote the idea of switching to Macs since Windows is one of their three monopoly pillars.

chelsel
Jan 2, 2008, 01:48 PM
Now the real question is whether it's the same slow awful program it was in 2004. I can't count the number of times I've had to wait for Word or Excel to resolve it's pinwheel of death.

Probably fewer than waiting for Finder to do anything involving a network :-)

andy721
Jan 2, 2008, 01:49 PM
You gotta be kidding me which is it jan 15th or 14th make up your mind. Steve pisses me off, he should have launched the new mac pros before christmas now I have to ******* wait an waiting I can't DO!

psionic001
Jan 2, 2008, 01:52 PM
I guess Entourage will continue to have that useless single entourage database file and continue to be incompatible with Apples time machine.

If only Apple Mail was better....:(

macnvrbck
Jan 2, 2008, 01:53 PM
Since my university offers it for like $75 (media only, no packaging), I may as well pick up a copy before I graduate. Otherwise I'd just stick with Office X, which works just fine for me.

I too love/no complaints with Office X. I just took advantage or the Office 2004 and 2008 black Friday deal for the $32 bucks. Figured the $600 program might come in handy in the next 6 years. (Who knows when this will get updated again .. if ever. We might see an Office 2012)

bosskxx1
Jan 2, 2008, 01:57 PM
I can't believe that people are complaining about Macros. It has been known for quite some time that the office 08 would not include macro support. Besides being a huge security hazard, it is slowly being phased out in the windows version.
MacBU stated that it would take a long time to port macros over to Xcode. This is due to the large amount of PPC assembly code used in the lexar and interpreter.

The one thing I am most disappointed with in the new 08 release is that Entourage still has a monolithic mail database. This has 4 huge disadvantages to it.
1. If it gets corrupted, then you might loose your entire mail collection.
2. If you save a lot of mail messages the program could get slower (large pst file)
3. Spotlight can't index it
4. Time machine backups the whole mail file every time you make a modification to your mail

137489
Jan 2, 2008, 02:01 PM
Let's me know what to buy and not to buy. On the PC world, you buy, get it home and say "huh?" It does not work.... Thanks to MacRumors I get to hear from other people before making the same mistake. And to think I was going to buy office when I buy my mac......

Now, another issue with this office thing. Atleast the new Word is more like Pages where if you drag an image, your text reformats around it - more like how webpages look. My issue on the PC side, is it does not do this. You are stuck with having to use tables and make everything square - which is not true publishing like.

When I buy my mac, I am just going to hold onto my old Windows office and run it through parallels for my work stuff. Other than that, I think iwork would work for me.

KingYaba
Jan 2, 2008, 02:03 PM
A quantum leap in word processing one would expect paying $600. :rolleyes:

mcarnes
Jan 2, 2008, 02:10 PM
Word. Word up.

twoodcc
Jan 2, 2008, 02:11 PM
looking forward to trying it out, but still like my iWork 08

aswitcher
Jan 2, 2008, 02:12 PM
"Microsoft has applied some of the Vista version magic to Office 2008 with regard to pricing. Thankfully, however it's a bit easier to follow. There are two main options; a basic Office 2008 for Mac standard edition ($649 or $399 for an upgrade) or an Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition ($849, or $549 for upgrade)"


Unbelievable !!

I got iWork for Christmas and will now make the effort to learn it properly because Office just got too pricey.

futbalguy
Jan 2, 2008, 02:14 PM
"- Excel adds a new formula builder, increases max sizes of spreadsheets, but drops macro and Visual Basic support"

I'd like to see a spreadsheet that pushes the size limit of the current version of Excel. It boggles the mind.

I have gone over the limit several times at work. It is very inconvenient so Im glad theyve improved that aspect since I dont think it would be too hard to do.

BWhaler
Jan 2, 2008, 02:14 PM
I think the lack of Macro support is a BS move by Microsoft.

It took them longer than any major publisher--except Intuit which is a total disgrace of a company--to provide an Intel native version.

Anyway, personally, I have been an MSOffice fan for longer than I want to think about, but I am ready to leave. Too much bloat, too little innovation, too many games with file formats, and bugs, bugs, bugs...

I think Keynote is nothing short of awesome, and Pages is almost there. One more solid and major iteration on Pages and it will be home. iWork will be my ultimate choice since Apple just gets design and the creative process in a way Microsoft does not. Plus, the application just works the way I want it to 95% of the time and the little features and touches are magic.

iWork is about beautiful, effective documents. (Plus, the horrific software authentication on Microsoft products is a big to me. I pay for every copy of software I use, but I hate being treated like a crook when the real crooks easily get around these inconveniences.)

Sadly, Numbers is just not there. I could limp along with it as I did with Keynote 1.0 and Pages 2.0 but Excel for all of its many faults and interface headaches is the best application Microsoft makes and is pretty decent.

I hope iWork 09 sees a major update to the Numbers and a decent Pages update. Fill in the missing features, but not the kitchen sink, make it fast, fast, fast and bang out the bugs.

Then, my hard drive will be Microsoft free. First time since I have owned a computer, and I can't wait.

But I welcome Office 2008. It's good for the Mac platform. It's good for Microsoft. And I look forward to trying the new Excel.

jephrey
Jan 2, 2008, 02:20 PM
Are macros completely dropped, or can you still integrate RealBasic? Is it just VBA that got canned? I noticed in the "beta" version, there was still a macro menu item.

On the other hand. Apple just needs to get a few revs in on Numbers and it'll be fine. For its stage of life, it's pretty awesome. I hope it will incorporate macros/VBA.

Finally, I didn't think macros were that difficult to add. It's just the API calls that need to be determined. There are so many apps with VBA macro support, it's sick. Is it really that hard for microsoft or are they that dirty that they'll take a feature out of a Mac version because they're scared or whatever?

shen
Jan 2, 2008, 02:21 PM
“Sometimes we get requests from power users for features we already have.”

so... who does your UI work?

talk about craptastic. :p

johny5
Jan 2, 2008, 02:22 PM
I would love to start using Numbers and Pages full time even for business use as I dont use macros however I have some pretty large spreadsheets that I just cant bring myself around to moving over in fear that I may trash them.
Just lots of data on there along with some standard graphs and charts, I know that numbers will give me loads better charts aswell :(

gauchogolfer
Jan 2, 2008, 02:24 PM
I can't believe that people are complaining about Macros. It has been known for quite some time that the office 08 would not include macro support. Besides being a huge security hazard, it is slowly being phased out in the windows version.

Just because we've known about it doesn't make it any less bitch-worthy™. Macros (especially at work on Windows) drive more than half of our Excel usage. If MS ever completely removes macros from Excel they won't get our company to buy another copy.

stephen =D
Jan 2, 2008, 02:29 PM
Does anyone know if there will be a student version of MS Office 08 and if so how much it will be ??

WestonHarvey1
Jan 2, 2008, 02:29 PM
What's the deal with MAPI? I can't think of a reason why they can't include it. I find it ridiculous that Microsoft's solution for getting Exchange connectivity on a Mac isn't 100% compatible. Now I have to keep running VMWare just to read my work email.

CANEHDN
Jan 2, 2008, 02:31 PM
Cool but they lost me. I went iWork '08 and have enjoyed every minute of it. I'm not even going to try the trail version of Office.

DMann
Jan 2, 2008, 02:31 PM
Not sure why everyone is up in arms about no macros...it was announced that it would not have macro support MONTHS ago....

Wishful thinking would have it that they would include such a monumentally important feature as a last minute incentive....... oh well..... perhaps in version 2012.

blackcrayon
Jan 2, 2008, 02:42 PM
I can't believe that people are complaining about Macros. It has been known for quite some time that the office 08 would not include macro support. Besides being a huge security hazard, it is slowly being phased out in the windows version.
MacBU stated that it would take a long time to port macros over to Xcode. This is due to the large amount of PPC assembly code used in the lexar and interpreter.

The one thing I am most disappointed with in the new 08 release is that Entourage still has a monolithic mail database. This has 4 huge disadvantages to it.
1. If it gets corrupted, then you might loose your entire mail collection.
2. If you save a lot of mail messages the program could get slower (large pst file)
3. Spotlight can't index it
4. Time machine backups the whole mail file every time you make a modification to your mail

3. Doesn't spotlight work already in 2004? (rhetorical question, i know it works, but...) maybe you're looking for better functionality...

(I agree that single monolithic database sucks)

CptnJustc
Jan 2, 2008, 02:46 PM
I can't believe that people are complaining about Macros. It has been known for quite some time that the office 08 would not include macro support. Besides being a huge security hazard, it is slowly being phased out in the windows version.


What gauchogolfer said, plus I'm not sure we're getting the whole story on macro support. Anyone got links? It seems more likely to me they're switching languages rather than unceremoniously dumping macro support in toto, which is a huge, huge Excel feature, and the largest advantage it has over Numbers in my mind. I'm sure it's a nice, big security hazard, but so is having employees use computers in the first place. Turning them off closes that security hazard, and cripples their productivity.

In any case, today Windows Office does support macros, and as long as it does Mac Excel users will be at an enormous disadvantage if they need compatibility. Especially if it takes MS this long to pump out their next (supposedly entirely macro-less) version....

DTphonehome
Jan 2, 2008, 02:46 PM
You gotta be kidding me which is it jan 15th or 14th make up your mind. Steve pisses me off, he should have launched the new mac pros before christmas now I have to ******* wait an waiting I can't DO!

If you're so impatient, you should probably try freezing yourself in the snowy mountains to be thawed out after Macworld. Just hope you aren't buried in an avalanche where Butters can't find you, and you don't end up getting thawed until 2560 or so.

marmotte
Jan 2, 2008, 02:46 PM
MS dropped Macro support for the same reason they don't make Office 100% compatible... they don't want to help Apple.

I guarantee that if Apple continues down this path of success much longer MS is going to pull the plug on ANY Exchange integration or Office integration thus forcing Apple to stay on the sideline in the business arena.

:mad:

Not only was Excel much harder to use on the Mac than on the PC (poorly supported, inconsistent keyboard shortcuts, more key strokes required on the Mac than on the PC for the same actions, for example to auto-complete cell values), now, with macro support being dropped, there is no reason to buy Excel anymore. The only reasonable alternative is to run the Windows version of Excel with Parallel, if you can afford an Intel mac.

I will stick with the previous version of MS office for as long as I can and will certainly not upgrade to MS Office 2008.

crackpip
Jan 2, 2008, 02:55 PM
If some of you don't mind responding, why are you using Excel for such large spreadsheets? Aren't there better programs for doing that kind of analysis in your field? For the data I work with, there are scripting/visualization languages like NCL or IDL. There are other programs like Mathematica or Matlab. Then, of course, I write specific analysis programs, too. GPS data seems like a good candidate for something besides Excel. Certainly climate data is being geared more towards NCL/NCAR Graphics.

I really dislike Office, but what really gets me is how often I'm forced to use it. Although, hehe, as people force me to use Office, I've started forcing other people to deal with my PDF's so I can then use whatever program I want (mostly LaTeX because of my derivations).

crackpip

RRutter
Jan 2, 2008, 02:59 PM
Ha, Mac makes office easier than Windows, the owning company, makes it.

:apple:

CptnJustc
Jan 2, 2008, 03:02 PM
If some of you don't mind responding, why are you using Excel for such large spreadsheets? Aren't there better programs for doing that kind of analysis in your field? For the data I work with, there are scripting/visualization languages like NCL or IDL. There are other programs like Mathematica or Matlab. Then, of course, I write specific analysis programs, too. GPS data seems like a good candidate for something besides Excel. Certainly climate data is being geared more towards NCL/NCAR Graphics.


Good question. There are also programs like Stata or R/S. If I might presume, I would guess it's because the manipulations they need are simple and Excel is simple -- which is fair enough.

CrackedButter
Jan 2, 2008, 03:08 PM
If you're so impatient, you should probably try freezing yourself in the snowy mountains to be thawed out after Macworld. Just hope you aren't buried in an avalanche where Butters can't find you, and you don't end up getting thawed until 2560 or so.

Excuse me? :)

Digital Skunk
Jan 2, 2008, 03:15 PM
If you're so impatient, you should probably try freezing yourself in the snowy mountains to be thawed out after Macworld. Just hope you aren't buried in an avalanche where Butters can't find you, and you don't end up getting thawed until 2560 or so.

That would be kinda cool. Could you imagine what the iMac would be in that year... but I bet the Mac Pro would still be what it is today, and Apple would still be charging full price for it. :D

wjbombo
Jan 2, 2008, 03:36 PM
why are you using Excel for such large spreadsheets? Aren't there better programs for doing that kind of analysis in your field?

crackpip

Yeah, good point. I'm still amazed how many people I've come across trying to use Excel as a database. It's like an auto mechanic changing the oil on a car with a screwdriver... "Just poke a hole in the oil pan, let it drain, then plug the hole when it's done. Works great!":eek:

or better yet... Jeff Spicoli...

"Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.":D

Peace,
Will

gauchogolfer
Jan 2, 2008, 03:36 PM
If some of you don't mind responding, why are you using Excel for such large spreadsheets? Aren't there better programs for doing that kind of analysis in your field? For the data I work with, there are scripting/visualization languages like NCL or IDL. There are other programs like Mathematica or Matlab. Then, of course, I write specific analysis programs, too. GPS data seems like a good candidate for something besides Excel. Certainly climate data is being geared more towards NCL/NCAR Graphics.

I really dislike Office, but what really gets me is how often I'm forced to use it. Although, hehe, as people force me to use Office, I've started forcing other people to deal with my PDF's so I can then use whatever program I want (mostly LaTeX because of my derivations).

crackpip

For our data reduction, we certainly do use IDL to crunch on large amounts of data, as well as MatLAB. I would use Origin for my plotting if I had the opportunity, but the corporate licensing is exorbitantly high. I guess my answer is that while I don't necessarily use Excel for looking at large arrays of data very often, I was often limited back when it only supported 256 columns. I think that 16000 will keep me sorted for awhile yet.

BTW, I work for a company that makes large sensors for visible/IR cameras, so we deal with many-megapixel arrays.

nemaslov
Jan 2, 2008, 03:45 PM
I have used the older versions for years and love it. I use Entourage for my email and think it is great. The personal/student version for $150. or $129. at Amazon and can be used on up to three computers. Has everything that most personal users would need.

iSee
Jan 2, 2008, 03:48 PM
Yeah, good point. I'm still amazed how many people I've come across trying to use Excel as a database. It's like an auto mechanic changing the oil on a car with a screwdriver... "Just poke a hole in the oil pan, let it drain, then plug the hole when it's done. Works great!":eek:

or better yet... Jeff Spicoli...

"Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.":D

Peace,
Will

I ran in to the 64K row limit when pulling data from a database or log file into Excel. Excel is very useful as a general "data mining" tool. It was usually not that big of a deal since, ultimately, I'd just want to get at some aggregate data (I could go back to the source and re-query), but it would have been useful to just load it all into Excel and figure out exactly how I wanted to break it down later. The back and forth was annoying...

iSee
Jan 2, 2008, 03:52 PM
I actually loved it when MS word did word processing (i.e. I type, it corrects my spelling and grammar). I do like some of the list printing features as one person pointed out... but I think MS and others would better service the customers by giving us reliability and speed over fancy features I'd rather leave to the DTP applications.

No Macro support? Now that is a shame... must be another ploy to try and keep corporate america on Windoze.

Heh, we complain about bloat, and we complain when features are cut :rolleyes: :)

spinne1
Jan 2, 2008, 03:56 PM
This comment makes no sense. You do realize that regardless whether a person uses a Mac or a Windows based machine Microsoft gets a sale either way.

Office is one of Microsoft's largest money making divisions. Why would they want to exclude the Apple market share?

Most mac users have purchased their fair share of software from Microsoft, especially if they are running VM's or boot camp. Microsoft makes money either way. However if they alienate the Apple users then they lose software sales they do not gain OS market share.

Your logic is flawed. Yes, MS makes money on every sale of Office. But they also make money on every sale of Windows as well. Therefore, they have a huge incentive to cripple the Mac version of Office because that would diminish the appeal of the Mac to many current Windows users. If compatibility was perfect then many more would switch (why is there no Access or Outlook on the Mac?--for more on the second question-->http://blog.entourage.mvps.org/2007/05/why_did_microsoft_replace_outl.html)

Microsoft has more to lose with Windows users flocking to the Mac than to gain from Mac users buying Office.

It is not strictly a market share issue (ie numbers of copies of Windows OS sold), but a control of the market (particularly corporate market) issue. MS's bank is fat because the entire corporate infrastructure in the US (and the world) is largely reliant upon MS's products. THAT is what they want desperately to maintain and they can see a trend starting towards Apple that scares them to death (and rightly should.)

What Apple should do (and I think will do) is perfect the software needed to not only compete but downright destroy the Microsoft advantage. Take iWork and make it perfect for all of corporate America. Make it so good and powerful and yet still easy to use that companies will find it hard to resist once tried (word of mouth is a major part of this type of thing). Right now Apple still tries hard to meet the needs of the home user or small business user but not so much corporate America. When that changes, the market share will boom.

cgc
Jan 2, 2008, 04:01 PM
The pricing seems outrageous...especially when iWork is so much cheaper and nearly as capable. I have been a Nisus Writer convert for several years and with Nisus Writer Pro out I can't be happier.

Excel's inability to display more than 256 columns was a serious limitation as I used it at work for a yearly work schedule with one column per day...glad to see Excel 2008 at least supporting larger spreadsheets...

Phormic
Jan 2, 2008, 04:01 PM
What's the deal with MAPI? I can't think of a reason why they can't include it. I find it ridiculous that Microsoft's solution for getting Exchange connectivity on a Mac isn't 100% compatible. Now I have to keep running VMWare just to read my work email.

I can think of a very good reason. To ensure that Macs are just that little bit more difficult to integrate into a Microsoft owned corporate environment.

It really is infuriating. To leave MAPI support out is quite deliberate.

137489
Jan 2, 2008, 04:08 PM
What gauchogolfer said, plus I'm not sure we're getting the whole story on macro support. Anyone got links? It seems more likely to me they're switching languages rather than unceremoniously dumping macro support in toto, which is a huge, huge Excel feature, and the largest advantage it has over Numbers in my mind. I'm sure it's a nice, big security hazard, but so is having employees use computers in the first place. Turning them off closes that security hazard, and cripples their productivity.

In any case, today Windows Office does support macros, and as long as it does Mac Excel users will be at an enormous disadvantage if they need compatibility. Especially if it takes MS this long to pump out their next (supposedly entirely macro-less) version....


Here is a link - this is the most I could find on Google.... One of the reply's was from a MACBU guy at MS. Take it for what it is worth.

http://www.brad-x.com/2007/11/10/the-shame-of-microsofts-mac-business-unit

Prez1082
Jan 2, 2008, 04:12 PM
I'm just looking forward to PowerPoint and Entourage not running soooooo slooooowwwwwww - even on my MacBook it's painfully slow - will this version fix it?

"...It's been a long time between drinks for Mac users waiting for a new version of Office..."

With the exception of Palmerized in the first post, I've not heard of anyone wanting or needing an upgrade to Office. Specifically to Palmerized: why do you look forward to it? It is simply the "something new" factor, or are there some features of Office that you need and are not present in the shipping version? Sure it looks different and may perform advanced functions easier, but do you use any of those functions? Personally I've not used Office in years and I don't even launch iWork all that much. TexEdit is my go-to workhorse for anything that isn't page-layout.

I work for a Mac reseller and I know that almost our entire user base uses Office simply for MS Word to write simple letters and school papers. 90%+ of that work could just as easily have been completed with Mac's TextEdit program for free.
For those looking for more complex layout, I always suggest iWork at 1/2 the price (of Student Teacher) first. It's faster, easier and integrates with all your other media on the Mac more easily.
The maybe 2% of people who actually "need" Office are those who are sending documents via email to others who will edit and return those documents. Sure you could do this with iWork via export, but it's an extra step and you really have to use the menu items or be a contortionist to hit the shortcut key for "Save as...". iWork needs a "default to Microsoft" save option.
Even for those who send lots of documents, most don't need the recipient to edit them, and I still suggest iWork and "Save as PDF", it's more universal and no worries about changes on the other end.

So I really do want to know... what is in it for the consumer to get an Office upgrade? I know what's in it for MS, lots of money.

Virgil-TB2
Jan 2, 2008, 04:29 PM
Hardly a "first look." :(

This is more of an abbreviated list of features without much commentary at all. Almost the only time if varies from this script is when it bends over to kiss MS's collective bum.

With the constant development of Keynote, Powerpoint is finally coming up against some serious competition."

WTF? Most people I know who've tried both thought that Keynote beat PowerPoint hands down in it's first iteration. How is it that Keynote version 3 is only now "serious competition?" :confused:

jettredmont
Jan 2, 2008, 04:35 PM
[i complained that you can't paste a graphic into Word without breaking Windows compatibility]

Drag in a JPEG. That works fine. I do agree that Word for Window's inability to read TIFF files and cut/paste of images from a Mac is a serious drag in life.



Well, yeah. Except that, most of the time when I want a graphic in a document, it's not starting life as an image file, but instead as an OmniGraffle document (which Word can't embed) or a screen shot on the clipboard. There is no JPEG or PDF to work from, just the graphics which are on the clipboard! Granted, the clipboard graphics are PICT format graphics, but every other development shop has figured out how to convert from PICT to something more portable (like, say, PNG or PDF); why can't Microsoft?

Saving everything to a file is a painful workaround. Yes, it works. But, it makes Office stand out as a serious productivity impediment. A "productivity tool" impeding my workflow (and I don't think cut/paste is a terribly novel workflow) means that it has failed its primary mission in life.

Perhaps the worst part of this whole issue is that there is absolutely no indication that the files you are writing and saving are not "standard" Word documents. I know that in our office, where we were 100% Macs for writing documentation until a new boss came in who wanted everything readable on his Windows desktop, just about every technical document shows up on the Boss's desktop with no visible graphics. That just plain sucks. Years and years of technical documentation, and if the boss man wants to see any of it, we have to bring it up on a Mac and print to PDF for him (or, worse, if he wants to be able to amend any docs we have to save each image out to disk using special incantations and re-import each one, then resave the document). And, it shows that pretty much everyone else in the company generating documentation of any sort was also using clipboard paste as the primary way of getting their pretty graphics into Word!

Microsoft has known about this issue forever, and refused to do anything about it. Fixing it would be so damned easy. Heck, pay me a consultant fee for a week and I'll fix it for you!

So, like I said: if this issue isn't fixed, I'm not upgrading. There's simply no reason to do so. The alternatives are just as likely to produce an Office/Win compatible document, and cost a hell of a lot less!

ezekielrage_99
Jan 2, 2008, 04:40 PM
Let's hope it doesn't feel like this...

Usually each version of an M$ product feels and looks like that... M$ seems to add to a product not develop.

DaBrain
Jan 2, 2008, 04:44 PM
I'm actually looking forward to this release. It hit home last week when I was trying to print some file labels ... NeoOffice completely bungled a simple label format. I ended up switching to MS Office on my Dell and it got the labels perfect on the first go.


($649 or $399 for an upgrade) or an Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition ($849, or $549 for upgrade)

Well for that price the damn thing should make love to ya, put ya to sleep, cook dinner and clean house!

Unreal!

jettredmont
Jan 2, 2008, 04:46 PM
I have gone over the limit several times at work. It is very inconvenient so Im glad theyve improved that aspect since I dont think it would be too hard to do.

(emphasis mine)

Actually, you'd e amazed at how hard it is to increase the row/column limits in a program designed around specific row/column limits. Of course, you'd have thought that they would have already made their limits "huge" instead of just "larger" when they expanded beyond the 256 column limitations by changing all the single-bytes to quad-byte words or such ... but apparently they had only thought ahead one or two years back then.

Really, though, this is a sure sign of low-level over-optimization. Having a more dynamic row/column max size would be great for a large number of users, but decrease performance by a (non-humanly-perceptible) 1-5%. Thus, it is not done. Instead, just trade one hard-coded static max size for another slightly larger hard-coded static max size.

MacRumors0108
Jan 2, 2008, 05:11 PM
No Macro Support is a deal breaker. Numbers covered one of the reasons I bought Excel in the first place (no viable alternative). Lack of Macro support in Excel 2008 covers the other (be able to work on files form the office at home).

I'll continue to hobble along with Excel 2004 on my G5, but will gladly dump MS with my next machine and migrate to the Apple suite.

Glenny2lappies
Jan 2, 2008, 05:17 PM
AFAICS there is absolutely NO reason to upgrade. The new version adds few features that are new (dicking around with the UI isn't a feature). With the lack of Macro support, they've taken away more than they've added. From what I see the new UI is a confused mess.

The only solid reason for upgrading, universal support, has been completely negated by the additional bloat and pointless eye candy.

READ THE AppleInsider REVIEW before making your buying decision
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/11/12/road_to_mac_office_2008_an_introduction.html

Microsoft don't deserve your money. Buy Office 2004 and pay the $25 upgrade fee. Then you've got both versions.

And for those whinging about 1M rows not being enough in Excel, do yourself a favour and use the right tool for the job; a database. Which, of course, reminds us that Microsoft have elected to not build Access for Macs -- despite its evil habits, it's a useful database application.

nadyne
Jan 2, 2008, 05:19 PM
Is this really a longterm decision that MBU made or is no macro support just a response until the MBU gets a clear directive about the future of Mac Office? I think Microsoft is near the end of it's agreement to support Mac for office.

Upon the creation of the MacBU, Microsoft signed a five-year agreement with Apple to support Macs for five years. That agreement expired, and we continued to make new Mac products. Office 2004 was shipped after the expiration of the original agreement, as were a few versions of Messenger:Mac, and Remote Desktop Connection was a brand-new free download.

In 2006, on stage with Steve at MWSF, we announced a new five-year agreement to continue work on our Mac products. We did this only to quell fears that we were going to pull out of the market. Office:Mac is a successful product, so we have lots of incentive to continue to make it.

Maybe MS was willing to spend enough resources to get out MSOffice 2008 but they didn't want to work on VB for Mac until they had a better understanding of the mac market. The MBU is fairly small and may need a lot more help to take on the task of VB for intel mac.

If you want to know what led us to the decision to remove VBA, you can read a blog post from one of our lead developers: Saying Goodbye to Visual Basic (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/). We know that this isn't optimal for some of our users, but we were in a pretty tough position. Office 2008 was already delayed, and delaying it further for in the inclusion of VBA didn't seem like a great decision to meet the needs of the majority of our users who were looking for a Universal application (not to mention some of our other features, like native support of the new XML-based file format or the million rows in Excel) sooner rather than later.

To help mitigate some of the concerns about losing VBA, we've improved our already well-established AppleScript support, and have added support for Automator. We know that this doesn't fix all of the issues involved with VBA, but hope that it can go some way towards addressing them. If you haven't seen it yet, AppleScripting genius Paul Berkowitz wrote a massive VBA to AppleScript transition guide (http://www.mactech.com/vba-transition-guide/).

Regards,
Nadyne.

mzeb
Jan 2, 2008, 05:31 PM
Don't get me wrong, I love OS X Client for home use, but OS X has a long way to go in the enterprise world, including the built in apps. I use both OS X and Windows in my environment (So tightly coupled that the Mac OS X Server is pulling it's kerb tickets and identities from the windows DC) There's a long list but here's a few points:

1) No Exchange digital signature support in Mail. Yes mail does work with exchange but when you're in need of signatures with your e-mail, Mail just doesn't cut it. I'd be happy if some other protocol support but exchange is it.
2) NFS Compatibility: The NLM support in the nfs client makes life interesting, as in, one delayed NLM packed and the finder will claim your share is disconnected. To make things worse, it actually isn't... I leave that up to you. But MS's NFS support is still better than Apple's, if you consider Sun the standard (they do own the NFS RFC after all :))
3) User/Machine Policy - trying to manage users and machines and how the two interact is something MS has down with AD. Mac OS X's tools for managing large networks and rule bases just aren't there yet. Furthermore, when you have multiple admins working on different sections of the network it is far easier to step on each other's toes in the directory and not know it with OS X
4) Backup. Need I say more. MS has both server and client backup down in comparison to Apple. Sorry, but time machine is a file level backup and despite having a pretty UI, it still eats space. MS has been doing block level backup since XP. C'mon Apple. You own HFS+ just like MS owns NTFS. You can do better.

Sorry, I got a little ranty there. But Apple is still pushing for the home user and hasn't made it very far in the enterprise market. Small business, maybe a bit, but not enterprise.

Excel without macros = fail. More crap being shoveled on us from the industry leader. Erwe all knew that MS would give us a sub par product tho. The Mac OS is just a productivity suite away from replacing Ms in the enterprise.

gauchogolfer
Jan 2, 2008, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the response, Nadyne, and for the link on VBA->Applescript.

And for those whinging about 1M rows not being enough in Excel, do yourself a favour and use the right tool for the job; a database. Which, of course, reminds us that Microsoft have elected to not build Access for Macs -- despite its evil habits, it's a useful database application.

I didn't see anyone here complaining that 1M rows weren't enough. My only earlier comment was that 256 columns was not enough for my application, and that 16000 will hold me for awhile. I don't understand how the program is written, so I can't comment on how easy/hard it would be to make unlimited- (only limited by HD space) sized spreadsheets.

Loudwater
Jan 2, 2008, 05:38 PM
Sorry MS... I'm using iWork now. Good luck with that price range.

P.S. I just read: "Excel without Micro"??!!! Seriously, WTF are they thinking...

BWhaler
Jan 2, 2008, 05:43 PM
Cool but they lost me. I went iWork '08 and have enjoyed every minute of it. I'm not even going to try the trail version of Office.

I am envious and right behind you.

Numbers is just not there yet. It's close, but it needs Pivot tables, speed, and a handful of other key features and I'll be there with you.

Microsoft Free 2009...

thejadedmonkey
Jan 2, 2008, 05:44 PM
Good. I'm seriously looking forward to it. Office on my MBP just isn't anywhere near as speedy as it is on my PPC... and that Ribbon, seriously, once you get used to it it's amazing.

bosskxx1
Jan 2, 2008, 05:48 PM
3. Doesn't spotlight work already in 2004? (rhetorical question, i know it works, but...) maybe you're looking for better functionality...

(I agree that single monolithic database sucks)

It does for Word and Excel, but not for Entourage. The spotlight indexer can't index the monolithic pst file. But thats not really a problem since you can search for e-mails within entourage. The bigger problem is with Time Machine. Any time you make a change in entourage, it updates the whole pst file. So instead of just of a few kb per backup, it ends up being a few gb per backup. According to Mac Mojo blog, the mac BU recommends that you exclude your pst file. But like most people, your e-mail is important, especially if you POP your e-mail.

What gauchogolfer said, plus I'm not sure we're getting the whole story on macro support. Anyone got links? It seems more likely to me they're switching languages rather than unceremoniously dumping macro support in toto, which is a huge, huge Excel feature, and the largest advantage it has over Numbers in my mind. I'm sure it's a nice, big security hazard, but so is having employees use computers in the first place. Turning them off closes that security hazard, and cripples their productivity.

In any case, today Windows Office does support macros, and as long as it does Mac Excel users will be at an enormous disadvantage if they need compatibility. Especially if it takes MS this long to pump out their next (supposedly entirely macro-less) version....


Here is an article that basically explains why they dropped macro support in office 2008

http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/

Basically they wrote the initial macro support in PPC assembly code. For those of you don't know, assembly code is the lowest form of programming. Essentially it is processor commands. This type of programming is not very portable, and very hard to work with. They concluded while this was a bad decision to do it this way, it was an acceptable form of programing in the late 90's

botrash
Jan 2, 2008, 06:19 PM
I've been beta testing Office 2008 for the last two or three months.

First everything runs amazingly faster than 2004.

Second, don't count on much more exchange support than is currently offered in 2004. Entourage is much better looking but it provides little if any additional exchange functionality that isn't already available in 2004. You can do OOO, but not much more. It is not Outlook for the mac.

...

megfilmworks
Jan 2, 2008, 06:19 PM
Don't think I'll be upgrading.
I'd much rather use Keynote than Powerpoint.
And my current version of Word is good enough,
as far as Excel; hate it and I don't need Entourage.
Even if it was all free, I would still pass.

Roderick Usher
Jan 2, 2008, 06:29 PM
Upon the creation of the MacBU, Microsoft signed a five-year agreement with Apple to support Macs for five years. That agreement expired, and we continued to make new Mac products. Office 2004 was shipped after the expiration of the original agreement, as were a few versions of Messenger:Mac, and Remote Desktop Connection was a brand-new free download.

In 2006, on stage with Steve at MWSF, we announced a new five-year agreement to continue work on our Mac products. We did this only to quell fears that we were going to pull out of the market. Office:Mac is a successful product, so we have lots of incentive to continue to make it.
I'll drop in here to add my generic message of support. You guys at the MacBU do commendable things with the resources available, while having more unwarranted monkey-poo flung at you than probably any other Mac software developer. Just know that for every dozen of those monkeys, there are at least a few folks that genuinely appreciate all your hard work and what it means for the Mac platform. You rock.

MikeTheC
Jan 2, 2008, 06:35 PM
Well, at least they're starting to look more like Aqua-native apps. I suppose that's a good thing.

And is it just me or does Word remind anyone else here of Pagis?

Hmm...

rockosmodurnlif
Jan 2, 2008, 06:43 PM
Autosave, please. (Yes, without resorting to Applescript.) Mild insanity to have a productivity suite without it.


I completely agree. I wasn't even aware it didn't have it until a graphical error forced me to restart my Mac. I started searching for the autosave folder after rebooting only to discover my document was lost.

I may test run Office 2008 but I've been using Pages since October and I haven't missed Office. That and Office without the support for macros makes it a different version of Numbers which doesn't help justify the ridiculous pricing schemes I saw on the first page of this thread. That's up near Photoshop range isn't it? Gosh.

beethovengirl
Jan 2, 2008, 06:55 PM
MS dropped Macro support for the same reason they don't make Office 100% compatible...
How is Office for Mac not 100% compatible with Office for Windows [other than the lack of macros and the tiff display issue mentioned earlier]?

blashphemy
Jan 2, 2008, 06:56 PM
Real questions here are: how is it similar to Office 2007, and how is it better (Office 2004 was better than Office 2003 in a couple ways, such as use of palettes and stuff).

Didn't read the article, but I figure MS has some kind of replacement for macros/VB with some kind of converter ala .doc and .docx because of how important this is to businesses.

nadyne
Jan 2, 2008, 07:01 PM
That and Office without the support for macros makes it a different version of Numbers which doesn't help justify the ridiculous pricing schemes I saw on the first page of this thread. That's up near Photoshop range isn't it? Gosh.

The prices that you saw on the first page were from APC Magazine, which is an Australian publication. US prices are as follows:
Home/Student - $149.95
Standard - $399.95 ($239.95 upgrade)
Special Media Edition - $499.95 ($299.95 upgrade)

(This is the same information that was reported here on MacRumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/09/25/microsoft-unveils-mac-office-2008-packages-pricing/) earlier.)

Regards,
Nadyne.

jpine
Jan 2, 2008, 07:06 PM
Not sure why everyone is up in arms about no macros...it was announced that it would not have macro support MONTHS ago....

Maybe I'm speaking out of my hat, but aren't macros kind of a security problem on some level?

123
Jan 2, 2008, 07:16 PM
If you want to know what led us to the decision to remove VBA, you can read a blog post from one of our lead developers: Saying Goodbye to Visual Basic (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/).

This, as well as the follow-up, is full of BS excuses, it simply can't be *that* hard to port the newest Windows code. However, I am sure you had your reasons. Nonetheless, I think that:

a) It is a half-assed strategy. Either support corporate users (VBA) or drop Entourage too.

b) It might be a good decision in the short term and for Microsoft (even though I doubt it), but it is certainly a bad decision for the Mac platform in general.

Now I just hope OpenOffice.org aqua is making some progress soon.

pamon
Jan 2, 2008, 07:42 PM
i'll grab the student version and then hope it increases productivity over 2004. Use it enough where if it goes 10% faster, i'm happy

Bruizer
Jan 2, 2008, 08:08 PM
I've been beta testing Office 2008 for the last two or three months.

First everything runs amazingly faster than 2004.

...

That is all I ask. Time is Money and this might turn into a really cheap upgrade:-)

greenbreadmmm
Jan 2, 2008, 08:13 PM
i have iwork 08 im bout to take my first college english class which is all about writing and rhetoric, so i hear there will be alot of citing of sources and what not, should i get office 08 or will iwork 08 be ok, also, is there any benefit of buying 04 and getting 08 with the upgrade, or can i just get 08 for the same price when i comes out? thanks

khunsanook
Jan 2, 2008, 08:43 PM
Ouch on the pricing - I'm in a grad department, but at a Thai university, so no "discounts" for me :( I much prefer Pages and Keynote, but for all collaborative projects I'm stuck in the world of Office. I've grown tired of keyboard lag and full blast MacBook fans in Office 2004 (even with my RAM maxed out), but for the new prices I'll be saying NO THANK YOU!! 'tis a shame.

Bruizer
Jan 2, 2008, 10:10 PM
i have iwork 08 im bout to take my first college english class which is all about writing and rhetoric, so i hear there will be alot of citing of sources and what not, should i get office 08 or will iwork 08 be ok, also, is there any benefit of buying 04 and getting 08 with the upgrade, or can i just get 08 for the same price when i comes out? thanks

Don't know if it is what you are after.

http://www.ThirdStreetSoftware.com/

digitalbiker
Jan 2, 2008, 10:48 PM
Upon the creation of the MacBU, Microsoft signed a five-year agreement with Apple to support Macs for five years. That agreement expired, and we continued to make new Mac products. Office 2004 was shipped after the expiration of the original agreement, as were a few versions of Messenger:Mac, and Remote Desktop Connection was a brand-new free download.

In 2006, on stage with Steve at MWSF, we announced a new five-year agreement to continue work on our Mac products. We did this only to quell fears that we were going to pull out of the market. Office:Mac is a successful product, so we have lots of incentive to continue to make it.



If you want to know what led us to the decision to remove VBA, you can read a blog post from one of our lead developers: Saying Goodbye to Visual Basic (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/). We know that this isn't optimal for some of our users, but we were in a pretty tough position. Office 2008 was already delayed, and delaying it further for in the inclusion of VBA didn't seem like a great decision to meet the needs of the majority of our users who were looking for a Universal application (not to mention some of our other features, like native support of the new XML-based file format or the million rows in Excel) sooner rather than later.

To help mitigate some of the concerns about losing VBA, we've improved our already well-established AppleScript support, and have added support for Automator. We know that this doesn't fix all of the issues involved with VBA, but hope that it can go some way towards addressing them. If you haven't seen it yet, AppleScripting genius Paul Berkowitz wrote a massive VBA to AppleScript transition guide (http://www.mactech.com/vba-transition-guide/).

Regards,
Nadyne.

Thank you Nadyne for the informative response. I get so sick of reading all of the garbage spewed about Microsoft on these boards. I am glad that the MBU still exists and is working to create professional quality apps for OSX.

Your logic is flawed. Yes, MS makes money on every sale of Office. But they also make money on every sale of Windows as well. Therefore, they have a huge incentive to cripple the Mac version of Office because that would diminish the appeal of the Mac to many current Windows users. If compatibility was perfect then many more would switch (why is there no Access or Outlook on the Mac?--for more on the second question-->http://blog.entourage.mvps.org/2007/05/why_did_microsoft_replace_outl.html)

Microsoft has more to lose with Windows users flocking to the Mac than to gain from Mac users buying Office.

It is not strictly a market share issue (ie numbers of copies of Windows OS sold), but a control of the market (particularly corporate market) issue. MS's bank is fat because the entire corporate infrastructure in the US (and the world) is largely reliant upon MS's products. THAT is what they want desperately to maintain and they can see a trend starting towards Apple that scares them to death (and rightly should.)

I'm sorry but this sounds like total FUD!

Microsoft has something like 91% market share. If anything, Microsoft needs Apple so that the Fed doesn't crack down tighter for being a Monopoly.

Besides MS wants to sell a lot of software to Apple users. That way they win either way. Also the MBU isn't purposely crippling anything. They really just don't have the resources to take on the task of moving VBA and other MS specific code to OSX UB. Most of MS's resources are working on Windows platform software because that is where 91% of their installed base is at.

To be honest Microsoft is more worried about competing with itself than it is with Apple. Vista has to win the battle against XP, so that more installed users will make the switch and MS can move on supporting only one primary OS.

sonicboom
Jan 2, 2008, 11:42 PM
I was looking forward to this release of office, and thought I was going to jump on it on day one... but not now.

I don't use word much (my company uses an internal wiki for most documentation these days). I occasionally use Excel. For me, this release was about Entourage. I've been using the clunky Entourage v.X for at least 4 years, since my company uses exchange for: email, scheduling meetings, and even scheduling conference rooms (what a bad idea... but anyway).

After all this time Entourage is not fully exchange capable? What the hell have you people been doing for the past 4+ years!? Oh wait... stupid me... preserving your Windows strangle hold.

What a shame.

I guess it's time to stop hoping MS will change their ways, and for me to seek alternatives to Entourage.

sushi
Jan 2, 2008, 11:51 PM
The new Excel drops Macros?? WTF!?!?! :mad:
Yep, not a good decision by Microsoft.

Not sure why everyone is up in arms about no macros...it was announced that it would not have macro support MONTHS ago....
Maybe because no one was really paying attention since it was so far away.

Simply use Vmware or Parallels.
Yes, these two emulators provide a wonderful way to run Windows applications on the Mac.

I wish they would just clone the functionality of the PC version for the Mac -- especially Outlook.
IMHO, this is a prime example of the lack of leadership at Microsoft. They are not looking to the future, nor fund revenues.

Most folks who use Microsoft Office for the Mac use it to be compatible with their office computers which are generally Windows boxes running Office. This means that folks who use Windows Office at work and have a Mac at home will purchase a copy of Mac Office. This is why both versions need to be compatible.

If Microsoft were smart, they would create an Office suite that would run on Windows, Mac and Unix/Linux and have a Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation and Database software that is totally compatible across the platforms -- even so far as using the same interface. And these versions would be multi-language (unicode) capable.

But no, instead Microsoft has lagged in innovation. And this will cost them in the log run.

Excel without VB support is an example of this. Why stick with Excel when I can't use VB. Might as well use Numbers instead. Numbers is cheaper, works better, nicer interface, and is simpler. I mean why bother with Excel if there is no compelling reason?

Office:Mac is a successful product, so we have lots of incentive to continue to make it.
So why inhibit the Mac version with the elimination of VB support?

This makes no sense.

If you want to know what led us to the decision to remove VBA, you can read a blog post from one of our lead developers: Saying Goodbye to Visual Basic (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/). We know that this isn't optimal for some of our users, but we were in a pretty tough position. Office 2008 was already delayed, and delaying it further for in the inclusion of VBA didn't seem like a great decision to meet the needs of the majority of our users who were looking for a Universal application (not to mention some of our other features, like native support of the new XML-based file format or the million rows in Excel) sooner rather than later.
Yes, XML support is important for sure.

XML is not new. The Windows version had this planned for a few years already. Are you suggesting that the MBU was not purvey to this information?

To help mitigate some of the concerns about losing VBA, we've improved our already well-established AppleScript support, and have added support for Automator. We know that this doesn't fix all of the issues involved with VBA, but hope that it can go some way towards addressing them. If you haven't seen it yet, AppleScripting genius Paul Berkowitz wrote a massive VBA to AppleScript transition guide (http://www.mactech.com/vba-transition-guide/).
Who cares about Applescript support? The majority of folks who want VBA support on the Mac side are those who want to integrate Macs into the work environment which is predominately Windows based, or they want to use a Mac at home and be compatible with their work PC which is running Microsoft Office.

Is this so hard to understand?

BTW, why is their no Outlook for the Mac version of Office?

Thank you Nadyne for the informative response. I get so sick of reading all of the garbage spewed about Microsoft on these boards. I am glad that the MBU still exists and is working to create professional quality apps for OSX.
Yes, thank you Nadyne for your informative post.

Sorry to shoot the messenger. Appreciate you providing the info that you did.

Having said that, I strongly question the leadership of the MacBU for long term Mac support in the direction that they are taking. With the new version of Office 2007, it will be easier to run Office 2007 via Parallels or VMWare than to run a limited version called Mac Office 2008.

Besides, many folks can get Office 2007 at a very reduced cost or free so it will be cheaper to purchase a copy of Parallels, Windows XP (OEM) and Office 2007 than it is to purchase Office 2008.

Very disappointed.

nadyne
Jan 3, 2008, 02:04 AM
If Microsoft were smart, they would create an Office suite that would run on Windows, Mac and Unix/Linux and have a Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation and Database software that is totally compatible across the platforms -- even so far as using the same interface. And these versions would be multi-language (unicode) capable.


We tried that. Word 6. I'm sure that there are lots of folks here who have strong negative opinions about Word 6. They still come up to the MacBU booth at MWSF and complain about it. :)

Mac users have different expectations of their user interface. It starts with the menu bar across the top of the screen, and goes on from there. It's important for us to be a good Mac citizen, which means fitting in with the rest of the operating system. I wrote a long post about this to our team blog, which talks about why our user interface diverges from that of Windows Office. It's called evolution at work (http://blogs.msdn.com/macmojo/archive/2007/09/18/evolution-at-work.aspx).


XML is not new. The Windows version had this planned for a few years already. Are you suggesting that the MBU was not purvey to this information?


We were well aware of the decision to move to the Office Open XML file format, and have been working with the WinOffice team all along to ensure that our needs were met in the new file formats since we support some things that they don't. However, knowing that it's coming doesn't mean that support for it codes itself. :) To ensure full compatibility with the new file formats, we had to wait until the WinOffice code was finalised before we could complete our testing. (This isn't to say that we had to wait to start it until they had finished, just that we couldn't be 100% sure that we'd covered everything until after they had finished.) File format compatibility is quite important to us.


BTW, why is their no Outlook for the Mac version of Office?


The Entourage Help Blog (written by the Entourage MVPs, so this isn't from Microsoft) has a great post that discusses exactly this: In the beginning (http://blog.entourage.mvps.org/2007/05/in_the_beginning.html). It links to another couple of their posts for the full history.

Regards,
Nadyne.

John-S
Jan 3, 2008, 02:29 AM
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,2242898,00.asp

: (

synth3tik
Jan 3, 2008, 02:54 AM
Wow, in Office would have only come out um.......12 months ago I might not have switched to Neo-Office.

sunfast
Jan 3, 2008, 03:47 AM
If my workplace's home user programme has office 2008 when it's released I'll get it (got the last edition for £17) if only to have a universal app. I won't even look at it at normal money

sushi
Jan 3, 2008, 05:12 AM
Nadyne, first let me thank you for your response.

My comments are below.

We tried that. Word 6. I'm sure that there are lots of folks here who have strong negative opinions about Word 6. They still come up to the MacBU booth at MWSF and complain about it. :)
Yes, folks will always complain. That much is certain.

Mac users have different expectations of their user interface.
This is where we part paths.

IMHO, very few Mac users would use Mac Office by choice. Most use Mac Office because they have Windows Office at work and need the compatibility.

If the MBU truly wanted the best for Mac users, they would create a way to make the interface optional so the user could choose Windows Office or Mac Office interface.

As the Mac market increases, there will be an increasing need for the Mac Office to be compatible with the Windows Office.

File format compatibility is quite important to us.
That's nice to hear. But what is needed for the corporate folks are the same applications with Interface compatibility.

The Entourage Help Blog (written by the Entourage MVPs, so this isn't from Microsoft) has a great post that discusses exactly this: In the beginning (http://blog.entourage.mvps.org/2007/05/in_the_beginning.html). It links to another couple of their posts for the full history.
I am somewhat familiar with Claris Em@iler as I use it daily via Mac OS 9 or Classic mode.

The name bit about Entourage is bogus -- don't go there. Call it Outlook, plain and simple. And make it 100% compatible so that I can take my PST file from Windows Outlook and use it with Mac Outlook. After all, you have Word, Excel and PowerPoint sharing the names. So let's not go down that bogus road.

Obviously you have failed to see my point. Many times I get the feeling that Microsoft focuses on $ instead of the customer.

If I was king for a day :), here is what I would do.

1. Create a completely cross platform version (Windows, Mac and *nix) of Office that have Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook applications. Ensure that compatible means compatible. All video, picture, and audio files work with all versions regardless of platform.

2. Make all Office products unicode and multi-language enabled. No longer is the need to purchase a Japanese version of Office, or a German version. Just one version that supports all languages. Something like the Mac OS X install disc. So easy and simple for the user.

3. Make the file PST transportable so that you can carry your e-mail with you on an USB Thumb Drive, and use it on any host system (Windows, Mac or *nix OS) that has Outlook installed.

4. Keep in the back of your mind, an office with Windows, Macs, and *nix systems running side by side in an office environment.

5. Offer Office on one DVD that has all versions. That way a customer can purchase one DVD and are authorized to put it on one PC, one Mac and one *nix system. Oh, and get rid of your registration code.

6. Regarding the Office suite. Change the structure at Microsoft so that there is an Office Suite division that has three departments (Windows, Mac and *nix). This way everything is updated and released to the market at the same time.

I could go on, but hopefully you get my point. Time now is to think to the future and not the past. Right now the collective great minds of Microsoft have plenty of time to create a whole new Office suit that will be available in 5 years with all these features. And if need be, document/file type translators can be created as need be.

Just my 2 cents.

jeffwingo
Jan 3, 2008, 06:18 AM
I had pre-ordered Office Mac with the hopes of getting it when it released. I just got an e-mail from Microsoft saying it was not going to ship until January 28th. Now that may be just for the promotional upgrade product and full retail buyers could still get it around MacWorld, but our collective experience with Microsoft might tell us that we will be lucky to see it before April.;)

Digitalclips
Jan 3, 2008, 07:12 AM
Since I started using Pages I've never looked back. The only thing I'm awaiting is the ability to view and edit pages docs on my iphone.

I love Pages too, only snag I have hit is PC users unable to print anything I make. Those darn PCs need to start getting more compatible or no one will buy them. ;)

I just started testing out Numbers in a serious way yesterday. It is obviously a version 1 application and will need a few tweaks by Apple but I have to say after an initial few hours scratching my head and reading Help screens I had a blast. Most of my problems were in 'thinking in Excel'. Once I got the Apple way of thinking it was easy.

I created from scratch a very complex project previously made in Excel (that took days) in an hour. The final fully integrated 13 sheet product's look and feel for users to work with this product is infinitely nicer too.

I just really need cell locking and the various protect levels (it does have some lock functions but limited) since this for others to use. Other than that I was totally blown away at the application. Give Numbers a few more upgrades and wow!

Are you listening Apple? Cell Locking please :)

Digitalclips
Jan 3, 2008, 07:22 AM
Microsoft has something like 91% market share. If anything, Microsoft needs Apple so that the Fed doesn't crack down tighter for being a Monopoly.

Besides MS wants to sell a lot of software to Apple users. That way they win either way. Also the MBU isn't purposely crippling anything. They really just don't have the resources to take on the task of moving VBA and other MS specific code to OSX UB.

Well the first paragraph illustrates a bit of a dilemma for them doesn't it :)

The obvious solution to the second paragraph's problem is to move the MS Mac development team from Seattle to Cupertino and hand over all the code they need to Apple (with a non compete disclosure of course). You know like Apple did with Word, Multi-plan and File back in 1983-84.

b0ned0me
Jan 3, 2008, 07:44 AM
The name bit about Entourage is bogus -- don't go there. Call it Outlook, plain and simple.
And why not rename Excel to 1-2-3 or Quattro Pro, since it can open and save *.wk4 and *.wb3 files? That would make just about as much sense.

While there are plenty of things to complain about in MS support for Mac (i.e. that stupid pasting of graphics thing) there's nothing particularly novel about part of one large company shafting some colleagues and customers by dumping a minor product that is peripheral to what their bonuses are calculated on in just the way the Exchange group did.
I needed Entourage because it was the only way to hook into my university email system and process invitations and so on. It took me about 5 minutes to realise that it wasn't a Mac version of Outlook, or anything close to it.

And expecting the MacBU (or any part of the microsoft empire) to invest lots of money purely to give customers the ability to not buy windows is just silly. Next you'll be expecting Sony to make the PS4 able to play Xbox and Wii games.

pbbaker123
Jan 3, 2008, 09:18 AM
Well,

it looks as though they are telling Excel power users to switch to Excel 2007 (Crossover or other means) or go buy a damn Dell if you need to run business software...

The spreadsheets that we use can't even be opened by Numbers or Neo/Open office because they are heavily laden with VB and Macros to run correctly.

Hey MSFT MacBU people, thanks a lot.


Please, NOBODY GO BUY THIS CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!

J Radical
Jan 3, 2008, 09:25 AM
For anyone who uses spreadsheets iWork is not an option- 'numbers' is a buggy POS.

The best thing about office 08 is intel support, though its sad we're getting jipped with macros

Roderick Usher
Jan 3, 2008, 09:58 AM
Hey nadyne - quick question:

Clearly, on a granular level, the user interfaces of the Office 2008 apps have somewhat different goals than those of Office 2007 (though the overall goal of exposing functionality remains the same). No doubt this entails boatloads of user testing and feedback, and I'm curious about how the flow of that data works between the MacBU and the rest of Microsoft - lessons learned on both sides that can be applied across the board, how often you consult with each other, that kind of thing.

jettredmont
Jan 3, 2008, 11:07 AM
To help mitigate some of the concerns about losing VBA, we've improved our already well-established AppleScript support, and have added support for Automator. We know that this doesn't fix all of the issues involved with VBA, but hope that it can go some way towards addressing them. If you haven't seen it yet, AppleScripting genius Paul Berkowitz wrote a massive VBA to AppleScript transition guide (http://www.mactech.com/vba-transition-guide/).

Regards,
Nadyne.

This is good, except that the semi-affordable version ($150 Student version) lacks all Automator support. To get this scriptability (which, again, makes you no more viable on the compatibility front than NeoOffice et al) you need to pay for the $300 version.

I really think you guys are being sunk by poor development management decisions (taking this long to move off Carbon/PowerPlant is just plain crazy, if those rumors are true), elongated development life cycles matched to exhorbitant pricing structures (software cost gets amortized in the home buyer's mind over six to twelve months; a $300 upgrade every three years seems significantly more expensive than a $100 upgrade every year), and apparent political decisions (that you guys are no more compatible with Office/Win is unforgivable; the one advantage which seems to be there on the surface disappears under scrutiny).

It's probably not in your power to change any of these things, and I certainly applaud the valiant efforts, but as a consumer as opposed to a developer, I have to look at the offering and its history and say, "Probably not."

nadyne
Jan 3, 2008, 11:41 AM
IMHO, very few Mac users would use Mac Office by choice. Most use Mac Office because they have Windows Office at work and need the compatibility.


Since you're an expert on our market, perhaps you'd like to join our team and help steer the ship? :) We've got some open positions, and I expect more to become available in the coming months. Check out Microsoft Careers (http://www.microsoft.com/careers/), and select 'Mac Office' from the list of products. There's a few open positions right now -- including the opportunity to be my manager (job code 185499), a job I wouldn't wish on anyone. ;) If you're going to be at MWSF, swing by our booth to chat with us and learn what it's like to work here.


That's nice to hear. But what is needed for the corporate folks are the same applications with Interface compatibility.


This is the part that I love about my job. An important part of my job is managing complexity, specifically in managing the complexity of what our vast array of users expect out of our user experience. Your opinion is one of many, the opinions out there about what we should do diverge wildly.

I think that I can safely say that we're never going to please everyone. One of the basic points where we're not going to please everyone is with respect to our user experience. It's something that I had to come to terms with when I accepted this job. :) There are always going to be some people who say that Office should be 100% Mac-like. A quick search for 'office cocoa' or maybe 'microsoft cocoa' in these forums should give you some idea for the number of people who want that. And there are people who think that Office should have a user experience that is platform agnostic. Those two viewpoints are diametrically opposed. If you think that there is a way to resolve them, as I said earlier: join the team, steer the ship on the right course. We've always got room for smart people who want to make a difference.


Clearly, on a granular level, the user interfaces of the Office 2008 apps have somewhat different goals than those of Office 2007 (though the overall goal of exposing functionality remains the same). No doubt this entails boatloads of user testing and feedback, and I'm curious about how the flow of that data works between the MacBU and the rest of Microsoft - lessons learned on both sides that can be applied across the board, how often you consult with each other, that kind of thing.

I have a good relationship with my user experience counterparts in WinOffice, as well as a few other people scattered around the various WinOffice application teams (product planners, program managers, a few devs, etc). I know what they're up to and where they're headed, and they know the same from me. I email/IM them when I have a question or am looking for a piece of information that I can't find on my own, and I get questions from them regularly. It's all pretty easy to manage.

Regards,
Nadyne.

TexasPhoto
Jan 3, 2008, 12:17 PM
I am still in a state of shock over MS decision to do away with VBA in Excel. All the work I have done over the past few years is wiped away. Usually in the past, I have not been concerned about people having complaints about MS; now I can understand the bitterness first-hand.

Compounding the total disregard of user, we only have vague statements as to why the elimination of VBA occured.

uNext
Jan 3, 2008, 12:35 PM
Wait ... really?! No macro or VB support in Office 2008?

This is a big gotcha for me, macros are used extensively at my place of employment. Crapola. :mad:

Investment banking?

jettredmont
Jan 3, 2008, 12:43 PM
I think that I can safely say that we're never going to please everyone. One of the basic points where we're not going to please everyone is with respect to our user experience. It's something that I had to come to terms with when I accepted this job. :) There are always going to be some people who say that Office should be 100% Mac-like. A quick search for 'office cocoa' or maybe 'microsoft cocoa' in these forums should give you some idea for the number of people who want that. And there are people who think that Office should have a user experience that is platform agnostic. Those two viewpoints are diametrically opposed. If you think that there is a way to resolve them, as I said earlier: join the team, steer the ship on the right course. We've always got room for smart people who want to make a difference.


Hmm. Okay, so there are two directions you could go, each of which would satisfy some number of customers.

How is not satisfying any of them the right choice here?

For the record, I strongly fall in the "Use Cocoa" camp. It's insane that, for instance, Services support is so spotty (I have a service which pulls any selected bug numbers and brings them up in our bug tracker database; works perfectly everywhere, except Entourage; in Entourage it works if the bug number is in the message body but not if it is in the subject line; guess where most bug numbers get sent to me?). It's insane that the built-in dictionary doesn't work in Office (only Microsoft's crappy dictionary can or will work). It's insane that on my larger second monitor I can't resize Word's window any larger than the floating toolbars on the main monitor would allow. It's insane that you guys have taken over two years to get an Intel native version of your product out. It's insane that the freaking paste-graphics/Windows compatibility bug is still in your entire suite of applications four years and dozens of updates later.

Cocoa (and XCode-based development) would fix, for cheap or for free, all but the last of the above gripes.

In any case, I could understand keeping a non-standard UI if it was in the name of cross-platform uniformity. I wouldn't like it, but I would understand it. Keeping a non-standard and non-cross-platform UI just so that you equally alienate your entire customer base I can not understand.

Boxcar Edit
Jan 3, 2008, 03:17 PM
Just in case someone from MS actually reads this, we also can't upgrade without Excel macros. Period.

Unless there's some great substitute, our biz couldn't perform many of the tasks we need to. We'll use our 2004 versions as long as we can and start looking for alternatives.

I'm personally just wanting a spreadsheet that doesn't decide randomly every 3 0-60 minutes that it can't save my documents unless I rename them!

Digital Skunk
Jan 3, 2008, 04:01 PM
For anyone who uses spreadsheets iWork is not an option- 'numbers' is a buggy POS.

The best thing about office 08 is intel support, though its sad we're getting jipped with macros

I use spreadsheets and Numbers works just fine. I use it a lot more now that I have learned how it works, and have done some media integration as well, which is the one thing I needed in office apps that MS Office can and never will provide. iWork is on the consumer side of the spectrum yes, but it blows MS Office away when it comes to handling graphics and audio across every app.

Westside guy
Jan 3, 2008, 06:02 PM
If some of you don't mind responding, why are you using Excel for such large spreadsheets? Aren't there better programs for doing that kind of analysis in your field?

I've been out of the research loop for about 8 years now, but...

Did you hear about that "decisions are made by drunken lemurs" Dilbert strip? Well, my experience is that happens in research as well. Most of our research was done in collaboration with other universities; and groups of PIs (faculty) would make these sorts of decisions rather arbitrarily without consulting those of us (staff) that were having to do the actual data crunching. With younger faculty nowadays, they seem to be more technically savvy (maybe that's just the department I'm in now, though); but in the 80s and 90s that seemed to be less common.

Fortunately I didn't have to do much actual work in Excel; my boss tended to do his part of the research more or less on his own - so almost all of our analysis was done using tools I'd written (in good ol' Fortran), and it was the same for publication graphics. I only had to deal with Excel when we were sending data elsewhere, or receiving other groups' data.

Schwieb
Jan 4, 2008, 12:21 AM
I am still in a state of shock over MS decision to do away with VBA in Excel. All the work I have done over the past few years is wiped away. Usually in the past, I have not been concerned about people having complaints about MS; now I can understand the bitterness first-hand.

Compounding the total disregard of user, we only have vague statements as to why the elimination of VBA occured.
I wrote quite a lot about why we removed VBA: here (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/) and here (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/10/so-tell-us-what-you-want-what-you-really-really-want/).

Schwieb
MacBU Dev Lead

jettredmont
Jan 4, 2008, 02:19 AM
I wrote quite a lot about why we removed VBA: here (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/) and here (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/10/so-tell-us-what-you-want-what-you-really-really-want/).

Schwieb
MacBU Dev Lead

On the second post, you ask for feedback as to how people use VBA. I'd have thought that would have been obvious, but in case it wasn't, the comments thread makes it abundantly clear that the primary use of VBA is to keep compatibility with Office/Win macros. So, I'm sure you understand and have understood for a year and a few months that this is going to be a major major blow for Office users. I'm also sure your management team understands and understood this as well. Yet, if there were any efforts to mitigate the horrible costs of this, they certainly are not apparent.

IMHO, I'm glad you have explained yourself, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a major blow to the usability of Office/Mac, and removes the #1 market differentiator between your $400 app and "free". Expecting we'll just sigh and shrug and reach into our wallets yet again is a bit unrealistic.

In short, you blew it. You took something people were paying $400 a shot for and dropped it. Decisions which needed to have been made half a decade ago were shrugged off and your company appears shocked -- shocked! -- that there might be ramifications!

Glenny2lappies
Jan 4, 2008, 03:22 AM
Adding to the removal of VBA, there's the simple issue that there's very little reason to upgrade. There's few new features and a whole lot of fiddling around with things that weren't broken, e.g. the user interface. The new features I really wanted; interoperability with PST files, you've not bothered to add.

Quite frankly I'd have simply preferred a version of Office 2004 which was universal, thus would run faster and with a smaller memory footprint. I understand it's nowhere near as easy as this as there's a stack of legacy code that needs to be re-written. But that's what we pay our licence fees for.

So, in summary;

few new features that are worth mentioning (XML documents maybe although most people still use .doc format as the converters were delivered late -- stupid decision on MS's part -- and the pointless my today widgety thing isn't worth mentioning)
no new 'missing features' (e.g. no Access, support for PST, MAPI, etc.)
a lot of pointless UI changes (which from all reviews I've read are best described as a bit of a mess)
some existing features that have been removed (e.g. VBA).


Microsoft is not the incumbent supplier on the Mac platform so there isn't a default 'office suite' purchase decision as there is on windows. There is probably more competition in the Mac market with iWork (if not now, certainly within a couple of years), NeoOffice, etc.

All of this adds up to a pretty pointless upgrade. It has certainly devalued the value of the package.


On a positive note, I guess congratulations are in order for the good job you did on Office 2004. I've a feeling that it'll continue to be sold for a long time hence.

I massively sympathise with the Mac BU. It must be awful dealing with the Office group with their mess of a code base and complete Windows-centric focus (and the thought of sharing the same building as the person who thought the paperclip was a really neat thing must be horrid). It's such a pity that you didn't have the resources to rewrite the office suite into a proper modular architecture; properly separating all the layers which would really assist porting to other platforms.

It is wonderful that there is an Office for the Mac. I'm certain that if it weren't for the accident of history, we definitely wouldn't have it now.


On the "I use Office for" topic...
1) I use it because I use a Mac and have all my documents and presentations in Office format. I need complete compatibility with old versions.
2) It's more reliable than the Windows version of Office. I kid you not, but we have some very important manuals that simply won't work *reliably* in Office 2003! On the Mac, no problems.

pbbaker123
Jan 4, 2008, 04:01 AM
People,


They don't care about any of this... butt loads of people are still going to buy it because they are home or small business users...

They have a bunch of money tied up in Office 2007 and Vista that they need to get back of the next couple of years...

The want as many Mac users to use Office 2007 as possible... bottom line.

Edit: Spoon feed me crap and make me like it... mmmm....

rockosmodurnlif
Jan 4, 2008, 08:46 AM
The prices that you saw on the first page were from APC Magazine, which is an Australian publication. US prices are as follows:
Home/Student - $149.95
Standard - $399.95 ($239.95 upgrade)
Special Media Edition - $499.95 ($299.95 upgrade)

(This is the same information that was reported here on MacRumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/09/25/microsoft-unveils-mac-office-2008-packages-pricing/) earlier.)

Regards,
Nadyne.

Ahh, that makes sense. It's still not really in my price range but I'll still try it out if there is a demo available.

mediaguyla
Jan 4, 2008, 12:57 PM
Wait ... really?! No macro or VB support in Office 2008?

This is a big gotcha for me, macros are used extensively at my place of employment. Crapola. :mad:

Agreed! If they remove Macro support I will HAVE to continue to use an older version of Office. If I decide that I can live without Macros I may become much more open to competitors to MS Office.

worldwearyeyes
Jan 4, 2008, 02:04 PM
looks like a great update.

cliffjumper68
Jan 4, 2008, 02:28 PM
"Microsoft has applied some of the Vista version magic to Office 2008 with regard to pricing. Thankfully, however it's a bit easier to follow. There are two main options; a basic Office 2008 for Mac standard edition ($649 or $399 for an upgrade) or an Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition ($849, or $549 for upgrade)"


Unbelievable !!

Unless you need exchange server (I use Tiger server) then the home/ student version is all you need at $149. That is not too out of line. The only time I use MS Office now is if someone sends me a file to work on, otherwise Mac iWork suits me just fine.

cliffjumper68
Jan 4, 2008, 03:12 PM
I wrote quite a lot about why we removed VBA: here (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/) and here (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/10/so-tell-us-what-you-want-what-you-really-really-want/).

Schwieb
MacBU Dev Lead

Funny how a open source project can succeed where the great MS fails.
http://reverendted.wordpress.com/2006/07/03/openofficeorg-and-excel-vba-macros/

Perhaps in the future you might want to ask the open office people to help you make a better program.

Just a question? How many people are involved in the Mac BU at M$? I am think ing there has to be at least 2 of you.

canisreevus
Jan 4, 2008, 03:33 PM
Before I started med school, I used iWork '06 and loved it. However, I now have to use and open many .doc, .xls, and .ppt files for my classes. I tried using iWork, but I got tired of having to allow each file to import and save it every time. I look forward to the new Office for Mac since it will give me compatibility without Rosetta. It was nice to get a new copy of Office for Mac 2004 for $50 and only have to pay $7 for Office for Mac 2008 (the most expensive version, too).

walnuts
Jan 4, 2008, 06:25 PM
I wrote quite a lot about why we removed VBA: here (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/) and here (http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/10/so-tell-us-what-you-want-what-you-really-really-want/).

Schwieb
MacBU Dev Lead

I don't understand all of the programming implications involved, but it seems that you make a good case why you couldn't implement VBA now. Any chance if the demand truly pans out that you would continue to work on VBA support and add it on with a later update? You said:

None of this is work that we can’t do, it’s just work that would take away from everything else that we do want to do and would delay shipping Office 12.

Or, at the very least, does the update installer leave Excel 2004 intact so that those who use the macros could switch back if the need arises?

HLdan
Jan 4, 2008, 07:18 PM
I think the lack of Macro support is a BS move by Microsoft.

It took them longer than any major publisher--except Intuit which is a total disgrace of a company--to provide an Intel native version.

Anyway, personally, I have been an MSOffice fan for longer than I want to think about, but I am ready to leave. Too much bloat, too little innovation, too many games with file formats, and bugs, bugs, bugs...

I think Keynote is nothing short of awesome, and Pages is almost there. One more solid and major iteration on Pages and it will be home. iWork will be my ultimate choice since Apple just gets design and the creative process in a way Microsoft does not. Plus, the application just works the way I want it to 95% of the time and the little features and touches are magic.

iWork is about beautiful, effective documents. (Plus, the horrific software authentication on Microsoft products is a big to me. I pay for every copy of software I use, but I hate being treated like a crook when the real crooks easily get around these inconveniences.)

Sadly, Numbers is just not there. I could limp along with it as I did with Keynote 1.0 and Pages 2.0 but Excel for all of its many faults and interface headaches is the best application Microsoft makes and is pretty decent.

I hope iWork 09 sees a major update to the Numbers and a decent Pages update. Fill in the missing features, but not the kitchen sink, make it fast, fast, fast and bang out the bugs.

Then, my hard drive will be Microsoft free. First time since I have owned a computer, and I can't wait.

But I welcome Office 2008. It's good for the Mac platform. It's good for Microsoft. And I look forward to trying the new Excel.

Agreed. This is nothing but a way for Microsoft to jack the Mac users so we can't move into the corporate world since MS Office is the corporate standard.
The next time someone blasts Apple for monopolizing I am going to rebuttal back about MS purposely cutting off VB and Macro support in their overpriced Mac version of Office. MS prays on us Mac users thinking we are so stupid that we would buy Office and not know what it may be lacking. Once we've opened the box and realized that it's not fully compatible with the Windows version we are stuck with it and can't return it.

DiamondMac
Jan 4, 2008, 09:19 PM
My big hope for Office is faster load times and as someone else mentioned ending the wait for so many of their functions.

Thought it maybe was my MBP but I installed Office on my iMac with plenty of space/speed and had the same problems

pbbaker123
Jan 4, 2008, 10:02 PM
I have a spread sheet that i will email any... numbers and Calc will not open it, only Excel 04.

There seems to be an LS Compatibility error and then crashes each program...

I am quite sure that the new excel will not even open it....

metallicaisgood
Jan 4, 2008, 10:38 PM
Is that how the final product is going to look? It doesn't look nearly as nice as the Windows version. It looks like a product in the early stages of development.

DMann
Jan 4, 2008, 11:16 PM
Is that how the final product is going to look? It doesn't look nearly as nice as the Windows version. It looks like a product in the early stages of development.

Regression is indeed a notable feature of MS upgrades. Macros in Excel? Nada

Schwieb
Jan 4, 2008, 11:49 PM
I don't understand all of the programming implications involved, but it seems that you make a good case why you couldn't implement VBA now. Any chance if the demand truly pans out that you would continue to work on VBA support and add it on with a later update?
I cannot speak of future plans at this time. My managers did not take the decision to remove VB lightly, and we knew from the start it would be very controversial and would have a significant detrimental impact for many people. However, the realities of software development are that resources are not infinite, and we had to make some cuts for Office 2008. There are a number of ways that some form of cross-platform macro support can be implemented, and that is certainly an issue that we will be looking at in the future. However, when and in what form it might be is not something I can publicly discuss.

Or, at the very least, does the update installer leave Excel 2004 intact so that those who use the macros could switch back if the need arises?The installer does not remove Office 2004 at all -- in fact, running Office 2004 and 2008 side-by-side is (mostly) supported. You can certainly keep Excel 2004 on your Mac and continue to use it.

Schwieb
MacBU Dev Lead

walnuts
Jan 5, 2008, 06:57 AM
I cannot speak of future plans at this time. My managers did not take the decision to remove VB lightly, and we knew from the start it would be very controversial and would have a significant detrimental impact for many people. However, the realities of software development are that resources are not infinite, and we had to make some cuts for Office 2008. There are a number of ways that some form of cross-platform macro support can be implemented, and that is certainly an issue that we will be looking at in the future. However, when and in what form it might be is not something I can publicly discuss.

The installer does not remove Office 2004 at all -- in fact, running Office 2004 and 2008 side-by-side is (mostly) supported. You can certainly keep Excel 2004 on your Mac and continue to use it.

Schwieb
MacBU Dev Lead

Thanks for the answer. We only sparingly use macros at work, so while I won't need them all the time, its certainly a comfort to know if I did need it I could just pop back to the older excel.

pbbaker123
Jan 5, 2008, 06:58 AM
I cannot speak of future plans at this time. My managers did not take the decision to remove VB lightly, and we knew from the start it would be very controversial and would have a significant detrimental impact for many people. However, the realities of software development are that resources are not infinite, and we had to make some cuts for Office 2008. There are a number of ways that some form of cross-platform macro support can be implemented, and that is certainly an issue that we will be looking at in the future. However, when and in what form it might be is not something I can publicly discuss.

The installer does not remove Office 2004 at all -- in fact, running Office 2004 and 2008 side-by-side is (mostly) supported. You can certainly keep Excel 2004 on your Mac and continue to use it.

Schwieb
MacBU Dev Lead



Explain why we need the '08 version again??? I guess I forgot....

canisreevus
Jan 5, 2008, 11:30 AM
Explain why we need the '08 version again??? I guess I forgot....

Because 2008 is universal binary and will run much quicker on Intel Macs (no Rosetta) and the usability of the interface appears to be far superior. I hated all the popup palette things in 2004.

Glenny2lappies
Jan 6, 2008, 08:23 AM
Because 2008 is universal binary and will run much quicker on Intel Macs (no Rosetta) and the usability of the interface appears to be far superior. I hated all the popup palette things in 2004.

This nicely sums up why we're all banging our heads against a very hard wall. Microsoft will simply succeed by doing nothing other than dressing it in a new frock, charging more, and piling on the marketing BS.

Please read the rest of this thread.

It doesn't run faster. The UI isn't better - in fact it's more confused. And there's important features that aren't available in Office 2008 which were available in the 2004.

Office 2007 & 2008; codename "Revenge of the Paperclip"

pbbaker123
Jan 6, 2008, 09:43 AM
Explain why we need the '08 version again??? I guess I forgot....

Yeah, I know its stupid to quote myself.... but what else is there to say?

canisreevus
Jan 7, 2008, 11:19 AM
This nicely sums up why we're all banging our heads against a very hard wall. Microsoft will simply succeed by doing nothing other than dressing it in a new frock, charging more, and piling on the marketing BS.

Please read the rest of this thread.

It doesn't run faster. The UI isn't better - in fact it's more confused. And there's important features that aren't available in Office 2008 which were available in the 2004.

Office 2007 & 2008; codename "Revenge of the Paperclip"

1) It does run faster on Intel Macs (and more stable). Do your research, and if you read all the pages, someone in Beta made the observation that it is much faster than 2004 since it is UB.
2) The UI is actually based on one's personal preference. From my research, it is cleaned up a bit from the 2004 version (aka improvement). The ribbon stuff doesn't bother me one bit.
3) They have not increased the prices. They are exactly the same as the 2004 versions.
4) They removed VBA, and I can see why people complain. However, I do not use the VBA stuff myself, so this is negligible to me.
5) I can't complain at all about the price especially since I got it coming for a grand total of $57, cheaper than iWork '08.
6) I have read the entire thread (and have not based my opinions on these mere comments, but have done my own research). Most people in this thread complain about the lack of VBA in Excel and the fact that it's by MS and not Apple.

There are new features other than the fact that it's UB, but how many new features can you really add to an office suite these days? Each iWork release doesn't come out with amazing new features that make me want to pay for a whole new suite (except '08 finally added a spreadsheet app). IMO, iWork '08 and Office for Mac 2008 are both very capable. Personally, I prefer Pages, Excel, and Keynote when looking at the three big programs offered in the suites. My wife prefers Word (basically because she's used to Word), Excel, and Keynote. Based on the compatibility I need with MS Office users, I prefer the Office for Mac suite for my daily use, though.

oceanzen
Jan 7, 2008, 11:33 AM
I'm using Word 2004 right now.

I have British English checked and yet it still tries to correct some words to the USA spelling.

Like the English word "analyse", it wants to correct to the American spelling analyze.

(Ironically as I typ this now Safari recognises analyze to be spelt wrong and analyse to be correct, so this problem is definitely with Microsoft and not Apple)

It basically means I have to check every word Word thinks I've spelt wrong as I cannot trust Microsoft's British spelling of anything.

(I'm annoyed because I'm writing my dissertation for my degree.)


Can anyone with Word 2008 do a test? Check Spelling UK then type the word analyse.


KthnxBai

DMann
Jan 7, 2008, 03:04 PM
1) It does run faster on Intel Macs (and more stable). Do your research, and if you read all the pages, someone in Beta made the observation that it is much faster than 2004 since it is UB.

True, Office 2008 Beta does run faster on Intel Macs. This alone makes it a worthwhile upgrade, perhaps until the next one in 2012.

janstett
Jan 7, 2008, 04:28 PM
With the exception of Palmerized in the first post, I've not heard of anyone wanting or needing an upgrade to Office. Specifically to Palmerized: why do you look forward to it? It is simply the "something new" factor, or are there some features of Office that you need and are not present in the shipping version?

I *need* Entourage/Outlook/Exchange. I can't make do with mail.app. So at very least, getting rid of the Rosetta dependencies in Entourage and the Microsoft daemons in favor of Universal apps will help.

As for the office apps, I've been using Pages/Numbers/Keynote to read documents, but I also haven't made modifications to any 400 page specs yet that can cause dozens of people grief if there's the slightest incompatibility.

Westside guy
Jan 7, 2008, 05:23 PM
Like the English word "analyse", it wants to correct to the American spelling analyze.

Well it's not Microsoft's fault that your entire country doesn't know how to spell. :p

davidmac
Jan 14, 2008, 03:14 PM
Stability

I didn't chang anything on my PowerBook G4 12" outside of installing the beta and Word, Excel, and Entourage crashed on a per minute basis until I freed up 5GB of space on the HD, previously having 1.5GB free.

File Size
Word files are insanely large when using templates. I tried to email a six page document and couldn't figure out why it didn't go through in over half an hour and looked at the file size. 78MB! I had used the green cover page template and the document ballooned. As a test I saved a blank .rtf file, .rtf with the cover page, .docx with cover page and .doc with cove page. The file sizes were 32Kb, 74.6MB, 1.9MB, and 1.8MB respectively. Some email programs won't allow you to receive or send greater than 2MB sized attachments, so a cover page and a table of contents may be enough to stymie productivity. And how did the file balloon from 1.9 to 74.6 megabytes by using .rtf?

Anyway, don't be surprised by the file size. Otherwise, I love the new interface and the ability for Office to remember more than 9 recent files opened.

David

bonafide
Jan 14, 2008, 07:39 PM
I am currently in possession of Office:Mac 2008. Am I supposed to be? Future shop sent it to me last week and I got it today? Wtf I thought I wasnt supposed to get this until Jan 15th?

chillywilly
Jan 14, 2008, 10:31 PM
I am currently in possession of Office:Mac 2008. Am I supposed to be? Future shop sent it to me last week and I got it today? Wtf I thought I wasnt supposed to get this until Jan 15th?

Considering today is the 14th, I don't think a day early isn't all that tragic for release dates. Guess the shipper was more than efficient.

chillywilly
Jan 14, 2008, 10:33 PM
Didn't see it posted in here yet, but hoping for some details about Entourage 2008 and handheld compatibility. Specifically, Treo users (Palm OS).

Would be nice to know how syncing works and if there will be another option besides iSync.

DMann
Jan 15, 2008, 12:00 AM
Considering today is the 14th, I don't think a day early isn't all that tragic for release dates. Guess the shipper was more than efficient.

Better too soon than sorry......

bzollinger
Jan 15, 2008, 01:52 AM
It's been long enough since an office for mac release, maybe one can justify an upgrade now...vs. MS release versions of office for the PC every year back in the office 2000 days.

~~Hello~~
Jan 15, 2008, 03:01 AM
I hear that you can't use VBA for 2008, not sure if this is the case with the other versions. Anyway if you can't use it then what do people use instead?

basqarl
Jan 19, 2008, 11:03 AM
I posted a question about Office 2008 to page 7 of this other thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=415994

Should I have posted it to this thread instead? :confused:

I do not want to be redundant but I would like some additional 'educated' viewpoints to consider [read: obsess over] before making the decision to return the item and forgo Office 2004 or 2008.

Thanks!

Quote:
As a newcomer who does not comprehend the more technical details in this thread, please forgive me if my question about Office 2004 and Office 2008 seems redundant or naive.

I am waiting to purchase my first Mac for a possible MBP refresh; if nothing happens by the end of January, I'll make my purchase regardless. (Running a Dell Inspiron 8500 on its last legs... and I won't bore you with the reasons for the MBP...)

In anticipation of my Mac, I purchased Office 04 in time to be able to upgrade to Office 08 for only the shipping charge. Of course, since I do not own my Mac as of yet (husband thinks I'm crazy to buy software prior to computer), I haven't opened my Office 04 to send in the UPC, etc., for the "free" upgrade. But if I am to get the upgrade I need to open the Office 04 and send in the proof of purchase, etc., postmarked by Feb. 14.

So, what would be your recommendations? (I use a PC with Word at work but want a Mac---) Should I just return the Office 04 and stick with iWork once I make my purchase? Keep Office 04 and send for the "free" Office 08 since I probably won't see a 'deal' like this again? If I keep Office, should I (or can I) install Windows on my Mac so that Word will perform better?

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Please disregard this and forgive me if it is not appropriate to post in this thread... :eek:

canisreevus
Jan 20, 2008, 02:27 AM
iWork is great software. However, if you need to constantly transfer files to and from your work computer, I would recommend going with Office 08. I would check out video tutorials of both in action to see for yourself which you would like if easier and better compatibility is not a question. I'm getting Office 08 because I use tons of Office files each day, and compatibility is a major issue (also, I hated having to open each file in Pages/Keynote and saving it as a .pages or .key file (tons of wasted time)).

Nosoforos
Jan 20, 2008, 03:05 AM
well sorry to say, but 2008 is actually running a lot slower here than 2004. Which is terrible, it was the only reason I "upgraded"

BTW Who else thinks the new dock icons are very ugly?

paulbaker
Jan 20, 2008, 01:03 PM
Well, I have made my position on this clear... but that does not stop me from wanting to try it in person at least once before casting final judgement...

waldo1979
Jan 21, 2008, 05:02 PM
FYI, After installing Office 2008 I noticed some Font Corruption issues. Observations:
* Text in Safari.app becomes jarbled
* Font Book.app fails to open
* Office Applications crash in libobjc.A.dylib

After several uninstalls and reinstalls, Office Application crash issues were resolved by deleting:
/Users/<username>/Library/FontCollections/com.apple.Favorites.collection

Hopefully this helps someone somewhere.

DMann
Jan 21, 2008, 05:15 PM
FYI, After installing Office 2008 I noticed some Font Corruption issues. Observations:
* Text in Safari.app becomes jarbled
* Font Book.app fails to open
* Office Applications crash in libobjc.A.dylib

After several uninstalls and reinstalls, Office Application crash issues were resolved by deleting:
/Users/<username>/Library/FontCollections/com.apple.Favorites.collection

Hopefully this helps someone somewhere.

Thank you for that!

paulbaker
Feb 5, 2008, 05:53 AM
Does anyone know if there is a downloadable trial anywhere?

Mac Hammer Fan
Feb 5, 2008, 07:06 AM
I am not buying Office 2008 for following reasons:
 According to several sources the "disk is full" bug isn't solved
 There is no more VBA compatibility
 MathType is incompatible with Word 2008
 iWork is a lot cheaper and a better value for my money
I admit that some changes in the new version were nice, and I have the impression that Word can handle better long docs with a lot of illustrations now, but no more VBA and MathType support is unacceptable, and iWork is is less buggy. Only Excel beats Numbers, io.

paulbaker
Feb 5, 2008, 02:11 PM
I am not buying Office 2008 for following reasons:
 According to several sources the "disk is full" bug isn't solved
 There is no more VBA compatibility
 MathType is incompatible with Word 2008
 iWork is a lot cheaper and a better value for my money
I admit that some changes in the new version were nice, and I have the impression that Word can handle better long docs with a lot of illustrations now, but no more VBA and MathType support is unacceptable, and iWork is is less buggy. Only Excel beats Numbers, io.

Yep. Excel 04 still works. It is the only MS application I can still justify using. Although, sometimes I open IE 5 on an old Mac just to see what life used to be like pre-Safari...