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MacRumors
Aug 29, 2008, 04:07 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Microsoft's Mac BU and FrontLine Systems (http://www.solver.com/) have announced (http://www.officeformac.com/blog/Solver-For-Excel-2008-Is-Available) that Solver for Excel 2008 is now available for download (http://www.solver.com/mac/dwnmacsolver.htm). Frontline Systems developed the original Solver for Excel on both Macintosh and Windows. For many years, we've offered Solver upgrades for Windows users, that have gotten more and more powerful over time -- but we haven't been active on the Mac. We're now applying more development resources to the Macintosh, motivated by the Mac's resurgence in the market and the move to Intel processors. But the catalyst for this move has been Microsoft's Mac Excel team.Solver is an Excel add-in that allows linear programming / analysis tool for Excel which was initially released for the Mac when Excel 2004 shipped but was dropped from Excel 2008 due to its dependency on Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support.

Microsoft has previously announced that VBA support will be coming back (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/05/13/microsoft-office-update-and-visual-basic-for-applications-to-return/) to Mac Office in the next version.



Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/08/29/solver-now-available-for-microsoft-excel-2008-for-mac/)



dukebound85
Aug 29, 2008, 04:08 PM
whoa awesome!

guerro
Aug 29, 2008, 04:21 PM
This is actually pretty huge news. Thanks MBU !

mattster16
Aug 29, 2008, 04:26 PM
YAY!!!! Now I don't have to use vmware to boot into windows to use excel anymore...what a hassle that always was.

Dimitrios
Aug 29, 2008, 04:35 PM
Great news (one of the reasons still keeping me from '08), though not the only reason keeping me needing to run Windows and Office '07:

I hope that Frontline, Crystal, Pallisade, or some other Excel plug-in risk evaluation developer to invest resources to support the Mac wholeheartedly (VBA has been the primary reason for no Mac support seemingly). My risk analysis courses need the advanced model analysis and Solver alone doesn't cut it.

Frontline at least seems confident in the Mac future now/finally.

granex
Aug 29, 2008, 05:06 PM
If they finally add back custom error bars, then maybe I'll finally install this POS (even though I stupidly purchased it a year ago). The Analysis Toolpack wouldn't hurt either.

Excel 2008 is completely worthless for a scientist and is a huge step back from 2004. What's the point of doing this to us? How much money did they save by taking away custom error bars, which have been in place since the beginning of Excel (as far as I can recall--and I used the very first version)?

Dimitrios
Aug 29, 2008, 05:23 PM
If they finally add back custom error bars, then maybe I'll finally install this POS (even though I stupidly purchased it a year ago). The Analysis Toolpack wouldn't hurt either.

Excel 2008 is completely worthless for a scientist and is a huge step back from 2004. What's the point of doing this to us? How much money did they save by taking away custom error bars, which have been in place since the beginning of Excel (as far as I can recall--and I used the very first version)?

No kidding? I had no idea the error bars were taken out; hell, even NeoOffice has 'em.

Looks it's going to be a long wait for me....

heisetax
Aug 29, 2008, 05:42 PM
No kidding? I had no idea the error bars were taken out; hell, even NeoOffice has 'em.

Looks it's going to be a long wait for me....

Excel 12 aka Excel 2008 is so much slower on my Intel Mac Pro that I like many others purchased it at the beginning of the year but have not used it past doing some checking & comparing with Excel 11 aka Excel 2004. My Income Tax Prep program is written in Excel. Part of it I started in 1986
time frame. So it has worked under many diferent versions of Excel. This past version has changed my la¥out size & thus it will only print about 80-85% of the line width, but the page height is correct. With the absence of macros & many other features it's not worth the effort to change the column width to make my Excel 11 program work in Excel 12.

Like others I will be downloading this new readmission of a lost feature when downgrading from Excel 11 to Excel 12 for the Mac.Like some others here I have used MS Ecel since it came out in 1985 for the Mac. They stayed at version 1 for a long time because they had no real competition. For many Excel Users the biggest competition for Excel 12 for the Mac is Excel 11 for the Mac. I've tried other spreadsheets through the past 24+ years & Excel has always won big time. We only have MS to blame for ruining their best program that they have ever written.

Here goes the download.

Hesekial
Aug 29, 2008, 05:49 PM
Great News, thankyou!

appletron
Aug 29, 2008, 05:51 PM
Quite why anyone would spend money on the worthless piece of junk that Mac Office 2008 (and hence Excel 2008) is quite beyond me. It's slow, it's buggy and the latest update brings performance of Excel from 1980's pace to 1990's pace whilst simultaneously introducing "epic fail" problems such as causing Word to crash when you paste a chart into it and attempt to save the document. I mean, do they even test these updates before they put them out?

The whole suite behaves both in a non-Windows way and a non-Mac way thereby alienating both userbases. I shall call this third way the "retarded way".

Parallels + Windows Office, NeoOffice, iWork (for really simple stuff) or even Mac Office 2004 has to be a better option that this appalling excuse for piece of software.

Avoid!

amac4me
Aug 29, 2008, 06:03 PM
This is great news. As a current MBA student this is nice to see as I will no longer need to fire up Excel on Windows.

twoodcc
Aug 29, 2008, 06:13 PM
well glad to see this released for mac

SailorTom
Aug 29, 2008, 06:22 PM
Mathtype 6 is available for mac. finally we can typeset nice looking equations easily in office and powerpoint 2008

Shadow
Aug 29, 2008, 06:41 PM
While this doesn't really affect me (I rarely use Office, never mind Excel), this is still great news. The MacBU is actually doing something :eek:;)

137489
Aug 29, 2008, 07:02 PM
Quite why anyone would spend money on the worthless piece of junk that Mac Office 2008 (and hence Excel 2008) is quite beyond me. It's slow, it's buggy and the latest update brings performance of Excel from 1980's pace to 1990's pace whilst simultaneously introducing "epic fail" problems such as causing Word to crash when you paste a chart into it and attempt to save the document. I mean, do they even test these updates before they put them out?

The whole suite behaves both in a non-Windows way and a non-Mac way thereby alienating both userbases. I shall call this third way the "retarded way".

Parallels + Windows Office, NeoOffice, iWork (for really simple stuff) or even Mac Office 2004 has to be a better option that this appalling excuse for piece of software.

Avoid!

reason I did not go with Office 2008 when I bought my mac and went with iwork and moved my office 2003 for Windows to Parallels:

1. Tried office 2008 at an Apple Store, where they had it installed. Simple things like inserting a table into word crashed, powerpoint would not come up and Excel seemed slow like working on a 9600 baud modem. Plus I am one who likes VBA.

2. I hate Office 2007 for Windows. the Ribbon is hard to work with and find stuff. the did away with features i need, like scanning directly to a word doc. Office 2007 stinks at trying to format a picture inside of a table, I had to bring the document into iwork to get it to work properly. Also with changing the whole UI, it make it difficult when you are used to certain shortcuts. They took what everyone was used to since Office 97 and completely changed everything. to power users, changing menu location shortcuts, and even moving stuff to a different menu is a pain to use. Plus it seem slower. And what the heck is up with Business Contact Manager keep crashing my Outlook. I had to reinstall office and chose not to install Contact manager. Plus Outlook is a lot slower.

To me Microsoft took a major step backwards with the release of Office 2007, mac office 2008, and vista.

But Glad to see MACBU is finally doing something. Microsoft really needs to give them better tools, more people, and allow them to do more. Microsoft only hurts themself with not supporting MACBU

Sherjo
Aug 29, 2008, 07:21 PM
Custom Error Bars are restored with Service Pack 12.1.0 released August 15, 2008. There are lots of improvements made in the update - you can learn about all of them in the Knowledge Base article at: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/952331.

You can find all of our updates at: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.mspx.

You can also keep Office for Mac up to date automatically with Office AutoUpdate for Mac. AutoUpdate comes with Office so there’s nothing additional to install, and you can also use it to manually check for new downloads.

On the Help menu of any of the Office apps, click Check for Updates.
Under How would you like to check for software updates?, click Automatically.
On the Check for Updates pop-up menu, click the frequency that you want AutoUpdate to use to check for new updates.


Cheers,

Sheridan Jones
Microsoft MacBU

shu82
Aug 29, 2008, 07:34 PM
I am glad they included solver. But excel itself is crippled for the mac. Have you ever tried to run a huge v-lookup on a mac? Don't get me wrong I love my mac but I am a power excel user for work. What takes me 30 min to run on windows takes me 4 hours to run on my mac. I attribute it to crappy coding. But it could be intentionally malicious.

Frisco
Aug 29, 2008, 07:39 PM
2. I hate Office 2007 for Windows. the Ribbon is hard to work with and find stuff. the did away with features i need, like scanning directly to a word doc. Office 2007 stinks at trying to format a picture inside of a table, I had to bring the document into iwork to get it to work properly. Also with changing the whole UI, it make it difficult when you are used to certain shortcuts. They took what everyone was used to since Office 97 and completely changed everything. to power users, changing menu location shortcuts, and even moving stuff to a different menu is a pain to use. Plus it seem slower. And what the heck is up with Business Contact Manager keep crashing my Outlook. I had to reinstall office and chose not to install Contact manager. Plus Outlook is a lot slower.
[/B]

I agree. Office 2003 for Windows was almost perfect. Everyone at my office is struggling with it.

outaru
Aug 29, 2008, 07:49 PM
this is very useful... downloading.. ;)

OrangeCrush
Aug 29, 2008, 08:50 PM
Good news--I hate the lack of feature the Mac version sometimes has--makes it hard to pull up work files at home.:)

I'm still mad about VBA. I can't believe it's not going to be a download like solver, but an excuse to force people to buy the next version. One of the meanest marketing tricks and worst ways ever to treat your customers.:mad:

heisetax
Aug 29, 2008, 09:37 PM
reason I did not go with Office 2008 when I bought my mac and went with iwork and moved my office 2003 for Windows to Parallels:

1. Tried office 2008 at an Apple Store, where they had it installed. Simple things like inserting a table into word crashed, powerpoint would not come up and Excel seemed slow like working on a 9600 baud modem. Plus I am one who likes VBA.

2. I hate Office 2007 for Windows. the Ribbon is hard to work with and find stuff. the did away with features i need, like scanning directly to a word doc. Office 2007 stinks at trying to format a picture inside of a table, I had to bring the document into iwork to get it to work properly. Also with changing the whole UI, it make it difficult when you are used to certain shortcuts. They took what everyone was used to since Office 97 and completely changed everything. to power users, changing menu location shortcuts, and even moving stuff to a different menu is a pain to use. Plus it seem slower. And what the heck is up with Business Contact Manager keep crashing my Outlook. I had to reinstall office and chose not to install Contact manager. Plus Outlook is a lot slower.

To me Microsoft took a major step backwards with the release of Office 2007, mac office 2008, and vista.

But Glad to see MACBU is finally doing something. Microsoft really needs to give them better tools, more people, and allow them to do more. Microsoft only hurts themself with not supporting MACBU

My download from Solver.com told me that this was a 15 day free trial. What was all of this about.

Microsoft is doing a lot of this stuff of contracting with someone else to write the code to make a Windows program work on a Mac. Like they have done with Windows Media Player. This Solver.com thing is just another item in this growing list. MS just needs some more good Mac programmers. Some would say MS just needs to step up their level of Mac programmers to good Mac programmers from what they have now.

TwinCities Dan
Aug 29, 2008, 11:07 PM
Cheers,

Sheridan Jones
Microsoft MacBU

Thank you for solver, but the list is still pretty long...

ericsabourin
Aug 29, 2008, 11:17 PM
Sweet. Even though i use numbers o_0

zamyatin
Aug 30, 2008, 01:00 AM
OpenOffice.org 3.0 Aqua already has a solver available as a free extension:

http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/eurooffice-solver

With all the features being removed from MSO, and all the features being added to OOo, now is a good time to make the switch, especially if you are building applications on top of the office suite. Choose the platform that is improving, not the one that's regressing.

jackfrost123
Aug 30, 2008, 02:18 AM
bless these people! Oh I just feel so thankful to them for realising there's a mac community that's gaining momentum! Such charity!

For crying out loud, has everybody gone bonkers here at macrumours? This isn't even page two material. Not page one when we are waiting for new ipods and macbooks....:mad::eek::eek::eek:

ergdegdeg
Aug 30, 2008, 08:03 AM
Good news. Though it is a bit awkward to start an external app for Solver.

macFanDave
Aug 30, 2008, 08:04 AM
motivated by the Mac's resurgence in the market

Yay! The resurgence is working!

I've always liked Solver and I would have been really angry if I had upgraded from Office 2004 and found it missing. Fortunately, Microsoft hasn't added anything useful to Word or Excel since the early 90's, so pretty much any version that runs on my hardware is sufficient. Down with bloatware!

nanoboy
Aug 30, 2008, 08:07 AM
Please give this freeware "Plot" a try:
http://plot.micw.eu/

Very professional-looking formatted graphs done at ease. The program has a very extensive Inspector, sure you can make the graph the way you want it to look, and you can do all the extropolation or best-fit very nicely.

All you need is just to export your data in columns as a text file (.csv?) from any spreadsheet programs - Excel, OpenOffice or Numbers!! Then import the file(s) into Plot. Another nice thing is that you can easily switch visible/invisible the sets of data you want to display from the data inspector.

Why do graphs in Excel? It's so clumsy and often it just gives an insufficient appearance!

richard.mac
Aug 30, 2008, 10:52 AM
Good news. Though it is a bit awkward to start an external app for Solver.

i havent downloaded it yet, so its not integrated into Excel? yet another .app in the Applcations folder i bet. oh well still awesome though. but i really could have used this during my Scientific Computing course last semester :rolleyes:.

ergdegdeg
Aug 30, 2008, 12:26 PM
i havent downloaded it yet, so its not integrated into Excel? yet another .app in the Applcations folder i bet. oh well still awesome though. but i really could have used this during my Scientific Computing course last semester :rolleyes:.

Yea, same here. I really would have needed it last semester ^^

The Tall One
Aug 30, 2008, 12:27 PM
Thats a little beyond me. Not sure why I need coding in my excel document. Can I still make pie graphs? Thats all I need... delicious pie graphs.

kornyboy
Aug 30, 2008, 05:20 PM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_0_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5C1 Safari/525.20)

It is good to finally see this come around.

surf4peace
Aug 30, 2008, 06:20 PM
...and it works great considering I haven't had to deal with the issues associated with working w/o VBA and the Solver...
It's a lifesaver considering I'm relegated to working on MS Office for Windows at work. Incidentally, we're still on the 2003 version, given our distaste for the current Windows iteration.

Cheers.

mdriftmeyer
Aug 31, 2008, 02:30 AM
First Part: Off-topic observation about the company packages offered:

http://www.solver.com/matlabsdk.htm

Please. When I read plug-ins comparing themselves to Matlab I know someone in Marketing is overreaching.

http://www.solver.com/pricesdk.php

Why the hell would I buy an SDK to leverage much of what MatLab does when I can buy MatLab, with it's APIs to extend and do it for less?

Back On Topic for Linear Optimization:

Great for folks who don't need more than Linear Programming and want to hook it in for Excel.

Of course, they could use the Linear programming tools built into OpenOffice.org 3.0 for OS X Intel.

http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=8808


------- Additional comments from fst Wed Aug 6 08:23:58 +0000 2008 -------
Hi,

this Issue is fixed as the Solver is implemented.

The strange references problem is Issue 92030 .

Frank

------- Additional comments from fst Wed Aug 6 08:25:02 +0000 2008 -------
integrated in OOo3.o

cal6n
Aug 31, 2008, 04:03 PM
Please give this freeware "Plot" a try:
http://plot.micw.eu/

Very professional-looking formatted graphs done at ease.

*snip*

Why do graphs in Excel? It's so clumsy and often it just gives an insufficient appearance!

Nice link. Thanks.