Should I cave and buy Office?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Pomme, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. Pomme macrumors member

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    Aug 2, 2004
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    Vermont
    #1
    I'm leaving for my first year of college in a week and half, and I'm taking the iBook I've had for two months with me. I'm in love with my iBook, but this summer, all I've used it for is surfing the web, catching up on emails, and organizing digital photos. (The summer months haven't been too terribly academically demanding.)

    I know that once I get to school, things'll pick up, and fast. I've used PCs my whole life and I'm very comfortable with Word, Excel, and other Office programs. Here's my question: should I buy Office 2004 for my Mac (at the student discount price), or should I hold off and try to get by with AppleWorks? Anyone have any experience using AppleWorks in an environment that is primarily PC-oriented? Will I be able to share files, print from school computers, and effectively organize papers and assignments?

    Thanks for your input... I really value the advice I cull from this forum! You all are the best. :)
     
  2. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #2
    I would recommend that you purchase the Office 2004. It is the gold standard product. Then you will avoid compatibility issues when transferring files to and from a PC. Congratulations on your iBook it's a great machine. Good luck with your first year of college. ;)
     
  3. Aaon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    #3
    Office really is the premier office software out there. I would highly reccomend getting it as youhead off to school. Word is excellent, Excel is extremely useful, and software like Powerpoint makes presentations simple.

    I would check with your school before you purchase, however. The Student and Teacher edition available online or at the store runs for $149. However, some schools have special licensing agreements with Mirosoft that allow students to get the full professional version for a substantial Discount. The University I am doing my grad work at offers the full Office 2004 for $45 for students at the university. You can't beat that deal!


    Aaron
     
  4. arrowhead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    #4
    hi,

    the bottom line is that if you think it is going to help you get done what you need to, then you should get it. for that if you need ms office, then, get ms office. it is not really matter of "caving into" a product just because it is from microsoft. or, just because you use mac doesn't mean that you need to be anti-microsoft. besides, most likely, if you are going to college and need it for your school work, you will be better off using ms office, instead of appleworks, although apple claims that their office suite app can handle ms word, excel and etc. file format. also, with student discount, it should be available for ~$150. i think that is a good deal as compared to what you will need to pay without the discount. (i wish i had the discount.)
     
  5. Pomme thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 2, 2004
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    #5
    Well, when I say "cave," I don't mean to sound anti-Microsoft. I actually happened to like my PCs just fine. (I just like my new Mac more!) It's more a... "cave" and shell out $150 sort of thing. But I do suppose it's a good deal, and as a student, it's the sort of thing I would use all the time.

    Apple "claims" their office suite can handle everything? The guy I talked to at CompUSA said the same thing. Should I be worried about that not being exactly true?

    Again, thanks for all the input, guys! The speed of response on this forum blows me away.
     
  6. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #6
    I would go with Aaon's advice, and wait until you get to school and see if they have a deal with Microsoft first. My school has Office 2004 for 30 dollars.

    I would also recommend getting it if you can afford it. I feel it is worth the money.

    Mike
     
  7. arrowhead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    #7
    oh.... okay.... i see what you mean. i use mac and also use ms office (one earlier version). it is actually pretty good. you also probably want to find out which app your school primarily use. if ms word/excel/etc, then, i would just fork out $150 and get it and not worry about the compatibility being something that i need to worry about. after all, you want to be able to focus on the school work and not worry about whether or not your prof was able to open your file without any problem. (i would hate to miss any point or grade only because he/she couldn't open my report or what not because of s/w compatibiity problem.) i also heard that appleworks will do just fine. but with my limited experience with it, i really don't know what it means.
     
  8. Reality Cheque macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    #8
    This is so *not* true. AppleWorks X is far and away the worst Apple-branded application I have used in 20 years on the Mac. It's clunky, counter-intuitive, extremely limited and hasn't been updated functionally since OS9. It just doesn't come close to comparing to even their free apps like iTunes, let alone their commercial apps like Garage Band (not to mention pro apps like Final Cut).

    Having said that, it is a basic office suit that will get the job done with some extra effort and frustration. I suppose, you could ask yourself how tollerant you are? But if you go with AW X, I strongly recommend you don't give Apple the $79 and just download for free off LimeWire -- not because I think you should "steal" software but because Apple should be embarrased to charge for it rather than just include it (with appology) with any OS X.
     
  9. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #9
    I think you should try AppleWorks for awhile, and buy Office if it becomes apparent that you need to.

    Reality Cheque: AppleWorks comes free with the consumer Macs.
     
  10. timsq macrumors regular

    timsq

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #10
    I would check out the OpenOffice project at http://openoffice.org You need X11 installed and running for it to work. It has all the function of M$ Office and it's open source and *free*. M$ Office is a nice suite and totally kicks AppleWorks' by far. I have both and am migrating to openoffice and away from Microsoft in general. Besides, it's nice to get under the hood a bit and see what this baby can do...
     
  11. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #11
    Well, while you already have Appleworks, as it should have come for free with your iBook, I say get Office 2004, at the best price you can.

    It is a great suite, you won't have compatability issues, and the price is right at educational prices. Word IS the gold standard, Excel is fine, Powerpoint is great (and still does many things keynote cannot do), the only app the Mac version of Office does not have is Access.

    GO for it, and enjoy your iBook!

    :D
     
  12. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #12
    Microsoft Office for Mac always has been the best solution -- remember that PowerPoint and Excel actually originated on the Mac!

    Buying the academic version of Office is like buying PowerPoint (with MSO2k4STE at $150 relative to $80 academic Keynote) and getting Word, Excel, and Entourage for less than $23.34 each!
     
  13. Pomme thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 2, 2004
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    Vermont
    #13
    Thanks for the help, everyone! I think I'm going to go ahead and get it. Aside from surfing the web and email and such, I'm going to be primarily using my iBook for school work. I don't intend to spend any money on any other sort of software, so I might as well invest in the best for my word processing and office apps.

    I'll take your advice, though, and wait until I get to campus to buy. I'll see if my bookstore sells it. I don't know if I'll get a discount, though... my school's only 15-20% Mac, so I'll have to see. But it's worth a shot! I'll keep my fingers crossed. :)
     
  14. Aaon macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2004
    #14
    Wow, 15-20% Mac? Thats pretty good, in my opinion! Also, check the bookstore, but also be sure to check with your Technology office/help desk/on-campus computer store. THe prices at the bookstore and the tech folks can be different, odd as that sounds.

    Aaron
     
  15. gatorron macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    #15
    Focus on Excel

    Looks as if you've made your decision, but I found your inquiry interesting. Here's why: I'm buying either the new iMac G5 tomorrow I hope or a PM, and making the big switch. Can't wait. But...

    The old iMac G4 came with Appleworks, I suppose the new one will, too. But the PM doesn't. So I may face the choice of buying Appleworks or Office.

    Well, I've heard little good or bad about AW's spreadsheet program. But I know, from vast experience, that Excel is a fantastic product. I would go so far as to say it is the single most useful piece of software ever written. Is there anyone out there who can address AW's spreadsheet's capabilities? Are they anywhere close?

    For history buffs, here's an interesting fact: Excel was originally a Mac-exclusive. I first encountered it when I joined a engineering office that used only Mac's in 1990. I worked there two years and was delighted by how much better Excel was than the current PC competitor, Lotus -- what a piece o' crap! Lotus was a kludge and major pain when it came to formatting output.

    But more than Excel's mastery way back then for output control, Excel for the Mac allowed for iterative, recursive equation solving, which was amazing I thought for the time. The only other way to do this was with a programming language such as Fortran or Pascal.

    Sometime around the mid-1990s, Micros**t realized they couldn't compete with Excel, so they bought it. Lotus then died a well deserved death. Since I re-entered the PC world in 1993, I don't really know what Mac users did after that. Anyone who remembers can share their old fart memories with me and I'll grunt along with you.

    While I'm reminising, Macs featured another great piece of software in the early 90s, Mac Project. This was a wonderfully intuitive project management program that the group of engineers I worked with used to great benefit. I've seen nothing like it since in the PC world (MS Project is a wannabe), and I miss it still. Since my return to the Mac World is a mere day or so away, I intend to search for it, so if anyone knows what happened to Mac Project, let me know.

    And finally, to the freshman: you're doing the right thing, if only for Excel. Learn to use this program in some depth, and it will take you far. Everyone using computers regardless of brand should do the same.
     
  16. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #16
    While i agree that Appleworks blows, i would love to know where you got a copy of Appleworks X, which unless i am missing something, doesn't exist yet. or are there prerelease copies floating around already?
     
  17. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    Feb 26, 2003
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    around the world
    #17
    I recommend getting Office. Its a really good product in comparison to Office. Maybe we see an updated version of Appleworks soon like iWorks. So wait until tomorrow. (Paris Expo)

    Cheers
     
  18. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    Feb 26, 2003
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    around the world
    #18
    Unfortunatly there is nothing even near M$ Project on the Mac. I have worked a lot with M$ Project and it sucks. Much better is http://www.kidasa.com/information/products/index.html

    But on the Mac - nothing. I don't now even one good app. Maybe thats not true and someone can tell me better. I would appreciate that.
     
  19. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #19
    Appleworks 6 is already distributed in separate versions for OS X and classic Mac OS (in thge same box, but they're different binaries).

    The "X" designation was already covered when that rumor first cropped up. That's simply a placeholder that publishers commonly use for unreleased software, and the same publisher has other pending books by the same author that have the same "X" marker for non-Apple products too.
     
  20. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #20
    Like the others said you going to want office for school. Yeah you could more than likely get by with appleworks or Openoffice but it will give up a lot of heart ach and pain when things just dont work correctly.

    Appleworks being the worse choice to go with since open office blow it out of the water and from what I been told MSoffice blows openoffice out of the water. Like the other check to see if you school as any deal with MS. For example my collage as a deal with MS where pretty much I can get all MS download all MS apps for free for both mac and PC or buy a cd copy for dirt cheap (less than 10 bucks for most). If you school does not have it go out and buy office 04 just to save yourself a lot of trouble that you will get involved in not having it. You never need to really upgrade to a later verson of though the 4 years of collage.
     
  21. Reality Cheque macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    #21
    Appleworks X

    My bad -- I just meant the current version (6) of AW for OS X.

    My guess is that Apple doesn't update AW6 X to keep MS MacBU happy so they continue to pour substantive effort into MS Office for the Mac. Not a bad trade IMO, but I still wish Apple would just trim off the rough edges so their app wasn't such an embarrassment. (Who knows, maybe tomorrow...)
     

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