Solver Now Available for Microsoft Excel 2008 for Mac

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Microsoft's Mac BU and FrontLine Systems have announced that Solver for Excel 2008 is now available for download.
    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 to Mac Office in the next version.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
  3. macrumors regular


    Jul 18, 2002
    Chandler, Az
    This is actually pretty huge news. Thanks MBU !
  4. macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2004
    YAY!!!! Now I don't have to use vmware to boot into windows to use excel anymore...what a hassle that always was.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    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.
  6. macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2002
    Error bars

    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)?
  7. macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    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....
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    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.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2008
  10. macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008

    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.

  11. macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    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.
  12. macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
  13. macrumors regular

    May 15, 2008
    In other Office 2008 related news...

    Mathtype 6 is available for mac. finally we can typeset nice looking equations easily in office and powerpoint 2008
  14. macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
    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:;)
  15. Guest


    Nov 6, 2007
    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
  16. macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2008
    Custom error bars are ALSO back in Excel!

    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:

    You can find all of our updates at:

    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.


    Sheridan Jones
    Microsoft MacBU
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2007
    Rocket City, AL
    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.
  18. macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    I agree. Office 2003 for Windows was almost perfect. Everyone at my office is struggling with it.
  19. macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
  20. macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2008

    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:
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    My download from 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 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.
  22. macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    May 19, 2008
    Double Parked out front of the Courthouse
    Thank you for solver, but the list is still pretty long...
  23. macrumors newbie


    Aug 29, 2008
  24. macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2003
    OpenOffice 3.0's Already Got That 3.0 Aqua already has a solver available as a free extension:

    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.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    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:

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