Microsoft Office: Mac edition or windows on VMWare?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Shad0wDK, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Shad0wDK macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2009
    Hey there,

    I recently bought a Macbook Pro and I need some office suite installed. I got Office 2003 for Windows, so my question is if you would advice me to buy the Mac edition of Office or use my current windows office running with VMWare virtually? I am not familiar with the ease of using VMWare, or if I will be able to notice performance differences.

    On the plus-side of buying the mac edition is that I will get an updated version of office.

    What do you think I should do? :)

    I don't have VMWare yet, but I am gonna need it since I would like to have a way of installing various programs I run into while studying, which might only be out on windows.
  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    I would suggest that there will be a performance issue with running a VM.

    Ever since the update to Office 2008 it has become 'more' stable and a lot faster. I would get this, or perhaps look at Page '09 and iWork? I am starting to prefer pages, makes writing long documents so much easier.
  3. yoyomaster macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2009
    You can download free trials of both office 08 and iwork and see if you like either of them, but if you're going to be running windows via VM anyways and are comfortable with the windows version I don't see why you should switch to the mac versions.
  4. PeteB macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2008
    Office 2008 has run perfectly well for me on both Leopard and Snow Leopard.

    But there will be undoubted replies saying that Office is the worst product ever.

    Try it, and if you like it, buy it.

    Running it in vmware will probably end up being a pain.
  5. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
  6. chris3g macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    i actually prefer office 2007 in a VM to Office 2008 mac. I have both, and i recently uninstalled the mac app and switched completely to 2007. I am currently running parallels 5 beta with XP in coherence mode and it is quite fast.
  7. macnfab macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2009
    NorthEast IN
    I can see the use of VM for things mac can't do but the MS office programs work flawlessly on OS X. I have both 04' and 08' (i use daily, I am a full time student) Office Mac and they work awesome.. no issue with SL update.:apple::apple:
  8. dsdl13 macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2009
    how about an open source solution?

    i've tried both microsoft office 2007 under parallels and office for mac 2008.
    i started with office for mac 2008 and found excel horrible - what drove me crazy was the fact that you can't dock the formula bar (but there is a lot more...).
    microsoft office 2007 under parallels - still better than the mac version but it can be a pain due to the virtualization.

    i've been using neooffice for a couple month now and i quiet like it. neooffice is based on openoffice but has been native on the mac since 2003 (openoffice became native only this year). sometimes it takes a while to open and save documents and there are some functions missing which came in pretty handy in office 2007 (for example the sorting function in ms office 2007 is better) but by now i'm not planing to go back to any ms related products (at least for word and excel - powerpoint is another issue).
  9. peetah macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2009
    I'm running Office 2007 in a VMware Fusion virtual machine. It works and it does the job. I need the VBA macros and VSTO stuff for work, so running Office 2008 is not an option for me.

    As for speed, if you're doing word processing and light number crunching in Excel, you don't need an über-fast environment so a virtual machine environment will be sufficient.

    Download a trial of Office 2008. If it works great, if not, go VM!

    Of course, just like a certain body part, everyone has their opinion about what is right for some circumstances. All I have to say is that what really counts is what is right for you.

    Good luck!
  10. Shad0wDK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2009
    Thanks for all the quick replies :)

    I think ill try the office trial edition and decide after using it for some time.

    iWorks could surely be interesting to try, but it is important for me to be 100% compatible with other people using ms office. Thats also the reason why I kinda discarded the open source solutions.
  11. dsdl13 macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2009
    well, if you want 100% compatibility you should stick to ms office. even office for mac is not 100% compatible (talking about powerpoint, for example).

    i haven't run into any major compatibility problems with neooffice. you can even save files in the open document format (odf) - ms office 2007 can read and write those (not sure about ms office 2003).
  12. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    Because they need the features that Office 2008 does not support but Office 2007 does, like VBA for example. For some people (like peetah) this can be a requirement, without VBA they are unable to use the created documents. You could use Office 2004 but you'd be running a ppc application that has been discontinued (or at least you won't be able to buy it any more). I do agree that when VBA is not a requirement Office 2008 or iWork 09 or or even TextEdit will do just fine. It depends on what you need exactly.

    Apart from that you can do with virtualisation very well nowadays. It can run a lot of things quite smoothly and has a great integration with OS X. Both Parallels and VMware Fusion are able to allow the user to open documents from OS X in the Windows vm and vice versa very easily. A mixed environment is not impossible any more and therefore could be an option (not just when you're running Office, also for a lot of other software). Might be a bit overkill for something like Office.
  13. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    office 08 does not have the full package of functions as office 2007.

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