Office 2010 via VMFusion 3.0 or Mac Office 2011?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by acoustic42, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. acoustic42, Nov 7, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010

    acoustic42 macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2010
    First time poster in on MacRumors.

    I'm switching over to a MBP in a couple weeks after being a lifetime user of a Windows-based computer. I am an engineer and for the foreseeable future will be using a Windows-based computer, namely the Microsoft Office Suite.

    This might be a lame, but one of my biggest concerns is the transitioning process that I would have to go through to learn the new Mac Excel 2011. I know exactly where everything is the Windows version, but spent more time than I thought I would have to when I went to visit the Apple Store and played around with Mac's version of Excel. The Microsoft-Apple designers definitely didn't have strict limitations on making the two versions to be close copies, in terms of table structures.

    In theory, I would like to use Window's Office 2010 on my new MBP instead of Mac Office 2011. However, I'm interested in hearing advice on why this might be a good or bad idea. Is there anybody else that chooses to do this, or are there gains by using Mac's Office software exclusively that I haven't considered?

    Appreciate the input, and apologize if this discussion has already been made. I couldn't find anything similar in doing research on this website, and wasn't familiar enough with the forums to use all the available search tools.
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    If strict compatability in a business environment is an issue, then using the Windows version is usually preferred

    When it comes to Excel, I haven't used 2011 enough to know the differences, but I do know in the past, Excel on the Mac had a lot of challenges in comparison to the Windows version

    Your experience with Parallels or Fusion would be good using the Office products
    Gaming is where the issues are
  3. acoustic42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2010
    Thanks MacDawg, you brought up two excellent points that I should have addressed in my original post. This computer will be for personal use only, so strict adherence to any type of formatting will not be of any issue. I just tend to use Excel for home projects just as much as I do for the office. Also, I also don't game at all so that's nothing for me to worry about.

    If there aren't too many handicaps of using Windows version of Office 2011 on a Mac (Speed, compatibility, etc.), I will probably choose that route. But just kind of looking to feel out people's experience.
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Personally, I'd try Office for Mac 2011 and see how it does on your files. If it's not acceptable, then I'd go the VM + Office for Windows route.

    I love having a Windows VM as a safety net, but I prefer not to use it unless absolutely necessary. It's not like using it is an awful experience, but if I have the choice between clicking on an OS X application in the dock and being able to start doing work 4-5 seconds later vs. clicking on my VM, waiting 30-45 seconds for it to boot up before I can start working, I'll stick with the OS X method. :)

    Of all of the Office for Macs, I'm enjoying 2011 the best. It FINALLY can open encrypted files created in Office for Windows. I'm new to the ribbon UI, so it is taking me a bit to figure out where stuff is.
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    You can try both Parallels and Fusion for free (30 days iirc). Remember to get a system with enough RAM - you will need RAM for each VM. You probably don't need double, but certainly more than normal.

    If you just using a spreadsheet for the house, save some bucks and use Apple's iWork suite. It is completely different, it will drive you nuts for a couple of weeks - it is light-weight compared to Excel.... but if it's just for household stuff it will run the fastest, cost you less, and be far less hassle.

    Mac Office Excel will be just close enough to your Windows version that it will grate on your nerves constantly. Numbers is a whole different program, and you learn to use it differently. imho, oc.
  6. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I was in a similar situation, using windows for a long time and migrating to the mac, only i used the 2007 and 2008 versions of office. I assume you won't be using outlook since this is for personal use. I found I hated office 2008, especially word. Powerpoint was fine. For excel, for basic things it works fine, I just couldn't get used to the "apple" keyboard and shortcuts, so I stuck to using office 2007. I had also recently got used to the ribbon, so going back to 2008's style was annoying. However, since office 2011 has the ribbon and the oldschool toolbar, it might actually be pretty good. I would just recommend saving in the old formats, .doc, .xls, and .ppt for compatibility reasons.
  7. acoustic42, Nov 7, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010

    acoustic42 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2010
    I appreciate all the input, guys.

    So far what's hit home the most is the fact that there would be a boot-up time every time I would like to open up Excel. That would be okay if I knew I was going to be doing some serious work and it would require a significant amount of time creating and writing formulas. However, if I was opening a spreadsheet to just check-up on some data that would be a fairly large inconvenience. And having a Mac version of Excel to open that file quickly would be more convenient.

    I'm going to go ahead and order a copy of Mac Office 2011 and see if it's something I could get used to -- Maybe it's more similar that I thought from my initial impressions.

    @snberk103: The cost for me is actually pretty negligible as far as buying Mac Office 2011. My two brothers are going to be needing a license and will be purchasing the 3-license family pack of Mac Office 2011 and it would only cost me about $40 to get Mac's version of Office over using Numbers. I think I would rather having something kind-of-similar, as opposed to something different all together.

    @Vistadude: I would like to be able to save my files in the newest file formats. I'm not sure about Word and Powerpoint, but the the .xlsx format Excel provides in its newer editions provides significant like the file size being 75% smaller, less error-prone, and more extensible to developers. Does the new Mac Office 2011 not allow 100% compatibility the newer formats? Seems bad if it doesn't.
  8. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I doubt it offers 100% compatibility. I know even upgrading from office 2002 to 2007 on windows was such a headache. All the macros got disabled by default and even when going through lots of hoops to make them work, the macros ran far slower and excel 2007 in general crashes a lot. I pretty much gave up on excel and moved to different software.

    However, I bet all the basic formulas work on excel 2011 and 2010. But don't use fancy colors or graphics on the plots.

  9. codymac macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    You can just use the preview functionality built in to the finder if you need to take a quick peek at a spreadsheet. I'd imagine it would be a pain if your spreadsheets are very complex, but it works, and you don't have to have Office installed to do it.
  10. greythorne macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2008
    Saw this post so thought of giving my views on running office 2010 in windows 7 using Vmware.

    I got to tell you that running office 2010 in VM is much faster then running office for Mac 2011 in Mac OS X. I do not know why office 2011 is sluggish whereas when i open office 2010 in VM is much faster and opens instantly.

    here i'm using mid-2010 13inch macbook w/4gig ram. However im just using the office 2011 for the time being as i want to make full use of my macbook pro.

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