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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2008
As an educational user who uses Entourage 2004 to connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server for school email and contact lists, I am unbelievably frustrated with the lack of Exchange support in the student/teacher versions of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home & Student Edition.

And to add insult to injury, my previous copy of the 2004 Office suite is not eligible for upgrades. This mean's that for me (and hundreds of other users who use a Microsoft Exchange server at school) the only option is to drop the full $399 on the "full version" of the program,Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac.

As if that was not enough, since the educational version offers three user licenses (which I us for my three computers: home, laptop and office) and the "full version" only offers one user license, that $399 price tag just tripled to almost $1200 in software that just last year cost me $150. Microsoft's little change is a HUGE deal! If I want to be legal in my use of their software, I'm gonna have to drop $1200. I can tell you - that isn't gonna happen. Something like this makes Apple's iWork (limitations and all) look more appealing.

So much for the idea that MS and Apple where going to play nice for once. Microsoft doesn't know is elbow from it's @%&, because it was only a few months ago that they offered a brilliant "anti-piracy" program that allowed college students to purchase a legal version of the PC Office Suite at less than $70.

I guess we'll have to see if several months from now, they offer the same thing to Mac users because I'm sure that a "bone-head" move like this is usually what it takes to make people "borrow" software from a "friend". In fact, when I called Microsoft to ask if this was all true, their own tech told me that if I "lost" my unlock key, I could buy another for only $10. I guess even Microsoft's own staff can see just how stupid this move is.

No support in the 2008 education version and no upgrade path from the 2004 education version... what a triple slap in the face to paying customers who don't steal their software.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2008
I was delighted when my copy arrived as I use Office 2007 at work and was hoping that some of the cool features would be in Office 2008 for the Mac.

Boy was I disappointed. The first thing I noticed is that it is essentially only a MINOR update over Office X, essentially only giving the user the ability to read/write the new xml-based formats.

Excel suffers from serious LOSS of functionality, even over the previous version of Office X for Mac. In particular, I cannot create a custom-derived x-axis on charts (aka, 'Category Axis'). In fact, the only type of category axis you can create is one of non-formula-based, static text. Even if you try to create it that way, then replace this static-text data with real information, the chart will not display it (very bizarre). In my line of work, this makes Excel 2008 completely useless. The weird thing is, the product itself can actually manage with charts fine if you create them in *any* other version of Excel (Mac or PC). You just cannot create them because of the lame interface that they've created to try to be more "mac-like".

This 'update' is the result of some freakishly bad product management. I'm afraid this will have to be returned and only when a patch for this serious issue is released will I even think of coming back.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2008
I have a brand new iMac 2.4 GHz, maxed out with 4 MB of RAM, and yet this program runs EXCRUCIATINGLY SLOW. Office 2004 ran much faster. Opening Word documents is like torture as the little spinning rainbow pinwheel appears for what seems like ever EVERY time I open a document. Every other program on my Mac runs superfast, and for this one to be so slow in what is supposed to be a native Intel Mac version, is unacceptable. Stick with the earlier 2004 release until they make improvements; this has the overall feel of a beta version and is more like a DOWNgrade than an UPgrade. A total disappointment.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2008
This version of Office is a down-grade from 2004. MS omitted vital parts of the system making it unuseful for students/teachers/scientists
1. Excel - unuseful as described in earlier statements (mainly problems with using analysis and for some reason they emoved possibility of using real error bars (cutom)... move impossible to understand
2. Powerpoint - decides for you what you can group /ungroup etc.
3. Word - incompatible with reference managers such as endnote
The only part that's a bi improved is entorague...
bottom line... I deleted the software I purchased and I am using 2004 again !!!!!!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2008
I've been using Word since it came out on the Mac back in 1984 and have used Excel since it replaced Multiplan as Microsoft's spreadsheet offering. There have been some low points along the way (Word 3 and Word 6 really stick out as stinkers). When I saw Office 2008 demoed at Macworld, Word and Excel both seemed really appealing, so I bought the new version. What I discovered is that Word is exceedingly unstable on all three Macs where I've installed it (that's how many the license allows): a G4 with 1GB RAM, a dual G5 with 2.5GB, and a MacBook with 2GB. Excel runs on my dual G5 with only occasional crashes, but "unexpectedly quits" on the G4 and the MacBook quite frequently. Throw in the loss of cross-platform compatibility (mostly related to not supporting the VBA-based macros/toolbars that my publishers employ) and I find it exceedingly difficult to recommend this product to anyone trying to accomplish real work. I've gone back to Office 2004.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2008
For me, as a recent switchover from PC to MAC, this is THE application that makes it all worthwhile. Still use a PC on the side and at work, I was extremely pleased that I can seamlessly share Excel, Word and PowerPoint files between the 2 platforms. Entourage, the e-mail/contacts/calendar application, is the MS Outlook equivalent for the MAC, except better. The Home & Student version that I purchased does everything I need it to without fail. By far, one of the best s/w applications that I use daily and has made the switch to MAC a cinch.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2008
I was very anxious to get this release. I have iWork 08 but it is missing too many features I use in Office for Windows 2007 (I use in Parallels)

I preordered WELL in advance. Got a copy almost on day of release.

In just using the applications I get crashes. Just typing or adding elements to PP it crashes. My new MacBookPro is fully up-to-date and I can't remember the last crash from anything I use.

This feels like a beta release. Sadly I was hoping to get rid of Parallels and just use Mac Office but I am back to using Office 2007 in Parallels.

Ugh - and trying to submit feedback to MS that someone actually reviews is hard to find.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2008
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Microsoft 2008...

The Good. It is now Universal Binary - if you have an Intel Mac, you'll see a major speed improvement - Office 2004 was dog-slow on my Intel Mac (2.4 GHz Intel Core Duo 2 MacBook Pro) due to the need for Rosetta translation. Initial start-up of all the Office 2008 programs is still very slow - maybe even slower than Office 2004. Once open and running, the speed difference finally becomes apparent.

The Bad. Many features went out the window. If you use Office special features, a lot of them are no longer available. Some of the features I noticed that were missing include: Visual BASIC, some macro functions, Data Analysts Toolpack (from Excel), and PowerPoint does something to the graphics (I think it changes the format altogether) so you can't do any editing after you enter them into a presentation.

Functionality. I was hoping that this version would include a lot of the functionality that the Windows version has - Outlook features especially. I am looking at giving Apple's Mail program another try to see if it is worth using it as well as the integrated Calendar and Address Book applications instead of Entourage. Pre-Leopard, Apple's Mail program fell short - it is hard to beat Entourage's all-in-one mail, calendar, and address book functions. I haven't tried the new version of Apple's Mail yet, but I will give it a try in the near future - when I have time to convert all my mail files. I also noticed Microsoft still hasn't fixed bugs from Office 2004. One big bug to me is if you copy or cut something, then start Office and try to paste it, you can't - Office doesn't see it. You have to have Office open before you copy text or graphics in order to paste it into an Office document.

Entourage Files. One poor design of Entourage is everything is contained in one large Entourage data file. Apple's Mail program uses many small files - one for each folder and a separate data file for contacts and for calendar events. That way if a file gets corrupted, you don't lose everything. Also it is better for back-ups. With Entourage, the whole file (mine is over 1GB) has to be backed up even though little has changed. With Apple's Mail program, each folder is a separate file so if you store a lot of old emails, you only need to back up the folders with newer mail - a hundred KB instead of a GB. Saves a lot of room on your back-up drive.

The Ugly. I don't like the major interface change. It is not as intuitive as Office 2004 for Mac or Office 2003 for Windows (Office 2007 for Windows has an interface similar to Office 2008 for Mac). It is like learning Office menus all over again.

Bottom Line: If you have an Intel-based Mac, it may be worth "upgrading" to Office 2008 for the Universal Binary feature. If you have a PPC Mac, stick with Office 2004. Sometimes I wonder if Microsoft intentionally holds back the development of the Mac versions in an effort to try to switch people from Macs back to Windows. The year-old Windows version is superior in many ways to the Mac version. And Office 2004 is superior in many ways to the newer Office 2008 version.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2008
I really wavered between between buying a license to iWork 08 or Office 2008 they're both so good. Although much easier to use, iWork 08 just didn't have all the features I needed, plus I get a lot of Word and Excel docs from colleagues on PC's (you can easily import MS Office docs into iWork 08 but then you have to continually export to return them back).

Office 2008 is very polished and I really like it. Although the price is almost twice the price of iWorks you actually get three licenses in the pack which is a major bonus.

If you are a professional user, need all the MS Office features you had on the PC, need to exchange MS Office documents with other Mac and PC users, or you have at least 3 Macs in your household I would say that Office 2008 is the right choice. Otherwise iWorks is more than adequate for the casual and less demanding user.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 18, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Okay, everybody needs to open and save documents in the various office formats. But there are a lot of options right now: you can dual-boot into windows, or run windows in a VM such as VMware Fusion 2 or Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac. You can use OpenOffice, which is a free open source office suite. or, of course, you can run the MS Office suite on your Mac sans-windows using Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac.

Personally, I do need to use Word and PowerPoint and Excel both at home and at work, and it's especially nice to have a native app, because I don't like running a VM if I don't have to (maybe if my laptop were newer I wouldn't mind letting a VM run idle all the time, but I so rarely use it that it seems silly). Also, VM's tend to drain batteries on laptops, so I like to avoid using one when I'm not plugged in to the wall. Interestingly, I often needed something other than Office 2007 for Windows because everyone else in the world had upgraded past 2007, and 2007 doesn't open the newer .docx file formats without downloading converters ... I've used Apple's Pages, Apple's TextEdit, and Sun's OpenOffice and of course MS Office 2008 for Mac. To make a long story short: there are a lot of options and I've tried them all. So read on:

FEATURES: Just what you'd expect: every feature, button, option, pallet, style, etc is available. They're also very accessible (not a UI masterpiece, but since we've all been trained to the Office UI since birth, you'll be able to find everything you need). 5 stars.

FILE COMPATIBILITY: No problems that I've found. Yet. I'd used older Office:Mac versions and never ran into file formatting issues there either, so I'll give the benefit of the doubt that I'll have a similar experience. Especially considering that MS now uses a fairly well documented xml file format (hence the new 'x' at the end of all your file names). 5 stars.

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE: Launches fairly quickly, works well, scrolls smoothly, etc. Overall the app performs to the standards you'd expect. A bit slow opening large files (I wrote a 340 page book - and it opened in a little under 20 seconds. In fact you should buy it, just for reference ;-) Cluck: Murder Most Fowl ... anyway - 4 stars.

PROGRAM COMPATIBILITY: Here I have a major complaint. I'm running a MacBook Pro with a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo, and 2GB of RAM. I'm a computer guy, I work for an information security company, I keep things patched and updated and running clean ... and ever since installing this, my system has been running slower. I should have known better than to provide an admin password during install, as there's no reason that an office suite needs that level of access. When Word or PowerPoint is running, it seems to get worse. There are always 2 Microsoft processes running, one of which consumes about 2% of my CPU no matter what. This is bearable overall, but it earns the product a 1-star rating for this category.

DOCUMENT DESIGN: Just in case anyone is looking for Word to create flyers and such, I want to say that if you are, look elsewhere. Word is notoriously bad at formatting anything other than text-based documents. If you own a Mac and need these types of features, get iWork '09 and use Pages, which is great at creating vivid and lively brochures, resumes, menus, etc. I'm not providing a star rating for this category, because Word should never be evaluated in this category by a Mac user (and this is Office for Mac, after all).

ENTOURAGE: A decent enough mail app, but again, why not just use Mail? It comes with your Mac, and in about three months from now (in Sep 2009) Mail will support the few remaining Exchange features that Entourage can handle (and even entourage doesn't handle exchange accounts that well, IMO). So again, no star rating here: only use entourage if your IT guy makes you. Wait, this is the Home & Student edition, so unless you're Bill Gates, you aren't running an exchange server in your home. And if your school is running exchange, transfer. Quickly.

OVERALL the product works, and the minor inconvenience of slowing things down will probably go unnoticed (or less noticed) on newer Macs than mine. However, this flaw is largely responsible for bringing a 4.5 star overall rating down to 3 stars.
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