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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2010
In general, I think Office 2011 is a good upgrade to 2008. A lot of the deficiences in Office 2008 have been addressed, and the application is a bit more "mac like".

PROS:

Probably the biggest change people will see out of the gate are interface changes. I think the move to a more "ribbon like" interface was a good one, that helps keep everything you want together (especially on multiple monitors), but the formatting toolbars are still around if you want to back to those.

Help is now Apple help based, all versions support Automator actions, apps are much more friendly to spaces, spotlight and time machine, VBA is back, etc.

Outlook is a great addition if you're connecting your Mac to an Exchange server at work, and is actually pretty decent on it's own. I think I may actually prefer it to Mail.app, but we'll see how my thoughts are over a longer time scale.

CONS:

Office 2011 is now intel only, but considering the fact that Apple has also started dropping PowerPC support, I don't think that's a huge deal.

Licensing has changed for the business version, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on your situation. Office 2008 let you install a copy on a desktop and a portable computer. Office 2011 now comes in a "1 license" and "2 license" version. If you don't have 2 computers, this might be a positive thing for you, but if you've got a desktop and a laptop, you're probably not too happy about it.

Office 2011 also does require activation, although that's quick and painless. I'm sure some people won't like it though.
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102 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2010
Since getting Outlook 2011 is the reason I purchased Office 2011 for the Mac, I'm writing my review only about that component of the suite. I've spent the day using it, and in general, I'm disappointed. While it does look appealing and runs fast, I think Microsoft has slimmed it down too much from Entourage. For example, there is no "resend" option for messages, a feature that I use a lot so that I don't have to copy & paste e-mail that I want to send out to a few people but not as a blind group. Next, while one can still marginally re-configure the toolbar, it's very limited. For example, I find the delete button is in a very awkward position (for me), but I can't move it. And finally, I miss not seeing any feedback while the program is checking for mail (unless you go to the trouble of checking the progress window). I'll spend more time with Outlook, but at this point, I'm seriously considering going back to Entourage. I've never had this experience before with a Microsoft product for the Mac, and I've been using them since they first started making them.
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57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 3, 2010
I work at a company where most of us are assigned Lenovo laptops running WinXP, but the clever people use their own Macs. I was part of a small pilot that were assigned Macs, although many of the business apps require a Windows VM to work. I tired of the poor performance of the apps, so I bought my own Windows laptop.

I've always wanted to be able to use the Mac full time, primarily for the coolness factor. But there are so many shortcomings, I just couldn't do it. Even with the arrival of Office 2011, the short battery life (this is a 3-year old MBP) and lack of a right-click button try my patience. I thought that with a new version of Outlook, I might be able to make the switch. However, after using Outlook 2010 for a year now on Windows 7, this Mac version seems like two steps back. Here are a few of my observations:

LIKES
Reading pane in conversation view shows first line of all messages in conversation (mail)

DISLIKES
No OneNote (global)
No side-by-side calendar (calendar)
No auto-population of shared calendars and calendar hierarchy (calendar)
No drag and drop of emails to calendar (mail/calendar)
No business card view (contacts)
No folder view (global)
No icon view; weird since this is the default view for many Mac things (notes)
Can't distinguish between new emails and replies for auto-signature (preferences)
Can't open two windows, e.g., Calendar on one screen, Inbox on another (global)
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
Don't waste your money! If there was a zero star rating for Outlook, that's what I would have given it. I paid extra to have the MS Office for Mac Home and Business version because it included Outlook. However I am so disgusted with Outlook that- after rebuilding my identity twice and spending hours trying to figure out how to debug this product, I finally removed the application from my dock and will use Apple Mail as my default e-mail reader from now on. Here's my experience within one month of installation:
Within a week or so of use, Outlook flashed me an error notice saying that it had to redo my database or something similar--I dont' recall the exact message. But there was a click-to-repair button which I clicked on and after a few minutes it seemed ready to go. But later in the day I got the same error message again, forcing me to click the repair button again. This time the fix took way longer. Finally, after doing this a third time, Outlook simply refused to launch. The opening screen would flash for a fraction of a second but then nada.

So I Googled the problem and found lots of posts by people who had the same issue. I found information on how to rebuild my identity database from scratch. The major problem with this solution is that I had to rebuild my extensive database of contacts from scratch and my history of previous e-mails would not be in the new identity. This is way more than an inconvenience if you are running a business from your home computer. Good thing I had a duplicate database of my most important contacts in my Apple Address Book, so I used the Outlook sync function to access those. But when I tried to add the more detailed profile information for each contact (having this capability is why I purchased the business version of MS Office in the first place) I was locked out. The message in the notes field said something about not being connected to the right kind of server. But all the info I entered when setting up my e-mail accounts was correct, so I had no clue what this application wanted from me and there was no info box that told me how to fix the problem. I Googled this problem too, and found posts by others who had the same issue, but no one seemed to know a fix. So, basically I couldn't use Outlook to build the detailed business database I purchased the software for in the first place. But at least I could send and receive e-mails--for a few more weeks.

But, a few days ago Outlook failed me again. This time the little multi-colored fan started spinning whenever I was typing an e-mail message. I'd get stopped mid-sentence and then have to wait for the little rainbow wheel to stop spinning before I could finish my sentence. This happened almost every fifth word and it has been going on intermittently for days. So after last night, I've finally had ENOUGH. As far as I am concerned, MS Outlook for Mac is completely useless. So, unless you are a computer programmer, or have an IT person on staff who knows how to fix these multiple issues (by the way, the tech guys at my local Mac Outfitter store couldn't fix it either), find another solution for your e-mail and spare yourself the headaches and your business significant downtime.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2010
After researching and reading all the reviews, I decided to go with this poorly reviewed product because of the pst import feature into Outlook 2011.

Amazon states under product features: "Outlook for Mac 2011: Outlook 2011 lets you see your calendar from within your e-mail, read related e-mails in a single thread, import PST files ..."

MS is even more emphatic in how easy it is to import pst files (including email, contacts and calendar).

I purchased the product solely for the supposed ease of transferring Outlook pst. I installed MS Office 2011 and all went fine until I tried to import the pst file - this crashed Outlook and I cannot get Outlook back. MS has suggested all the usual stuff (delete database, re-install MS Office, etc.) and nothing works.

I am enraged that MS can sell a product with a clear lie.

It is incredible that after using my Mac for a week without any problem I started having problems about 5 minutes after I installed MS Office (no problems with Excel or Word, but the sole purpose of this purchase was Outlook and it's import pst function).

********************************

Update 1/21/2011 - Microsoft returned my money and, at the same time as they were processing the refund, they fixed the problem. I therefore have bought the product again; mostly because it now allows me to easily move 9 years of emails into my Mac (warning: emails in the "sent" folder ended up losing the "to" part, but that was only a few so if you file them in another folder then it didn't seem to happen).
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
DO NOT UPGRADE until Microsoft fixes the resizing issue. When you open old documents, the new version resizes the window (not the worksheet, which is an easy fix) and you cannot see or use the bottom of the window. That's where your page tabs are and the "resize" the window corner, bottom right corner. You can't go to another page or do ANYTHING about the size. You're stuck with a HUGE LONG window that you can't resize. Sure, you can scroll down, but only so far and only on the page of the worksheet that was saved. So far, Microsoft isn't doing anything to fix this problem because they say it isn't affecting enough people. Well, it's affecting everyone...so get off your bottoms and fix it, please. It sucks! Until then, SAVE YOUR MONEY!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2010
Since outlook is the only difference between this more expensive single license "professional" version and the 3-license "home and student" edition, I'll limit my review to Outlook - and it's not favorable.

I was a day-of-release buyer of the pro version because I had felt that apple's mail, calender and address book were lesser versions of the components of outlook for windows, and as an independent contractor (attorney) who VPN's to one client in a windows environment (via my imac), while working with other clients on the mac side, I wanted the uniformity.

I should have known from the painfully slow and poorly executed import of mail to outlook that I was in trouble. Then it took several hours to set up outlook's mail (just a straight import and set-up - nothing to do with the VPN account at all) - and after 30 days I never did get one account to send. The organization of inboxes is remarkably bad - emails are grouped in an inbox for "on my computer" (who knows what this is supposed to mean - for me it meant my yahoo and 4 godaddy accounts were inexplicably combined into one inbox) and an inbox in my case for my mobileme account. You can have several identities (distinct inboxes per email account) - which microsoft has the nerve to fashion as a"feature", but you would have to completely log out of outlook and sign in under the new identity (then log out and log back in under another one) every time.

I'm sure other reviewers will have an extensive list of misses - mine would include (1) cannot import contacts from address book to outlook (2) I missed vonage callback, and (3) iphoto email share does not work with outlook.

Beyond these annoyances, I started experiencing problems about a week or 2 into using outlook. Some microsoft database was corrupted (according to a warning I received) and was rebuilt with a few clicks. Around this time I got a few "unexpectedly quit" problems and maybe a freeze or 2. Then the total breakdown the day before thanksgiving - corrupted database that could not be rebuilt. I spent a day or two trying to recover databases, did a full removal/reinstall of office, restores from time machine backups, etc. - and, ultimately lost 30 days worth of emails and way too much of my time.

Word and Excel are great - I'll just be careful not to open outlook.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2011
UPDATE: If you have been a user of the PC version of Microsoft Office Products, then I highly recommend that you try the trial version of this product before you make a horrible mistake! Once you convert your PST file from the PC version to the Mac version, there is no way to convert the file (OLM) back to the PC version (PST) file! Hopefully, Microsoft will come with a tool that does this; which they likely will because of the all the customers that will be very, very unhappy with the Mac version, which is very, very lacking! No automatic archive, email HTML editing will take you back to the 90's, no "undo" button if you are composing in a window away from the main program, and does no longer sync with MobileMe--nor is it likely to do so anytime in the near future. So now my iPhone is not up-to-date. I am very, very unhappy with Office 2011 for Mac!!

I admit it, I am a power user of Microsoft Office products, having used them since the first version. And I realize that the Mac versions have always been behind at least a couple of generations from the PC versions. However, the Outlook 2011 for Mac has only about 2/3s of the features of the PC version. I use a MacBook Pro running Parallels desktop with both Windows 7 Ultimate and Snow Leopard, so I can go either way. After I saw the new version of 2011 Office for Mac FINALLY included Outlook, I bought it and now, after struggling with it for almost a month, I wish I had never wasted my money on it! It appears that Microsoft just gave Outlook 2011 the bare, rudimentary features--just enough that they could give it the name; however they should have named it Outlook 2003 for Mac, as that is almost what it is comparable to in the PC version.

If you have the option, you are much better off to use almost any Windows version of Office and avoid the Mac version. If it is not an option, Outlook 2011 for Mac is a better option than the one included with on your Mac; however that is kind of like voting and picking the lesser evil for a political candidate! If you are a sophisticated user, get Parallels and Windows on your Mac and go for Office 2010 and save yourself a lot of frustration! The expression "ignorance is bliss" applies here, if you have never used the PC versions of Office, you won't miss the additional features missing from Office 2011 for Mac.

Let me elaborate a little: no undo button on the Mac version, the composing features (especially in HTML mode) are extremely lacking and spam? Prepare to be flooded with spam as there are no viable spam filters available! If you want to be productive in an high productive office environment, use one of the PC versions of Microsoft Office, even Office 2007 is much, much better than Office 2011 for Mac!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I purchased Office for Mac recently to use on my MacBook Pro. After three months, my experiences have been nothing short of disastrous!

I have been using Outlook as my default email software. Twice in six weeks Outlook has suddenly and inexplicably shut down and refused to re-open. As a result, I have literally lost access to months of emails, all my contacts, tasks, calendar etc. I need to refer to for my business and my personal accounting etc. Each time, I have also had to spend almost a day reconstituting a new email filing system trying rescue a few crucial past emails.

When I purchased Office for Mac Home and Business 2011 in theory it came with one year's technical support included. However, in practice, Microsoft has not been available to provide any customer support. So I have had to deal with this software disaster on my own. The first time, they could recommend no effective way of reopening my stubbornly forever closed Outlook program. They merely helped me to open a new one - leaving me with the messy problem of reconstituting my files. The second time, Microsoft actually asked me to pay them in advance before they would give me any customer support! I refused and decided to drop Outlook completely. Instead, I purchased Bento 4 to use with Apple's Mail email software instead.

I strongly advise anyone thinking of buying Office for Mac to think again. This is one of the shoddiest products Microsoft has ever produced. It is also a pity that Microsoft has not learned from Apple about customer support. I am sure that Applecare would have helped me fix this problem had it been with an Apple product.

Buyer Beware!

April 16 2011 Update of my earlier review :
I have just spent half an hour trying to use Excel spreadsheet on Office for Mac 2011. Every ten minutes or so, Excel suddenly closes down without warning and I lose all the data I have inputed. I am going to keep going because, for now, i have no choice. But I plan to seek out another non-Microsoft spreadsheet program that works on a Mac very soon.
All in all, my growing experience with Office for Mac is getting worse and worse. This is the absolutely worst software program I have every used in over 25 years of working with computers!! If I could I would give it zero stars!

Excel just crashed four more times - wiping out my data each time! So, I just ordered iWork on Amazon Prime. Hopefully I can migrate fully away from this awful Microsoft software very soon now!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I recently completed the MS Office 2011 Home and Business update to Service Pack 2 (SP2) and wanted to provide everyone with an update. My main work computers are all Mac variants, from MacBook Airs (primary) to 27" i7 iMacs (secondary), and all systems are running OS X 10.7.3 (Lion) with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM. I have one Lenovo T410 laptop running Win 7 and MS Office 2010.

PROS:

1. Absolutely SOLID Outlook performance improvement! Outlook was incredibly slow and fairly crash prone in Service Pack 1 (so frustrating that I nearly moved back to OS X Mail). However, I have to say that the performance improvements that MS put into Outlook under SP2 are genuinely impressive. Outlook is extremely fast now, with no lag time in operations (e.g. moving files to folders, simply looking at a different folder) that used to take 5-10 seconds to perform. While I haven't measured it, I'd go out on a limb and say that performance is equal to or better than Outlook 2010 running on my Windows machine).

2. IMAP SSL/TLS is now working properly (yay)! While I didn't see any mention of this in the release notes, my problematic, failed SSL connections with my hosted Exchange services have now disappeared and I'm now fully using SSL/TLS for secure connections.

3. Significantly improved stability of all applications. I was having some minor crashing and/or hanging issues with Outlook and Word prior to the upgrade, but haven't had a single hang or crash since the upgrade, knock on wood. While this is purely a subjective metric, the overall "feel" of all applications in the suite is that they are simply "unencumbered" and better "honed". The applications are quick, efficient, and get out of the way allowing me to focus on my work -- isn't that what a productivity suite is supposed to do?

CONS:

1. In the SP2 upgrade, Outlook performs a database upgrade which takes a pretty substantial amount of time (I have a gazillion messages, so maybe the time was just due to the volume of my mail). Once the upgrade is done, you'll want to check Missing body text in Sent folder messages as I discovered that messages over five months in age only retained their headers -- the body text of these message are now missing. Any messages which I truly needed copies of, regardless of sender (me or someone else), were archived at time of transmission on the Mac in a personal folder (i.e. PST), so I didn't lose too much as those messages were unaffected...

2. For whatever strange reason, Microsoft is still hobbling Office for Mac by not ensuring feature parity with the Windows version of Office. There are many little things that count (calendar management is different, drag-and-drop message management is different, etc). I could care less what operating system I am using, the Office suite should operate EXACTLY the same way on any machine. If MS wants to "Macify" Office with a motif that is more consistent with OS X, then that's great (and welcome). But, there is no excuse for not have a virtually identical Office implementation on a Mac and Windows machine. Having said that, Office 2011 is SIGNIFICANTLY closer than Office 2008 and probably represents a 95% parity with Windows Office 2010.

ADVICE:

1. I think this suite is solid enough to give it a solid 4-star rating. Again, with very little relearning (from Windows to OS X), you should be able to pick up this suite and be productive in short order. Even if you purchase the boxed version of the software, it will automatically update when installed, so you'll get SP2 right out of the chute...

2. The SP2 update is EXCELLENT and really supercharged the applications to the point that they no longer "get in the way", but rather now simply do what they need to do without frustration. The Outlook updates at A+. Stability so far has been A+.

3. MAKE SURE YOU BACKUP YOUR MACHINE PRIOR TO PERFORMING THE SP2 UPGRADE! I have no idea if the old messages in the Sent folder(s) are still there completely, or if there are just headers there, but this may impact some users with a strong need for access to historical messages. Having a backup will allow you to recover sent messages if you really need them.

Hope this review helps in your decision!
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