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on May 31, 2013
I've been using Office 2011 for about a month now. I am running the latest version of OS 10.8 and I have installed the latest update for Office. Here are my observations:

Word: I reliably lose the ability to copy text and can only correct the problem by restarting Word. In addition, Word 2011 has crashed more in a month than 2008 crashed in 3 years. Combined with the loss of the Formatting Palette, of which I was big fan, I consider Word to be a giant step backwards...nice job Microsoft.

PowerPoint and Excel: No crashing or functionality problems, but I also have not discovered any real advantages over 2008. Perhaps there are some, but I haven't stumbled into them. These are neutral, but I still miss the very functional Formatting Palette.

Outlook: Connecting to Exchange server was easy and it works fine. I have had no issues with my IMAP accounts, and the Calendar works especially well. This is a nice upgrade from Entourage.

Overall: The functionality is at best okay. After two years on the market, though, it's unbelievable that Microsoft can't make Word work reliably, especially on a function as used as Copy. I don't recommend upgrading unless you *really* need Outlook. And since Outlook which doesn't come with the Home Edition, I find no reason to give up functionality AND reliability.
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on April 20, 2012
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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on October 16, 2012
Had to get on line help to get Outlook to work. Disappointed that Calendar, etc., won't sync with Google. Like interface, and used to working with this product, but MS makes changes w/o other considerations.
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on March 1, 2017
Works as intended, able to open files generated by 2016 version. I refuse to spend big bucks for a subscription fee to M$.
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on March 20, 2013
I find Office for Mac very helpful for what I need, both for personal and business use. I mostly use Word, Excel and Outlook. I was reluctant to buy this product for a long time because I felt like having a Mac computer with Microsoft software would defeat the purpose of an Apple product. So I used free software to open and work on Word and Excel files, but it was not nearly as useful, and had some issues with characters compatibility (for example, I would use bullet points, and Word would convert them into bullet points that made my work look sloppy, and it was just unacceptable to not know how the recipient would see my documents).

Office for Mac 2011 includes Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point and Messenger (that I have never opened). If you like templates, Excel includes probably over 20 templates to choose from, and Word must have hundreds. The design, look and feel are not like what you see on a PC. It is Apple-like, of course, but you can use it the same way.

All in all, I am happy I ended up making this purchase because I don't have to worry about compatibility and how other software would change characters, format, etc. It has worked just fine until now. It meets my needs, and the download was pretty easy, too.

Hope this helps!
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on July 1, 2015
I would have given it five stars if only the Word and Excel 2004 look-and-feel had been retained. That said this is a MUCH better product than anything Microsoft has put out since Vista. Many of the really goofy changes have been filtered out or toned down so that the product has preserved usability lost to some of its siblings. Apple seems to be looking out for its users and not letting vendors experiment on us at will. It also opens and saves those goofy docX files in more compatible formats that interface with translation tools used by professional linguists. I have to use both platforms in order to get anything done anymore, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
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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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on August 24, 2017
I was working for a friend at her home business and she needed me to have these programs on my computer to help her get organized. It was easy to install and came with the essential programs that I needed to get the job done. (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Office)
I would HIGHLY recommend this product to anyone that has a Mac and needs these programs.
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on February 9, 2013
Office is one of those products one buys because one has to. Word has become the industry standard in the publishing industry, so I have to have it. Feature bloat and the fact that the developers seem to move buttons and menu options and change keyboard shortcuts from each version to the next make upgrading a real hassle.

Excel has some great new formatting options that make it easier to use, but converting my old spreadsheets from Office 2004 to 2011 munged much of my conditional formatting. Hassle.

Word is still the best word processor on the planet, but the find command is now seriously messed up. Instead of opening the full-featured Find and Replace dialog box, command-F opens a search field at the top of the window. Getting to the full-feature Replace box requires using option-command-F to open the Find dialog and then clicking the Replace tab. As far as I have been able to discern, there is no way to assign a keyboard shortcut that invokes the replace dialog directly. Hassle

Entourage, which was originally called Outlook, is now called Outlook again. It's still a great mail/calendar/to do app, but it lacks iPad integration. No hassle, I just use other apps instead.

PowerPoint is a bit easier to use than before, once you get past the hassle of all the buttons being in new places.

I like the new Office, but I don't love it.
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on April 8, 2011
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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