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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 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 January 5, 2011
First of all, I'd like to state that I worked in the defense industry for 25 years building aircraft carriers and submarines before joining my wife's woman-owned small business, where we do government contracting and professional certification training (PMP, CSEP, etc.). As a result, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are critical tools of the trade, and their Mac counterparts, while good for Mac users, don't really cut it in this environment. Overall, Office 2011 is much better than Office 2008, but no where close to being as good as Office 2007 or 2010, unfortunately.

Like many others who have been hit by the Apple "Halo" effect, e.g. - bought an iPhone when they came out in 2007, loved it, bought an Apple Airport Extreme Base station, found it to be one of the best routers ever, bought an iPad, love that too, I switched to a Mac. I was told - no big deal, Office 2008 is available, and you won't miss a beat. That was completely untrue! I had recently learned Office 2007 and loved the ribbon, and found that Microsoft did not use it in Office 2008! Big mistake. So I waited with great anticipation for Microsoft 2011 to come out and bring the ribbon back. The problem? They again had to try to reinvent the wheel! Rather than simply make the interface the same as Office 2010, someone at Microsoft had to try to over-think it, and make it different. This frustrates me to no end! People that want Office on the Mac do so because they more than likely have a Mac at home and are forced to use a PC at work, so they want COMMONALITY, not Microsoft's attempt to make their product different (or for "Mac" users). I have used both 2007 and 2010 versions of the ribbon, and have no trouble navigating them easily. I actually love the ribbon concept! However, in 2011 for the Mac, Microsoft removed some features, possibly in favor of adding taskbars to it, a feature similar to Office 2008. Bad idea. I also hate the fact that Microsoft went from the 2007 ribbon having a nice blue color to a boring, dull gray color in 2011 (again, more Mac like?).

Here are a few other concerns I have come across over the last few months using Office 2011:

Outlook (by far the Office 2011 product with the most problems):
What I like: I really missed Outlook when I moved to the Mac! Apple Mail is basically a "forgotten" program, as Apple hasn't made any improvements to it in a long time. I hated the fact that I had to find a plug in (e.g. WideMail) to allow me to preview emails in Portrait mode rather than landscape at the bottom of my screen, which is truly ridiculous because everyone's screens are wider than tall. I also missed the standard Outlook interface, which I am happy to have back (for the most part). Now for the problems....

1. BIG PROBLEM: Outlook won't sync my calendar with my iPhone! You must be using Exchange server, if not, you're out of luck. That's a huge problem for many truly small businesses that are not on Exchange Server. It also won't sync with Gmail or MobileMe. That's a HUGE step back for many business users.

2. When I submit Government proposals, I use delivery receipts and read receipts to ensure my electronic submittal was delivered by the deadline, and to provide a historical record of that. Office 2011 for the Mac DOES NOT OFFER THIS CAPABILITY!

3. I continuously get error messages with my Gmail sync that some messages "could not be FETCHed (failure)". Why? And then I find out on my iPhone that I have received some emails that are not showing up in Outlook.

4. The wording in the body of some meeting notices is garbled, and it isn't in others. Microsoft does not have an answer to this problem yet. My guess? I have noticed that meeting invites that come from others who are on Exchange Server come through correctly, while those who aren't, don't. I have shared this with Microsoft, but have yet to hear back.

5. I was syncing my address book so that my iPhone would stay in sync, and one day my contacts started replicating. I went from 800 to over 4,000 (had a similar problem with Entourage). I called Apple and they told me they are not supporting Office 2011 yet and recommend I cancel the sync function.

6. Now that I have Outlook 2011 on my iMac, I wanted to consider Microsoft's CRM solution that is supposedly integrated with Outlook, so I registered for the beta program. After clicking on the link for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, it said:

"We're sorry! Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 SP1 or later. Please sign up using a supported browser such as the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer."

Such as???? There is no supported version of IE for the Mac.

7. I have received the message "Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience". At least they apologize, but this has happened numerous times.

8. My auto-signature for HTML emails looks fine, but somehow ends up have double line spacing in it for text emails and ends up looking ridiculous. The line spacing changes automatically for some unknown reason. I had to create a second auto-signature, which I titled "RTF" to use in non HTML emails.

9. Another common error message: "SyncServicesAgent has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience."

10. Amazing! In the MIDDLE OF WRITING THIS REVIEW, AN ERROR MESSAGE POPPED UP in Outlook. I use multiple screens, and I keep email open on the one to the left. While typing this, the following error message came up: "Microsoft Office Reminders has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience". And, what's worse, every time it completes sending the error report and restarts, the error occurs all over again (it's stuck in an error loop).

Word:

1. Biggest disappointment for me is again the ribbon. I added two pictures to the images and video section of this webpage so you can see what I'm referring to.

PowerPoint:

1. Remember the advertisement from Microsoft, that you should be able to hold your Office for PC document up to the light alongside your Office 2011 for the Mac document and see no difference? Well, that failed on a file we sent to OfficeMax for reproduction! We had a PPTX file that contained a number of images and text boxes, and while it looked fine in Office 2011, it went outside the borders in Office 2010. Worthy goal, unachieved.
-------------------------------

While I will continue to use Office 2011, I have to reiterate how frustrated I am that MS didn't simply make Office 2011's ribbon interface the same as Office 2010. I deducted two stars for this. I also deducted a star for the lack of calendar integration, that's a huge issue!

I'd really like that message to get to the right person at MS, as I enjoy both Microsoft AND Apple products - whatever the best tool is for the job at hand.

In closing, with all of the problems I'm having in Outlook, I almost feel like an Outlook beta tester. In fact, I'dl like to be on the beta test team to help MS resolve these issues once and for all! Good luck.
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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 November 8, 2013
I bought this because I needed to use it for work. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered.

Word, for all its features and compatibility, is often a frustrating piece of software that behaves in unpredictable ways. For example, I recently worked on a document where I found myself having to split cells in a table because the original author had used returns to line up the text in the different columns. Though I didn't add any returns myself (in fact, I deleted extra returns wherever II could), Word somehow added nearly two pages of blank columns to my table. In another instance, some weird interaction between Word's "Track Changes" feature and the document I was working on increased the indentation of the text in a table by several levels, so that the table ended up occupying several pages, with each column consisting of rows and rows of single characters. Since selecting the entire table and changing the levels of indentation caused the entire table to shift (rather than its contents), I had to go through and manually change the indentation in each cell.

Admittedly, those are relatively extreme samples. Still, Word's formatting often functions in inconsistent, unpredictable ways that make it frustrating to use. If it weren't for the fact that the folks sending me the original documents are also using Word (necessitating that I also use it, to ensure 100% compatibility), I'd use OpenOffice exclusively.
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on June 4, 2011
DO yourself a favor.....

I strongly suggest given all the problems with Outlook 2011 on the MAC.
(Just Google "Mac outlook 11 problems"), you buy the product with 3
licenses of Word, Excel and Powerpoint as these are indeed worth the upgrade,
but I am still using Entourage for my Exchange connectivity, and I have
the option "Sync with ical" enabled in 2008. I sync with the Exchange server
directly on my Iphone. My ical's on Mobileme, and the Exchange
from Entourage sync up to Mobileme, hence my home MBP and Ipad all
have all my ical's up to date and exchange from my work MBP.

Or you can buy this version and wait for MS to fix the problems
which are too numerous to list here, but too bad for me to use period.
It's a 1.0 product from Microsoft with one patch... also, it is very
far short from Windows Outlook, so be warned. I am disappointed right
now. Hope in the future to update this review but just like Apple,
MS don't listen too well either...

*** UPDATE 12/26/2011 ***

Well it does appear that MS has fixed a whole lot of things first broken
with Outlook 2001! Since Lion came out, and Entourage 2008 is not supported
anymore, I had a choice of using Apple Mail, or Outlook. Wanting to keep my
Business Exchange mail separate from my personal Apple Mail, I connected
2011 Outlook with MS exchange under LION 20.7 Mac OS X, and it has worked
flawlessly. Granted it does not have all the features of Windows Outlook,
but it has everything I need for work. Outlook Mail, Cal and address book
work well, and it integrates quite nicely with my Apple ical as I like to
add the Exchange server Caldav to my apple ical so I can keep an eye on my
multiple personal calendars, and my business calendar at the same time.

Very nice! Give it a whirl. 2 thumbs up for Microsoft's Outlook updates!
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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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