Focus on Office:mac 2008

Created: Thursday, January 3, 2008, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 9:17 am

The release of Office:mac 2008 is less than two weeks away, and already there’s plenty of coverage on the product:

Stephen H. Wildstrom on does not believe that “Office 2008 will cause many people to switch from Windows to Macs, though there are plenty of other reasons to do so. But it does give Mac users—especially creative professionals, students, and home users who are the core of Apple’s market—an office suite that’s superior to the Windows version in many ways”.

Michael J. Miller on his PC Magazine blog writes about how “the most notable change across all the applications is to the user interface. Office 2007 on Windows moved away from the traditional pull-down menu approach, but Office 2008 for Mac is more conservative. It still has the pull-down menus, along with some quick icons for commonly used commands. But some other changes move the UI in new ways. A revamped floating toolbox works as a formatting palette and also gives you access to things like object shapes, reference tools like a thesaurus or a direct link to Encarta”.

Elsa Wenzel of CNET Reviews is not too happy about how “Office for Mac saves work in the same new Open XML formats used by Office 2007 for Windows. We’re not thrilled about this being the default option, even though you can save your work in the older DOC, XLS, and PPT formats. Free file conversion tools won’t be available until up to 10 weeks from now, or eight weeks after the applications are available in stores. That means that for now, should you save work in a new Open XML format in a hurry, someone with the older software won’t be able to open it”.

Jim Dalrymple of Computerworld delves into individual program improvements. About PowerPoint 2008, he finds that “the updated presentation application includes several new features specific to Mac users. For example, users can now send their presentations to iPhoto and then sync them to an iPod. (The presentations need to be saved as a PNG or JPEG file prior to transfers.) PowerPoint also takes advantage of the six-button Apple remote that comes with most new Mac systems, allowing users to control their presentations”.

Walt Mossberg’s All Things Digital column explains that “despite the fierce rivalry between Microsoft and Apple, there is one product on which the two companies work closely together: the Macintosh version of Microsoft Office. Microsoft makes a nice chunk of change from this software suite, which includes Mac versions of the famous Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs. Apple needs the Microsoft office suite so its Macintosh computers can live in harmony with the dominant Windows world”.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint

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