Microsoft Office for the Mac – Take Two

Microsoft Office 2008Since I first started using Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac and wrote about it, I have noticed two things. First, one or more of the programs locks up and crashes at least once a day. That means Excel, Word, or Entourage goes toes up and dies. This doesn’t happen to me with Office 2004. I should note here that I am using Office 2008 on a Mac Book with Leopard. At home, I am still using Office 2004 on a G4 iBook with Tiger. But back to the lock-ups. I cannot find any correlation between the occurrences. I have had them when I am just typing along, but also when I go to insert an attachment or save a document. Truly random.

The second thing I have discovered, and this is really evident because I switch back and forth, there is nothing in the new version that I miss when using the older version. The single thing that is really missing is the better group calendaring in the new Entourage, but since I don’t use that at home it means nothing. At the office, being able to check other people’s Exchange based calendars has been great. It is also nice to be able to directly open and save to the new Office format, but I think I have done that exactly once in the past few weeks. Not something worth paying for a new upgrade for. And certainly not something worth putting up with the program crashes for. And I have actually need the Excel macros that now won’t run twice. So feature deletion beats feature addition 2-1.

So, all-in-all after almost a month’s use I would say that unless you need that Entourage calendaring, then the new upgrade is more of a “proceed cautiously” than a “must have.” In fact, the thing I am most excited about is the supposed new version of OpenOffice.org that will be native Mac Aqua application instead of having to run through the X11 system. When and if that hits the wires, I may just switch entirely.

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