Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Jan 2008 23:01 UTC
Features, Office Ars reviews Office:Mac 2008, and concludes: "Perhaps the best thing that can be said about software that one uses in the course of working is that even if it doesn't make the work fun, it doesn't make it any worse, and that's certainly the story with Office 2008. Those spreadsheets, presentations and software reviews won't write themselves, but now it's a deal easier to make them look like they did. That it does that in just the way you'd want a great Macintosh program to behave is good news for Office workers."
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Good work Microsoft
by CrazyDude1 on Thu 3rd Jan 2008 23:49 UTC
CrazyDude1
Member since:
2007-09-17

Office:mac 2008 is really a nice product from Microsoft. The most important aspect is that the new Word produces really nice looking documents and that is a big plus in my eyes.

One thing I don't understand is that why they changed the ribbon. I prefer the Windows office 2007 style ribbon more.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good work Microsoft
by kaiwai on Fri 4th Jan 2008 00:06 UTC in reply to "Good work Microsoft"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

One thing I don't understand is that why they changed the ribbon. I prefer the Windows office 2007 style ribbon more.


Because the purpose is to create a Mac application, not a 'Windows application which has been ported and no one could be stuffed turning it into a Mac application".

That was the one big problem with previous versions; they were out of place or when they did try to make them more Mac OS in their behaviour, it failed miserably.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Good work Microsoft
by Johann Chua on Mon 7th Jan 2008 11:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Good work Microsoft"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Very ironic, considering that MS Office started as a Mac app.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good work Microsoft
by Doc Pain on Fri 4th Jan 2008 01:30 UTC in reply to "Good work Microsoft"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"The most important aspect is that the new Word produces really nice looking documents and that is a big plus in my eyes."

But this will not prevent users without any clue to produce documents that look like crap. In most cases, it's the user who determines the look of a document, not the word processor used. (The best word processor can only output garbare in terms of layout, typography, orthographical correctness and content if it is not used the way it should be, and, on the other hand, a mechanical typewriter can output a document where nobody will find any reason to complain if it is used correctly.) And it will not prevent users from putting a RAR archive that contains a video into a "Word" document and export it to HTML to e-mail it to somebody else, saying "Look at this video clip I found!" :-)

As always, typography isn't really one of MICROS~1 strengths, even if they develop something that should be used on Mac OS which is the top system for professional DTP and typesetting.

Just judging from the screenshots, it seems to waste much vertical space with the default set of icon bars.

I won't say it looks bad, because it does not look bad, and it seems to follow Mac OS X's native look and feel better than expected, while on the other hand it explicitely rejects them (e. g. sharpened corners while everything else is rounded), but I bet most OS X users will tend to use NeoOffice or OpenOffice instead of this expensive product that lacks some important standard compatibility and interoperability features...

From the article: "[...] the path of least resistance suggest[s] that using Word is for the best." -- Here, I would reply that the path of least resistance usually is the path into oblivion. :-) (Refer to human history for more examples.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good work Microsoft
by h3rman on Fri 4th Jan 2008 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Good work Microsoft"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

but I bet most OS X users will tend to use NeoOffice or OpenOffice instead of this expensive product that lacks some important standard compatibility and interoperability features...


This one does.
Most will.. if they know about it.
The Mac store sure won't tell 'em about NeoOffice, which is Just Fine (tm) for most people and rather stable too.

I get a tiny bit sad when the many new mac users out there pay a lot of money for MS Office for Mac when all they're ever going to do with it is.. well not that much (skip elaborate examples of stupid things people tend to do with WYSIWYGs).

Not every Mac user is a graphic designer.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Good work Microsoft
by CrazyDude1 on Fri 4th Jan 2008 07:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Good work Microsoft"
CrazyDude1 Member since:
2007-09-17

DocPain: First of all referring Microsoft as MICROS~1 etc shows your bias against them so your views really hold much lower credibility.

As far as looks of the document is concerned, my point is that if you make the exact same document in Word 2003 and then in Word 2007 (i.e. by doing the same things like same headings, same title etc), the document word 2007 produces is far better due to it's ability to do better layout, much more aesthetic fonts etc.

As a side note, Open office produces really crappy looking documents.

Edited 2008-01-04 07:09

Reply Score: 6

v RE[3]: Good work Microsoft
by raver31 on Fri 4th Jan 2008 08:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good work Microsoft"
RE[4]: Good work Microsoft
by andrewg on Fri 4th Jan 2008 08:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good work Microsoft"
andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

Open Office does not produce crappy looking documents

It does if you want to include charts in your document. Charts looked good in previous versions of MS Office but in 2007 and I am sure 2008 they look absolutely beautiful. Yes the charts in OpenOffice.org are functional but they are ugly.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Good work Microsoft
by sappyvcv on Fri 4th Jan 2008 10:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good work Microsoft"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Ah, so it's only ok to have less credibility when you take a jab at Microsoft. Cool.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Good work Microsoft
by raver31 on Fri 4th Jan 2008 11:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good work Microsoft"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I did not say that. Each of them is as bad as the other.

There is no place here for shills on wither side, but clearly you do not understand that either.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Good work Microsoft
by CrazyDude1 on Fri 4th Jan 2008 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good work Microsoft"
CrazyDude1 Member since:
2007-09-17

raver31: May be I am wrong but i sense a degree of anger reading your post. Take a chill pill. Some of us are able to appreciate good software irrespective of it's license or the company it is coming from.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Good work Microsoft
by raver31 on Sat 5th Jan 2008 01:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good work Microsoft"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Me angry ? no way, I am probably the only person who giggles when he is replying to half of the posts on this site.

I would not return to a site that I did not have a laugh on, and, there is a lot of people here who get very hot under the collar about their choices of applications/systems and think everyone should be using what they use, I am not one of them.

The one bad thing about posting in places like this, is that people cannot tell your intent just by the words you write on the screen. Some people stick loads of smileys in their posts, I don't think this helps much.

Sappyvvc thought I was having a jab at him too in my last post, nope, I had intended nothing of the sort.

Maybe I need to start including loads of 8^) in my posts or (giggles) at the end of the post.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Good work Microsoft
by sappyvcv on Fri 4th Jan 2008 13:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good work Microsoft"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Really? Then why use the words "so what?" in regards to the use of "MICROS~1"?

Also, I agree there is no place for shills. CrazyDude is clearly not a shill though. No offense to him, but he is not remotely professional enough to be a shill. I do understand, even if you want to claim and think otherwise. Thanks for the jab though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Good work Microsoft
by raver31 on Sat 5th Jan 2008 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good work Microsoft"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry, I honestly did not mean that to sound cheeky. See my post to Crazydude above.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good work Microsoft
by alexandru_lz on Fri 4th Jan 2008 12:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good work Microsoft"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

As far as looks of the document is concerned, my point is that if you make the exact same document in Word 2003 and then in Word 2007 (i.e. by doing the same things like same headings, same title etc), the document word 2007 produces is far better due to it's ability to do better layout, much more aesthetic fonts etc.

You mean that, if I use Comic Sans for my document, my document will suddenly look as if it was written by a 40-year old on Office 2008, as opposed to a 7-year old on 2003?

I don't get the "produces crappy looking documents". The fonts are the same, the formatting options are the same and so on. You could say this about a typesetting system that tries to clone TeX (and badly), but with a WYSIWYG -- sorry, the only one who produces crappy-looking documents is the user.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good work Microsoft
by Doc Pain on Fri 4th Jan 2008 15:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good work Microsoft"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"[...] sorry, the only one who produces crappy-looking documents is the user."

You're completely correct. The best tool cannot undo the mistakes its user makes. "Word", in the same way as NeoOffice or OpenOffice, offers standard templates for document parts and logical units (heading, subheading, paragraph, citation, emphasizing), but if the user tends to think "So this will be a heading... I click on 'bold font', then I raise the font size to 15, ah yes, and I like another font, and underlining. So now it looks funny", these functions are useless.

Can you imagine what joy it is to reformat a diploma thesis that "looks funny"? :-)

And don't tell me anything - I've seen it all when I was at the university. You cannot imagine what stange ideas some students have about form and content... the best word processor could not help them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good work Microsoft
by Doc Pain on Fri 4th Jan 2008 15:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good work Microsoft"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"DocPain: First of all referring Microsoft as MICROS~1 etc shows your bias against them so your views really hold much lower credibility."

Dear CrazyDude1, I always refer to them as MICROS~1 because it's kind of my individual style here at OSNews. This shows bias? Hmmm... maybe, but I tend to say I'm usually not interested in them at all because I don't use their products and I've never seen any need for them. On the other hand, I'm working in the IT sector so I know about problems others have with MICROS~1 products, I do head many complains. Maybe you do so, too. I think it's better to use MICROS~1 instead of screaming around "this shitty company produces bloaded malware to spread viruses and spam and dumbes down the users everywhere they can, abusing their monopoly" or similar things. My critics are not that harsh.

What does it say about my credibility? I invite you to have a look at my profile, and maybe you like to compare it to yours. I think this does say more than my use of MICROS~1.

Still I'm interested in what's going on in the region of commercial software, especially if they are made for Mac OS X, one of my favourite OS platforms, right next to UNIX. While "Office:mac"

Please note the fine difference between form and content. Read the content of my post attentively and don't care about the use MICROS~1, extend it to the name of your favourite company. :-)

"As far as looks of the document is concerned, my point is that if you make the exact same document in Word 2003 and then in Word 2007 (i.e. by doing the same things like same headings, same title etc), the document word 2007 produces is far better due to it's ability to do better layout, much more aesthetic fonts etc."

That's an interesting point. I applaud the use of aesthetic fonts (instead of the ones that are usually used on"Windows"). I hope the ability to do layout as it is intended to do will enable users to easily adopt to the concept of having a logically structured document.

Additionally, I've seen users creating two-column text first typing the left column up to the half width of the page, then going back to the first line, appending some spaces, and started typing the right column up to the page width. Can you imagine how crappy this must have looked, especially if the font face or font size needed to be changed? :-)

"As a side note, Open office produces really crappy looking documents."

Could you please explain how you've come to this opinion? As far as I know, the only one creating crappy documents is the user, and the best word processor cannot help a user who intendedly abuses the means provided by this application. You can produce crappy looking documents with any word processor if you try hard enough.

I've used OpenOffice in a multi-OS setting and I've never had any of such issues. But maybe it's up to who uses OpenOffice (the same way as who uses any tool - properly or not).

Maybe you will explain what you do understand by "crappy looking documents", defective fonts, distroted layout, formatting incompatibilities?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Good work Microsoft
by Chicken Blood on Fri 4th Jan 2008 17:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good work Microsoft"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21


I think it's better to use MICROS~1 instead of screaming around "this shitty company produces bloaded malware to spread viruses and spam and dumbes down the users everywhere they can, abusing their monopoly" or similar things. My critics are not that harsh.


There is another option. You could just say 'Microsoft' or 'MS' that would be the mature way to critique.

Unfortunately MICROS~1 is easily globbed with other terms used by ad-hominem simpletons like the following:

Microsoft
Microsoft
Winblows
Linsucks
Mactards

...etc, etc.

Edited 2008-01-04 17:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Good work Microsoft
by Doc Pain on Fri 4th Jan 2008 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good work Microsoft"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

" There is another option. You could just say 'Microsoft' or 'MS' that would be the mature way to critique."

Sorry, 'Microsoft' is too much to type, and I'm such a lazy guy. :-) And 'MS' is an abbreviation for multiple sclerosis (ICD-10 G35).

"Unfortunately MICROS~1 is easily globbed with other terms used by ad-hominem simpletons [...]"

I'm sad to hear this, but at least in OSNews' comments section I seem to be the only one who uses MICROS~1. Hey, don't care, it's just my individual kind of style. Like it or not, but focus on the content of my posts. The best form cannot compensate poor content. I do always shine because of educated content. :-)

Things like "Winblows" or "Linsucks" look a bit insulting to me, while MICROS~1 is more pleasant, I think, and at least it has been created by "Microsoft" (Wow, full name, premiere!) itself. So if they use it, why shouldn't I use it?

I hope the discussion is concluded now, because it's not worth talking about it, it doesn't matter, and I'm accustomed to this terminology anyway.

By the way, in Germany "Windows" usually is refered to as "Windoof" (pronounced "Vindouf") or "Windoofs", "doof" means stupid or silly in German. It's a common term, even glowing "Windows" enthusiasts tend to use it, and it's a fun to hear how they usually pronounce other english names of MICROS~1 products. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Good work Microsoft
by Nossie on Mon 7th Jan 2008 09:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good work Microsoft"
Nossie Member since:
2007-07-31

and 'chicken blood' is an insightful nickname also - how?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good work Microsoft
by chemical_scum on Fri 4th Jan 2008 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Good work Microsoft"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

As far as looks of the document is concerned, my point is that if you make the exact same document in Word 2003 and then in Word 2007 (i.e. by doing the same things like same headings, same title etc), the document word 2007 produces is far better due to it's ability to do better layout, much more aesthetic fonts etc.

If you want to produce good looking documents use LaTeX otherwise use a wordprocessor. Any old wordprocessor will do as long as the person the other end can read the format you send them.

Edited 2008-01-04 12:58

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good work Microsoft
by Doc Pain on Fri 4th Jan 2008 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good work Microsoft"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"If you want to produce good looking documents use LaTeX otherwise use a wordprocessor."

Hey, that's what I'm doing all the time. :-) But please note the fine difference between a professional typesetting suite (LaTeX & friends) with a clear difference between form and content and a WYSIWYG word processor which has such abilities, but they are usually never used ("microformatting"). Furthermore, LaTeX features the most capable intersystem file format: text. And it can produce PS and PDF out of the box, of course, that's why it's such a powerful tool.

"Any old wordprocessor will do as long as the person the other end can read the format you send them."

I was not talking about the file format, I was talking about the printed output, the thing you usually read. VBut of course you're right, file formats are important if you want to share your work. From my experience, PDF does a good job there if you want to keep the look of the document without requiring the one you will send it to to buy the same "Word" version you already own.

By the way, does "Word" still "hardcode" local printer properties into .DOC files so they look weird on another system where the specific printer does not exist? This has been a common problem among "Word" users for long times (I've heard many complains regarding this) when two persons had a slightly different application version, along with different printers, causing documents to be reformatted on the other side.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Good work Microsoft
by shapeshifter on Fri 4th Jan 2008 03:10 UTC in reply to "Good work Microsoft"
RE[2]: Good work Microsoft
by MysterMask on Fri 4th Jan 2008 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Good work Microsoft"
MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12

The ribbon would be too complex for the Mac simpletons.

Thank you for your comment. Makes you look smart*. Especially since any good software design strives for simplicity not complexity. Or in the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:
Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n'y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n'y a plus rien à retrancher.

*) the same applies to the people who voted +1 for an obviously offensive comment

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good work Microsoft
by alexandru_lz on Sat 5th Jan 2008 21:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Good work Microsoft"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

> The ribbon would be too complex for the Mac simpletons.
> They've been conditioned for decades to only handle a few buttons and
> one menu.

Well, more or less...

I pretty much agree to the idea of not including the ribbon from Windows versions. In Windows, the Ribbon is there exactly in order to address the most common problem that crowded toolbars have: people are used to have every bit of functionality on their toolbars, and as the number of functions they use grows, so do the toolbars, even though some are not relevant at all times.

The Ribbon is a wonderful idea for complextons :-> who have been conditioned to fill half of their screen with buttons. Apple's approach -- probably just as efficient on today's large screens, but arguably better in the days when 800x600 was huge -- was to keep only what is relevant at all times in the toolbar. It's enforced by their UI guidelines, and it's quite efficient if the menus are correctly structured (i.e. Header and Footer is not under View...).

Not having the ribbon is a fair decision, trading coolness for consistency. Not to say that adding an option to enable it wouldn't have been a good idea for new OS X users.

Also, considering the amount of customization that can be done, it may be a good idea to include a solution to carry customization options around, like I carry my .emacs on my stick.

Reply Score: 1

A touch of overcustomization
by Almafeta on Fri 4th Jan 2008 00:07 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

One thing I noticed from those screenshots is that there were many different UIs, although ostensably they were all the same program.

If you are so 'customizable' that your program looks like different programs between users, you have a big interface problem...

I also notice Microsoft continues to attempt to write e-mail applications.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Well, Firefox and many other skinnable programs which can look like completely between users? Perhaps they all have UI issues but I gotta admit, I like the fact that it seems one can customize the different bits of office so drasticaly.

Reply Score: 2

Entourage
by Clinton on Fri 4th Jan 2008 00:17 UTC
Clinton
Member since:
2005-07-05

I've used Office on a Mac before and I didn't think much of it, especially Entourage. That thing's database gets corrupted more often that an American politician. I hope they've fixed that.

I've really enjoyed working with iWork 08, Nisus, and Scrivener and don't plan on buying Office 2008, but I would like to know if there are any wonderful new features that 2008 has that can't be done with these other products? Perhaps I'll reconsider.

EDIT: Sorry, my grammar fell apart in several places. It looks like I picked the wrong day to stop huffing Windex.

Edited 2008-01-04 00:37

Reply Score: 2

RE: Entourage
by Romas on Fri 4th Jan 2008 00:36 UTC in reply to "Entourage"
Romas Member since:
2005-07-15

The most wonderful feature of Microsoft Office is being able to properly open and edit those Microsoft Office formats like doc(x) and xls(x) which are popular between your coworkers, your girlfriend and your mom. Other than that I wouldn't consider it ;)

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Entourage
by Clinton on Fri 4th Jan 2008 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Entourage"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

That's what I figured. I've come to not expect too much from Microsoft, but I'm always willing to ask if things have improved at all.

On a side note not related to anything... I absolutely love Numbers. I always wondered why formatting things in Excel (or any other spreadsheet for that matter) was almost as fun has having a bear trap go off on your crotch. I always hated working with spreadsheets, then Numbers came out...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Entourage
by Moochman on Fri 4th Jan 2008 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Entourage"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Not that you directly asked, but Excel 2007 really does make formatting a LOT better.

Reply Score: 3

Good news ?
by Duffman on Fri 4th Jan 2008 09:13 UTC
Duffman
Member since:
2005-11-23

Office 2008 do not support VB script now. I don't call that a good news, I call that a useless Office now ...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Good news ?
by Gryzor on Fri 4th Jan 2008 10:49 UTC in reply to "Good news ?"
Gryzor Member since:
2005-07-03

I don't know why you were modded down, but from a business perspective, this is a big drawback. Lots of "officers" would be able to live with OpenOffice or iWork for the matter. Those who can't is because they have complex MS-Office docs with Macros and VBScript code.

Removing this support doesn't really give MS Office a big big advantage over the competition (except for the 100% compatibility that MS office can offer inter-versions). Pages in all its glory, doesn't reproduce Word Documents with a 100% accuracy. Keynote does not do a better job. They are usable most of the time, but differences exist and that could or couldn't be a problem for some people.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Good news ?
by chemical_scum on Fri 4th Jan 2008 12:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Good news ?"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

I don't know why you were modded down, but from a business perspective, this is a big drawback. Lots of "officers" would be able to live with OpenOffice or iWork for the matter. Those who can't is because they have complex MS-Office docs with Macros and VBScript code

Exactly, Everything MS does is designed to maintain its desktop monopoly and to leverage that monopoly into a further monopoly in all other areas of computing and digital devices in general.

What they are saying here is that Macs are fine when limited to a minority of home users and so-called "creative" people but they have no place in a mainstream business environment.

Reply Score: 3