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Lunch » Tags » Software » Reviews » Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home & Student Edition » User review

Necessary evil

  • Nov 25, 2008
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I'm not a Microsoft fan, but the reality is that I sometimes need Office software. Yes, I use Open Office (especially as they now have a native Mac version), and Google Docs, but sometimes I need the real thing. I wish that were not so, but there it is.

The installation probably has more "Continue" buttons than any other piece of software I have ever installed. No hope for "I'll just go have coffee while this installs"; no, you need to keep clicking buttons. It's not because you are choosing things: they just want you to read stuff..

After the install you'll find lots of new icons in your Dock. Who said I wanted them, Microsoft? Rather cheeky of you..

The first thing that pops up is the Microsoft Autoupdater. Apparently there is a "critical" update that needs to be installed[...]. Wonderful news, especially as I can't install it. The Installer just hangs. Yes, yes, of course I quit all other Microsoft apps. I've even tried running the updater manually after restarting my Mac and never touching any other apps. It just hangs. I've looked at it with Activity Monitor; it's doing absolutely nothing. Context switches go up, shared memory goes up and down, but that's about it. I've left it alone for hours, nothing happens..

And then I realized that a dialog window was hidden behind the main Installer window.. oh, *good* programming, Microsoft. It's the "Microsoft Office 2008 Update doesn't understand the message." which they say comes from having Office running.. I clicked "OK" and the Installer continued.

As to using it, well, of course I don't like it. That's partly because I dislike Microsoft on general principle but probably mostly because I'm accustomed to Open Office. I remember trying to get my wife, a long time Word user, to try Open Office. She couldn't stand it, complaining that it wasn't "logical", it was "hard to use" and so on. That's just how I feel about Word, but we're probably both wrong. We like what we are used to.

The start up time of Word is definitely quicker than Open Office. Well, it was until I installed those updates. After that it took a little longer, pretty close to Open Office - maybe a second or two faster.

But.. I'll only use this when I'm forced into it. I bet that sentiment accounts for quite a lot of sales.

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Anthony Lawrence ()
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Homework and Home Work will be easier than ever with Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition. Get better results faster and create high-quality documents you can be proud of, with less frustration and more enjoyment.

Five Great Reasons to Get Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition:

Universal applications: Office 2008 runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs.

Intuitive interface: Reduce the time and frustration of learning new software and creating documents with visual galleries that present the right tools when you need them.

Your Mac, more compatible: Office 2008 for Mac and Windows-based 2007 Office products share the Open XML file formats and features like the Office Art graphics engine, so you'll be confident when sharing documents with colleagues, friends, and family across platforms.

Beautiful documents: Good design is a click away with hundreds of new templates, Smart Art graphics, Publishing Layout View, and professional quality clip art and photos.

Priced for home users: Don't need Microsoft Exchange Server Support or workflow management? Home and student users pay for just the features they need. Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student Edition comes with three licenses of non-Exchange-enabled Office 2008 licensed for noncommercial computers.

Which Version of Office 2008 is right for you? View this comparison chart.

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