Thursday, February 11, 2010

Microsoft Office:Mac 2011 Thoughts

Finally, some news about office:mac 2011. I have waiting for news about the next version of office 2011 and I would like to point out some features that I find interesting. I also hope that office 2011 will load faster and will be a lot less buggy than 2008, which would be a huge step forward for office:mac. Unlike 2008 where they took a step back in my respects (like the subtraction of VBA and the buggy and not-thought-out implementation of the elements gallery)

Granted, the ribbon has been a huge source of user complaints and especially from mac users, when they learned that 2008 might have a ribbon it forced microsoft to go back to the traditional 2004 design with the icons. At that point I wasn't very interested in the ribbon, it didn't seem that efficient and I found it harder to navigate. However, I played with office 2010 and I found the ribbon to be actually usable. If I do get 2011 will I use the ribbon? Probably. But even better is that they kept the floating toolbar palette, so if you minimize the ribbon you have the option of using the palette, which in my opinion will be good for those who are hesitant of using the ribbon. What I find interesting is that there is the choice of using the ribbon, and they didn't force it down and took out the palette feature. Note that they didn't get rid of the menubar (which I am very relieved about) unlike office 2007 where they did.

The loss of VBA from office 2008 meant that I couldn't do a lot of things on excel, such as doing statistical analysis (which you could easily do in 2004). Even though they added the statplus application it was hard to use and in the end I was not happy at all with excel. As for PST I am sure it will be a huge help for those users who use outlook/entourage. For me I tried entourage to try and compare it to thunderbird and mail, but it just took a long time to do anything, and the "my day" application wasn't that uesful in my opinion. Hopefully with the addition of outlook the e-mail experience in office 2011 will be substantially better.

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