Outlooked Office for Mac 2011 unveiled
Good-bye, Entourage. Hello, Visual Basic
Microsoft has announced Office for Mac 2011, which will replace the much-maligned Entourage with Outlook, restore Visual Basic support, and add what Redmond's MacBU (Macintosh business unit) calls "new co-authoring tools."
"You've told us that working together across platforms is a priority to you," MacBU general manager Eric Wilfrid said in a canned statement to the Office for Mac faithful, "and that's why we are making Office for Mac 2011 the best, most compatible productivity suite on the Mac."
Strong words? Not really. Competition is limited to the likes of OpenOffice.org and Google Apps. But those two are available for free. The entry-level version of today's Office for Mac - the Home and Student Edition - runs $149.95.
Microsoft announced last August that Outlook was coming to Office for Mac 2011, and as expected, Outlook for Mac will tie into Microsoft's Exchange Server using the Exchange Web Services protocol. Plus, the app will be able to import .PST (personal storage table) files from Outlook for Windows - a feature that the MacBU described as "a top customer request."
Another top customer request - or, rather, complaint - is also being addressed: Visual Basic support, which was pulled in Office 2008 for Mac, will return in Office for Mac 2011. And, yes, the two names are dissimilar. Go figure.
The new co-authoring tools will allow user to share files on a Windows Live SkyDrive, a Microsoft SharePoint, or through the still-in-beta Office Web Apps. Word and PowerPoint files will have access to all three services, while Excel will be limited to Web Apps. A new Presence Everywhere feature will provide updates on who in your collaborative group is working on what.
Office for Mac 2011 will also have interface updates - including the love-it-or-hate-it Ribbon of Office for Windows - but after the howls of protest roused by some of the UI rearrangements of Office 2008 for Mac, the MacBu says: "We took your feedback and haven’t completely rearranged what you know and love."
The MacBU didn't give a firm release date for Office for Mac 2011, saying only that it will appear "later this year," nor did it provide pricing and versioning information. If you're a fervid Office for Mac fanatic, however, you can keep up-to-date on the productivity suite's progress on Twitter or on the MacBU's Facebook page. ®
Simply because with all of Microsofts faults, Office is actually a good product.
Probably the same reasons people install Redmond crapware on their Windows machines?
Some (actually alot) people just want to do some 'work', not fuck about with the 'free as in free speech, not free as in free beer' alternatives. You know, the 9-5ers who 'work'. Not tweakers and freedom fighters.
(why is there no 'penguin with L on forehead' icon?)
Plus Ca Change
As I recall, two of the main changes in Office 2008 were the introduction of Entourage and the omission of Visual Basic.
And now the headline news for Office 2011 is that it's getting rid of Entourage and bringing back Visual Basic...
Now that's progress!
Despite making the move to Mac, I kept with MS Office 2008 as I although iWorks tempts me (I only need to do the basics), I never had time to relearn a new package and I already knew Office 2003 pretty well from the PC, even though the Mac version had a few differences. However, stick me in front of a PC with the "new" Ribbon interface and I'm completely lost - guess once you turn 40 your learning receptors just pack up. Honestly, I have tried, but just can't find where half the stuff I need is.
If Office for Mac 2011 has the Ribbon, then I'm going to *have* to put aside the time to learn something new, and to be honest I think it's going to be iWorks.
Re: Hardcore Excel
You are Mac's Hardcore and I claim my five pounds!