Mac Office 2011 allows only 'light edits' in Windows Web apps
Compatibility comes at a price
Microsoft will release its Office for Mac 2011 next month, so it has unsurprisingly been prepping would-be customers for the big day by dishing up more details about what the suite will contain.
The company said yesterday that the software will come loaded with co-authoring tools, Office Web apps, a scheduling assistant for Outlook and Broadcast Slideshow, which is a feature already present in PowerPoint 2010.
With this 32-bit-only release Microsoft is simply extending its ambitions (already present in Office 2010) to out-Google Google Docs by offering co-authoring tools that allow multiple users to share Word, Excel and PowerPoint files in the cloud.
And like its older brother, Office for Mac 2011 will allow apps to be stored in SkyDrive for the consumer market and via SharePoint for Microsoft's biz customers.
Importantly, the software giant will also debut Web apps for Mac users that should be compatible with both Office 2010 on Windows and Office for Mac 2011.
But the extent to which Microsoft has granted Mactards the freedom to roam seamlessly between their Apple computer and a Windows-based machine (perish the thought) is disappointingly limited.
Redmond said that users would be able to view documents as well as make what it described as "light edits" within their web browsers.
Full software functionality only kicks in when they return to Office for Mac 2011, however.
Microsoft's latest flash of Office for Mac 2011 leg is here. ®
The article implies that Mac users are getting a lite version of the web apps. Microsoft's own Office for Mac website disagrees: 'How might a Mac user work with the Office Web Apps? The short answer is “in basically the same way a Windows user would”.'
I think I'll take Microsoft's word(!) for it over the Reg's in this case, that they haven't written a second set of dumbed-down web apps for Mac users. That would be a bit silly.
Re: Re: Cut down?
No it doesn't. The article makes no mention of 'Windows Web apps'. It says, 'Importantly, the software giant will also debut Web apps for Mac users that should be compatible with both Office 2010 on Windows and Office for Mac 2011.'
Microsoft contradicts this by saying simply that Mac users can use the same Office Web Apps as Windows users. As for files originating from Mac Office being less editable by Web Apps than those from Windows, not so: the formats are the same. The only caveat from Microsoft is that you may not have the same fonts installed on both platforms.
You also say in the article, 'And like its older brother, Office for Mac 2011 will allow apps to be stored in SkyDrive for the consumer market and via SharePoint for Microsoft's biz customers'. I think you meant to say documents.
To simplify, here's the situation. Office for Mac can fully edit files originating from Office for Windows, and vice versa. Office Web Apps are fully usable by anyone with a supported Windows or Mac web browser. The Web Apps offer the same reduced feature set to both Mac and Windows users (and probably Linux users if you spoof the user agent).
Are they going to fix Excel?
I use both Office 2008 on Snow Leopard and Excel 2007 on XP Pro. The incredible dumbed down version on the Mac side can not copy the very large data sets the XP side can. The search & replace is dumbed down on the Mac side and there are a few score more. I run all manner of Unix programs on my Mac and I'd really like to use Excel for some of the datafile management but it is highly annoying that I have to do the heavy lifting on an XP machine instead of my Mac.