Hands on with Microsoft Office for Mac 2011

Apple Store USA“Over the past few days we’ve been playing around the latest beta release of Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. Many of the changes made are hard to appreciate without actually seeing the application suite in use, and for that reason alone we have assembled a massive gallery of screenshots,” Michael Bettiol reports for The Boy Genius report.

“Across the board, each application has had its UI completely overhauled as Microsoft has made the wise decision to redo the entire layout of the application suite. Instead of the awful configuration found in Office for Mac 2008, 2011 draws from both Office 2007 and Office 2010 for Windows. In fact, it did such a good job that we can’t think of a reason why someone who is used to one OS wouldn’t be able to jump into the other and get work done in Office,” Bettiol reports. “One of the main reasons for this is Ribbons.”

Bettiol reports, “Sadly there is a pretty big weak link in Office 2011: Outlook. It seems that Microsoft simply sacrificed brains for beauty. Don’t get us wrong. It’s definitely the best and most powerful email client we’ve ever used on OS X, but after using it for 10 minutes we honestly gave up on it. Why? Because it simply requires more work to get simple tasks done than on the Windows version. It sucks to say it, but given the choice between using the new Outlook for Mac and virtualizing Outlook for Windows, we’d go with the latter any day.”

Full article, with over 50 screenshots, here.

MacDailyNews Take: A lot of people, especially Windows to Mac switchers, seem to think that they need Office. While some do, the vast majority do not. We suggest taking advantage of Apple’s 30-day free iWork trial to see how well iWork works for you, before you dump more money into Microsoft’s coffers. Microsoft. You know, the company that thinks you’re stupid for spending “$500 for an Apple logo” on your personal computer. Plus, you’ll probably quickly see the benefits of having the same office suite on your Mac as you do on your iPad.


  1. Well, this certainly looks better than 2008, which I avoided like the plague. I am slowly switching over to iWork, and will hopefully make the complete switch soon. Making my life more Microsoft free each and every day.

    BTW, you guys want to see Apple’s market cap go past Microsoft soon rather than later, buy iWork instead of Microsoft Office, and who knows, maybe we can pop the cork off the champagne one day earlier, and never look back! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I really like iWork. But let’s not be blind zealots. Until Numbers can do some basic things that are common in Excel (such as calculate using iterations), it’s just a basic spreadsheet with some nice looks.

    I really hope Numbers comes up to snuff with Excel, but for now Office is still needed by those that do heavy spreadsheet work.

  3. “…It’s definitely the best and most powerful email client we’ve ever used on OS X…”

    I almost fell over! I have to use Outlook at work, and the quoting mechanism is as ass-backward as it gets. It makes following a multiple quote message a nightmare! The Author(s) shoould go learn what netiquite really is . The only people that like utlook are people that grew up with it. Those of us who became net citizens when rules meant something just about gag when forced to use Outlook.

  4. Fist I was afraid i was petrified when i switch three yrs ago to mac and the first thing i bought was ms office a yr later i bought iworks. Today I use only iworks for work and home, I only use office if a document by default opens in it. My partner bought a his first macbook pro and he only got iworks, (he does many keynotes presentations at work) since then, three coworkers have asked for macs. he doesn’t even has office and he doesn’t miss it at all

  5. Just great… The only advantage that Office 2008 had over 2004 is the lack of VB macros – the only spreadable Mac OS X malware I’ve ever come across. Now they’re back, and we’ll have to deal with a whole new generation of “Are You Surprised!?!?!” garbage…


  6. I prefer iWork because it is just simpler to learn and use. I don’t need all of the extra stuff you have to wade through in Office for Mac but I guess in the end, that is the whole point. Too much gobbledygook in Office for it to be useful to this occasional writer.

  7. I use iWork and it performs well for what I want to do with it. I think it’s logical to assume that no version of iWork will ever be as “powerful” or as feature-rich as Office for Mac, however.

    MS Office is huge, bloated and as mentioned everywhere, 90% of the “features” go unused by 95% of users. What makes MS Office a mess is the feature creep since the start; I don’t think Apple will ever allow so many increased features/bloat to the point of overwhelming the good that exists today in iWork.

    As such, it is likely that there will always be users who point out that iWork lacks something compared to MS Office. Get used to it.

  8. Office 2007 is better looking than 2008???? Is this guy smoking crack. All PC users I know hate 2007 and the 2008 for Mac, although crappy, is still more easily picked up when people jump from 2004.

    Outlook stank and entourage is not a whole lot better.

    Maybe when Apple bypasses MS in Market Cap they can start to consider buying the office suite to replace the APple suite. Imagine if Apple (not MS’s virtual Apple) software engineers sink their teeth into it.

    SImplify it, stabilize it, make it what the USER wants.

    Ok ok….I must wake up now……….

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