Pogue: Microsoft’s Office 2011 for Mac is a big step backward

Apple Store USA“Last week, though, Microsoft released Office 2011 for Mac, the first new version in several years,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times. “The Home version ($120) comes with Word, Excel and PowerPoint; the Business version adds the Outlook e-mail program (formerly called Entourage), which goes for $200. Much of the work Microsoft has done is to make the Mac version of Office look and work more like the Windows versions.”

“The new Office suite has gotten rave reviews from my colleagues at other publications,” Pogue reports. “Clearly something must be wrong with me; I think that, in day-to-day usability, Office 2011 is a big step backward.”

“The Mac suite now includes the Ribbon, a horizontal toolbar that’s built into Office for Windows. What I don’t get is this: Last time I checked, computer screens were all wider than they are tall. The last thing you’d want to do is to eat up that limited vertical screen space with interface clutter like the Ribbon. Don’t we really want those controls off to the side, as with the Formatting Palette in the previous Mac Office?” Pogue asks. “You can collapse the Ribbon, sure—but what a pain to have to keep doing that!”

MacDailyNews Note: In the full article, Pogue runs down a list of annoying bugs in Word and Outlook.

Pogue continues, “Microsoft says that it’s aware of all the bugs I’ve listed here, and intends to fix them early next year. O.K., what? You *knew* about these bugs, but you’re selling this software anyway? …It’s sad to see such unpolished work from Microsoft’s Mac team. Looks like they had their eye on the big-ticket items—and simply left the smaller cookies to crumble.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Listen, the MacBU lost the irreplaceable genius of Roz Ho who went over to head up Microsoft’s marvelous Kin project. It’s amazing that without their glorious leader the MacBU even shipped something at all.

Forget about Office. Get iWork, save a bundle, and be happy.

138 Comments

  1. Unfortunately Excel is still the only serious number crunching package. I wish Numbers was up to it, but it isn’t. Even then it’s only Windows Excel that does the business to date, but I am hoping new Excel 2011 for Mac is OK — I have fingers crossed that they’ve added multi-threading calculations (if they haven’t I have to stick with VMs and Windows version).

  2. Unfortunately Excel is still the only serious number crunching package. I wish Numbers was up to it, but it isn’t. Even then it’s only Windows Excel that does the business to date, but I am hoping new Excel 2011 for Mac is OK — I have fingers crossed that they’ve added multi-threading calculations (if they haven’t I have to stick with VMs and Windows version).

  3. Microsoft should have left Office as it was and just fixed the bugs. I don’t like the ribbon concept. iWorks is no an alternative either. I don’t like the way it works. I think I will try to go with NeoOffice on my new Mac Pro that I’m going to purchase soon.

  4. Microsoft should have left Office as it was and just fixed the bugs. I don’t like the ribbon concept. iWorks is no an alternative either. I don’t like the way it works. I think I will try to go with NeoOffice on my new Mac Pro that I’m going to purchase soon.

  5. I’m with all you folks above. Everything sucks. Nothing lives up to our lofty and unreachable standards. Damn, but if only you guys would get together and form a software company (call it WonderSoft!) and give the consumer the quality and functionality software it truly deserves.

    What a wonderful world it would be! (Yes, Sam Cooke lives.)

  6. I’m with all you folks above. Everything sucks. Nothing lives up to our lofty and unreachable standards. Damn, but if only you guys would get together and form a software company (call it WonderSoft!) and give the consumer the quality and functionality software it truly deserves.

    What a wonderful world it would be! (Yes, Sam Cooke lives.)

  7. I don’t understand the complaints about Pages. I’ve written two novels on Word, three on Pages. Judgement: Pages is more stable, by a mile, for long documents.

    For business correspondence, and I work worldwide, Pages is fine. Word compatibility when I need it (decreasingly), and flawless PDF output.

  8. I don’t understand the complaints about Pages. I’ve written two novels on Word, three on Pages. Judgement: Pages is more stable, by a mile, for long documents.

    For business correspondence, and I work worldwide, Pages is fine. Word compatibility when I need it (decreasingly), and flawless PDF output.

  9. I have iWork as well as Office. I keep trying to move to iWork (mainly pages) but the learning curve is too high. It’s not that I am against different – but the different should be more intuitive. I should go to do something and say, “And there is how I do it, right there.”
    But I can’t. One could say that I just need to learn it, and I am willing to put ‘some’ time into it. But the reason that I use Apple products is not because of the Apple brand loyalty – it’s because they let me do my work and not worry about how to make the computer do it. If an Apple product doesn’t do that – I won’t spend a lot of time to learn it. I already know how to use this dog called Word.

  10. I have iWork as well as Office. I keep trying to move to iWork (mainly pages) but the learning curve is too high. It’s not that I am against different – but the different should be more intuitive. I should go to do something and say, “And there is how I do it, right there.”
    But I can’t. One could say that I just need to learn it, and I am willing to put ‘some’ time into it. But the reason that I use Apple products is not because of the Apple brand loyalty – it’s because they let me do my work and not worry about how to make the computer do it. If an Apple product doesn’t do that – I won’t spend a lot of time to learn it. I already know how to use this dog called Word.

  11. I routinely deal with data files that contain > 1M rows. Excel is totally useless. I use Notepad++ for now. I’m hoping Apple comes up with something in this area.

  12. I routinely deal with data files that contain > 1M rows. Excel is totally useless. I use Notepad++ for now. I’m hoping Apple comes up with something in this area.

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