Computerworld: Microsoft’s Office 2016 for Mac offers a new interface and better features

“Mac users of Office who have felt left out in the cold by Microsoft (because the last version, Office 2011 for Mac, was released in October 2010) now have reason to be pleased: The preview of Office 2016 for Mac attempts to bring the suite out of the dark ages and into the modern world,” Preston Gralla writes for Computerworld.

“The preview runs only on Yosemite OS X and is available for free to anyone. Be warned: It’s a whopper of a download — 2.66GB worth,” Gralla writes. “Even so, I found installation to be exceptionally easy and problem-free.”

“With this version of Office, the Mac is no longer the poor stepchild in the Office world,” Gralla writes. “All versions of Office, whether on a Windows PC or a Mac, will look and work alike, and also resemble the Office you’ll experience on the Web and on tablets.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Too little, way too late. Don’t need it. Don’t want it. Won’t use it.

In our case, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Mail and their seamless continuity across all Apple devices leave absolutely nothing to be desired.

Microsoft left the Mac for dead. Turns out the Mac is very much alive. The best customers in the world invariably use Macs, iPhone’s and iPads. Therefore, Microsoft finds itself in desperate straits, scrambling to try to recover the users they drove away by ignoring them for many years. These are users, especially iPad users, who, thanks to Microsoft’s incompetent mismanagement, understand perfectly that no, you do not need Office in order to conduct business.

We wouldn’t use Microsoft Office if you paid us.


  1. “All versions of Office, whether on a Windows PC or a Mac, will look and work alike….” This is very unfortunate. The ribbon UI is pitiful, an abomination, a step back into the dark ages of usability. Very unfortunate.

    1. Nothing is more tortuous than trying to show someone on Windows a function that has been on the on the Format/Tools/Data menu on the Mac for over 20 years, but thanks to the ribbon has been buried in the interface god knows where.

    2. A previous time Microsoft did that (make the PC and Mac versions “look and work alike”) was for Word 6. After the highly popular and “Mac-like” Word 5, Word 6 highly unpopular.

    3. Hey, I just thought of something. It has traditionally been the case that Microsoft’s Mac developers are Mac people who work for Microsoft. As such they must have Mac sentiments, intelligent sentiments about the platform. Maybe somebody in the know could start a petition to request that they provide the normal Mac menu style as an alternative to that torn ribbon? Anybody know anybody in the know?

  2. The only problem with iWork: format.
    iWork can’t work with Office documents natively and when it exports documents from the respective iWork format to the respective Office format, formatting is often lost and the file size balloons up. Also, it’s easy to forget to export the document as an Office document. Fortunately, I don’t need to make spreadsheets or presentations too often. As for writing, I used to use TextEdit, but now I use Write 2 because it can set docx as the default format, has a word count, headers and it can put images in Word documents. Definitely worth $9. If only iWork was better about formatting in the areas I pointed out. iWork is nice for personal stuff, but you have to be able to use Office documents sans-conversions for work. Microsoft Office is the standard suite in the workplace, so you have to be able to work with Office documents natively, without switching formats.

  3. The high download of Office for iPad indicates that Office is still the de facto standard although it’s hegemony is being chipped away.

    I just hope the next big iWork update is a big one that restores key layout features of the previous Pages.

  4. I am using the newest Office and it offers many improvements but Outlook still needs a lot of work for the corporate world. You have to download a user’s calendar before you can view it, there is no business card view of contacts, and you have to search the GAL (global address book), it does not display them by default.

    But I love using it over Outlook 2011 and it looks like it was made for Yosemite even though it still has the Windows ribbon convention (which is silly in a world of widescreen monitors).

  5. Happy to say (again) that I actually finally activated iCloud about 6 weeks ago now to use Pages. It wasn’t everything I wanted, but satisfactory, and I sure never want to use Soft&Limp software when I can help it (alas, at work, I must), but the best part was Find My iPhone! I had left it at a restaurant, where it hadn’t been found stuffed between cushions until I sent a sound to it. Let’s see Office do that!

  6. While I’m sure most of use would like to ditch MS Office, power users simply cannot. Keynote exceeds Powerpoint in capabilities, but Pages and Numbers are simple programs for simple uses. Neither software comes close to the capabilities of Word and Excel.

    I’ve tried NeoOffice in an effort to avoid Microsoft, but while NeoOffice has most of the capabilities of MS Office, it’s interface is rather ugly.

    So until Apple develops a serious competitor to Word and Excel, many users, even Apple fanboys like myself, must continue to use Office.

    1. I’ve been able to move away from Word and PowerPoint to Pages and Keynote, but there just isn’t a replacement for Excel (especially in a business world full of customized programs written in Excel (most of these won’t even run on the Mac version of Excel or their authors won’t revise them for the Mac).

      For years, I hoped that Apple will improve Pages to the level that MacWrite Pro was at in the early 90’s. MacWrite Pro actually had easier and more powerful merge capabilities than Word has today (and worked perfectly with FileMaker Pro), but I’ve given up on that… Apple just keeps re-writing their programs every few years, losing features and compatibility in the process… Say what you will about Microsoft, but the old documents created in them can still be opened and worked on.

  7. Good. While Pages and Numbers are fine for simple, pretty, documents it is impossible to imagine that anyone at Apple uses these apps for real work. Not being able to paginate a financial worksheet in Numbers is just silly and the rework of these apps to run on iOS and the cloud means features have been lost. I have recently signed up for Office 365 which I once vowed I would never do.

    Oh and thanks MDN for the tip about Microsoft Mail – the creaky old Apple Mail was never much chop.

    Apple aren’t very good with application software really – I use Final Cut Pro on a Mac Pro, but it’s a horrible app to use – I think there are over 20 pages of keyboard shortcuts to memorise and, like a lot of Apple software, in its effort to be like iMovie (easy) it hamstrings the editor and makes some things almost impossible. It’s truly awful unless you are making a simple home movie.

    Oh and Try writing a manual in Pages with numbered paragraphs and sections. The old version of Pages could do it, but now you need MS Word. I wonder what app is used to write Apple’s manuals.

  8. I don’t give a frak if Word and Excel are “standards.”

    After all the network issues MS Office has given me over the past two years, I am transitioning everyone in our office to Pages and Numbers.

    Go F yourself MS, goodbye, good riddance!

    1. If you can switch everyone in your office to iWork, that’s great. Most of us just don’t have that option because nearly everyone in the business world uses Microsoft Office, so it’s important for us to have compatible documents. That’s why I like TextEdit and Write 2.

  9. Bearing in mind that Carphone Warehouse & Currys/PCWorld (of John Browatt fame) are now part of the same group of companies, I would think that Apple’s decision not to ‘shag’ a premium product to a mass market box-shifter makes a lot of sense,

  10. A necessary evil. Thank god the menus function like windows! Like what the MS Mac unit did, but being different from Windows caused a lot of problems on my end. Not using Office cause I like it, but to help out those who are doing everything on it.

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