Finding Features

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-01-14 Print this article Print

It is similar to the Ribbon user interface in Office 2007, but designed specifically for the Mac and to make it easier for customers to find the features they need in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, she said.

For example, in Word there are document elements allowing users to snap together cover pages and easily create bibliographies. Word 2008 also comes with a new Mac-only tool known as Publishing Layout View, which lets users easily lay out rich types of documents, drop in images and apply effects using a range of templates provided.

Another Mac-only tool is the My Day stand-alone application found in the personal information manager known as Entourage, which allows users to manage their day, schedule meetings and add tasks, and that runs even when Entourage is closed.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group, believes that Office 2008 for the Mac actually showcases the Mac operating system better than Office 2007 for Windows showcases Vista .

"This is one of the weird things about this product in that the collaboration between Microsoft and Apple, as tortured as it is, often seems better than the collaboration inside Microsoft between the Windows and Office teams, Enderle said.

"What slowed this product down a lot was the lack of heads up when Apple moved to Intel, which meant the Mac Office team started very late in the process and was likely forced to redo a great deal of work.  Still, what resulted is stunning, and one of the best Apple showcase products," he told eWEEK.

Excel 2008 includes Ledger Sheets in its Elements Gallery, which are pre-formulated worksheets to help users accomplish common budget and financial management tasks.

The core Office 2008 for Mac comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage. It is also Microsoft Exchange enabled, and includes some Automator tools.

It is priced at $399.95 for a single license, while an upgrade version costs $239.95 and allows an upgrade from any version of Office for the Mac, as well as from any stand-alone application like Word.

Office 2008 for Mac Home and Student edition does not include Exchange support or the Automator tools, but does have three licenses for home use at a price of $149.95.

Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition, which is priced at $499.95, or $299.95 for an upgrade, has all the features of the core edition, but also includes the Expressions Media digital asset management tools, Lefebvre said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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