back to article Office for Mac steps closer to Windows version of software

Microsoft will slot photo editing into its Mac version of Office and add mini charts to the software giant’s Excel application. Office for Mac 2011 should be released in October this year, according to Microsoft’s roadmap. Redmond said in a video posted on its Office for Mac website yesterday that the company would give Apple …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet

    They still haven't made it so that formatting is preserved when going between mac and pc.

  2. Sooty


    As it's being released in 2010, why not call it 2010, like the windows version? That way you give the impression of the same product, available for 2 operating systems, rather than 2 different products.

  3. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Stragegic move?

    I've always wondered if they keep updating the Mac version to make money or to keep everyone using Office.

    Given the high number of Mac laptops sold to students it seems to me like it is about keeping Microsoft Office in use by future generations as well as the current generation. I doubt Microsoft see it as a cash cow.

    In some ways it is a bit of a shame that so many people are still so Office orientated. Editing documents, spreadsheets and mailing them around to people is so 1990s.

  4. JDX Gold badge

    Out of interest...

    Is there an 'official' pay-for office suite on the Mac platform, or are the only real choices OpenOffice and MSOffice Mac Version?

  5. Pavlov's obedient mutt


    But how about being able to actually use large spreadsheets with Excel vomiting

    1. martin burns
      Jobs Halo


      Keynote: Much, much better than PowerPoint

      Pages: Fine for most purposes except the highest end (LaTEX territory anyway)

      Numbers: Is quite *different* to Excel - uses multiple sheets very differently

      And of course

      OmniGraffle for the Visio-demanding

      Bento for those who like toy databases like Access (here's a nickel sonny... I wish Apple would stick their UI smarts on the front of MySQL)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      iWork is presumably "official", given that Apple make it

    3. Wonko the Sane


      Apple has their own iWork. It claims to be able to read and write Office files but from personal experience it isn't quite up to interoperability with Office. That said, I much prefer it to Office's bloat and general MS crustiness.

    4. ThomH Silver badge

      There's iWork

      It tends to get reviewed in terms of "for small offices and home users", but I couldn't name any missing features compared to Office. That said, I work in a small office, so...

      Biggest innovation is the spreadsheet, Numbers, in which the top level object isn't a table but rather a page which may contain one or more tables, with cells addressed using symbolic names and dots like Javascript, C# and everything else since the 80s. Besides that there's Keynote (presentation software) and Pages (the word processor), which are both extremely competent but inevitably just a tiny bit incompatible with Office. iWork also has an iPad port and a web version in beta.

      Outlook-compatible email, calendar and address book apps ship with the OS, so they're not present. There's no equivalent to Access, but Microsoft don't ship Access for the Mac either.

      I'm not sure if it's about confidence or striving for legitimacy, or if they actually don't see the products as overlapping, but if you go to Apple Store you'll still see Microsoft Office boxes on conspicuous display.

    5. Richard Cassidy

      Office for students

      Like it or not, MS Word file format seems to have become the standard for documents in academic life. Historical journals (for instance) all require articles to be submitted as .doc files.

      Apple's Pages program will save files in .doc format, but I suspect most people would rather stick to Word rather than experiment.

      Apple's Numbers spreadsheet has an enormous advantage over Excel 2008 (I don't know about the new version) - Excel doesn't understand dates before 1900/1904, while Numbers handles them properly, gives the correct weekday, etc.

  6. spegru

    Use openoffice

    I believe there is also a Mac Version

    1. Alastair 7


      I will, just as soon as they make it usable.

      Clarification for those that will downvote me: Office 2010 costs $149. That $149 is paid back to me in the form of things being quicker and simpler to do. OpenOffice may be free at the point of purchase, but it costs you in productivity. Endless menus, document handling bugs... you name it, as soon as I have to work around it, I'm not interested.

      1. Pandy06269
        Thumb Up

        Wohoo someone who agrees with me!

        Whenever I mention paid software someone, somewhere, inevitably says "why don't you just use X... it's free."

        Yes but, as you point out, when you've found your way around a confusing menu of options, a user-interface that's so badly laid out the developers must never have used the application, and bugs - sometimes the price tag is worth it for the increase in productivity.

        To re-inforce this point, I'll use MySQL Workbench. It's free. I wanted to create a database. It took me 10 minutes, and a Google search to find out how to do this. Of course the developers thought it was so obvious - you just connect to your database using Query (not Admin as you would think), then see where you've got those tabs for each database? Right-click on one of those. Then click "Create Database."

        OF COURSE! You add a database using an option that's on the right-click of an existing database - why didn't I think of that before? And you use a tool for querying existing databases to create a new one, not administering the server.

        I bought a piece of commercial software a little while later where it's the first option on the main menu - "create database."

        £70 for iWork is a bargain compared to the bloated cr*p that is OpenOffice. And Alastair - don't forget to add "time spent converting documents to PDF to send to people because OpenOffice documents don't always look right in MS Office."

      2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Well, then use iWorks.

        Sorry, but the later versions of MS Office are unusable by people who have been working with the more advanced feature set of Word. It's OK for beginners, but I have lost countless hours trying to unearth where the &&%ç% Microsoft moved option so-and-so, to the point where I would cheerfully introduce the architect of that layout to sensing the shape of the resale box by means of their rectal cavity. Example? Try custom document fields.

        This is the key redeeming feature of OpenOffice: it may be as confusing at first, but it's only confusing once. There's no marketing droid who wants a new layout to have a reason to sell again, so subsequent versions just, well, work.

        I have iWorks as well as MS Office and OpenOffice. OOo is used 90%, 9% iWorks (presentations look better), and 1% MS Office - mainly to open client documents for layout compatibility. And even that doesn't work well.

        MS Office? No thanks, on any platform.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You clearly haven't used Office on a Mac.

        Because there isn't a worse piece of garbage available for the platform. Endless bugs, sluggish-beyond-belief performance and an UI that doesn't work the way the rest of the OS and other apps do are its raison d'etre. isn't much better, but Office for the Mac is bloody awful.

  7. indicator
    Jobs Halo

    ......its called iWork

    Yes JDX, there is a piece of software that Apple produce called iWork.

    It contains Pages (Word), Numbers (Excel) and Keynote (Powerpoint).

    Its not bad at all and is the software I most often use for officey type tasks on my Mac.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Why bother with Microsoft?

    Use IWorks or Open Office. One free, the other cheaper than MS bloatware.

  9. Rob Brady

    Pivot Tables?

    Any word on Pivot Table/Pivot Chart support? Those are the only reason I keep a WinTel version of office around.

  10. Rob Brady

    Helps if I follow the links - OSX Gets Pivots

    Finally, Office for Mac has a USP over Numbers/Open Office and moves into being a real tool.

    Shame on El Reg for bigging up the uninteresting features (Photo Editing) and missing the single killer one that's got added


    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Numbers has 'table categories' instead

      Albeit that this is just a long winded way of saying "no, it doesn't have pivot tables", per the PC World review:

      "Numbers is still lacking in a couple of features that experienced Excel jockeys will miss. First is support for pivot tables. Numbers approximates the effects of pivot tables with a new table categories feature, which is arguably easier to work with. Table categories allow you to group data from one table and categorize it in another. The categories are based on existing columns in the original table and can be easily expanded or hidden with a disclosure triangle.

      The effect is similar to a pivot table and requires much less effort for novice users, and it works well for almost anyone wanting to quickly view related data. However, longtime Excel users may feel the feature doesn't match what they're used to."

      Also absent: macros.

  11. wanderson

    Office for Mac

    What is so incredulous about these "updated Office for Mac" announcements, and even the whole mentality behind Microsoft Office for the Mac is that the Mac using public are and have always been second class citizens with regard to Microsoft software on their platform of choice, and these "one step closed to full acceptance" stances are ridiculous and laughable - but in a sic type of way.

  12. justkyle
    Jobs Halo

    iWork sometimes actually better than MS Office

    No, it isn't heresy, hear me out on this.

    Received a corrupted MS Office file recently at work.

    Office 2003, no go.

    Office 2007, no go on the Windows machine.

    MS Office on the Mac, no go.

    But, Pages opened up the document, and was able to print it out just fine.

    St. Steve, obvious reasons. Too bad he'll end up ditching OS X for iOS. Also, a capital idea of putting a decent Mac OS X gui on top of MySql.

    1. Twm Davies

      Open and repair?

      This feature is almost hidden. But when you select open from word and chose a supposedly corrupted file from the file selector. Notice how the open button has a drop down menu which has "Open and repair". I've not met a corrupt document which i've not been able to salvage with this option.

  13. Badwolf

    Abort / Retry / Go to PC World

    Apart from its appallingly slow startup time - which is something I've noticed afflicts a lot of Microsoft Applications on the Mac - Word is actually rather neat and usable.

    Excel on the Mac - also very neat - Shockingly UnMicrosoft in fact

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Abort / Retry / Go to PC World

      Ha Ha.

      I'd like to see you go to one of those fine emporiums(aka PC World, tongue firmly in cheek btw) in my part of the world and try to find anything with an Apple logo on it!

      Granted they did have some MacBooks once. Theny they relaid out the store (means can't find owt) and there was suddenly no room for Cupertino kit.

      Now the aisles are much father apart. Less product on display. Dell's jostling for space with Hp's & Advent crapware.

      No big iMacs.with their lovely display. Oh No. That might show up really how bad the kit from Dell & HP is these days.

      Actually, there is no decent kit there at all now.

      So really just don't bother going at all. you won't learn anything.

      esp if you go to PCW in Leicester who (As of last week) are still asking for bona fide names & addresses even for cash purchases. Guess what part of the country I live in then?

      1. twunt


        They have a dedicated Apple section in most of them now - Macbooks, iMacs, iPads, even a decent number of accessories. They also quite heavily promote Macs in posters and big in store displays.

        Unfortunately they still know nothing about them - I overheard someone telling an iPad customer that he could get 'Work and Excel' on it, but that he would need to the 32GB version if he wanted to install any apps. He then said that most apps were free, but a few cost Ten Dollars.

        This is in the Sheffield Meadowhall PC World.

  14. Philip Regan
    Thumb Down

    Photo editing? Why?

    "Microsoft will slot photo editing into its Mac version of Office"

    Why? Because every other photo-editing app for the Mac in existence is so terrible at image editing? How about instead spending money and resources on fixing the *real* problems with Office for the Mac, like proper inter-operability with the Windows version and the Exchange server. Maybe if they fixed that, then perhaps people wouldn't be so inclined to look for alternatives over time.

    Microsoft is out of time and out of touch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft is out of time and out of touch.

      They're not just out of time and out of touch - they're also prone to putting glaring security holes in their software...

    2. jsk

      Couldn't agree more.

      If you have a Mac, you have iPhoto. Why would you need yet another mediocre photo editor? Are they bringing something new to the table, or just trying to squeeze out the competition with more bloat.

      Indesign and Express users: Time to add yet another item to your ever growing list of headache inducing things from the horror that is Word and Excel.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    OSX market share growing?

    <Evil laugh>We'll make MacOffice so good it will encourage them to live half in MacWorld and half in WindowsWorld. They'll stick with it, but it won't be so good as to be seamless and like hpfs compatibility in NT, we'll remove the support later! Their pain will be unending!

    (no, there is no end-tag for <evil laugh>)

    Icon: I'll get my Mac

  16. Peter 39

    fool me twice ...

    Before I part out *any* money for new/old Office 2010/2011 I need to hear that it runs at the speed that a normal application should.

    The current version is seriously deficient in this regard despite being "native". I'm on an 8-core Mac Pro and it runs like molasses in winter.

    Won't be fooled again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      I quite agree...

      Why on earth you paid for that overpriced piece of Apple junk, instead of buying / building the same machine from components for half the price, is proof of how foolish you are.

      Of course you will be fooled again, as soon as Skeletor releases another slightly different shaped box.

      The irony that you bought an Apple product, but then decided you needed to use PC software, pretty much sums up the whole problem - people are stupid.

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