back to article Microsoft jolts awake, remembers it still makes Office for Mac

Microsoft has finally put a date on what will be its first new version of Office for OS X since 2010. The software giant said that the second half of 2015 will bring the release of the first new version of Office for Mac in more than four years. That edition will bless Mac users with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    before that release ships, however, justifiably impatient users

    I don't think you'll find many of those: Office 2011 for Mac is perfectly okay and the ribbon interface less of a problem than on Windows. Why would we want to "upgrade" to some kind of cloudy lock-in?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Amen. I'm sticking with Office 2011, thanks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I just bought a new laptop as well as move to Yosemite. After migration, guess what wanted its license codes again?

        The only reason I bought this copy of Office 2011 was so that I can convert files from people who have the nerve to send me data in this horrific (something)x format (.docx, .xlsx), because I mainly use LibreOffice for wordprocessing and spreadsheet work, and Keynote for presentations.

        So, now it's waiting for a license key which I already bought. I have a few options: find the box with the license key (nope, it's in another part of the world), buy another copy (nope, don't like buying the same thing twice), grab a keygenerator (illegal so not viable as a solution, but an interesting experiment if VM contained against infections), find a key recovery tool (no idea if that exists) or just ignore the thing and maybe even erase it. It's not like I need it (and neither do about 95% of small businesses IMHO). I think I'll just let it sit there for the moment.

        What is NOT going to happen is that MS gets my money twice - and I am certainly not going to buy an upgrade either.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          The only reason I bought this copy of Office 2011 was so that I can convert files from people who have the nerve to send me data in this horrific (something)x format (.docx, .xlsx), because I mainly use LibreOffice for wordprocessing and spreadsheet work, and Keynote for presentations.

          Which LibreOffice version are you running? I've got 4.2 and it seems to handle all the docx, xlsx & pptx files I've thrown at it. The only problem I have is that MS Office Mobile 15 refuses to open anything LibreOffice has touched it until the file has been re-blessed by full fat MS Office.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Which LibreOffice version are you running? I've got 4.2 and it seems to handle all the docx, xlsx & pptx files I've thrown at it. The only problem I have is that MS Office Mobile 15 refuses to open anything LibreOffice has touched it until the file has been re-blessed by full fat MS Office.

            I *am* running the latest one and yes, it's supposed to handle those files. The problem is that most people I deal that supply and expect MS files are format focused, not content (inevitable side effect of letting people loose on word processing with a single *word* or training in styles and general document creation), so if it doesn't look 100% the same as on their machine there is a "problem" and "it doesn't work". I cannot express the loathing I feel when I use MS Office, I have it with a passion because I know it's the culmination of years of efforts to make it as convoluted as possible, and I hate wasting my time using it. Thankfully I can usually ensure output is in PDF instead, also stops stupid things from happening.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        2011 is a pain in the neck. It doesn't display documents accurately (especially PowerPoint). I've been dragged in front of my CEO several times because the PowerPoint he is supposed to give is unusable. It always comes back to the fact that it is perfectly formatted in Office 2010 on my PC, but Office 2011 messes it up on his MacBook.

        The worst though is Outlook. I'm always being asked how to do something in Outlook, only to say it isn't possible on the Mac, my boss then tearing me down a strip, because he has been doing that for years (yeah, but not on a Mac!). So I am hoping the Outlook update closes the gap and makes more reliable and closer to the functionality under Windows.

        1. Vince

          Bootcamp his mac with windows and give him real office?

          Or just stop using a Mac.

          Neither will earn me upvotes, but that's the easiest fix if it's causing so much hassle.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Tell your boss right out he is a fscking arsehole.

          2. P. Lee Silver badge
            Happy

            >Bootcamp his mac with windows and give him real office?

            or get him to buy you a mac so you can test things properly. At home.

            Probably one of those new 27" 5k imacs would do ok for that.

            1. davidp231

              Re: >Bootcamp his mac with windows and give him real office?

              With all the upgrades... in case the base configuration is "too slow".

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Give him a VM, Windows, and Windows Office and run the Windows Office software on the Mac desktop.

          He will then bollock you because the UI doesn't look like the Mac's.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            There is a VM with Windows and Office 2010 on it... But that is "defeating the point" of having a Mac... :-S

            Still he has just got a 12" Dell Latitude, so maybe things will improve... He wasn't overly impressed with the build quality of the MacBook Pro Retina (display got a bunch of dead pixels, right in the middle of the display and it started randomly switching itself off / rebooting and the Thunderbolt display wouldn't charge the MacBook).

        3. sad_loser

          Outlook is shockingly bad

          I have to use outlook because the nhs arXXholes make it difficult to use anything else.

          drives me nuts. I hate it with a passion I normally reserve for NHS software.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @big_d

          You need a new job not an office upgrade. A CEO clearly as useless as yours isn't going to be great for your career or the company you work at. Best eject soon.

        5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          @big_D

          Not sure what things work differently on the two OSes in Powerpoint but if it's anything like Excel then a new version won't fix it. An example: charts and images in Excel are positioned using pixels but cells are dependent upon font sizes. The two are not consistent across operating systems and, as the details are part of the ECMA Office OpenXML specification, that has to be changed first.

        6. Quentin North

          Outlook in 2011 is truly rubbish, but not as rubbish as Entourage was - that was useless rubbish.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Apparently...

      MS has said that there will be a 'perpetual license' version but I'm with the OP in that if it has the stupid/silly/awful/etc Ribbon then I'll stick with Office 2011 thank you very much especially if they follow the windows model and revert back to a single system license rather than 3 (or 5 can't remember) System license that came with Office 2011.

    3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      ++

      Microsoft updates are never welcome. They always involve brokenness, unwanted machine replacement or matching upgrades on other machines because of compatibility issues.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Install parallels

        And run the Win versions of office. Your boss deserves the ribbon interface.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Cloudy"

      I don't think you'll find many of those: Office 2011 for Mac is perfectly okay and the ribbon interface less of a problem than on Windows. Why would we want to "upgrade" to some kind of cloudy lock-in?

      Have a boat load of updates from me. Especially having all this sharing and cloud crud rammed down my throat *seriously* pisses me off. I have client confidentiality to deal with, so I cannot use anything that resides on a US server or a server under control by a US company (as a matter of fact, even just crossing a *national* border is verboten for us in some circumstances).

      It's not that I ever wanted to have data there in the first place, but everything we use now needs to be evaluated because there's always a risk that a software provider decides to throw that in as a "feature" with the next upgrade. I hate it. No, I don't want to "share", f*ck off already.

  2. tempemeaty
    Joke

    Of course...

    ...If it isn't broken Microsoft has to fix it until it is...

  3. big_D Silver badge

    OneNote

    is currently not part of Office for Mac, it is a separate app, which can be downloaded for free on the Apple App Store. It looks more like an Office 2013 app than it does an Office for Mac 2010 app.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OneNote

      Unfortunately you're limited to Cloud based files. You can't save files locally

  4. Salts

    I suppose some will buy it

    But really for most people, iWorks comes free with OS X and libreoffice is just a download away, perhaps that is the real reason MS is waking up, because people are having the audacity to use other products and worse than that those products are free.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: I suppose some will buy it

      > perhaps that is the real reason MS is waking up, because people are having the audacity to use other products and worse than that those products are free.

      More likely, they've realised mac owners haven't given them any money in almost 5 years.

  5. Herby Silver badge

    In other news...

    LibreOffice continues to improve day by day, and is compatible for most (if not all) documents. Download a copy TODAY, no license key necessary.

  6. Jan 0

    Always updates, never fixes.

    I'd be quite happy if they continued to support Word 5.x and Excel 4.x. Normal humans just don't need the bewildering complexity of 21st Century Office and it would be nice to see a software developer FIX ALL the BUGS before adding new features.

  7. geekdoc

    So the real question is "Who really needs MS Office when there are so many replacements out there that work and work well?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anyone who needs to do version tracking

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Anyone who needs to do version tracking

        Oh really? On a Mac, versioning became part of the OS itself since Lion. Pages as well as LibreOffice have a "File - Versions" menu entry that allows you to browse previous versions of the document which lands you in a sort of Time Machine - alike browser which allows you to restore previous versions.

        The beauty of this system is that it's totally transparent - many people don't even know it exists and still do the "Save As" approach. What I don't know is how you can clean this out. I know it only holds deltas, but it's still stuff I'd like to clean up later.

  8. PuckBoy

    What's Office for OS X?

    My LibreOffice is always up to date.... certainly not waiting 5 years between versions. I gave up on Office years ago.

  9. razorfishsl

    If they think they are going to anally probe me with that 360 crap they have another thing coming….

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ..they have another thing coming

      Lubricant?

      /tiptoes away..

  10. Jay 2
    Meh

    I've only just got Mac Office 2011 as we had some sort of deal at work to get it for £8.95. Though have also got Mac Office 2008 and Libre Office lurking about somewhere too.

    I don'e use it too much. but the main difference I've noticed so far is that Excel 2011 takes an ice-age to open compared to it's predecessor.

  11. Glen Turner 666

    LibreOffice

    I use LibreOffice on a Mac. It is good. It will even open Visio drawings, which is nice.

    But my daughter also uses LibreOffice and trying to round trip documents -- author them on LibreOffice/Mac, edit them at school on Word/Windows, edit them again at home on LibreOffice/Mac -- fails too often to make for happy users. There's only so many times you're willing to go and fix formatting details.

    So I'd strongly recommend LibreOffice/Mac if you are able to share the document as an unrevisable PDF. If you need to edit the thing then either use LibreOffice or Word at both ends.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: LibreOffice

      If you need to work with Visio drawing often I'd recommend Omnigraffle. The only problem is that you may end annoying the Windows users because your output is faster and will always look just so much better :)

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