MS Office for Mac

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MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:07 am

my wife has gone to the dark side. she just got of those new macbook air laptop for school and clinicals. i know she needs office for word, excel and powerpoint. it looks like i have two choice. i can get office 365 for 4 years or mac office 2011 which is mine. i have heard that office for mac 2014 will be out next june. so what should i do? if i get office 365 will i automatically get office 2014 when it comes out? some of her school makes went with pages, numbers and the powerpoint equivalent. those are not an option. the documents fall apart when they collaborate on group projects.

i have also heard that office is not as reliable on macs and outlook is bad. my wife lives out of outlook on her PC. what do you all use for email, contacts and calendar?

i should note that my wife is a somewhat sophisticated computer user so i dont need the simplest solution. she appreciates full service programs over apps.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:25 am

If nothing but 100% compatibility will do, the only solution is to run the latest version of Office for Windows under VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop.
If she can compromise, just go with iWork. Pages, Numbers, Keynote and Mail will do the jobs.

Any other combination or hybrid makes little sense as she'll be compromising on multiple fronts instead of just one.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:51 am

If you get Office 365 you get Office 2011 now and if your subscription is still active when it comes out, you'll get the next version when it's released.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:10 am

windwalker wrote:If nothing but 100% compatibility will do, the only solution is to run the latest version of Office for Windows under VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop.


perhaps a stupid question but do i need a copy of windows installed on the laptop to run VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop? that sounds like a lot of overhead. 30 to 60gb?
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:48 am

Full disclosure, I work at a consulting firm as a network tech that sells Office 365. I certainly don't receive any bonuses for deploying their product, but thought that you should at least be aware that it's a product that does help put food on my table =)

So this is what I've seen with Office 365, specifically on Macs. It's a solid product. If you subscribe to it you will get the 2014 client upgrade when that is released. From my experience with the Enterprise side of things you may not get it day one (for the 2010 to 2013 transition Microsoft rolled out the service upgrades over the course of a few months for their clients, and it wasn't officially supported to download the 2013 version until your service upgrade was complete). The benefit here is you will get additional software on top of the Standard Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. And that upgrade when 2014 is released.

The downside is as soon as you cancel your subscription you won't have access to it, even after you've upgraded to 2014. Microsoft is committing to a more ambitious release cycle for Office products, so the value may be there.

Regarding Outlook on Macs. For the most part it is excellent as long as you run it on a current system. My only client that has had an issue with it runs Office 2011 on an older Air (still a mechanical hard drive). She had over 20,000 emails in her Outlook spread over 5 accounts she had loaded into it.

I personally am thinking about setting up an Office 365 account to host my own e-mail. I am not looking to use it for my Office license, but that is based on my usage. I have office 365 at work, so I get to install it on my home PC through them. You are allowed to install the Office suite on up to 5 devices with your 365 subscription.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:12 pm

We use Office for Mac at work as we need document compatibility with our external Windows based clients. It works well.

I signed up for Office 365 at home and I really pleased with it. 5 installs across Windows/OS X. Upgrades will be made available when they are released.

I don't use Outlook for Mac. I'm 100% integrated with iCloud/Gmail so I use the apps supplied by OS X (Contacts/Calendar/Mail).
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:27 pm

hiro_pro wrote:perhaps a stupid question but do i need a copy of windows installed on the laptop to run VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop? that sounds like a lot of overhead. 30 to 60gb?


Both are virtualization products with special features to seamlessly integrate Windows programs in the OS X environment.
As such, you can expect the usual overhead of 5-10 GB for a Windows install. Either version of Office will use about the same amount of disk space.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:12 pm

Office for Mac 2011 is good..

but there's stuff that doesn't work. I work at a large Fortune 150, and use a Mac. Outlook 2011 doesn't support Forms, and IT sometimes needs that, so Windows VM for that.

Excel doesn't work as well as on Windows. If I open an XML file with 20,000 rows, Excel 2011 slows WAY down to the point that it's unusable. Same file on Windows VM works just fine.

There are other niggles that you run into if you're an advanced user of Outlook or excel. Integration with WebEx, for example; on Windows, WebEx integrates beautifully with Outlook, allowing you to schedule Webex meetings directly; in OS X, I haven't found a similar program.

Check this list -> http://www.stevieg.org/2010/11/comparis ... -features/

Perhaps she will be fine, perhaps she won't. Depends on how advanced a user she is.

I get by with a VM that I can boot up when I really need a feature. And yes, for a VM you need a Windows license and an Office license. If you subscribe to Office 365 you can install Office 2013 and Office 2011, though, so that's an option. As long as your license is active, you'll get Office 2014 when it releases.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Depending on your wife's usage, the built in iApps might work fine - at least for mail and calendaring. I've used mail.app and iCal in MS Exchange environments for years and had no real issues with it, but that requires Exchange 2007 or better and is very workload dependent. I've never used iWork, so I cannot comment on its usefulness.

That said, I'm generally a big fan of running Windows programs in a Windows VM. I'm an infrastructure engineer in a mostly Windows shop, but I use a MacBook Pro for work so I have a Windows 7 VM running using VMware Fusion to handle all of my native Windows work. I find there's just fewer issues, and aside from the cost of the windows license, it doesn't have a huge cost in terms of disk or resource footprint. Just thin provision the VMDK and you'll only lose ~20GB of drive space, and my VM runs fine on 2GB of RAM.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:29 pm

I keep seeing VM's being offered as a solution here however I have to point out there is also Crossover for Mac that handles Office 2013 just fine.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:47 pm

Office 2011 for mac should be fine. It should be very cheap with an academic license.

If she's using the computer for school, there is no need to bother running windows in a VM. While many posters have commented on how Mac office doesn't work as well for specific corporate tasks, I don't think your wife will run into any of these limitations while using it for school and clinicals (e.g. no webex integration).
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:56 am

thanks all for the responses. i downloaded office 365 for $80 (thank you academic license). that was my first attempt at using a mac so it took me longer than i thought. right now she uses gmail so i dont have to worry abut exchange. it only took her about an hour to download her inbox... it seems like half her homework is word and the other half is powerpoint. i dont think they had powerpoint when i was in school but now she is expected to be able to put on a 1 hr high intensity fully sited workshop at the drop of a hat. that was also my concern about the size footprint of vm sofware. it is nothing for her to crank out a gig of powerpointes per class. but enough rambling.

one shocker was how fast that new macbook air is. wow. i think it is faster than my work desktop (but not my home build). it took me 30 minutes to copy her music from her old laptop to a 32gb usb3 flash drive and about 2 minutes to put it on her new laptop. maybe i am buying into the hype but i feel like her network card was faster too. she was getting imessages on her laptop 15-30 seconds before they came to her iphone5. both on the smae wifi. i think it did a start, shutdown restart in about 30 seconds. the office install took about a minute. wake from sleep is instant. opening and moving through 30 mb powerpoints was effortless. i hope they start putting those pci ssd's in real laptops soonest.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:06 am

Great conclusion. LOL.
So the MacBook Air is the best computer you have ever used but it's not a "real laptop" because you're afraid you might be "buying into the hype".
Wow, indeed.
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Re: MS Office for Mac

Postposted on Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:42 am

The SSD is the biggest revolution in computing in a very long time. You're floored because the mass storage system is so much faster than the spinning platters.
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