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September 16th, 2010

Microsoft doesn’t suffer from many corporate news leaks, probably because, as various industry watchers have noted, the top management itself keeps dribbles of information coming regularly. On Wednesday, September 8, 2010, the firm announced some more features for the upcoming Office for Mac 2011. MS Office for Mac 2011Scheduled for release late next month, it follows Office for Windows 2010 that was released in June. As usual, it appears that the Mac version will be playing catch-up with the Windows version (both of which trounce Apple’s aging iWork 09) and getting many of the features left out last time (Office for Mac 2008). It will be a very powerful office suite, and you’ll need at least one of CRE’s iMac rentals to use it fully and quickly – and forget running it on any PowerPC-equipped Mac, as it will require OS X 10.6, which only runs on the Intel Macs.

Light (if you prefer, “lite”) versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint will now be available in your Web browser. You don’t even have to use Internet Explorer, Microsoft having apparently learned its lesson about locking out competitors. These Office Web Apps can also be used offline, as they are placed on your hard drive in the default installation setup. Another feature coming in Office for Mac 2011 will be the “broadcast slideshow” feature, a recent upgrade to PowerPoint 2010 for Windows, that lets users show their PowerPoint presentations to others through their Web browsers. If you’re setting up a breakout session with CRE’s convention rentals, don’t forget this great alternative presentation method as a fail-safe back-up if something goes awry with your big-screen slideshow.

Collaboration nation

A very exciting new feature is co-authoring for document editing and sharing, which will allow multiple users to change and update Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents. (It is not yet clear whether these features work with the Office Web Apps.) To work with users outside your default computer network, businesses may need to be running SharePoint Foundation 2010, while individuals can use their Windows Live ID. This is one of the areas that needs some clarification in the next set of “product dribbles” from Microsoft HQ.

One interesting observation from a longtime MS-watcher is that Gates & Co.’s ads certainly feature a lot of Mac laptops. CRE’s MacBook Pro rentals were already popular, but it seems that Microsoft is emphasizing portability and wireless workflows in its Office for Mac 2011 campaign. It makes perfect sense when you think about it – it’s about ultraconnectivity, one of Bill Gates’ big unfulfilled dreams.

Concerning connectivity, using Office Web Apps will require SharePoint, but it is still not known whether SharePoint is required for the co-authoring to work on the Mac platform. Sadly, one of the most popular tools in Office for Windows 2010, the OneNote scrapbook that holds text, charts, images, audio and video, will not be in Office for Mac 2011. Also gone, but not to be missed, is Entourage, the former (underwhelming) e-mail program on the Mac side.  It is being replaced with Outlook for Mac in Office for Mac 2011. A new scheduling assistant feature in Outlook lets you view your calendar(s) right in-line with your mail, a very handy-dandy thing.

CRE is the solution provider when you need the best Macs, PCs and peripherals for your digital work flow. From Xserve RAID rentals to Final Cut Pro-equipped Mac Pro rentals, we’ve got what you need to cut that mountain of digital assets down to size and push those pixels into place. For any work needing the most precise and potent tools, CRE is your best, most knowledgeable source. Fill out the Quick Rental Quote form, and we’ll get you outfitted to conquer that digital mountain in no time.

One Response to “Office for Mac 2011: Review”

  1. Justin Germino Says:

    Microsoft should be more up to date on their flagship office product on MAC, they still dominate and their office suite is more functional than freeware for Mac OS X.

    Lacking OneNote is just poor design since that was one of the most popular new Office tools.

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