Who among the growing ranks of Mac users does not know about Microsoft Office? It’s the business standard for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, and email.
For the most part, Office for Mac 2008 (the latest) gives Mac users reasonable compatibility with the Windows version of their Office-using counterparts. With Office for Mac 2011 just months away, here are 5 of the best reasons why Mac users should get it, use it, and love it.
Everybody Loves Microsoft Office, Right?
What many Mac users may not know is that what we know of Office—word process, and spreadsheet app—actually started a few decades ago.
First, there was Microsoft Word, originally called Multi-Tool Word for Xenix before moving to DOS PCs, and then the Mac in 1984.
A Windows version of Office didn’t spring up until 1989. Microsoft Excel actually started life on the Mac back in 1985 before moving to Windows years later. So, Mac users have an historical obligation to look forward to the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac in 2011.
Isn’t nostalgia enough reason to get the latest Microsoft product? If not, consider these reasons:
#5 – The Cross Platform Ribbon
The Ribbon is Microsoft’s feature and function toolbar; the digital elephant grave where superfluous tools and arcane icons go to die, never to be heard from or used again. People who die in their sleep after reading The Idiot’s Guide To Microsoft Office once used the Ribbon.
The Ribbon is familiar to many Microsoft Office for Windows users, having been introduced with Office 2007. It is estimated that almost half of all Office users can find the ribbon on their PCs. The others have not yet upgraded to Office 2007.
In their never-ending quest to keep up with their Windows brethren, the Microsoft Mac Business Unit—the Mac-loving geniuses who work on Windows software for the Mac—have a Mac version of the Ribbon coming to Office for Mac 2011.
#4 – The New Office for Mac Interface
Who among the Mac faithful grow tired of what we already know and seek out software that does the same thing but in an entirely different way?
Office for Mac 2011 promises a new interface to improve our work flow and enhance our productivity by giving us more to learn. The Ribbon will work side-by-side with the Office for Mac Formatting Palette and the Elements Gallery and all the tools we already think we know but may not love.
We’ll just need a few months to learn how to
use find all those tools we already don’t know how to use.
#3 – Get Paid More For Working Less
If there is one thing we can all agree on about Microsoft, it’s that this is one behemoth of a software company that truly cares about Mac users—the little people. Quite often, features which show up in Windows versions of Office will eventually debut in the Mac version a few years later.
What’s not to like about a company that is so thoughtful and considerate?
Microsoft wants Mac users to get paid more by actually working less. Working less? Sure. Instead of moving your mouse inches away from the Formatting Palette to the Elements Gallery, use the Ribbon instead. It’s different inches. Different clicks. Different productivity.
It’s nicely tucked into app window, next to the standard toolbar, which is still available in Office for Mac 2011, though a few functions have been re-arranged.
#2 – Ribbon Got Tabs, Tabs Good
Mac users are familiar with tabs. They’ve been in Safari and Firefox and other popular Mac applications for many years. No one can accuse Microsoft of not seeing the light or arriving at the party anything but fashionably late.
The Ribbon comes with tabs. Add the standard toolbar and the ribbon, and you’ve got the top 80-percent of Office’s most commonly used features. All 12 of them. Microsoft has cleaned up the Office for Mac interface, too. Would you prefer to use something like this on your Mac (click the images to reveal a larger, pop up image)?
Isn’t this friendly, layered environment easier on the eyes and more appealing? You can see the difference, right? Right?
More details on the Mac version of Office for Mac 2011 can be found here at Mac Mojo: The Official Office for Mac Team Blog
#1 – Microsoft Needs The Money
The world economic recession has not been kind to Microsoft. After all, Microsoft continues to bleed red in everything except Windows and Office.
Microsoft once helped Apple by injecting $150-million in the company back when our favorite Mac maker was losing money faster than customers leaving a Toyota showroom.
Now that Apple has more money than Microsoft, and a string of new hit products which only embarrass the Windows maker’s feeble attempts at marketing a portable media player or a simple cell phone, let’s do our part to help by standing in line to buy Microsoft Office for Mac 2011.
Not only will we get Word, and Excel, and PowerPoint, but Office 2011 promises to bring us the Outlook email experience, the standard of the business world. And what Mac user doesn’t want nearly complete, but-not-quite full compatibility with office workers who love Microsoft products so much that they stand in line to buy Macs with iWork?
A full and lasting economic recovery depends on Mac users going the extra mile.