Microsoft certainly isn’t letting Apple have it easy. If iWork ’09 was a shot across the bows of Office for Mac 2008, Office for Mac 2011 is a full salvo aimed right at the waterline of the USS iWork ’09. It’s almost hard to believe just how much improvement Microsoft has made with the latest version of Office, bearing in mind that the previous version was a massive step forwards in and of itself.
Then again, when we’ve already seen Office 2010 for Windows prove just how good an office application suite Microsoft can produce when it puts its mind to it, we’d have been surprised if Office for Mac 2011 wasn’t a resounding success.
Some of the changes are as minor as a new set of icons and snazzier splash screens as applications load. Others are as significant as the finally realised dream of many an Office for Mac user: the death of Entourage and its replacement with a Mac version of Outlook.
Big and small alike, these changes all combine to create what is without a doubt the slickest version of Office we’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Not only are there numerous improvements imported from Office 2010, but there are even some Mac-exclusive enhancements, not to mention some excellent integration with not only OS X itself but also a number of Apple’s own applications that give Office for Mac 2011 an appeal that’s hard to resist.
The least appealing aspect of Office is the pricing, which is significantly more than the £50ish for which iWork can be picked up. Those able to get along without an extra email client on their Macs can grab Home and Student for £89.99 with Home and Business adding Outlook for a heftier £189.99. Home and Student, and Home and Business also come in two-user and three-user versions, priced at 109.99 and 239.99 respectively.
As we know, more important than the price is what Office for Mac 2011 has to offer for it. So just what’s so fantastic about this latest version of Office? The following pages are the place to find out.