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3.4 out of 5 stars
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3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 November 2008
I am by no means a computer genius but talking from a novice point of view I have to say that after purchasing this product 3 months ago I have been perfectly happy with it. I previously had the office 2004 for MAC which admittedly was perhaps a little more user friendly and generally straight forward, but decided to upgrade to the new Office 2008 when I purchased a new iMac.

I generally only use Word and Excel, occasionally Powerpoint, and they serve the purpose that they are there for. After a little bit of getting used to, I've figured most things out, although creating web pages with the Word is not as simple as it was with 2004, and would happily recommend it to a friend. I am currently using it with Leopard operating system.

If you simply want to be able to create Windows compatible documents then this pack should give you everything you need. I use mine for writing word documents and creating spreadsheets and transferring these between my Windows based PC at work and my iMac at home. For this everything serves the purpose well.
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on 17 January 2008
After years with PCs, I finally migrated to the Mac this Christmas. The whole experience has been remarkably painless. Everything worked, the software is for the most part beautifully designed, and I felt I had found a comfortable new home. Then I got Office 2008 Home and Student Edition, principally for Word and Entourage, so I could access all my Office 2007 files...and found myself back in the Windows world.

Word 2008 looks pretty, but is flaky. It sometimes freezes, and there's an odd problem with the document window sometimes refusing to overlay other windows that are open on the desktop. Also, the interface is different from Office 2003 and 2007, and in my opinion not as good.

Maybe I'll get used to these foibles, but the instability of the software is worrying. Worse, Office 2008 isn't fully compatible with Office 2007. Word will read documents written using earlier versions. But Entourage does not read Outlook pst files AT ALL. Migrating Outlook to Entourage is awkward to impossible without making big compromises and wasting lots of time and effort. Microsoft created an add-on for Entourage 2004 that apparently works with Outlook 2001 pst files, but there's no information from Microsoft on converting Outlook 2003 or 2007 files. There are other solutions for converting pst files, but I can find none that are simple and seamless (or free). And once they're in Entourage format, I notice that there's no way of exporting them to other email programs.

To add to the sense of a fundamental misfit between Microsoft and Apple, Microsoft's support pages for mac don't seem to work with Safari (but do with Firefox). In retrospect, I wish I hadn't tried this half-way house between the Windows and Mac worlds, but just started afresh.
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on 30 November 2008
Have some people been using a different version of this software from me? (or trying to run it on OS9 maybe?)
It's not perfect (lack of VBA support, lack of advanced features in Excel, slow to start up, not fully compatible with spaces), but I think it's quite good and definitely worthy of four stars (I'm running the latest update 12.1.4 at the time of writing).
iWork '08 is not a good idea, as although Apple say it's compatible with the word and excel formats, it doesn't display the advanced formatting in these files properly. The only serious competition Office 2008 has is OpenOffice 3.0 (which now runs natively on the mac).
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on 26 April 2008
I have been using Office 2008 and Office 2004 in parallel for a while, and after a few weeks I have decided to uninstall the full Office 2008 package. Office 2008 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) is slower than the 2004 version, crashes (more) often, does not support macro's or VB, nor can I run EndNote. It also does not seem fully compatible with the PC version. Entourage 2008 appears to be OK, and is probably better than the 2004 version, but Mail and iCal are equally good alternatives and I do not miss it. This is in my view the worst version of Office around, and I do not recommend upgrading.
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on 20 May 2008
What more could you want?

Excel:
Several 'must have' features have been removed from Excel. It is also spectacularly slow so as to be unusable. The one upside: it is so bad, the MacBU team at Microsoft has connected me to someone to help me speed up basic operations (like adding graphs).

Word: Much slower. Crashes more. Runs out of memory (I have 4Gb on my machine, good luck)

Powerpoint: Did I mention slow? Couple of really nice features (based on OmniGraffle) to help you design / draw charts and diagrams. But not a patch on the smoothness of Keynote (which I hate anyway). I would give powerpoint 2 stars, maybe 2.5.

Overall it really deserves a one star. It has made me much less productive. I find myself running VMware and switching into Excel 2007 for Windows. As soon as I find my office 2004 discs I will be downgrading back to the previous version.

Extremely disappointing. Extremely confusing. And extremely not worthy of being on my machine or yours.
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on 26 May 2008
I upgraded (?) to Office 2008 from Office 2004 and everything crashed ! I loaded up the new Office SP patch and Office wouldn't open. I have now uninstalled this sad, broken, unfinished program and I am back to Office 2004. It is a shame that Microsoft don't seem to learn from their mistakes as this instability was the main reason I stopped using a PC !

1/10 - must try harder
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on 5 September 2008
I bought this because the kids need it for school and am amazed how dreadful it is.
First of all when installed it needs a 160Mb "critical" update.
This failed using the auto update (at 155MB). I then downloaded the latest update as a stand alone file from Microsoft. This failed at it could not find any office installation on my computer!
I tried the auto update again and this time it worked, but only after a cryptic "Microsoft does not understand this error" message.
This takes it to 12.1.
I now states that a 12.1.1 update is "Critical" and is another 150MB download.
The current version is actually 12.2 so goodness knows how long it will take to get there.
I have used Macs for 10+ years and never have I seen such shoddy, slapdash work.

They should be ashamed and Mr Jobs should have a word in their ear.

I haven't used it yet and it has been a day wasted so far.
Buy anything else unless you really, really need it.
I would give it no stars if this system allowed it.
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on 20 April 2008
Had to buy Office 2008 to go with my new Mac. Downloaded the so-called patch immediately (which, in fact, seems to be a whole new version, not a mere patch). I only use it for Word and it worked fine for a couple of days, but has now started to develop all kinds of problems. It crashes about once every hour. If I try to prevent the loss of text by exiting the programme at certain intervals, thus permanently saving my file, I find that I cannot close down the programme - the moment I try it becomes "unresponsive" and I have to use "force quit". Even when actually working, Word's spell and grammar checker will suddely develop an "unexpected error" whenever I try to add something to it.

Somewhat stranger is the fact that I find "Entourage temp" folders in my trash every time Word crashes, even though I do not use Entourage and haven't even opened the programme once.

I have no alternative to using Word and it is because of all the reported problems with the newer versions that I held on to my classic Mac for so long. I had to switch to OSX, a switch long overdue, but Word 2008 pretty much spoils everything. Microsoft has become a disgrace - with its own software and especially with the software it supplies for Apple.
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VINE VOICEon 26 February 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's no secret that Office is a complex product with lots more features than most people use or even discover (many of the top ten requested features in Office already exist in Office -- people just can't find them). There are also, of course, power users out there how know the product inside out.

I know Office on the PC inside out, and use it heavily for work. On the Mac, I am much more the novice -- I use it for working on Office documents when at home or travelling. In this context, I have found it flawless. It converts to and from PC formats effortlessly, and I can do most of the editint and creating I need to without even thinking I am working on a different operating system. Can thoroughly recommend it on that basis.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been using MS Office programs for years having migrated from WordPerfect on a PC to Word,Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint on PC's over the last 10 years. A couple of years ago I switched to Macs and moved to what was then Office 2004. I found the move from PC to Mac versions largely seamless with the exception of Entourage - the Office Mac replacement for Outlook. I'm not sure why there is not just a Mac version of Outlook as with the other Office packages. I didn't get on with Entourage and used - and still do - the Mail package that comes as standard with Macs. I find that this has better functionality than Entourage.

It was irritating that when Office 2007 for Windows was released Mac users had to wait for a 2008 version. I found the upgrade pain free and have not experienced stability problems with Excel, Word or PowerPoint. I'm a heavy Word and PowerPoint user and they both work fine. importantly Office 2008 allows DOCX file saving which is compatible with Word 2007 on PCs - something that's important as I share Word documents with colleagues and in the last days of Mac Word 2004 DOCX files were unreadable.

This incarnation of Office is very good value for the products you get. I know Apple produce their own 'office' software which can be cheaper - and with full versions of both Office 2008 and the Apple equivalent a significant price difference. I don't fancy learning new software however and updating to Office 2008 seems a sensible move.

Whether a current Office 2004 user should migrate to 2008 is a good question. If you're not sharing DOCX files it's probably not worthwhile. How much more can PowerPoint or Word actually do that's of value - not much I think. Plus the upgrade will require more hard disk space and a more powerful processor to maintain the same speed as 2004.

I summary, for me the Excel, Word and PowerPoint are essential and will probably be for people who have used PCs in the past and are moving to Mac. If you're moving now get 2008. If you have 2004 I'd probably retain it.

Finally, I've notice interface differences between Mac and PC versions which are not entirely helpful if, like me, you have to use PCs as well.
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