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Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent step-forward from 2004, 17 Jan. 2009
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This review is from: Office 2008 for Mac, Home and Student Edition (3 User Edition) (Mac) (Software)
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I can't really understand the negative reviews. As a University student who needs something simple and effective to produce presentations and make notes, I previously used Office 2004 which has become a very popular package understandably - it's really nice to use, and incredibly simple. However, I honestly believe Office 2008 is a great step-forward for Student's for a number of reasons:

- A HUGE plus... On PowerPoint, you can now use your Apple Remote to switch slides! And about time too! This now means I can use my MacBook for presentations with PowerPoint and not hang around near the projector all the time. Fantastic integration.

- Better presentations on PowerPoint, that not only look more modern but are easier to produce (even easier than previous Windows version's)

- Brand new graphics and animation, universal on all Office programs but primarily again in PowerPoint, which make previous versions of Office already seem old. I love the new themes and general modern approach of the colours/layouts available.

- Better Notebook layout on Word - Colour coded tabs and clearer layouts/easier photo intergation (Including iPhoto) makes lecture notes much better to produce. Also has a great Mic recording feature - I can record speeches/music being played through my MacBook's Mic, and Word will save it and place an Audio tab on your Notebook document, all a very low size. Neat!

- Quicker performance, most likely because this is Intel based, though remember the start-up times differ on whether you've opened the program beforehand whilst the iMac/MacBook has been on.

- Auto-option fields on Excel, which brings up a menu of common Sums/features automatically to save having to remember those awful formulas. Can't say I agree with others about this looking like a cut down version of Excel; it does all the important tasks you could on previous versions, which is mainly important.

- 'My Day' is a new feature which allows you to plan you day. Though I still feel like the only person in the world who uses their Calendar function on their mobile for making notes, this is handy for inputting important dates.

- All the network-computers not just on my campus, but all the libraries/IT suites uses Office 2008 for Windows. Both the Mac and PC saved files integrate without fuss, unlike Office 2004 were a .docx file had to be converted to the old .doc, and vice versa. The reason for this file change is because of the new graphics, fonts etc.

- The most important plus.... This is 10 times better than Office 2008 for PC! All the PC's in University use it, and everyone hates it. This Mac version is much easier to use, and doesn't integrate the ridiculous ribbon interface, making it no where near as intimidating as the PC version.

Don't forget about Entourage too; Mac Office's version of Outlook for PC. I have a Yahoo Mail account, and upgraded to Yahoo plus for less than 99 pence a month. In about 2 minutes, Entourage had set up my account, got my messages, and I haven't needed to go on a browser to write/check my mail since! It even makes some sounds when you receive mail, so you can set-up a schedule to check your mail whenever you like. No more checking my mail constantly! It also has plenty more Diary, Contacts (which sync to Mac's Address Book) and even a Project Mode, making Entourage a life saver for University.

One interesting thing I have noticed across all the reviews on this page is that a fair number of people aren't even Students! In most cases, they are parents who are buying it with the excuse their School-kids need it, when actually it's for them. And then they're disappointed it's not what they expected? If any of you have compared the FULL version of Office to the STUDENT version, their is a massive difference. We used the Full version in College some years ago, and the difference was amazing.

The only reason this gets 4 Stars is down to Microsoft's incompetence. Firstly, I had to download and install 2 'critical' updates (each over 140mb each, and each once upacked ended up just over or just below 500mb!). To release a piece of software that has such issues is not forgivable, and may be the reason why many early reviewers have had performance problems.

Secondly, Microsoft Messenger (MSN) as it's dubbed, still doesn't have iSight integration for video chat, which is very dissapointing. Again, you have to update MSN even after installing it, so the process is pointless. If you DO want to use your iSight cam for instant messaging, I highly recommend the free software 'Mercury Messenger' - basic, but does the job.

In conclusion, I've found this to be an excellent Student package, and other MacBook owners from my class's have also had problem free experiences - we love it. But as said previously, if you're not even a Student in the first place, how do you expect academic features and tools to be of use?
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Nov 2009 16:28:47 GMT
Jenni says:
The Student version is the same as Home, it's just cheaper.
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