Mac Office 2008 First Look

Trying out new software is something that has become much of a hobby for me. Having a hackint0sh gives you the ability to try out and get used to the Mac platform, something that works quite differently as compared to Windows. Microsoft Office 2007 is a great product, after a ‘not so well received’ Vista, Office 2007 in sharp contrast did a splendid job. Office for Mac had to deliver too, else MS would have had to deal with a huge PR disaster online. But, they delivered, Office 2008 for Mac has been well received and having a hackint0sh, I decided to give it a try.

Here, is a first look at the Office 2008 for Mac:

Package contents:

  1. MS Word
  2. MS Excel
  3. MS Power Point
  4. MS Entourage
  5. MSN Installer

One thing that comes on your dock after installation is the Microsoft Project Manager, now this is one cool app. It is a launcher for any type of document with template options to choose from. You can create a new Word document having the Resume template or the Notebook Layout. You can start a Excel spread sheet, or create a new mail with Entourage. You can open & save documents in the new docx format without any hassles at all.

The templates are amazing, simply amazing, such a huge collection of built-in defaults. It is even difficult for me to list to you the variety of templates that at your disposal. Here is a screen-shot of the Microsoft Project Manager:


Microsoft Entourage is the Mac version of Microsoft Outlook, looks and behaves pretty much the same:


Microsoft Word, ah! now the Notebook layout for Word makes Word look splendid, you have the toolbar on the side and a Ribbon like UI that comes in the normal Word templates. Screen-shot:


Microsoft Excel, I have not used Excel on Windows & neither on OS X, all I need Excel is to make a couple of charts. The Ribbon UI will appear when you press on any of the options in the line that has ‘Charts’ as the second option. Screen-shot:


Microsoft Power Point:

This is the first thing I check out in any Office suite, it’s presenter. Be it Keynote or Impress or Power point. From what I see it has a few templates different as compared to it’s Windows counter-part. You can see the Ribbon like UI that is showing you the ‘Smartart Graphics’. And, I found myself a slick looking template (shown in screen-shot). Screen-shot:


Here are some differentiating points:

As I had long time back, mentioned about themeing Microsoft Office 2007, Office 2008 for Mac, has no such option. Secondly, I find the toolbar UI to be cluttered, though It has all the options at your immediate disposal, I love the Ribbon UI. The Mac version has a hybrid UI which combines the power of the Ribbon UI & Toolbar. Still, the Ribbon is way more cooler & slicker! The templates for document & Power Point, are also different. Microsoft project Manager’s Office 2007 brother – Microsoft Publisher looks crap. I simply love the way MS Project manager is. I’d certainly love to see this in the next for Windows edition of MS Office.

Here are images of Microsoft Office 2007 & Office for Mac 2008, side by side:

Microsoft Office 2007 Word vs Office for Mac 2008 Word:


Microsoft Office 2007 Excel vs Office for Mac 2008 Excel:


Microsoft Office 2007 Power Point vs Office for Mac 2008 Power Point:


Microsoft Outlook vs Entourage:


Toolbar Interface & Ribbon Interface:


Using the software is fun, it is simple as you have all the options on the toolbar. iWork on my hackint0sh  (Leopard, worked fine on Tiger 10.4.8) does NOT work, however Microsoft Office 2008 works like charm. With this software Microsoft’s Mac division has shown that it can too churn out products that look and behave like other Mac products, if not better. The Project Manager window is everything a Mac software is considered and meant to be -shiny & slick. In other words, Microsoft is moving on the right path when it comes to products for the Mac platform and I am hoping for a lot more from them in the future. Kudos to the Office development team at Mac, they have not let their Windows counterpart down!