Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 Business Edition

  • Develop professional documents with Word building blocks and commonly-used business templates
  • Build informative, accurate spreadsheets with easy-to-use, preformatted Excel formulas
  • Manage e-mail, daily appointments and tasks with Entourage
  • Apply SmartArt graphics to create polished presentations and reports
  • Connect with others through Microsoft Office Exchange Server support

Product Description
Whether you have a Mac or an Intel PC, you can swiftly manage your entire business with Office 2008 for Mac. This product includes user-friendly business softwareAmazon. com Product Description
Your business is everything to you–an extension of your life, an expression of your passion. Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition is packed with all the tools and features you need to make your vision a success. Get core Office applications to help you manage your business, organize your data and present a professional image; plus new Exchange Server support and reliable Office for Windows compatibility that take productivity and collaboration to the next level. Manage business today while you plan for tomorrow with Excel. Click to enlarge. Give more polished, creative presentations with PowerPoint. Click to enlarge. Create high-quality marketing materials like bro. . . More >>

Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 Business Edition


  1. Reviewed on MacBook 2. 4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo running System 10. 6. 2 with version 12. 2. 3 of Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 Business Edition.

    Previous reviewers have spent much time comparing and contrasting Office for Mac 2008 with earlier versions or with PC versions. I won’t repeat that, and I’m also going to assume that you have at least a passing knowledge of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

    The decision now facing you, however, is likely one as to WHICH version of Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 you’ll be buying. There are four choices:

    1) Home and Student Edition
    2) Standard Edition
    3) Special Media Edition
    4) Business Edition

    The Home and Student Edition (about $110) is the basic iteration – it includes all the major products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage) but does not have Exchange Server support or Automator Actions. Exchange Server Support is included in OSX 10. 6, so this loss is not particularly important. Visual Basic, supported in earlier versions, is no longer supported. If you care about that, you’ll probably want the “replacement” automator actions capabilities. If you’ve never heard of or used visual basic, then this version might be just fine for you.

    The Standard Edition adds Microsoft Exchange support, something already included in OS X, and only of interest if you insist on using Entourage rather than Mac Mail. Automator Actions are included as well. This comes at a significant extra cost, as the standard edition is about $195.

    The Special Media Edition adds Expression Media, but also includes Automator Actions and Exchange Support. Oddly, it is available at a lower price of $174. You will therefore never purchase the Standard Edition above. Expression Media presents a digital asset library capability not reviewed here. Note that this edition is the only boxed set of Microsoft Office for the Mac to include Expression Media.

    Finally, the Business edition ($260) includes Office Live Workspace and SharePoint support, as well as Remote Desktop Connection, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Office Live Meeting. You may find that some of these are necessary for interactions with your workplace. I was hopeful that with the support, I’d be able to use Entourage to access my workplace email. That email is provided via Outlook Web Access and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. Unfortunately, my company provides this through a secure interface that is not supported by Entourage. I therefore have no choice but to use Entourage (or Apple Mail) for my personal email and then access my corporate email via their web server directly. There appears to be no workaround provided by Microsoft for this yet.

    A second DVD is provided with the Business Edition that includes 63 training videos from [. . . ] — these videos are straightforward and are helpful for those transitioning from earlier versions of MS Office or from other office suites. These videos, if of interest, are the most obvious difference between this and other available editions. The other significant difference, in my view, is the Remote Desktop Connection. That software allows you to connect your Mac to a PC, accessing files, running programs, etc. Your performance may vary of course, depending upon the PC and its operating system, and upon the method you use to connect the computers.

    I tend to use Apple’s iWork for the bulk of my own generated work. Most of my clients, however, use MS Office, so I find myself in Office a good part of each day. Now that earlier versions of MS Office have been updated to allow them to read new document formats generated by Office 2008, that issue is no longer a problem. However, there remain several significant bugs.

    The most significant is the occasional crash of MS Word in which the program, in the midst of a long multi-page document, simply freezes, presenting a spinning beach ball. I’ve had this happen about once per week, in a variety of circumstances, and have been unable to track down why. I note that Apple Pages has never crashed for me.

    Another issue has been that of inconsistencies between PC and Mac versions of the product. One client has sent me documents in the default Print Layout view where text is buried within a lightly colored frame. In some cases, the text is invisible until I switch to Draft view. There is no apparent reason for this since the information can be read without difficulty if I cut the apparently non-existent text, then paste it into another program (Apple Mail or Pages, for instance).

    As others have noted, there are some significant differences in Excel as well that will essentially produce a loss of function in 2008 versus earlier iterations of the product.

    So. . . now that you can easily open 2008 documents in earlier versions of MS Office, there’s little reason to update to this version — yes, it runs a little faster on an Intel box than 2004 — but there are some bugs that remain in place. If you need one of the Business Edition capabilities, or if the video assistance is of interest, then this is the edition to purchase. Otherwise, the Home/Student edition seems the most appropriate.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  2. Most people are familiar with at least some parts of Microsoft Office. . . Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage. These programs have been around for years and Microsoft keeps adding new features with each new version. There are just too many features to go into here. For more specific info go to: [. . . ]

    What I will do here is go over the differences between the “Home and Student” and the “Business” versions as well as point out some new features found in Office 2008. The Home and Student” version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Messenger, Entourage, and Live Workspace Support. While most people know what the first four apps do, the last two might need explaining. Live Workspace is Microsoft’s online storage and file sharing product. You can access your files from any computer and even make them available to other people. I don’t use this so I can’t comment on it. Entourage is Microsoft’s email client (like Outlook on the PC). The “Home and Student” version of Entourage has one big limitation. It doesn’t support Microsoft Exchange Server. Exchange is Microsoft’s email server and is used by many businesses. If you want to take your Mac into work, plug it into your company’s network, and use a full featured email program, you need the “Business” version to connect to an Exchange mail system. This is the biggest reason for buying the “Business Edition”.

    The “Business”edition adds the following services:

    1. Microsoft Sharepoint support. This is one of those features that if you don’t know what it is, you probably don’t need it. Sharepoint is a server app that allows file sharing services over the internet. A lot of medium to large business use it.

    2. Entourage Web Services Edition. In addition to supporting Exchange, it also adds syncing tasks, notes, etc. over the internet.

    3. Remote Desktop for Mac. This app lets you take over your PC and remotely use it on your Mac.

    No matter which version you buy, Office has proven itself over the years to be a stable and full featured set of applications.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. I installed Office 2008 on my 1. 25GHz G4 iMac, running System 10. 5. 8 . Since many reviewers have thoroughly discussed the features of each Office application already, I am focusing this review on my experience of upgrading from Office v. X to Office 2008 on a PowerPC iMac.

    *I have experience with several versions of Mac Office, beginning with version 4. 2 . I also have used Office 98, Office 2001, and as mentioned above, Office v. X before upgrading to Office 2008.
    *The way I use Office has changed over time. I made extensive use of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in graduate school and in various professional settings through Office 2001. Now I mostly use Excel to do basic financial analysis and Word to write personal documents.

    *Installation is straightforward, using Apple’s familiar Installer mechanism. I prefer this method to the old drag-and-drop installation method because OS X is so sensitive to where things are installed.
    *The installer program automatically finds older versions of Office and allows users to delete them easily.
    *Many customized settings can be transferred from previous Office installations, including dictionaries, autocorrect lists, and proofing tool settings.
    *Once Office 2008 is installed, several updates must be downloaded and installed. Microsoft should have made this process more user-friendly. Users must manually shut down other applications, including the Office 2008 Installer, before running the update installer.

    *Office is now a Universal Binary so the same program will run on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.
    *An Uninstaller is placed in the Office folder automatically.
    *Office will check for updates automatically on a schedule chosen by the user. No more messing around on the Microsoft website, hoping you didn’t miss a Service Pack or Critical Update.
    *Users can now turn the feedback sounds on and off. If hearing a chime, a popping bubble, or some other “cute” noise every time you did something drove you crazy, you will greatly appreciate this long overdue feature.
    *Speaking of unnecessary cuteness, Clippy the Paperclip is gone! Yesssssss!

    *All the applications startup and quit slowly on a G4 machine. Office v. X applications started and quit virtually instantaneously (yes, I realize v. X was written specifically for PowerPC processors). Saving files is slow as well.
    *Office 2008 uses a new file format that is not compatible with other versions of Office. If you send documents to people who are not fully up to date, you have to save a second version or limit yourself to working with the older file format.
    *It’s good that Microsoft no longer just ports Windows Office to the Mac. Nonetheless, there are user interface inconsistencies both within and across the applications which keep Office from feeling 100% Macintosh.
    *Silverlight, Microsoft’s attempt to compete with Macromedia Flash, is installed by default.
    *WARNING FOR POWER USERS: No macros in Excel! Bad, bad, bad move. And no support for Visual Basic.

    Bottom line: Office 2008 doesn’t hold any surprises for experienced Office users. For the most part, everything still operates in the way to which you are accustomed. If you own a PowerPC Mac and use an older version of Office, you should carefully consider whether you want to upgrade or not. The benefits of the new features may be outweighed by the inconvenience of the slower performance and/or the need to adjust your workflow.

    3. 5 stars, rounded down to 3 due to the removal of macros and Visual Basic from Excel.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  4. *Installation/First Look
    **Office 2008 (Mac) vs. Office 2000 (PC)
    ***Cost vs. Benefit Analysis
    *****Pro’s and Con’s

    Hardware used:
    MacBook Pro 1. 83/ 10. 5. 8/ 2GB of RAM

    *This beautifully packaged, 2-disc set comes in with the Office logos impressed against a black background to distinguish it from the lesser program, “Home and Office” which is on a rather unappealing yellow background. I suspect it has everything to do with an up-sell, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

    Installation took about 45 minutes. As installation was proceeding, I thought about the programs that I wouldn’t use since I already have a copy of Office 2000 and it’s not in use. So, I decided to I needed to get rid of Entourage and Messenger. I had trouble finding the uninstall button and I didn’t want to make the mistake of dragging those app’s into the trash and risk a problem when Microsoft send those security updates.

    To uninstall the program and/or do a custom install, here’s the process:
    Applications-Microsoft Office 2008-Additional Tools-Remove Office

    Doing a custom install, believe it or not, saved me almost 1GB of space. Once I had the program installed, the program engaged in a search for an older edition of Office, to either deposit in the trash or to have itself positioned along side. What’s interesting is that the program wasn’t able to recognize Office 2000 that was encased in Fusion w/ Windows XP. This worked out just fine for me as I brought up Fusion, then Office 2000 with my Word and Excel files. Dragged a copy of a file from each program on to the Mac side of my compare it to the new Word and Excel programs.

    **As compared to Office 2000, Office 2008 is beautifully re-designed. The streamlined header against a silver grey background is a nice touch. If you’re using one of the older versions of Office, you’ll appreciate the new look. What Microsoft has wisely done is take a page from Adobe and adopted more of a minimalistic design. Keeping the frequently used New/Open/Save/Print/Format. There’s also a sub-header and when engaged like “Document Elements” a drop down display is revealed with a picture viewer style of templates at your disposal. No more going to the top bar, clicking headers and working your way through the, sometimes, dizzying sections. Everything is neatly displayed and easy to get to. Clicking again on the sub-header brings it back to its original position.

    Using the programs itself hasn’t changed however. Since I’ve been working on a longer than usual review of a new Louis Armstrong biography, I wondered if there were any hidden advantages using the new Word program. I did the same for next year’s budget for our company. This would be one of the things that one should consider when thinking of upgrading and especially concerning the cost.

    *** The most impressive thing so far is the re-design of the suite. But, fundamentally, this is only cosmetic. The functionality hasn’t changed. If you have an older version of Office, is it worth your wild to upgrade? If you need to upgrade can you get away with Office “Home & Student Ed. “?

    This is where it gets tricky for someone in my position. I work during the day as an account rep. / payroll admin. I also have my own multi-media company. As I mentioned earlier, I have Office 2000 (PC) installed on my MacBook thanks to my virtual software VMWare Fusion. From a practical standpoint, the answer is “no. ” Office 2000 is almost 10 years old and it was something I didn’t have to buy since I bought my Mac a couple of years ago. All of my PC software I migrated over when I bought Fusion.

    Cost is another consideration that I found a bit disconcerting. Depending on what your needs are, there may be no logical reason to go with the “Business Ed. ,” ($310, Amazon). The Home/Student Ed. , ($99, Amazon) is roughly 1/3 the price and you have most of the core features of the Business ed. , with the exception of the “Training videos from [. . . ]”, 200 business templates and Exchange Server support. (Free tutorials on the entire suite is available on YouTube and there are dozen of pages of free templates offered via a Google search. ) So, for $200 less, the only thing you’d really be missing is the Server support.

    ****There are other alternatives. If you have a licensed, older copy from your PC days, then buying a virtual software (around $60) enables you to use that software and the other PC/ Windows based programs without having to buy a newer or a Mac OS version.

    There’s, of course, the free office suites available such as OpenOffice, ThinkFree, Google Docs and Zoho to name a few.

    ***** Pro’s And Con’s
    +Beautiful, streamlined interface with easier to use tabs
    +Introduction of a “Detachable palette” for extra functions relieves the header of having unnecessary functions always present.
    +Office suite takes up less space on the hd as compared to older ver. ‘s
    +Extra software is included on disc #2, and doesn’t have to be installed.
    +Icons automatically install on Dock.

    -Cost. Exorbitant.
    -The Business Ed. is 3x of the standard version, but with nothing to justify the cost difference.
    -There are free alternative available that functions the same of MS Office.

    I’m surprised that I like this version of MS Office, however, there aren’t enough technical advances to justify the cost of a whole new program, especially if you have a fairly recent version. Comparing to Office of 10 years ago, there’s only cosmetic changes here.

    Price is also a major consideration. The Business Edition is way over-priced. If the standard version, “Home & Student” has a street price of $100, this should follow at about $150. For a small business needing an Office suite, I’d recommend MS Office Home & Student over everything else available because ease of use and the likelihood that someone is fairly familiar with Office by now. But, the free alternatives can’t be discounted.

    I’d like to give this 3-½ stars and perhaps the Home & Student 4, but since there are no half stars, I’m forced to give 3 stars.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  5. I’m not going to waste time discussing the merits of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. If you use Office for Windows, you already know all about them. iWork is more Mac-like in many, many ways, plus it saves Office compatible file formats, so if you are a Mac user and need word processing, etc. , buy iWork.

    But if you are a Microsoft Office user, and want to continue using your familiar Office tools, the news is very good: this implementation of Office for Mac is darn near perfect. It looks the same, it works the same, it saves files that are binary-compatible with the Windows version, and it’s somewhat mac-like. Nearly every feature is compatible and interoperable between Windows and Mac. There is no translation going on, the data files are binary compatible across platforms. Just open the Excel, PowerPoint or Word document from a Windows machine on your mac. Every formatting detail is there, although there may be some font and pagination differences to deal with.

    The other good news: Entourage is flat out better than Outlook. It’s a good product for email/calendar/contacts/tasks.

    The bad news: it’s MS Office, warts and all. It’s got the Ribbon-’nuff said. Compared to the iWork suite, it has a bit more functionality, but it does it in that special Microsoft way. You have to respect Microsoft for the market position they have achieved. Word, Excel and PowerPoint are all capable products. They just aren’t really Mac products. To be fair, these are very good Mac ports, they are stable, they work as well as their Windows counterparts. iWork is just more Mac-like. No deduction for this, because if you spend money to buy a Microsoft product for your Mac, you deserve what you get.

    The extras in this package are pretty cool. Because they are Microsoft products, you may need IT help to get them working, and you may need the latest version of the Windows-based Microsoft products as well. This package has a Remote Desktop app, that lets you access your PC from your Mac, and a Live Workspace app, that provides collaboration and sharing capabilities. Remote Desktop is pretty cool, but as always, there are some issues getting access to a work machine behind a firewall. If you have IT support, you might really get a lot of value out of these extras.

    Here’s what you need to beware of: Check with your mail administrator about compatibility between your version of Exchange server and this version of Office, and about your company’s policy about Mac support. There are some issues about compatibility between different versions of Exchange and Entourage. In general, you will need the newest version of Exchange to support Entourage, but again, check with your admin.

    Bottom line: Perfect look-alike, work-alike compatibility with Office 2007. Some extras that may make your life a lot easier. Microsoft through and through. If that sounds like the product you want, buy it.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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