Today marks the release of Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, the latest release of one of the most popular software products on the Mac. The last release was several years ago, Office for Mac 2008. Microsoft has made many changes and tried very hard to bring symmetry between the recently released Microsoft Office 2010 and this last version of the Mac Office suite. Back on October 13th I posted a link to the Wall Street Journal's review of Office for Mac 2011, which was for all intense purposes a rave review. In that review Walt Mossberg basically said that every aspect of the office suite was improved, especially the e-mail client. Up until Office for Mac 2008 that client was called Entourage. That e-mail client didn't share the name, the functionality or the database of it's distant cousin on the PC side of things - Outlook. Office for Mac 2011 on the other hand has a younger sibling in the Mac suite called - Outlook for Mac. Go figure! It looks like Outlook. It works like Outlook. It even shares the same database structure, so talking to Exchange is an easy thing to do. While I haven't tried it yet, Mr. Mossberg and others give it a high five! [ad#468x60 Banner]
If you are interested in picking up this new incarnation of Office on the Mac, you are in luck as your options aren't as complicated as in the past, but they aren't iWork easy either. There are still multiple versions of the suite and you will need to decide which one is right for you. Below you will find a list of each of the editions being offered, the retail price and what Amazon is selling them for (with a link).
The two primary editions Home & Student and Home & Business come in two different flavors. You can get a single install or license, allowing you to install it on one Mac. You can also get a Family Pack which allows you to install the suite on up to 3 different Macs. If you own an iMac and a MacBook, then the Family Pack is the version you need to purchase. I don't know what pirate protection they have in 2011, but in 2008 you could install on multiple Macs but you couldn't run the software at the same time on two different Macs on the same network.
If you need to have Outlook, then the Home & Business edition is the one you want to get. Home & Student doesn't come with Outlook. One would assume that many Mac users are happy with Apple Mail and won't use Outlook so why include the program. Come to think of it, that does seem to make some sense. Not sure it's how you get market share, but it is a valid way to go. Don't forget though, if you need to install on your iMac and your MacBook, get the Family Edition; even if you don't have one. This version also only allows two installs, compared to the Home & Student edition which allows three installs.
There is an Academic version of the software available for a much reduced price. It included Outlook as well. There is a catch. You must be one of the following: higher eduction faculty member, staff or student. Basically you work or attend university. You also can only install one copy of the software, so if you have an iMac and a MacBook you must choose carefully.
Here is a tip. If you work for a company that uses Microsoft software, you might be entitled to one copy of Office For Mac 2011 at a greatly reduced price. You may even be able to get more than one copy, the rules are always in flux and at times it seems to very from company to company. So check with your IT group, maybe you can get a deal. Last year my family got two of the Home & Student 2008 editions. That entitled us to install 6 copies of the software across all our Macs - 100% legal. The cost was extremely reasonable. Don't know yet if we can do with the 2011 edition or not, but I can promise you that we will be checking. I prefer iWork, but it's handy having Office on your Mac.
Be sure to check out the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 website. There you will find product information, how to's, templates and much more. It's a useful sight and may help you to decide if you need Office or Mac 2011 and if so, which one to get.
Microsoft Office Home & Student 2011
- Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint & Messenger
- Single License: Retail $119.00 & Amazon $109.99
- Family Pack (3 Licenses): Retail $149.00 & Amazon $129.99
Microsoft Office Home & Business 2011
- Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook & Messenger
- Single License: Retail $199.00 & Amazon $174.99
- Family Pack (2 Licenses): Retail $279.00 & Amazon $239.99
Microsoft Office Academic 2011
- Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook & Messengerr
- Single License: Retail $99.00 (Intended for High Education Faculty, Staff & Students)
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