David Pogue said there’s “nothing like the real deal” when it comes to Microsoft Office on the Macintosh. Pogue is comparing Windows and Mac versions of the productivity application suite in his latest column for the
New York Times
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Noting that both the OS X and Windows versions of Microsoft Office produce 100 percent interchangeable documents, Pogue said the Mac version looks much better, “because it’s modeled after the gorgeous, translucent world of Mac OS X itself.”
Unfortunately, said Pogue, not everything is perfect with Office v. X, which he noted got a service release last month that corrected more than 1,500 problems. Pogue criticized the Entourage application’s lack of ability to sync with Palm handhelds, for instance, as well as some of the “chronically user-hostile features” of the way that Office handles macro and command names.
Still, said Pogue, Microsoft’s MacBU has produced good ideas that are ripe for the taking at the hands of their Windows counterparts. A bottom-edge word counter in Word, for example, and the way in which important mail folders are organized in Entourage.
“Overall, Office v. X is pretty and — thanks to the update — solid. Most Mac fans will find happiness with Office v. X. In fact, if they hope to move into the Mac OS X mansion for good, they’ll pretty much have to. AppleWorks (the alternative, free on many Macs) can open and save simple Microsoft Office files. But for maximum compatibility in the real business world, there’s nothing like the real deal.”