Our sister site, Macworld.com, has posted a great preview of
Microsoft Office 2004. There’s a lot to like, and if you use Office now, you’ll want to take a look. Really.
Although the suite won’t be available until the middle of this year, I saw it demonstrated during the Expo keynote in January and was extremely jazzed by the new features, especially within Entourage. (Known in my household as “the app that never sleeps.”)
The biggest change for Entourage — and for Office 2004 as a whole — is the new Project Center, which lets you easily access and manage your Office-related data from a single window. And view it in a project-centric way, so you can view in one window the links to all the info for a given job.
Which seems obvious, I guess, but something “obvious” can seem strikingly new. As when it fills a need, and does this so elegantly that you fall right into using it rather than wondering why it wasn’t there before. Project Center looked great in the Expo demo, so much so that I was reminded of the first time I saw Panther’s Exposé feature — it turned out to be a powerful tool that’s fun to use, and I’m betting Microsoft delivers, too.
It looks as if there’s a lot more to like in Office 2004, but I’ll let Macworld’s Kelly Lunsford, Philip Michaels and Jason Snell share it with you on their site.
But before you head over there, I’d like to point out a couple new weblogs worth looking at while you’re on Macworld.com:
Mac 911: Tips and Troubleshooting, and
Editor’s Notes: News & Opinion. The former is written by longtime Mac problem-solver Christopher Breen, who’s also a fine musician, so his GarageBand tips are top-drawer. His coverage of the iPod mini is extensive — so thorough, in fact, that he managed to kill one. As he notes, “”I destroy ’em so you don’t have to!”
The Editor’s Notes weblog is a potpourri of timely news, opinion and analysis. The central theme is Macs, of course, but that covers a lot of ground — and so do the entries. From Jon Seff’s look at legal file-sharing with Bit Torrent, to Peter Cohen’s article on the concerns of some independent Mac retailers, to Jim Dalrymple’s first-hand coverage of those “iPod zombies in New York” — well, the blog is off to a great start.
Apple financial gurus talk about the company’s future
Apple CFO Fred Anderson and Corporate Controller Peter Oppenheimer, recently spoke to investors and analysts at the Morgan Stanley Semiconductor & System Conference. In a session about 45 minutes long,they covered some interesting points about Apple’s business strategy, its success with the iPod and iTunes, and how it plans to continue making money and improving margins.
iDVD 4.0.1 update released
Apple updates AirPort software to v3.3.1
Apple: Oscar-winning Return of the King used Shake
San Francisco Apple Store Lucky Bags end up on eBay
Undercurrent of dissatisfaction from Mac indie retailers
WiebeTech ships dealer, user-configurable G5Jam
WiebeTech is now shipping its G5Jam internal storage system for Power Mac G5s in a new configuration, the G5J-0, that allows buyers to add their own drives instead. The G5Jam enables users to increase internal storage to up to four drives — the Power Mac G5 can handle two drives on its own — and the system can handle up to 200MB/sec transfer speeds.
FirewireDirect offers new 2, 4, 8-bay FW800 RAID system
Xitel Ground Loop Isolator stops ‘speaker hum’
Brother debuts MFC-8220 multifunction printer
Gefen offers FireWire Extender
Belkin’s microphone adapter turns iPod into recorder
Nanosaur II to support 3D, includes anaglyph glasses
Pangea Software is set to deliver its hotly anticipated Mac-only 3D action game Nanosaur II: Hatchling in less than two weeks. The company announced that the game will support stereoscopic rendering using either red-blue anaglyph glasses — included with the game — or LCD shutter glasses. If you’ve got a pair of anaglyph glasses from your last trip to the theater to see a 3D movie, you can check out a special Web page with preview screenshots.
MP3 maker adds Digital Rights Management (DRM)
‘GarbageApps’ debut from GarbageSoftware
PowerMate software updated for iLife 04, Office, more
MediaEdit Pro optimized for Panther, now cheaper
XO Play offers Herbert’s Big Adventure game for iPod
Around the Web
Apple silences Power Mac G5 beeps, hissing
Apple this week acknowledged there have been noise issues with some of its Power Mac G5 models when used with professional external audio gear. The company said the issue is fixed in newly produced machines, and that users of earlier G5s who experience the problem should contact Apple. customer support.
Pepsi’s iTunes giveaway bottles not fully available
Portable headphone roundup
Using iChat AV with a Bluetooth-enabled headset
Voice over IP – Plan A vs Plan B
The coolology of Cooligy
Microsoft code in every HD-DVD player?