Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Office 2008: To Buy or Not to Buy, That is the Question

Word processing has changed little since I first began using Word Star on Windows 3.1.1 and MacWrite on a a black-and-white Mac Plus. As the now-infamous guy who stated that "parts is parts" when discussing automobile parts sales, for most of us, "words is words."

Give me a spell checker, some font and type size controls, spacing, and alignment and tab settings. Toss in a table tool and I'm a happy camper.

MS Office 2008 for the Mac is the first version of this office suite that is MacIntel native. Earlier versions run in emulation mode, such that the application can offer new meaning to the term sluggish. The Houston Chronicle offers a first-look at Office 2008 for the Mac.

Unless you exchange MS Word or Excel files with others for the purpose of co-writing, the Apple iWork package, at about $80, is a bargain recommendation from yours truly. Keep in mind that anyone can read any iWork files which are converted to PDFs. You can continue to share files with others by generating PDFs from the Apple word processing application, Pages, or the number-crunching Numbers. Getting in the habit of distributing PDFs is a good thing, even if you stick with MS Word.

Many home offices will do well to purchase iWork 08 and pocket the change that would have gone for the more expensive Office 2008.

Oh, you want the capability of reading MS Word files? No problem. Pages will open them..

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