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macfan777

Summary Review - Microsoft Word 2008

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So, as Mac users we've been stuck with Office 2004 for a while. Not a Universal Binary, won't open .docx files, slow as molasses to open... well, you get the picture. Not a bad program, but it had its faults. So when Microsoft announced Office 2008, the crowd went wild, so to speak. Would Microsoft finally deliver? Would they make an office suite that would maybe even be better than iWork? Certainly anything would be better that 2004.

 

Wrong.

 

I guess I have to give Microsoft credit for one thing - 2008 looks better that 2004. But what it gains in looks it lacks in performance. While it is a bit faster overall due to it being a Universal binary, it's still seriously deficient. Word still takes as long (or longer) to open. The whole program seems to be in a sort of time-warp device that slows it down just a bit whenever you click on something. And don't even bother with SmartArt graphics - those'll bring the program down to a crawl.

 

There are certainly more features in 2008, and the easily insertable document elements and such are a nice touch, but maybe Microsoft went overboard with this one. The eye candy isn't really eye candy because, well, it's sour. The animations are just plain terrible looking. They look like something a kid programmed. But I digress, Microsoft hit the target with features, even if the presentation is off the mark.

 

But the bugs! There are bugs all over the place - quick, someone get a can of Raid! I honestly can't believe how badly Microsoft screwed this up. Switch Spaces, and you lose your formatting palette's contents - you have to click on it to get them back. Exposé's blue highlight that covers the window - nah. Somehow Microsoft screwed this one up, too. It's never directly over the window, and most of the time it's not even there. And, oh, heaven forbid if you have to work on more than one document at a time! It's bad enough when your document window suddenly won't come to the front and stays behind all your other windows no matter how hard you click it or curse Microsoft, but it even happens when switching between documents, at random times. And sometimes when you switch to another program and back to Word, the document that was in the background is now mysteriously the active document. I won't even get started with the vanishing text issue - I'll only say that, fortunately, when it happens, it's not gone forever. Just for a few minutes.

 

And did the just-released Service Pack 1 fix any of these issues? Nope. None at all. Word is still as buggy, slow, and Microsoft-ish as ever. And because of the multitude of bugs, I'd even say it's worse than 2004. No wonder people prefer iWork.

 

The verdict?

 

10/10 for features

3/10 for usability

5/10 for performance

Total: 6/10

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