Do I HAVE to use Microsoft software?

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I'm wondering how I'm going to open other people's Word/Excel docs on my future Mac. Do I have to buy Office for Mac? It kind of scares me that the latest version is 2004. If Microsoft has no plans to ever update it again, why should I invest in it? Is there some other way to open Office docs on a Mac, as well as modify/save them and let others be able to open them?

Also, same goes for Entourage. Why use that when it's as old as 2004, and Mail/iCal/Address Book will do the same thing, and I can rest assured those apps are going to be updated on a fairly regular basis by Apple?
 
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i use ms office but there is neo office as ' dekan ' said.

there is a new ms office 2008 coming out later this year.
 
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Also, same goes for Entourage. Why use that when it's as old as 2004, and Mail/iCal/Address Book will do the same thing, and I can rest assured those apps are going to be updated on a fairly regular basis by Apple?

Entourage does more than Mail/iCal and Address book combined...

Office 2008 is coming out later this year - but in answer to your question, you don't have to use MS software.
 
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I used MS office for mac at university and like it way more than NeoOffice. The usability is better imo, but I found it too pricey to get it for myself. NeoOffice is good enough for what I do.
 
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Entourage does more than Mail/iCal and Address book combined...

Office 2008 is coming out later this year - but in answer to your question, you don't have to use MS software.

What exactly does Entourage do that the organization software that comes with Mac can't do?
 
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i love neooffice. i had word and neooffice and word just had too many stupid auto formatting things that annoyed so i use neooffice
 
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I use NeoOffice, it's great. I tried the demo of Word when I got my iMac, and - rather predictably - it crashed after a short time, so I deleted it.
 

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What exactly does Entourage do that the organization software that comes with Mac can't do?

There is no one Mac program that I'm aware of that does Calendaring, Task organization and mail all-in-one. There are programs that do this stuff individually (bundled with the mac).

Entourage is similar to Outlook. It is NOT the same and does not have all of the same capabilities, but it's suitable for many tasks that people would normally use Outlook for. Personally, I use Apple's Mail for all of my home email needs and only revert to Entourage to connect to my company's Exchange server from home. This keeps business and personal stuff nicely separated.

But if you don't want to use MS products, there's always alternatives. I'd echo the sentiment of other posters and highly recommend NeoOffice - which I like even better than the Mac version of Office for some things.
 
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Ahhh, NeoOffice = OpenOffice. Good stuff!

I think I'll stick with iCal, Mail, and Address Book. I don't want to have to support Microsoft any more than I need to.

PS, doesn't Mail support Exchange now? Our iMac at work has an option to add an Exchange account.
 
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Yeah, it...um...stores...notes. Yeah. Notes, like Stickies. Much more powerful.

Actually it does much more. IMHO the current "integration" between iCal, Mail, and Address Book which I think is a complete joke (I mean why did it take them until Tiger to add birthdays from Address Book to iCal??). Entourage is a full productivity app, the default Mac apps cannot be compared.

While that might change a little with Leopard, it's still not the same.
 
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Actually it does much more. IMHO the current "integration" between iCal, Mail, and Address Book which I think is a complete joke (I mean why did it take them until Tiger to add birthdays from Address Book to iCal??). Entourage is a full productivity app, the default Mac apps cannot be compared.

While that might change a little with Leopard, it's still not the same.

I guess I just don't see that sort of integration as a feature. I use Entourage (I have to, because of Exchange) and it seems more like a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. Probably the way I work just doesn't lend itself to Entourage's project management.

(And it's not even such a great Exchange client, though I hope this will improve.)
 
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You don't HAVE to use Microsoft software. For basic office suite stuff:

NeoOffice (lots of love for this earlier in the thread) is a good suite, and reasonably compatible with MS-Office, but like MS-Office, it is big and slow.

For MS-Word alternatives, consider Abiword, which is a very fast and capable MS-Word replacement. See www.abisource.com. Abiword is small, fast and can read/write .doc files.

You may also wish to consider a web based approach to Office suites. Two notables:
1/ The new Google Apps package for doc/spreadsheet

2/ Thinkfree Office (www.thinkfree.com) which is a free web based suite.

Now, for Outlook replacements, consider the following:

Evolution: http://www.gnome.org/projects/evolution/

Daylite: http://www.marketcircle.com/google/MC_groupware_G.html?from=adwords&interest=groupware

Zimbra: http://www.zimbra.com/products/

As you can see, lots of choice!!
 
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I don't see a Mac version of Evolution. Would I have to build it from the source?

Online office suites are not an option for me, I have highly sensitive documents my clients wouldn't appreciate me hosting on a 3rd party server. :)

I'm still wondering why Apple's solutions (iCal/Mail/Address Book) wouldn't be good enough. Why look for an Outlook replacement?
 
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Yes, I should have mentioned that. You would have to build from source. This sounds scarier than it is. I would recommend installing the DarwinPorts build environment and then it is all very easy. This is what I have done, and I have build TONS of Linux software from source.
 
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Yes, I should have mentioned that. You would have to build from source. This sounds scarier than it is. I would recommend installing the DarwinPorts build environment and then it is all very easy. This is what I have done, and I have build TONS of Linux software from source.

DarwinPorts build environment..where can I read more about that?
 
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What exactly does Entourage do that the organization software that comes with Mac can't do?

It has something called a Project Center, where you can link Calendar entries, emails, tasks, to-do lists, general notes, office files, internet links, images etc all in one central interface. If you're genuinely working on long term projects etc, this can be useful - for example if you're applying to school or running a group/business or whatever, being able to access all relevant emails, files, internet links etc from the same front end is useful - it can remind you to reply to mails, chase things up etc. I think it is aimed at Outlook users... when you have had functionality like that in the past, losing it is pretty hard. I think Entourage does make the Mac a viable workstation for serious Project Managers... (BTW I am a Project Manager by trade).

iLife does offer similar things, but it's in a few different places and honestly doesn't offer the same level of flexibility. Project Center is the best thing about Entourage, it's a pretty decent application. The only real reason anyone will criticize it is because of anti-microsoft feelings (which don't change the fact that objectively it's a decent app) or that fact that it can lag pretty badly under rosetta. The reason, incidentally, it is so slow under rosetta is because you pretty much have to link it to iCal to get all those automatic links to add to your calendar and to sync to external devices (like your phone). So when you check your application activity, you'll see not one PPC program running, but 4. MS Database Daemon, Entourage, Alerts Daemon and AU Daemon. I can't wait for Office 2008 as these are the last PPC apps I use (Word/Excel and Entourage).

Yeah, it...um...stores...notes. Yeah. Notes, like Stickies. Much more powerful.

I am not sure that was entirely necessary.
 

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