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For Better or Worse, Mac Gains Office Parity

Lately, Mac users have had most of the newest Office features, but were either stuck with -- or blessed with -- the older-style pull-down interface. But later this year, those folks will have to use the ribbon interface if they want the latest goodies in Mac Office 2011.

Besides requiring the ribbon, Mac Office 2011 will include Office 2010 features such as collaboration, social networking and more sophisticated presentations.

I'm used to the ribbon, but it wasn't an easy transition for many others. I was in Redmond in 2007, right after Office 2007 and the ribbon debuted, at a fancy winery with a bunch of Microsoft execs. I got to talking to an Office product manager (I think there must be dozens!) about the ribbon, and he asked what I thought. I said it doesn't matter what I think, but what customers think: I pulled out my BlackBerry and starting reading messages from Redmond Report readers about the ribbon.

Ouch. These messages, which had just shown up, were brutal. I'm sure the product manager was happy there was plenty of free wine available!

Things have calmed down since then...or have they? Do you like the ribbon? Let us all know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 02/22/2010 at 1:17 PM


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