And the award goes to…Office 2008 for Mac – “Simplify your Workday”

Since getting my first intel Mac I was waiting impatiently for Microsoft to update their Office suite as a Universal binary. Frankly I’d have been fine with just an Office 2004 code port to the intel platform, but I understand that Microsoft wanted to go for a new release. Makes sense.
Now after waiting seemingly endless two years… I am still waiting now! More than ever actually!
Huh? The software is out, no? Well yes it is. And that’s the sad part. Since I started using it for the last 2 weeks or so, my productivity in doing anything MS Office related dropped by an estimated 90% or so. It is USELESS. U S E L E S S.
How on earth they were able to make an intel native app run (seemingly) 10x slower than an emulated old PowerPC one is beyond me. Honest to god. It flabbergasts me. Not only did they add no noticeable new features, but they did take features out of Excel (the only Office app I use. I think Pages is a better word processor and Keynote is a considerably better presentation software) like VBA or the Math ToolPak, Solver, whatnot. But no. The app is so slow that I can’t do anything with it anymore.
A large 20 MB pivot table (12000 rows) takes about 22 seconds to be generated on Excel 2004 on my MBP. While I am typing this, the same table is still being generated in Excel 2008. It started 15 Minutes ago and is now at ‘85% complete’. Unbelievable. This and the fact that Excel takes longer to start up as a native app than Excel ’04 did with Rossetta does it for me. I am seriously disappointed and happy I didn’t have to pay for this myself, but rather got it through work. Now Microsoft does do great software, including Office 2007 on Windows, which I really like. But this? Gee…

Update: Was completed in 19 mins. Sadly I had to force-quit Excel 2008 two mins later because it bogged down my system so much that I couldn’t do anything with it anymore. Back to Office 2004 it is.

Update2: Had to reinstall OS X, this time without Office 2008. Turns out something in Office generates a spinning beach ball in many network-related tasks, even if Office isn’t running. Reinstall of OS X fixed it. After installing Office 2008, problem re-appeared. Second reinstall fixed it again. This time Office 2004 will grace my hard disk again.

One response to “Most useless app of the year: Microsoft Office 2008”

  1. Dave Shaw comments:

    Apologies that this isn’t on topic but I couldn’t contact you using the email address provided. I would like to email you to ask you 5 incredibly short and non-Google related questions for an article I’m writing on my blog (http://bloggle.org.uk) on Googlers and their blogs. Please email me if you’d like to help. If you can’t/don’t want to then please just ignore this message. Thanks.

    Dave

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