Microsoft launched Office for MAC 2016 late in 2015 to a muted response. Maybe due to the enormous gap between the outgoing 2011 version and the new (i'd almost say beta) 2016 version. Delays not withstanding, it really is a positive step to see Microsoft embrace the MAC platform with an up-to-date office version which has the framework to be comparable to the very mature PC version. I say framework as there are a plethora of features missing from the current release but since the October of 2015 Microsoft have successfully maintained a agile release schedule bringing new features (and bug fixes) at the start of every month!
The current 2011 version has been looking tired for sometime and the version of Outlook has been bug ridden since it's inception (repeated password prompts anyone?). Microsoft did release an upgraded version of Outlook for Office 365 subscribers a few months ahead of the full suite but all versions, Office 365 subscription and Standalone versions are now available.
All in all, this is excellent news and I'm very keen to see Microsoft maintain this momentum, keep pressing ahead with the monthly releases and bring the MAC version inline with the PC version and make this platform version one to be proud of.
In short, this is not so much a revolutionary release but more of a 'playing catch up' one but is still a big leap forward from previous versions for the MAC platform and demonstrates commitment (at last) from the all new Microsoft Corporation!
System Requirements here
Full Product Release Details here
Latest Feature Release Notes here
Install / Uninstall Notes here
Yo Yo Yosemite...
On schedule, Apple have announced their annual vision for personal computing. With Apple firmly on an annual release cycle and the big move from 32-bit to 64-bit well behind us, OS upgrades, which were once a major issue, have become nothing more than simple 'app' updates. Or have they? While these upgrades usually succeed with minimal drama, there are always many new and great features under the hood which can (and do) have ramifications for the multi-device households and small businesses who don't have dedicated Technical staff on hand. (Removal of Rosetta, SMB2, VPN for OSX Server to name a few)
With 10.6 being the bullet proof, baseline OS in the new 64-bit world, 10.7 dropped the ball somewhat and introduced a number of annoying bugs, 10.8 recovered to take over the stability crown from 10.6 Snow Leopard. Mavericks however, in my opinion, dropped the ball again with bugs emerging from new features introduced. The release of 10.9.3 finally addressed most of them to bring much coveted stability back to MAC's but at least one very annoying bug (Sleep Wake Failure) still haunts this version of OSX.
So, using history as a guide, Yosemite 10.10 should be the (S) version which takes back the stability crown in the same vain as the S iOS devices do from their single digit predecessors.
Many long awaited features arrive in this version which move further towards a complete suite of 'cloud' integrated products. iPhoto in the cloud is something I've been asked about so many times I've lost count, along with the family AppleID feature. These two alone will ease the pent up demand for a lights-out cloud solution for anyone fully subscribed to the Apple ecosystem. If setup correctly everything becomes as reliable as a landline dial tone.
It seems all the core apps will get some degree of a makeover, including Mail and Safari along with more subtle enhancements such as font clarity and iOS 7 iconography and it's clean, flat lines. (...and let's hope skeumorphism is finally dead in 10.10!)
A few more subtle enhancements which will slowly but surely change the way we use all of our personal commuting devices;
- Dynamic Spotlight Searching
- Enhanced Notification Center
- iCloud Drive (Is this really a Dropbox contender?)
- Functional Handoff
For now, I'll leave you with the machines which are expected to be able to support 10.10.
- iMac: mid-2007 or newer
- MacBook Pro: mid-2007 or newer
- MacBook Air: late 2008 or newer
- Mac mini: early 2009 or newer
- Mac Pro: early 2008 or newer
- MacBook: late 2008 aluminum, early 2009 or newer
- Xserve: early 2009
Still supporting early 2009 Mac Mini's for a 2014 OS is an admirable feat of engineering!
With the Beta program becoming more accessible, watch out for more in-depth analysis in the coming months across the usual technical sites.
Apple products for the discerning customer... RefurbMe should be the first place you look.
The Apple refurb store is often overlooked by many but the RefurbMe website can change that. It's extremely easy to use and allows you to see what's in stock, the specification, the original price, the all important % discount and the final purchase price.
Apple refurb products are brand new items, come with the standard Apple warranty but typically arrive in plain brown boxes. If the fancy box doesn't bother you, go here for some great deals. I've used this site for many purchases over the years and can highly recommend it. Of course, if you must have the absolute latest device then you'll have to pay full price!
Shop Special Deals. Find Apple Certified Refurbished Products and limited-time offers.
A location for inspiration and comment... (but primarily just my point of view)