I don't work in an office. I'm a semiretired musician who does some home recording and some writing.
Doing these things requires me to be conversant with a computer and because I use the Macintosh platform, I have had to rely on Microsoft Word in order to work in the PC-centric world of business. There are other word processors which will save to the .doc standard but the ubiquitous word just does the job without too much bother or cross platform hijinks. Truth be told Word was the original writing application for the Mac back in the days before Microsoft brought out Windowsâ„¢ (their own version of Apple's concept) and the big PC vs Mac wars began. Through the years Microsoft has kept Mac versions of it's flagship applications going but they have lately become rather bloated, expensive and slow compared to the same Windows software; not to say Windows users have not complained as well, but I am not doing a platform comparison here.
As I have implied MS. Word and the MS office suite (2004) have worked fine, but recently Microsoft announced that they would not upgrade their popular Explorer web browser for the Mac. This may have been a reaction to Apple bundling their own Safari Browser starting with their Os X, however; Safari is not an integral part of the Mac OS as Explorer is to Windows so the move was seen as a bit small minded by the Mac community, most of whom were switching to Firefox anyway. Now I can't say if Microsoft's attitude was a catalyst here, but suddenly Apple had it's own business suite available and it has conveniently released an 08 version right along with Microsoft's Office 08. Apple's iWork '08 which includes "Pages" for word processing, " Numbers" for Spread Sheets and "Keynote" for presentations, seem to do the same jobs as their MS counterparts, Word, Power Point and Excel. Plus they are doing it for a mere $79 compared to the $499 you can pay for Microsoft's Media addition.
Now as I said, I am not an office worker, but I do write a fair amount and need to do an occasional page layout. I find Apple's Pages to be exceptionaly friendly, plus you can doodad your work up with all manner of colors and such and do it without 70 tool bars hanging off your page. I like this thing and I'm going to get it because the newer MS word really is a rock while Pages seems a lot more like paper.
Finally, I would add that the people on apple's site are very hard to please. Sometimes it seems as though they are either locked in loyal to an existing app. Or spoiled newbies wanting the software to do all the work. They all like this program a lot. Hardly a whine to be heard about how good the old one was or how hard it is to make 3D animations in two minutes. This says a lot and it got me to do a trial even though I've got Office 2004. By the way, the reviews for Office 2008? Pretty bad across the board. When I get enough energy to go through another round of templates and stuff, I'll come back and tell you what I think. I really do try and tell it straight you know. It's a Texino thing. I hope people who read this will realize that I am reviewing a Macintosh product because I have some macs. I do not hate PCs at all. Sometimes I fill in as a DNS administrator and stay in unix for days. And sometimes I use PC for stuff. It's all interesting so I really hope someone doesn't feel the need to waste time arguing the merits of on OS vs another. Thanks TT