Installed Microsoft Office for Mac last night, and finally have the tools I need to get things done. I don’t have any practical experience with Excel yet, but Word rocks on the Mac (and is visually much nicer than the Windows version with comparable power and functionality). Powerpoint seems sluggish and clunky compared to PPT on Windows, but still allows you to do necessary editing. If I lived in Powerpoint all the time, I’d probably be irritated at how slow it is (or I’d need to stuff a lot more RAM in this thing?).
It still mystifies me that Office on the Mac ships with something called “Entourage” instead of something called “Outlook,” but whatever. Entourage is actually a pretty darned good client, essentially providing a decent approximation of Outlook. Mail, which ships with OS X, is probably a bit cleaner for just reading mail, but since it doesn’t integrate with Exchange calendaring it’s really not an option for me right now. One thing that’s better than Outlook is that I get little bubble notifications for all my email accounts — one IMAP, Gmail via POP, and one Exchange, whereas in Outlook 2003 I only get bubble notifications from my primary Exchange account. So that’s nice — presumably it arises because MAPI doesn’t end up having the bizarre stranglehold over OS X that it seems to exert on Windows.
On the notetaking/outliner front, it turns out the Word for Mac team (you folks rock!) thought to include a “notebook” view into this version. I’m not quite sure yet how full-featured it is, or in my way of thinking how much of OneNote I get out of this feature, but since I wasn’t a freehand diagram guy in OneNote, it’s possible that I’ll get enough. It would be nice not to have a separate program for this activity, but if it turns out to be too rudimentary, I’m pretty happy with CircusPonies’ NoteBook and will just license that.
One complete irritation is that there does not appear to be a plug-in, Applescript, Greasemonkey script, or doo-dad which will put a “Subscribe in NetNewsWire…” item on the context (right-click) menu in Firefox. Maybe this doesn’t bug anybody else, but I have 242 subscriptions to RSS feeds in NetNewsWire, and I add new ones fairly regularly. NewsGator Outlook edition spoiled me on Windows, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be that easy on the Mac. Maybe I need to write a script or do something in Greasemonkey or whatever.