Office Mac 2011 – Outlook A Disappointment

I have been patiently waiting for the new Office for Mac version 2011 to hit the store. I bought this on the weekend after a great deal of thought and apprehension.

So here is my verdict:

  • I was extremely disappointed that there was not an upgrade available from Office 2008 to Office 2011, unless you purchased this version in August. Ultimately, if you just happened to have purchased Office 2008 sometime this year prior to the August date, you were out of luck and needed to buy the full version of Office 2011.
  • You cannot buy any of the apps individually. They must be bought as a Suite. Unlike Office for PC where each app, including Outlook can be purchased separately.
  • There are 3 versions which you can purchase, Home and Student (which can be used on 3 Mac's, down from 5 in 2008) without Outlook. The Home and Business edition for 1 Mac or the Home and Business for 1 user and 2 Mac's. A major disappointment and expense.
  • The major reason that I decided to upgrade and buy the 2 license version is that I am a business and wanted to be able to access this on my desktop as well as the laptop. I also was so excited about the fact that Outlook was included in this version. This has proved to be another MAJOR disappointment.

Although Word, Excel and PowerPoint have had a major overhaul and is almost on par now with Office 2007/2010 – Outlook has failed to impress me. It is like taking a journey back in time to when I first started using Outlook on the PC.

I have to admit it is still far better than Entourage but with all the media hype and build up I truly expected to see something better than what Microsoft packaged. It is a like going from Outlook Express to Outlook in the much earlier versions of Windows. I honestly didn't have expectations that Outlook would be on par with the latest versions of Outlook on the PC – but I truly expected a little more than what was packaged.

There is so much functionality missing, from they way that you can configure your email accounts and test them before leaving the set up dialogue to the lack of styling your signature. I actually had to open a new email and write in my signature line, style it with my fonts and colour and then copy and paste it into the dialogue.

Another major disappointment with Outlook is the fact that there is no Business Contact Management system with this and working with the contact list is terrible – you have to scroll through every contact to find what you are looking for. Even earlier versions of Outlook for PC managed this much better. For a so called Business Suite it certainly does not impress.

As I mentioned, it is a far cry from Entourage – but come on Microsoft – smarten up! I knew it wouldn't be anything like Office 2010 but if you could have given Outlook the same care and attention that you did with the other Office apps – you would have had a big hit and more people chomping at the bit to buy this product.

So if you are seriously thinking about upgrading, look at the lower end of the scale without Outlook and save your money for now, I wish I had!


  1. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. ditto. I agree with ALL of the above.

    Are there any alternative choices for a good email program for the Mac? I have been using Outlook on a PC for years, but have switched from the dark side to Mac.

  3. Totally agree, I cannot believe that this product is an upgrade from my 2007 package. I wish I had read this prior to making that mistake.

    It is so bad and archaic that I can’t believe it was approved for sale!