Office 2008 for Mac Dies

If you’re using Office 2008 for Mac, you may want to look at alternatives…

735500_0_originalIf you’re using Office 2008 for Mac, you may or may not be aware that the product officially went out of active support on 09-Apr-2013. That means that Microsoft is no longer going to provide updates, security patches and fixes to the software. However, don’t panic.

The software is still usable. You can continue to use the software as long as you wish. HOWEVER, in a connected world, the likelihood that you’ll catch a a virus, worm or other malware targeted at Office 2008 users drastically increases.

There are a couple of alternatives, including subscription, pay and free options.

  • Upgrade to Office 2011 for Mac

Office 2011 for Mac is equivalent to Office 2010 for Windows and will be supported by Microsoft until 12-Jan-2016

  • Purchase an Office 365 Subscription

If you have more than one compatible computer in your house that needs access to Office, an Office 365 subscription allows you to install Office on up to 5 different computers, either Windows PC’s or Macs. This will get you Office 2011 for Mac today and allow you to upgrade later.

  • Switch to or to LibreOffice

Both of these are decent office replacements and both are free. Both provide decent alternatives and offer a general sense of compatibility to Microsoft Office. More complex formatting, however, may not survive revisions in one of these alternatives AND MS Office, so don’t be surprised if your elaborate tables or other figures get wonky after saving in one, the other, or both.

A new version of Office for Mac is expected either later in 2013, or early in 2014.

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Free alternatives to Microsoft Office

Tell people that you can get a legal copy of a word processor or spreadsheet program that’s compatible with Microsoft Office and many of them will disbelieve you. But that’s the case with a range of open source alternatives including LibreOffice and OpenOffice. There’s no charge for the software, and no limitations or trial restrictions: you just download it and use it. For casual users at least, it will do almost everything they need.

With this type of software, the issue for most users isn’t everything that works, but rather the few things that don’t. LibreOffice gets off to a great start by modelling itself on the “classic look” of Microsoft Office that should be familiar to anyone who’s resisted the upgrade to the latest editions. The package works intuitively and there’ll be little need for help guides for most basic features — which is fortunate as help is somewhat lacking for some features.

Download LibreOffice is another great open-source office suite, and includes applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and databases. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in a standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages, including Microsoft Office. 3 is easy to learn. If you’ve used Microsoft Office, or a similar set of tools, will be familiar and comfortable to you. Best of all, 3 can be downloaded and used for free.

Having a free, open source alternative to Microsoft Office, especially for budget conscious families and students is important. Though Microsoft has a student version of Office, it’s still somewhat expensive. OpenOffice and LibreOffice offers Microsoft Office (as well as other) suite compatibility in a familiar environment. The tools are intuitive and easy to use, especially if you’ve used Office Suite products before, and at this price point, it’s really hard to beat.

Download OpenOffice


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