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By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher
How well does Office for Mac 2011 run compared to Office 2008 and 2004?
If you are a Microsoft Office user on the Mac, there's likely a question on your mind about the new version of Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac. As you may remember, MacTech did extensive benchmarking on previous versions of Microsoft Office (2004 on Intel Macs, and 2008), and 2011 will get that treatment, too.
Each version of Office tends to have a particular focus. For example, Office for 2008 was about being on a new development framework and working natively on Intel-based Macs. It's clear that the Microsoft MacBU's goal for Office for Mac 2011 is to be faster, and more responsive, along with a variety of other significant items (Outlook, Exchange support, user interface elements like the Ribbon, etc...). Since this is a benchmarking article, we'll focus on the speed goal.
With that in mind, the big question is therefore, "How fast is the new Office for Mac 2011?"
To answer that question, we put Office 2011 through its paces on Snow Leopard 10.6.4, on a variety of Mac models. With about 1,000 tests, we looked at Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook (the replacement for Entourage) as well as the graphics library resources that are shared across all of Microsoft Office for Mac.