I was hoping that my transition back to the Mac would be complete this week. All of the hardware has been changed and it was the software that had to go. On my Windows virtual machine running on the Mac I use three programs regularly and one occasionally. The three regulars are (a) Microsoft Office 2007; (b) Mathematica and (c) Windows Live Writer. I also occasionally use Scientific Workplace. Mathematica has a Mac version and so it is just a matter of switching over. Windows Live Writer is better than its Mac substitute — Ecto — but not so much better that I would keep Windows running in the background for. The big one was Office.
As regular readers know, I am a fan of the new Microsoft Office 2007. So I was optimistic when I installed Office 2008 for the Mac. However, that optimism was quickly dashed when I discovered that it would not work with an equation editor or Mathtype. So much for academic papers. What is more, the nice ribbon interface of Office 2007 was no where to be seen. And then there were annoying omissions such as no solver on Excel and no preview on Entourage. Put simply, Microsoft have crimped their product and it is difficult to see this as anything but a break on people moving to the Mac (or at least without purchasing a version of Windows). This is a major disappointment.
What is more, while Keynote and Pages are nice for some things, they are still not quite there for the academic environment. So I am going to continue with Windows in the background and Office 2007 and hope that someone will work out how to free us from being stuck in the middle.