I have a copy of MS Office 2007 for Windows and a copy of MS Office 2008 for Mac. I have used both. One is clearly superior to the other.
The winner: MS Office 2007 for Windows. Despite a release date over a year after Office 2007 launched, Office 2008 for the Mac barely compares. Office 2007 was a radical, new, and useful version of Office. The ribbon throughout is very nice. Word is especially different. Outlook had a wonderful new feature — drag emails directly into your calendar. For a detailed review, go to here.
Office 2008 for Mac foregos many of the radical changes found in Office 2007. Word seems barely changed. Entourage is a pale comparison of Outlook and I can’t drag my emails into calendar events. Powerpoint has improved. The only major benefit of 2008 is that it is faster than Office 2004 for Mac because now it is native to the Intel platform. Underwhelming. For a detailed review, go here.
I wonder why MS did not simply convert MS Office 2007 for Windows into a Mac version. It probably would have saved them some work since it would just be code conversion to work on a new OS. Instead, by creating MS Office 2008 for Mac, MS now has two totally separate Office programs that need separate support functions. Why?
My guess is that MS is scared of the resurgence in the Mac platform. If business people saw that they could have the exact same Office platform on Mac as they could on Windows, it would make switching an easier decision. Now, that switch becomes more difficult to make. A business person who has put a lot of time into learning Office for Windows programs is going to have a learning curve when switching to the Mac editions. These editions also seem slightly less functional. Why spend the effort? Maybe they will just stick with Windows, instead.