With the new Macbook Air, I’m trying to live life without having to install Parallels and Windows OfficeLife

h2. Life without Windows

Did that with Macbook Pro. Just loaded Mac Office 2004 and found that Entourage was a good enough Outlook replacement and that of course Word, Excel and PowerPoint were fine. The only thing I still use Parallels for is for various utilities that don’t have a complement in the Macintosh. These are mp3tag which works better than tritag is the main one.

You can actually have Entourage sync with iCal and Address Book so you can also have your iPhone sort of like a Blackberry. The email gets pushed wirelessly, but you have to dock to get your calendar and address book.

h2. Life without Mac Office

Now if I don’t want Mac Office, then can I do it. Surprisingly, the answer is not too bad. Here is how you replace the pieces:

# Mac Office by iWork ’08. This is a pretty decent replacement at least for the basic spreadsheets and word processing documents that I have. Actually the PowerPoint equivalent is supposed to be better, but I’m so used to the special keystrokes in PowerPoint that it will take me some time. Now iWorks does cost money, but nothing compared to a copy of Mac Office.
# Outlook by Mail and Address Book. Surprising, in the box, Mac Mail now lets you read email from an Exchange Server and you can sync with it. Also, Address Book allows direct synchronization through Outlook Web Access. So if you’ve this turned on, you can get both addresses synced every hour and your mail. Decent solution.
# Outlook by iCal and “Snerdware”:http://www.snerdware.com/groupcal/. There is no direction sync with iCal, but there is a third party I’m trying called Groupcal by Snerdware that apparently does this. They’ve a free trial but amazingly it doesn’t work on Leopard yet so not quite complete.
# As before you get iPhone sync by iCal and Address Book when you dock.

h2. The simpler but more expensive solution is Mac Office 2008

So I’ll let you know but right now, it looks like you can do a complete replacement. Or just give in a buy a copy of Mac Office 2008 which is a native universal binary application at last.

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