Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Arrange Icons on the iPhone/iPod touch Home Screens

Unhappy with the arrangement of your icons? You can move them around as follows: First, hold down on any Home screen icon until all the icons wiggle. Now, drag the icons to their desired locations (drag left or right to get to other screens). Finally, press the physical Home button on your device. (Unlike earlier releases, iPhone Software 2.1 doesn't move just-updated apps to the end of your Home screens, so your icons should be more stationary once you've installed the update.)

Remember that you can replace Apple's default icons in the four persistent spots at the bottom of the screen with your four most-used apps!

Visit Take Control of Your iPhone

 
 

Inching Towards Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac

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Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) has announced the shipping date, pricing, and upgrade path for the next major revision of Office for Mac. The now appropriately named Office 2008 will ship 15-Jan-08 for prices ranging from $149.95 to $499.95, depending on version. The standard package of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage - including Exchange Server support - will list for $399.95, with an upgrade costing $239.95.

The Home and Student Edition includes just the four core applications and runs $149.95; there is no upgrade pricing. This is the first time Microsoft has advertised a plain version of Office intended for the home, too, as opposed to a student edition that educators, academic staff, students, and parents of students could purchase.

The Home and Student Edition may be intended to put Office up against Apple's $79 iWork suite, which now competes head-to-head with Office in word processing (Pages versus Word), presentation (Keynote versus PowerPoint), and spreadsheet capabilities (Numbers versus Excel). Although Office also comes with Entourage for email, contacts, and calendaring, those functions are built into Mac OS X in the form of Mail, Address Book, and iCal.

A Special Media Edition ($499.95 full version, $299.95 for the upgrade) adds the digital asset management tool Expression Media, Microsoft's rebranding of iView MediaPro, acquired last year (see "Microsoft Buys iView Multimedia," 2006-07-03).

If you purchase any edition of Office 2004 for Mac starting 25-Sep-07, you qualify for a $10-plus-tax upgrade to Office 2008's comparable version. This is an attempt by the MacBU to avoid sales being cannibalized by the announcement of the next release's shipping date.

The press release that accompanied the announcements says that upgrade pricing is available for any "legally licensed users of previous versions," which we have confirmed includes owners of versions of Office before Office 2004.

Office 2008 will look and work in a manner that's somewhat different from Office 2004, much in the way that Office 2007 for Windows broke the previous mold. Reviews of Office for Windows said that while the new approach wasn't necessarily worse, it wasn't better, either, and required relearning everything one ever did in Office for Windows. The revision to Office for Mac seems less severe, but we'll see if the release version still induces learning-curve vertigo.

 

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