Walt Mossberg

Recent Columns by Walt Mossberg

Mossberg’s Mailbox

Lion With Office

Q:

I have been warned on the Web that Microsoft Office won’t work on Apple’s new Mac operating system, Lion. Is this true?

A:

In my tests, and also according to Microsoft, Office for the Mac does work in Lion, though some relatively minor features won’t work right. Also, you must be using one of the two latest versions of Office.

In my tests, using the current version, Office 2011, all features I tested worked fine, though of course I wasn’t able to test every one of the thousands of features. I even wrote my entire Lion review in Word 2011 on a Lion-equipped Mac. According to Microsoft, the 2008 version also works, though the 2004 version doesn’t.

However, Microsoft hasn’t updated Office for Mac to take advantage of Lion’s new features. More information on Mac Office compatibility with Lion is here and here.

Q:

Can you point me in the right direction for a purchase of a tablet? I am a home inspector and presently use a Toshiba Satellite laptop with a special Windows software program for my job. I need a tablet with a screen size of 12 inches or more. USB ports would be essential.

I am willing to spend up to $3,000. I need it to be visible in daylight, because I must walk around the property.

A:

You may have trouble finding a tablet that meets all your criteria. If you need to run special Windows software on a tablet with a USB port, you might consider one of the Windows 7 models, aimed mainly at businesses. A good example is the $1200 Asus Eee Slate EP121. I haven’t tested it, but it has a 12″ screen, dual USB ports, and works with either finger or stylus input. The only problem is that it uses a backlit, laptop-type screen, and these aren’t typically great for viewing in direct sunlight.

Q:

An Apple store employee told us that each Apple mobile device battery should be depleted to 0% once per month to keep its battery healthy. Is this necessary?

A:

That’s correct. Here’s part of the company’s advice on iPhone batteries: “For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).”

In its advice on laptop batteries, the company states, in part: “Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time.” It adds that, if you don’t drain and recharge your Mac laptop in the course of normal usage, “Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month.”

Email mossberg@wsj.com.


Top Products in Two Decades of Tech Reviews

December 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm PT

Diabetes Data Beamed to Your Phone

December 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm PT

Two Houses, One Cable TV Bill

December 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm PT

Calling Overseas on Wi-Fi

December 03, 2013 at 6:18 pm PT

Dell Tablets at Bargain Prices

December 03, 2013 at 6:12 pm PT

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Walt Mossberg’s Product Guides

Desktop PC’s and Laptops

The Laptops to Buy


Digital Cameras

Digital Cameras Improve Zooms, HD Function