Hi! I'm considering getting my first laptop and maybe getting a mac for the first time - the Powerbooks are irresistable...
I've almost made up my mind, but one final issue that I need to find out about is file sharing with PC users.
For example, I will need to be able to receive Word files from PC users, edit them, make changes, and then email them back to PC users... Obviously I can get Microsoft Office for Mac, but is file sharing like this easy or a real headache?? I've heard that formatting can be lost, but perhaps the new Powerbooks and new Office for Mac solves this?
the Powerbook model is definitely nice and Apple does just have that ability to make products hard to resist, you're right.
Your concerns with Office are a good point, but with the latest Mac Office 2004 from Microsoft your fears should be put to rest. Office uses XML as the data for describing the document layout now which means that an Office document on a PC can be interpreted by a Mac just as if it were created by a Mac and vice versa. Shouldn't see any compatibility issues if two people are running up to date versions of Office on a PC and Mac. The new Office for Mac has been getting rave reviews in fact, people love it. Here's one from CNet
I use the only Mac in a system of 50+ Windows PCs at work. The G4 I use has Office v.X installed. I have also used Office 98 with OS 9.2.2 without a hitch. I have had no trouble working with the Office files that others send me: Word, PowerPoint, Excel.
As the company's graphic designer, part of my responsibility is to create documents for print, web and presentation. I can export Rich Text Files (.rft) from InDesign and send to my coworkers. They make edits in Word, I replace the text in the InDesign file with their edited version, check for font abnormalities and go. It's pretty seamless. I create PowerPoint presentations for other as well as the graphics that go in them. No problem.
By default, OSX appends the file extension to each file. This makes it easier to send to my Windows-using friends. The only hang up I've had was with Outlook Exchange Server. The IT guys had to upgrade to MS Server 2003 for Entourage (email client part of Office v.X) to work correctly. Now I have access to the calendar, contacts, etc. that the Outlook Exchange users also have.
If you want a Mac, go for it. The software is out there and the technology to share files is excellent. Of course, you won't be able to open those pesky .exe and .pif files that seem to be floating about. 
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Mac Office 2004 is completely compatible with PC versions of office. You can even save Word Docs for older versions of office (from your Mac). I use my PowerBook with Mac Office 2004 in and share office files with several Windows users. The features in Mac Office 2004 are on par with it's 2003 (PC Version) for Windows.