Does Word's spelling checker use Mac OS X's built-in dictionary? No, Microsoft uses its own spelling dictionaries and proofing tools. (Created, the company says, in conjunction with "a focused team of language experts." You can add custom terms to the spelling dictionary.
Have the Mail Merge capabilities been enhanced at all? Does it still merge with a FileMaker Pro data source? Microsoft did not introduce any new Mail Merge functionality in Word 2011, but you can still merge with FileMaker.
Does Word 2011 provide full Unicode support for right-to-left languages and languages with complex character sets? In our preliminary tests, Word was able to open and properly display documents containing these languages, but it was not able to create new documents using them. We're still waiting for a final answer from Microsoft on this and some other Unicode font questions.
Is SharePoint necessary for simultaneous editing of the same document? For simultaneous editing, you need to store documents either on SharePoint or on SkyDrive. SharePoint is for businesses, as it requires a SharePoint server; SkyDrive is a free service for consumers. For SkyDrive, you need to establish a Windows Live account. That done, you can share documents with anyone, whether or not they're on Windows Live.
Does Word have a built-in connection to SharePoint? Does that eliminate the need for the Mac-only Document Connection? With Office 2011, you can save and load Office files directly to a SharePoint site, and you can use the new File -> Open URL to specify a path to a document in a SharePoint location. Document Connection is part of the Office 2011 installer and you can still use it to view and manage your SharePoint document libraries.
Can Office 2011 open and save to older file formats, such as rich text, AppleWorks, Microsoft Works, and so on? With Word 2011, you can open and save rich-text, plain-text, and Unicode-text files; Web pages; and Word XML files. There's also a Retrieve Text From Any File option that may help with other file formats.
Can I configure Word to use pre-XML file formats (.doc instead of .docx)? Can I set the default to save as .doc? Yes to both. Select Word -> Preferences and then open the Save tab. There you will see the Save Word Files As drop-down menu; choose whatever default format you want for saving files.
Can I save a Word 2011 document as a PDF and maintain embedded HTML links? No, Word 2011 uses OS X's built-in Save As PDF feature. Though links will be formatted in blue, they won't be live.
Can Word generate documents in ePub format? No, you cannot directly export a document into ePub format.