If you've been miffed with Microsoft since Excel 2008 hit the stores due to the removal of Solver from the popular spreadsheet application, it may be time to lighten up. You can now download Solver for Excel 2008 for free from the FrontLine Systems Web site. FrontLine developed the original Solver for Excel 2004, and developed the Excel 2008 version at the request of the Microsoft Mac Business Unit (Mac BU).
Solver is a linear programming / analysis tool for Excel that was included with Excel 2004 as an add-in, but dropped from Excel 2008 since it required Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). The Mac BU has noted that VBA is going to return in the next version of Office. In the meantime, Mac Excel users who rely on Solver's powerful analysis capabilities are now able to use the free download to perform their linear programming tasks.