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Office 2008 for Mac SP2 improves speed and stability

post #1 of 52
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Microsoft is set to release its second service pack for Office 2008 on Mac, bringing improved stability, speed, and new features, such as increased connectivity with the Web-based Office Live Workspace.

In a statement issued Monday, Microsoft said the Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 2 focused on three specific areas: speed, stability and compatibility.

The Redmond, Wash., company said a recent study indicated that the top use of Office for Mac is sharing documents. To that end, the Document Connection feature allows users to save and open Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on Microsoft Office Live Workspace. The service also includes expanded browser support on the Mac for Safari 4.

The update was released Monday on Microsoft's Office 2008 for Mac Web site.

"There's never been a better time to try Office 2008 for Mac -- with SP2 we are not only delivering on top customer requests midcycle, but also taking a first step in bringing Microsoft software plus services to Mac users," said Mike Tedesco, senior product manager for the Mac Business Unit at Microsoft. "This connection unlocks the door for Mac users to Microsoft services for easier collaboration and file sharing with colleagues, customers and classmates."

The update also improves SharePoint, which allows users to collaborate on documents. SP2 simplifies how users browse, access and manage files, both online and offline.

SP2 also features increased launch speed and quicker scroll response times in Word 2008, and faster calculation performance in Excel 2008.

Two "highly requested features" for PowerPoint 2008 have also been added: Custom path animation and default theme.

"SP2 delivers highly requested features throughout the suite as well as a new tool, Document Connection for Mac, that helps improve access and browsing to documents on SharePoint Products and Technologies and Microsoft Office Live Workspace," the Microsoft press release states. "These new improvements and features are part of Microsoft's long-standing investment in delivering excellent cross-platform collaboration and compatibility for Mac users, and the commitment has paid off."

Originally released in January of 2008, Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac saw its first service pack released only a few months after its launch.
post #2 of 52
Probably not, but improved scrolling would be nice. Anything to make Office a little snappier.
post #3 of 52
How about having the Spaces bug fixed? It is downright annoying that things are not always where they are assigned.
post #4 of 52
"SP2 also features increased launch and scroll times in Word 2008"

I hope not.
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post #5 of 52
"top use of Office for Mac is sharing documents."
TRUE as all documents are shared. I mean, who writes just for themselves?

"To that end, the Document Connection feature allows users to save and open Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on Microsoft Office Live Workspace."
Why would I want to do that?
Share means to email the Word doc to a co-worker or customer.
Who (besides Microsoft) gives a damn about Office Live Workspace?
post #6 of 52
I'm still sticking with iWork. When I share documents with others, I send PDFs.

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post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post

"top use of Office for Mac is sharing documents."
TRUE as all documents are shared. I mean, who writes just for themselves?

"To that end, the Document Connection feature allows users to save and open Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on Microsoft Office Live Workspace."
Why would I want to do that?
Share means to email the Word doc to a co-worker or customer.
Who (besides Microsoft) gives a damn about Office Live Workspace?

I do. The Document Connection feature makes Office 2008 compatible with SharePoint, and a huge (and increasing) number of companies are using SharePoint to collaborate. Before today, it was embarassing to have to tell our Mac-heavy clients that, instead of the nice, integrated SharePoint experience Office 2007 users get, their Mac users would have to keep a web browser open just to open and save documents.

I also have helped a couple of nonprofits set up and use Office Live Workspace to share documents, and this has caused pretty significant irritation for their Mac users, too.

In my opinion, this is the most important feature of SP2.
post #8 of 52
The real question is whether users of Office 2008 will be able to install the update. On the Mac side, at least, the Office 2008 autoupdater has a nasty bug that frequently refuses to install the latest updates after downloading them, telling the user that a valid copy of Office 2008 can't be found. The only fix I am aware of involves reinstalling the entire Office 2008 suite, but it's not a real fix, actually. Next time there's an update... You guessed it! Perhaps one of these days, an Office 2008 update will fix this problem... if I can install the update!
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxii View Post

How about having the Spaces bug fixed? It is downright annoying that things are not always where they are assigned.

Make sure that you've updated to 10.5.7. Apple made several fixes to their window management code that improves Spaces support for all Carbon apps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alansky

The real question is whether users of Office 2008 will be able to install the update. On the Mac side, at least, the Office 2008 autoupdater has a nasty bug that frequently refuses to install the latest updates after downloading them, telling the user that a valid copy of Office 2008 can't be found. The only fix I am aware of involves reinstalling the entire Office 2008 suite, but it's not a real fix, actually. Next time there's an update... You guessed it! Perhaps one of these days, an Office 2008 update will fix this problem... if I can install the update!

The most common reasons for not being able to install the update are:
1. You've moved your Office 2008 folder out of Applications. If you've done this, all you need to do is move it back.
2. You've manually removed a file in the Office 2008 folder. If you've done this, you will need to uninstall Office and reinstall it. If there's something in standard installation of Office that you don't want to install, make sure that you do a custom install so that you can select what you want.
3. You've run an application like Monolingual or Xslimmer. If you've done this, you'll also need to uninstall and reinstall it. Do a custom install so that you save the MB that the language files take up, and make sure to exclude the Office folder if you run one of those apps again.

Regards,
Nadyne.
Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
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Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher
Microsoft Corporation | Macintosh Business Unit
go ahead, mac my day
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post #10 of 52
And the world yawns collectively. Microsoft should be ashamed for this collective piece of crap they call Office 2008. While I left it on, I find myself using iWork when I can, or running Office 2007 for windoze when needed. I would rather reboot into bootcamp or run in a virtual environment than run Mac Office 2008.

That is money I will never get back.

Back to my initial point... never mind... MS has demonstrated that they are incapable of being ashamed of anything.
post #11 of 52
Powerpoint custom paths? Finally, I had that in office 03 \ I hope that they fixed the problem of assigning a theme to just one slide (I think then the remedy was to select two slides, apply the theme, and then delete one). Looking forward to this update, hope it feels snappier
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaCameron View Post

I'm still sticking with iWork. When I share documents with others, I send PDFs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrandersoniii View Post

While I left it on, I find myself using iWork when I can, or running Office 2007 for windoze when needed. I would rather reboot into bootcamp or run in a virtual environment than run Mac Office 2008.

Likewise, I have Office 2008 on my work machine because I need Entourage to speak to the Exchange server. Otherwise, I use combinations of iWork and NeoOffice. This update may encourage me to try using Word and Excel again (I'll never use PowerPoint as Keynote makes it look like a joke).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aduzik View Post

I do. The Document Connection feature makes Office 2008 compatible with SharePoint, and a huge (and increasing) number of companies are using SharePoint to collaborate. Before today, it was embarassing to have to tell our Mac-heavy clients that, instead of the nice, integrated SharePoint experience Office 2007 users get, their Mac users would have to keep a web browser open just to open and save documents.

Oh dear God, please don't encourage the use of the atrocity that is SharePoint. We're using it at my company, primarily because the person who makes these decisions thinks anything that comes out of Redmond is wonderful. We've got people working hard to hack the thing to death to give it a reasonable amount of security.

Had this woman pulled her head out and actually taken a look at the alternatives, we'd probably be using Plone and have better cross-platform support, security and flexibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The update also improves SharePoint, which allows users to collaborate on documents. SP2 simplifies how users browse, access and manage files, both online and offline.

I don't see how this is possible. All of the SP sites I've seen look like crap when viewed with anything other than IE. Perhaps SP2 will improve publishing to SP on the Mac, but it won't do anything to allow me to navigate to find what I'm looking for.
post #13 of 52
Hmm, so where is MS Project?! Discontinued since Mac OS 9... *sigh*

Does this update add the ability to digitally sign MS Word documents? I could not seem to find that feature in help, except for Entourage...
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

Hmm, so where is MS Project?! Discontinued since Mac OS 9... *sigh*

It's called OmniPlan
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

Oh dear God, please don't encourage the use of the atrocity that is SharePoint. We're using it at my company, primarily because the person who makes these decisions thinks anything that comes out of Redmond is wonderful. We've got people working hard to hack the thing to death to give it a reasonable amount of security.

Had this woman pulled her head out and actually taken a look at the alternatives, we'd probably be using Plone and have better cross-platform support, security and flexibility.


I don't see how this is possible. All of the SP sites I've seen look like crap when viewed with anything other than IE. Perhaps SP2 will improve publishing to SP on the Mac, but it won't do anything to allow me to navigate to find what I'm looking for.

We use SharePoint at a well known wireless company. It works quickly and securely and I use Firefox all the time. So either my company hacked it, or your company did not implement it correctly.
post #16 of 52
There is nothing MS can do to Office to make it better than iWork. The technology gap is so enormous that the only way MS can catch up is to build a new Office from scratch and employ 1000 engineers to do it.
post #17 of 52
[QUOTE=AppleInsider;1451219]Microsoft is set to release its second service pack for Office 2008 on Mac,

I made the mistake of getting the expensive media edition of Office 2008.

I use Word a lot and it kept crashing when trying to save, thus losing my work.

I gave away my Office 2008 (with a warning) and bought a copy of Office 2004 which is used if iWork and NeoOffice are not compatible enough.

Microsoft has garbage software cluttered with thousands of things few, if any, users need.

When Office 2004 no longer work at some point, I'll just use iWork, NeoOffice or whatever some non-Microsoft developer offers.
post #18 of 52
i love how all the macheads hate microsoft... you must really love them deep down....
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post #19 of 52
its 1:26 EST and it still doesn't show up on the Microsoft Mac site.. nor does Micosoft Software update show the availability..
post #20 of 52
At the moment, the update is on their servers but the download link isn't displaying. I fetched it at manually at this link. Works great, actually - Word launches much quicker.
post #21 of 52
[QUOTE=Macs_since_1984;1451348]
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

When Office 2004 no longer work at some point, I'll just use iWork, NeoOffice or whatever some non-Microsoft developer offers.

I am not waiting for that to happen : I am progressively migrating from Office 2004 to OpenOffice. Granted, the appearance is less nice, but the files it creates are 50-75 % smaller, the app virtually never crashes, it allows me to do everything I did in Word and Excel (I never used macros) and the final printed result is identical.

Instead of creating YAWP (Yet Another Word Processor), Apple should work with the OO community and bring its ability to create nice interfaces and optimize the port of OO on the Mac. Apple has nothing to lose doing this (iWork is certainly not the reason Apple made so much money this year) and everything to gain : seeing OO gaining market share would weaken Microsoft pull towards its closed (and enclosing) Windows platform. Ensuring the best performance on the Mac would mean a pleasant experience for the Mac users at the same time knowing that they exchange all their files freely with everybody else.
post #22 of 52
On January 19 Microsoft released a beta of Entourage for Exchange Web Services; is the final version of that code included in Office 2008 SP2?

Read about it here.
post #23 of 52
Hey it's out, I'm downloading it now. Hopefully it'll go smoothly, but we'll see

Edit: Everything seems to work well. I haven't started word up from a restart so I'm not sure how fast word can load...
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaCameron View Post

I'm still sticking with iWork. When I share documents with others, I send PDFs.

Technically that is "distributing" rather than "sharing" which has more to do with collaboration. Semantics, but that is a weakness with iWork...
post #25 of 52
[QUOTE=Pascal007;1451372]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macs_since_1984 View Post

Instead of creating YAWP (Yet Another Word Processor), Apple should work with the OO community and bring its ability to create nice interfaces and optimize the port of OO on the Mac.

I was always surprised that Apple didn't put their weight behind OOo back in the day. The revenue generated by iWork doesn't seem like it could be enough to justify the project.

I guess it is time for me to try OOo again. It always disappoints me; my main need is spreadsheets, and I could never get quite the performance as with Excel. (Which has finally caught up to where Lotus 123 was in 1997...)
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadyne View Post

The most common reasons for not being able to install the update are:
1. You've moved your Office 2008 folder out of Applications. If you've done this, all you need to do is move it back.
2. You've manually removed a file in the Office 2008 folder. If you've done this, you will need to uninstall Office and reinstall it. If there's something in standard installation of Office that you don't want to install, make sure that you do a custom install so that you can select what you want.
3. You've run an application like Monolingual or Xslimmer. If you've done this, you'll also need to uninstall and reinstall it. Do a custom install so that you save the MB that the language files take up, and make sure to exclude the Office folder if you run one of those apps again.

Quoted for truth. Their updater is *very* particular on deciding when it can install. The thing I hate most about it is that AFAIK you have to install all of the updates in order to get to the tip, new updates appear to be Delta updates and not Combo style updates. This is only particularly painful when installing for the first time, but even missing one may mean having to go back and download whatever was missing.
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post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Technically that is "distributing" rather than "sharing" which has more to do with collaboration. Semantics, but that is a weakness with iWork...

Touché. But even when I have had to collaborate on documents recently (correcting text, tracking changes, etc.), iWork has served our needs with no problems. The "weakness" you speak of was not an issue in our case.

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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post #28 of 52
People still use M$ Office? I use Google Docs for everything and if I can't do it in Google Docs for some reason I use Open Office.
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kibbled_bits View Post

People still use M$ Office? I use Google Docs for everything and if I can't do it in Google Docs for some reason I use Open Office.

C'mon. Be real. I wish that Office would bite the dust just because of the stranglehold it has but no one uses Google Docs because it is basic and isn't secure enough for businesses. Less than 1% actually use it and even they support Office formats which doesn't help the issue.

I have to say that the speed improvements in SP2 are very noticeable. It is as fast as iWork.
post #30 of 52
Yes, I gave up on these guys a while ago. They don't get it. Just to do an update takes for ever. Even common WORD application is very slow.

I stopped using Office 2004, but then switched back when 2008 came out, only to discover that the same snail pace is still there. I am a full time iWork user, and for my old files, I still use Appleworks.

Microsoft products suck! That is my personal opinion, and I stand by it for life!

No more Microsoft Office for me.
post #31 of 52
I want to think ill of MS as much as the next guy, but Word is firing up faster than it ever did. I'm resigned to the fact that it won't ever work with Leopard Spaces, at least to spread docs across multiple windows. Regardless, my main writing tool is a fabulous application from the UK called Scrivener. Then comes Pages 09. Alas, I still have to export from either of these applications to Word for Mac before sending stuff to client. If you really need to know what footnotes and the like look like in Word, you have to see them in Word.
post #32 of 52
[QUOTE=Pascal007;1451372]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macs_since_1984 View Post

I am not waiting for that to happen : I am progressively migrating from Office 2004 to OpenOffice. Granted, the appearance is less nice, but the files it creates are 50-75 % smaller, the app virtually never crashes, it allows me to do everything I did in Word and Excel (I never used macros) and the final printed result is identical.

I hate anything MS, so I was really interested in Open Office. Unfortunately, it crashed more than any OS X application I've ever seen. Nine times out of ten, it locked up right on launch.
post #33 of 52
Hey, 18 months to get out a second service pack - not too bad for Micro$ucks.

post #34 of 52
I didn't see it in the notes. Is there still no .ODF format support? They have it in the Windows 2k3 and 2k7 versions and still nothing in the Mac version?
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post #35 of 52
Amazing people actually bought Office 2008 when there was really nothing wrong with Office 2004, even on an Intel Mac. Office 2004 in Rosetta opens faster than Pages '09, which is native on Intel. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that way.
post #36 of 52
I haven't touch iWork or Office for a long time, but last time i checked, iWork is faster, easier to use and just better i every way except iWork only has less then half features then Office.

Hopefully Next Gen iWork could truly replaces Office.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by godrifle View Post

"SP2 also features increased launch and scroll times in Word 2008"

I hope not.

Took me a while to get that
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post #38 of 52
iWork at my Office.
post #39 of 52
It does seem snappier. If anything, that is worth the download right there. Hope its stable too.
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I haven't touch iWork or Office for a long time, but last time i checked, iWork is faster, easier to use and just better i every way except iWork only has less then half features then Office.

Hopefully Next Gen iWork could truly replaces Office.

Pages is trash compared to Word. Since you haven't used either in a long time, you don't know what you are talking about. Pages is slower than Word, and yes, it has half the features, so it is worthless in every way possible.
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