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Microsoft pulls Office 2011 SP2 AutoUpdate for Mac

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
A little over a week after releasing an update to its Office 2011 for Mac, Microsoft has stopped pushing out auto-updates for Service Pack 2 over a flaw that corrupts identity databases in the company's Outlook mail client.

The announcement was made on Friday through the Microsoft Office blog, and notifies users that automatic updates for SP2 will be temporarily suspended while the company investigates the cause of the problem.

From the post:

On April 12th, we released SP2 for Office for Mac 2011. The majority of our customers have been delighted with the improvements ? new features and performance. Unfortunately, a small percentage are experiencing some issues with the update, specifically related to the Outlook for Mac database.


Five days after initially releasing SP2, Microsoft posted a workaround and apology to users affected by the update.

The first workaround deals with those users who have yet to install the update, and calls for the rebuilding of Outlook's database. The second, more comprehensive fix deals with those who already installed the patch and involves a complicated procedure to restore the database to working condition from an existing backup.

Office 2011 for Mac
Microsoft Outlook on Office 2011 for Mac. | Source: Microsoft


Office 2011 for Mac users can still download SP2 through Microsoft's website, though it is recommended that the workaround be implemented prior to installation.

The SP2 update brought many enhancements for OS X Lion users like full-screen display modes and performance improvements.
post #2 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
The SP2 update brought many enhancements for OS X Lion users like full-screen display modes and perfromance improvements.

 

 

Quick heads up- the last sentence in the article has a spelling mistake.

 

 

post #3 of 30

...


Edited by davidod315 - 4/22/12 at 12:36pm
post #4 of 30

Whoa! First the Nokia software beta got shipped and not a beta service pack. MS is on a roll. W00T! 

post #5 of 30

Oh my, there are still Mac users wasting their time with troublesome Outlook ?

 

Outlook is the last Email program knowledgeable Mac users would use !

post #6 of 30

@JoshA: Unfortunately, some people have no choice, because their company uses Outlook and they get suckered into the cloud-based Office suite. I have never liked Outlook, including when I was still a die-hard IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad fan pre-2010. :D

 

As for Microsoft's plentiful troubles with its 2nd major attempt at making Windows Phone's mobile OS anything closely resembling success, I think we can argue that it looks like a major FAIL for both MS and Nokia....lol.gif

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post #7 of 30

Sure thing, JoshA -- there are still corporate IT departments at large entertainment companies that insist "Outlook über alles", and mandate that Outlook be pushed to all users, despite:

 

- constant instabilities.

- catastrophic data-losing crashes

- deliberate restrictions on the size of databases and thus mail archives

- a retarded "archiving" system.

- constant updates that don't actually fix or address bugs dating back nearly a decade.

 

Yet, despite all of this, and Apple Mail / Calendar / Contacts being demonstrably better, the Enterprise mandate remains "Outlook über Alles", in a clear demonstration that these same IT groups do not care one iota about Mac users.

 

 

post #8 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

Oh my, there are still Mac users wasting their time with troublesome Outlook ?

 

Outlook is the last Email program knowledgeable Mac users would use !

 

I consider myself to be quite knowledgeable, yet I use Outlook. I tried to stick to Mail.app and iCal and Address Book for my company's Exchange integration, and yeah it does work and I probably would stick with it if I had to pay full price for Outlook. Truth is though that for Exchange access, Outlook's integration is simply better. I've had iCal do weird things with meeting invites, and Mail.app just doesn't 'feel' right with Exchange.

 

That said, on my home machines I still use Mail.app and have no use for Outlook, and do despise Outlook's proprietary database (over Mail.app's mostly mbox-compatible mail folders).

post #9 of 30

I was in the middle of doing a letter in Word when the update came on screen, so I went for a coffee while the app updated.  Having finished the update, I was asked for the registration code.  (without which I could obviously not use any of the Office components)     After frantically looking in several places for the Office box, I resorted to Time Machine and restored from that.   Curses to MS and blessings to TM !


Edited by JPDLVMH - 4/21/12 at 12:43am
post #10 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidod315 View Post

You mean, Microsoft are utter f***-wits? Quelle surprise of the century!

 

I guess you forgot the updates Apple has pulled. Don't be what you deemed Microsoft to be...

post #11 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

 

 

I consider myself to be quite knowledgeable, yet I use Outlook. I tried to stick to Mail.app and iCal and Address Book for my company's Exchange integration, and yeah it does work and I probably would stick with it if I had to pay full price for Outlook. Truth is though that for Exchange access, Outlook's integration is simply better. I've had iCal do weird things with meeting invites, and Mail.app just doesn't 'feel' right with Exchange.

 

That said, on my home machines I still use Mail.app and have no use for Outlook, and do despise Outlook's proprietary database (over Mail.app's mostly mbox-compatible mail folders).

 

Agreed. I think Outlook is a better client. It is just bloatware... If MS could streamline it a bit, well a lot, it would not be that terrible.

post #12 of 30

There are two issues that really annoy me on office for Mac.

 

1. Office for mac does not read the captions inside text boxes for tables/images etc. This means that if you want to make a List of Tables or List of Figures at the beginning of your document, you should open it on a Windows PC and make the list on a Windows Word. Then save the document and copy it to Mac again! This is just outrageous! 

 

2. It takes a bit too long for Outlook to load on both Mac and PC! Mail runs instantly!

 

Whilst at it, why do we have Facebook login only on Appleinsider? Perhaps a Twitter login would be a good idea as well.

 

 

 

post #13 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

 

 

Agreed. I think Outlook is a better client. It is just bloatware... If MS could streamline it a bit, well a lot, it would not be that terrible.

 

The fundamental problem is the massive database used by Outlook. A large, integral database like that is fragile - and my experience with Outlook is that it regularly corrupted my database. I was constantly having to rebuild and every couple of years, I got the 'unable to rebuild database' error, causing massive loss of data.

It's analogous to the Registry used by Windows. While the Registry is far better than it was a decade ago, it remains a single point of failure and a fragile system. Microsoft likes large databases to store massive amounts of unrelated information. Apple has chosen to go with thousands of small preference files so that if one gets corrupted, it doesn't bring down the entire system.  

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post #14 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

 

 

I consider myself to be quite knowledgeable, yet I use Outlook. I tried to stick to Mail.app and iCal and Address Book for my company's Exchange integration, and yeah it does work and I probably would stick with it if I had to pay full price for Outlook. Truth is though that for Exchange access, Outlook's integration is simply better. I've had iCal do weird things with meeting invites, and Mail.app just doesn't 'feel' right with Exchange.

 

That said, on my home machines I still use Mail.app and have no use for Outlook, and do despise Outlook's proprietary database (over Mail.app's mostly mbox-compatible mail folders).

 


Nice to see a thoughtful response not grounded in anti-MS instincts (however misinformed) or anti-anything-not-Apple (ir)rationale. What did you use when Outlook was not available for the Mac?

post #15 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

 

 

The fundamental problem is the massive database used by Outlook. A large, integral database like that is fragile - and my experience with Outlook is that it regularly corrupted my database. I was constantly having to rebuild and every couple of years, I got the 'unable to rebuild database' error, causing massive loss of data.

It's analogous to the Registry used by Windows. While the Registry is far better than it was a decade ago, it remains a single point of failure and a fragile system. Microsoft likes large databases to store massive amounts of unrelated information. Apple has chosen to go with thousands of small preference files so that if one gets corrupted, it doesn't bring down the entire system.  

 


I agree to an extent. I have never seen the database corruption issue on my own Windows or Mac machines, but have seen it occasionally on machines under my purview.

post #16 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidod315 View Post

You mean, Microsoft are utter f***-wits? Quelle surprise of the century!

 

Thanks for the demonstration on how to discredit oneself intellectually.

post #17 of 30

I have a Mac Pro with 4 hard drives and one drive I keep cloned and use it for upgrades/update testing.  Well this time, I didn't switch over to my update testing drive and I paid for it in a lot of lost time trying to figure out what to do about a corrupted Outlook database.  Luckily, I finally thought of Apple's Time Machine (Drive 3) and I was able to retrieve my non-corrupted Outlook database.  Thanks, Apple.

 

Why do I continue to use Outlook, when there are a number of things that frustrate me about Outlook?  Well, because my database has emails back to the early 2000s (think Entourage) and I refer back to them for various info.  I have several other email accounts I use for myself, but if I change from Outlook, which we use as the family email system, then I'm making a change for other people in the family also.
 

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post #18 of 30

After loosing soooo much time with Micro$oft lousy Entourage (crashes, loss of date, inaccessible identity, slowness, etc.),

I've definitively dumped it for Mail and never looked back.

Micro$oft repeated bugs in Office are such an insult to the consumer I'm not forking a pound in any M$oft Office since

years. 

post #19 of 30

I used to like Apple Mail but it's been getting bloated with a bunch of crap for years and hasn't gotten much in the way of updates. Its interfaces gets uglier every release. 

 

I am starting to migrate to Outlook. I really like Outlook on the PC and I like Outlook so far on Mac. I like the idea of combining calendars, email and contacts, though. I'm sure some folks like to keep them separate. But for me I find Outlook does these things excellently. And it's the standard in business. I hope MS fixes this quick. Office 2011 is pretty decent. A version of Office for a touchscreen Mac or just even the iPad would be sweet. And with Win 8 MS will be doing this for PC. Would be nice to see that GUI migrate to Mac, but it would then again be cool to have a touchscreen Air as an option, where the screen swivels around and folds back to make it a tablet.

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post #20 of 30

No issues here with SP2.  Outlook runs a lot faster for me.  Granted I keep my inbox pretty clean, never more than 20 megs.  If they'd only add the ability to remove names from the autofill list, that'd be cool.  

post #21 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

Outlook's integration is simply better. I've had iCal do weird things with meeting invites, and Mail.app just doesn't 'feel' right with Exchange.

 

Quite a lot of people, having gotten used to Entourage prefer the All-In-One integrated single app approach of Outourage - which has its advantages. 

 

The issues with iCal invites (I'm quite familiar with them) has to do with Exchange's handling (or, bad handling) of attachments (Exchange invites are basically attachments). In a properly configured Exchange environment, attachments are properly handled and iCal works beautifully. If the corporate IT group responsible for Exchange maintenance either doesn't know what they are doing, or is restricted by the company's "policies", then they end up either running hopelessly outdated Exchange installations (ie 2003 or 2007), or are having to deal with each new Microsoft patch that introduces *new* attachment issues. 

 

I've just recently had to deal with a corporate environment where I was told that "Apple stuff doesn't work well with Exchange" in a status meeting, only to reveal that I set up demo accounts on a commercial Exchange hosting service, using the EXACT SAME versions of Exchange the client was using - and everything worked perfectly, and had NONE of the issues encountered by the corporate client. Long silence.

post #22 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantz View Post

Micro$oft repeated bugs in Office are such an insult to the consumer I'm not forking a pound in any M$oft Office since

years. 

We've kept a list of dozen of functional problems, and just plain bugs in Entourage over the past years.

 

After being told "Outlook has been rewritten from the ground up" and "the database is a thing of the past", Microsoft releases Outlook:

 

- still has a database, still has the same limitations ("but it's more stable now!", we're told as we see it crash and corrupt itself when importing large Entourage databases).

- when running Outlook past our list of bugs, NEARLY EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM'S STILL THERE. "rewritten from scratch", eh?

 

Outlook continues to demonstrate the same lack of competence that E'rage has introduced to Mac users.

 

The MacBU used to have competent programmer and product managers, back when Microsoft absorbed Claris Emailer. Tellingly, none of them are with Microsoft anymore.

 

 

 

post #23 of 30

I firmly believe that if a developer released a Mac product that combined Mail, Calendar and Contacts into one integrated interface, the product would be a hit on several levels.

 

Several developers attempted this at one point, but were sidetracked into failure by their own agendas of what they wanted the product to be.

 

 

post #24 of 30

Attaboy MSFT! That's why we love you so so much!

post #25 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFreeman View Post

There are two issues that really annoy me on office for Mac.

 

1. Office for mac does not read the captions inside text boxes for tables/images etc. This means that if you want to make a List of Tables or List of Figures at the beginning of your document, you should open it on a Windows PC and make the list on a Windows Word. Then save the document and copy it to Mac again! This is just outrageous! 

 

2. It takes a bit too long for Outlook to load on both Mac and PC! Mail runs instantly!

 

Whilst at it, why do we have Facebook login only on Appleinsider? Perhaps a Twitter login would be a good idea as well.

 

 

 

 

Better question yet - why use Facebook or Twitter for login at all? Keep these intrusive data miners out of our lives and quit requiring them for login... Ever noticed that these login services that direct you to login with your yahoo, Facebook, twitter, etc. accounts require you to click on their terms of service which grant them access to your contacts associated with those services? Privacy is dead on the internet.

post #26 of 30
Arguing with an Outlook user about how much Outlook absolutely sucks is one of the most frustrating things I encounter on a daily basis at work.
post #27 of 30

 

Better question yet - why use Facebook or Twitter for login at all? Keep these intrusive data miners out of our lives and quit requiring them for login... Ever noticed that these login services that direct you to login with your yahoo, Facebook, twitter, etc. accounts require you to click on their terms of service which grant them access to your contacts associated with those services? Privacy is dead on the internet.

+1

 

post #28 of 30

good to know they're working on this one

post #29 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy009 View Post

good to know they're working on this one

 

I assume you use the term "working" liberally, here... ;-)

post #30 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

 

 


Nice to see a thoughtful response not grounded in anti-MS instincts (however misinformed) or anti-anything-not-Apple (ir)rationale. What did you use when Outlook was not available for the Mac?

 

Thanks :) Generally speaking I'm quite outspoken regarding my distain for Microsoft products, but occasionally they do some things I like. Prior to Outlook I used Entourage, and for a time even used it on my personal machine where I had to Exchange account configured. Honestly I loved the Project Center and thought it was a brilliant tool that should have made it to the Windows version of Outlook rather than being dumped from the Mac version. The idea that all emails, calendar entries, attachments, and notes that were associated with a project were available within the Project Center and organised by projects was fantastic. It did take some work to set it up, and it was a bit annoying that everything that came from a contact associated with a project was included in that project was a somewhat unavoidable mess.

 

My biggest complaint with Entourage (which has barely been addressed with Outlook) is it's fairly neutered support for formatting. At least I can finally respond to an email with a table without that formatting being lost. I can now even paste a table into an email. It sure would be nice if Outlook for Mac properly supported RTF message creation, rather than its severely limited support for HTML mail. My other complaint has been addressed by others, and that's the reliance on a single, easily corruptible database file. At least Outlook for Windows allows the use of multiple PST files.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZinkDifferent View Post

 

 

Quite a lot of people, having gotten used to Entourage prefer the All-In-One integrated single app approach of Outourage - which has its advantages. 

 

The issues with iCal invites (I'm quite familiar with them) has to do with Exchange's handling (or, bad handling) of attachments (Exchange invites are basically attachments). In a properly configured Exchange environment, attachments are properly handled and iCal works beautifully. If the corporate IT group responsible for Exchange maintenance either doesn't know what they are doing, or is restricted by the company's "policies", then they end up either running hopelessly outdated Exchange installations (ie 2003 or 2007), or are having to deal with each new Microsoft patch that introduces *new* attachment issues. 

 

I've just recently had to deal with a corporate environment where I was told that "Apple stuff doesn't work well with Exchange" in a status meeting, only to reveal that I set up demo accounts on a commercial Exchange hosting service, using the EXACT SAME versions of Exchange the client was using - and everything worked perfectly, and had NONE of the issues encountered by the corporate client. Long silence.

 

We're using Exchange 2010 here at my office. The issue I found was a meeting invite I received sent to my .mac email account from someone running Exchange. I have no idea how this happened, but when I accepted the meeting invite from inside iCal the time zone was not processed correctly and moved the meeting to eight-hours earlier (PST=GMT-8) and sent an update out to the distribution screwing up everyone else's calendar moving a 5:30pm meeting to 9:30am. Since then I have been afraid to use iCal to accept any meetings out of fear of screwing up everyone else on the list.

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