I downloaded SP1 for Office 2008, and I am sorry to report that Powerpoint 2008 is still unbelievably buggy.
I also notice that Word is now buggy in some ways that worked correctly before SP1. Specifically:
(I have a MacPro running 10.5.2)
*** In Powerpoint:
\t1. The controls for inserted movies are very buggy. First, checking
\ton "Loop until stopped" causes the movie to loop continuously, but it
\tpauses at the end of roughly every second loop for a second or two,
\tthen jumps back to the beginning and begins playing again. This
\thappens even on small (in X and Y), short (in time) movies, regardless
\tof filetype. Before I installed Service Pack 1, the movie would
\tactually pause in the *middle* of the movie, then jump back to the
\tbeginning; now it pauses at the end of the movie. So its behavior has
\timproved slightly with SP1, but it's still not right.
\t2. To circumvent this bug, I tried manually clicking on the movie
\tafter it has played, in order to replay it. This works once, playing
\tthe movie a second time, but clicking a third time does nothing. One
\tmust click three times to replay the movie a third time. After that
\treplaying, clicking once will immediately replay the movie a fourth
\ttime, and so on in this strange rhythm. Bugs 1 and 2 may be related.
\t3. To circumvent this second bug, I tried checking "Rewind after
\tplaying". This checkbox works correctly on some movies, but not
\tothers. In the latter case, it does nothing, as if the checkbox
\t4. I also tried clicking on the "Show movie controller". This brings
\tup a slider-based movie controller, but what is its purpose? It
\tdisappears as soon as you unselect the object, and it never appears
\tduring the presentation. Thus, you can't use it to control the
\tpresentation, nor to select which frame the movie starts or ends on.
\t5. One more bug about inserted movies - if an image is inserted into a
\tslide in front of a movie (designed for example to appear after I've
\tplayed the movie, then clicked the mouse), then the movie plays
\tjerkily. This behavior regardless of the filetype of the movie. This
\tdoesn't happen in Window Powerpoint 2003.
Since being able to control a movie is mission-critical for me, I gave up on
controlling inserted movies, and decided instead to link to my movie files,
which I would then play in an external player. However, in Powerpoint 2008
this is equally problemmatic.
\t6. First, action settings don't allow you to link to a file, with the
\tnotion that the file would be opened by the default application for
\tthat kind of file; you get an error message "Can't locate or start
\t<filename>". This method of linking to files works in Windows
\t7. To avoid this bug, I tried hyperlinking to the movie file.
\tHowever, in Powerpoint 2008, if you hyperlink to one of your own files,
\tyou get two pop-up warnings in succession every time you click on the
\tfile, even during your presentation. There appears to be no way to
\tsuppress these pop-ups. Since Powerpoint is supposed to be a public
\tpresentation tool, this effectively makes hyperlinks to files useless.
In desparation, I now pre-launch my movies (before starting my presentation),
and switch tasks to the movie player in the middle of the presentation. In
the year 2008, this is a pretty lame solution to playing movies during talks.
\t8. There appears to be no way to change the color of equations entered
\tusing the Microsoft Equation Editor; black is the only option. Black
\tdoesn't work if your slides are black. In Powerpoint 2003, you could
\t"Recolor object" to change this color. Of course I can circumvent this
\tproblem by changing the slide's color scheme, but since I have dozens
\tof talks that contain equations, this would be a major undertaking.
\t9. The progress bar for the autosave function is very annoying. I
\tlike having my work saved in the background, but I don't like having
\tthe progress bar pop up across my work every 10 minutes. If it's
\treally a background function, then just do it quietly.
\t10. Powerpoint changes the "Date Modified" of files, even if you only
\tlook at them, without making any changes. This makes it hard to keep
\ttrack of when you have modified a presentation. This bug affects only
\t.ppt files, not .pptx files. But I have hundreds of such files, and I
\tkeep them sorted in the Finder using "Date Modified". Yes, I could
\tstart renaming my presentations to include the date every time I modify
\tone, but this is an error-prone workaround.
This bug is so severe that it's almost a show-stopper for me. It may drive me
to either revert to Powerpoint 2003 or 2007 under Parallels or VMWare Fusion,
or switch to Apple's Keynote package.
\t11. Copying/pasting of slides in the slide sorter (or vertical pane
\tsorter) is buggy. Sometimes it displays the icon that leads to the
\t"Keep source formatting" menu, but sometimes it doesn't, even when it
\tshould. Other times it displays the icon, but selecting "Keep source
\tformatting" has no effect on the formatting. This feature works
\treliably in Windows Powerpoint 2003.
*** In Word:
Before installing SP1, I could double-click on .doc files created by previous
versions of Word (or Word on a PC), and they would open correctly. Now, after
installing SP1, they open as blank documents. If I just launch Word, then
File/Open..., then I can open the file fine, but I can't double-click on it in
the Finder. This problem has been reported elsewhere, so it's not just me.
I've been a PC user for years, and I have never seen service packs introduce
such blatent bugs. The quality control on Office for the Mac must be lower than
for PCs. This isn't helping Microsoft's reputation - on any platform.
Reluctantly, I must agree with other commentators that this software looks either
like it hasn't been tested enough, or like Microsoft simply doesn't care about
Mac users, or may even be trying to deliberately drive them off the Mac
platform by releasing poor software.