Feeds

Microsoft 'update' breaks Office for Mac

Can't open PC-created files

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Microsoft's recently released Service Pack 2 for Office 2008 for Mac makes it impossible for many users to open Office files created on PCs.

The "update" - Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 2 (12.2.0) - was released last Monday. In its release notes, Microsoft promised that it would "improve stability, reliability, and performance." It also includes a new app called Microsoft Document Connection to aid in working with files on a SharePoint site or in a Microsoft Office Live Workspace.

Unfortunately, what the release notes don't say is that Service Pack 2 also makes it impossible for many Office 2008 for Mac users to open some Word (.docx), Excel (.xlsx), and PowerPoint (.pptx) files created by PCs running Office 2007 for Windows and saving into the Open XML format.

You'll notice that we said "many" users and "some" files. Not all users who have installed the service pack are affected, and not all files are problematic. Ah, intermittency - the bane of poor, overworked support-desk personnel.

Microsoft is aware of the problem and has published a "Help and How-To" page that outlines some suggested fixes. "Fixes," however, is overstated. Most of Microsoft's suggestions involve using an earlier version of Office to create and save files, reverting to a previous update level (12.1.9 was the most recent version) or reinstalling Office 2008 for Mac from scratch and not updating to Service Pack 2.

The same help page also says that Microsoft will release an update to fix the problem "in August." Exactly when in August, however, is not mentioned.

Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) is a tiny division, with employees that number in the mid-200s - an infinitesimal fraction of Microsoft's vast army. Still, after the MacBU's recent problems with Office update 12.1.7, it's not unreasonable to suggest that they should have taken special care to muster the resources needed to fully test Service Pack 2 before they released it into the wild.

Fans of OpenOffice, Google Docs, and other alternatives are going to be hard to live with today for users of Office 2008 for Mac. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.