Feeds

Microsoft 'update' breaks Office for Mac

Can't open PC-created files

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.