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Microsoft Working on Office for Mac 'Lion' OS Upgrade Issues

Microsoft noted that Office for Mac 2011 and Office for 2008 users will experience some yet-to-be fixed problems after upgrading to Mac OS 10.7 "Lion," Apple's latest operating system.

In addition to some "fairly minor or cosmetic" issues, such as the misalignment of windows, Office for Mac 2011 has two major problems, according to an announcement made by Microsoft late last week. The first issue affects users of Communicator for Mac, which is the client interface for instant messaging, presence and videoconferencing used with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Communicator for Mac, which is only available via Microsoft's volume licensing agreements, will crash after a user tries to send a message or start an audio or video session.

The second problem is associated with Entourage 2008 or Outlook 2011 e-mail clients, which can't import messages from Apple Mail. Entourage 2008 is supported by Office for Mac 2008; it's not part of Office for Mac 2011. Likewise, not everyone will have Outlook 2011, as it does not come with the Home and Student edition of Office for Mac 2011. Those nuances about e-mail clients in the Mac versions of Office were described when Microsoft released Office for Mac 2011 in October. Microsoft subsequently released Service Pack 1 for Office for Mac 2011 in April of this year.

Microsoft plans to fix the Lion OS upgrade issues in Office for Mac 2011 and Office for Mac 2008 via Automatic Updates in the future, but no time estimate was given. The Office for Mac team at Microsoft is giving triage priority to Office for 2011, saying that "while our first priority is Office 2011, we will fully test and take care of any significant issues on 2008 as well."

Office for Mac 2004 will not work with the Lion OS upgrade. Earlier OSes supported Apple's bridge technology, called "Rosetta," which permitted Office for Mac 2004 to run on the latest chip technologies in newer Macs. However, Apple dropped support for Rosetta in Lion, which means that Office for Mac 2004 and any other software depending on Rosetta won't run.

In addition to the two main problems associated with the Lion upgrade, Microsoft is "investigating" more narrow problems associated with Office for Mac 2008 and Office for Mac 2011. For instance, Excel may crash when sheets are moved from one workbook to another. Word and Excel may show the year as two digits rather than four digits. PowerPoint may crash while attempting to open another application. Rich client Web apps may have problems opening files.

For more details on possible Lion upgrade problems associated with Office for Mac, Microsoft published this Knowledge Base article describing the "known" issues.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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