Microsoft Updates Communicator for Mac 2011 on Lion OS
Microsoft released a fix for a crash problem in Communicator for Mac 2011 running on Mac OS 10.7 "Lion," Apple's newest operating system.
The issue was noted earlier this week by Microsoft's Office for Mac team as one of the main problems it was tacking with Lion integration. Communicator for Mac 2011 on Lion was crashing when users attempted to send messages, or when they tried to initiate an audio or video sessions. Communicator for Mac 2011 is the client interface for instant messaging, presence and videoconferencing that's used with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2.
Communicator for Mac 2011 currently lacks functionality in conjunction with Lync Server 2010 and it isn't compatible with Microsoft's online server versions. It's typically used by organizations that have volume licensing agreements in place with Microsoft.
Microsoft released a patch on Tuesday for the problem, but it's also available via AutoUpdate. The update to Communicator for Mac 2011 (known as "version 13.1.2") is described here and can be downloaded at this page. Users need to have Communicator for Mac 2011 version 13.1.0 (or greater) installed first before applying it.
The update doesn't apply for Office for Mac 2008 because that productivity suite just supports the Entourage 2008 client, not Communicator. Another option is Messenger for Mac for Windows Live users, typically for consumer users. Microsoft's seemingly chaotic messaging product support is based on its Windows Live and Office Communications Server organizational split within the company, as explained in this Microsoft blog post.
Microsoft also announced this week that its Office for Mac team is working with Apple on some other improvements, including "versioning, auto save, and full-screen for Office for Mac 2011." Those improvements may be seen in coming months, but no timeline was provided.
Also not mentioned by Microsoft was any forthcoming update to Office for Mac 2008, which will run on the Lion OS. However, the team explained earlier that its top priority is to deliver improvements for Office for Mac 2011 first.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.