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Microsoft Admits Bugs for Mac Office

The Redmont computer giant confirmed last week that Office for Mac users will experience some problems when running the suite on the new Lion OS X Lion Apple released last July 20. As of this writing, Microsoft has yet to officially confirm if it will support the new Lion features such as Versions and Auto Save.

Among the known bugs, the most serious involve Communicator crashing whenever users of the 2011 Office for Mac start its audio or video call or even send an instant message. The problem will affect volume licensed users as Communicator is Microsoft’s corporate version of its consumer-grade chat client for Messenger. It is also the communications software used by Mac users to connect to users using Lync 2010, Microsoft’s enterprise communications server software.

Pat Fox, Microsoft’s product development director for its Mac group, posted in the company blog last Friday that the company will have a fix in the next update patch to Communicator for Mac. However, he did not indicate any specific timetable for the fix, preferring to say “in the near future.”

Another bug involves the use of Outlook. Running on the OS X Lion, Outlook can’t import message content from the Apple Mail. According to a support document from Microsoft, even Entourage, the email client app bundled with an earlier 2008 Office of Mac can’t reliably do the job.

This bug affects Mac users installing Office for Mac after upgrading to Lion. But those who had already imported the mail content from Apple Mail to either Outlook or Entourage on the earlier OS 10.6 Snow Leopard will not have any problem moving forward.

The 2011 Office for Mac is available from direct sellers online like Amazon. It is retailed in two editions – Home & Student priced at $149.99 and Home & Business priced at $279.99. Outlook is not bundled with the Home & Student versions.

Other Office issues with the new Lion OS include crashes under certain conditions when running PowerPoint or Excel and date format glitches when running Word, as confirmed in the same Microsoft support document. In addition, MSQuery that corporate users run to extract data from company database systems to Excel does the job only in English, but does not run at all in the 2008 Office for Mac. The 2004 Office for Mac does not run on Lion.

While there’s as yet no firm commitment to fix the bugs, Microsoft, in an effort to head off criticisms that it failed to address them in time for Apple’s Lion release, has said the it had addressed many issues leading up to the release.

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