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back to article Microsoft 'update' breaks Office for Mac

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 …

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Silver badge
Grenade

Phew...

I had downloaded the update but luckily, I had not applied it.

In view of certain statement by people at the top of Microsoft I wonder if this was 'fixed by design' or pure incompetence?

Grenade- What Microsoft deserve up their backsides for releasing stuff like this.

5..4..3..2..1.. bang

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Happy

Repeat after me

NeoOffice

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Gates Horns

truly funny

The best part about this debacle is that the same files that MS Office for Mac 2008 can't open _can_ be opened by Apple's iWork suite: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. And also by Open Office. And, if you have installed the converter which allows it to read the new file format, by Office for Mac 2004. You just gotta love the fact that the only apps which can't read the new file format are Microsoft's very own latest and greatest.

Indeed, the single most compatible word processor available for the Mac is Microsoft Word for Mac 2004. If you install the correct filters it will read and write every major and many minor word processor file formats... including file formats that Word 2008 can't read, even when it's _not_ broken, 'cause MS stripped the ability to read those formats out between 2004 and 2008. And the single most powerful spreadsheet available for the Mac is Microsoft Excel for the Mac 2004, as that's the last (the very last) version which can use the full range of Excel macros. That ability was also stripped out in Excel 2008...

Mickeysoft. Charging more and delivering less.

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FAIL

What this shows, really,

is that Microsoft's document formats are simply too complicated for even Microsoft to handle properly.

Thankfully, there is an ISO standard format for office documents available that was not pushed through the standards committee by Microsoft: ODF. Which can be used by any office product that is worth using. The fact that Microsoft Office does not directly support the format says it all.

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Thumb Down

Trimming Microsoft Employees

It seems like the first employees to be "downsized" by Microsoft must have been in QA. How else to explain this and the buffer overrun issue caused by the complete absence of testing of the MSVidCtl ActiveX widget? (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/30/typo_caused_massive_ms_bug/)

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Stop

ALSO

I downloaded it, (twice, just incase i tried it all again), and it completely prohibits opening office 2008 due to "your license key is invalid"... their fix doesn't work for me, so i had to uninstall and update to 12.1 again... oh well, lets await 12.2.1

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Unhappy

The Bane of All Existence

... "Ah, intermittency - the bane of poor, overworked support-desk personnel" ...

Preach on, preach!

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Gates Horns

Could this be part of a new...

... "if you don't use Windows, you can't open up all documents" FUD campaign?

Gates icon cos years of antitrust action has proven that his company (with him at the helm) has been proven to be a bunch of lying theiving barstewards.

Bill Gates, the most successful immoral dishonest person on planet earth. With $100Bn fortune to prove that lying gets you everywhere.

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Mmmm, LaTeX...

Never mind your OOXML vs ODF - the future is plain text!

With Texlipse and MacTex I can use Eclipse for most of my document creation and editing now and Office 2008 is installed just because a) it's covered under a MS Campus licence anyway and b) some people insist on still using proprietary formats to send me stuff. Add in version control using Eclipse Team Providers for Subversion (or your preferred repo) and you've got a much better and more compatible collaborative working solution than Office and Sharepoint for a lot less cash (and also working properly, now).

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I'm too lazy to come up with a title

I agree that Office XML is too complicated and absolutely hated the fact that it did get approved as a standard in that sham of a process. I've not seen any of the files produced from Office 2008 SP2 on Mac or know how it handles them, but what I wonder is if the problems could be rising up from the fact that Office 2007, at least in RTM and SP1, don't use the ISO-approved standard Office XML, which changed a lot from the original implementation.

That said, it's a horrific shame that OpenOffice.org, the leading proponent of OpenDocument Format (which I do endorse, mind), didn't even support antialiasing its rendered graphics until the latest version, version 3.1, and also lacked hardware graphics acceleration until fairly recently as well.

All that said, Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 for Windows XP/Vista/7 supports ODF 1.1 natively without additional filters, as will Microsoft Office 2010 upon release. Even Wordpad in Windows 7 supports .odt files. Too bad ODF 1.2 is the current version of the format in use elsewhere.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

...and this, folks, is why I stuck with Office 2004/Mac

The wife and I got it when we got our iBooks -- so that she and I could share Word files she brought home from her job (she's since retired) or from any of the "avocational" work she does on various other projects... and, at that, I didn't even install half of the whole pile: just Word, Excel and PowerPoint (for the occasional client presentation which needs certain slides made into .tifs or .jpgs).

I hardly touch Word as it is, and I've run PowerPoint and Excel a grand total of once, just to shut off all the bullshit it wants to throw in my face every time I fire it up.

Way to go, Monkey Boy.

Developers, developers, developers, developers.

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WTF?

200+ employees and they didn't test it!?

'nuff said.

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Gates Horns

Oh, no...

[Bowl of Petunias, aka Agrajag] yanked into existence miles above the planet Magrathea, only has time to think, "Oh no, not again," before crashing to the ground.

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Silver badge

Why should they care?

I mean seriously, why should Microsoft care. Nobody is buying Office because it's good.

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it's apple

who gives a shit!!!

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I'm a PC

Those of use who had PCs long before IBM chucked together the 5150 are heartily sick of the implied equivalence of "PC" and "Windows". Go look up what the letters stand for.

-A.

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Boffin

Time to stop updating

At least automatic updates should be stopped. What we need is an update controller. Somthing that we trust which delays the updates until they have been tested.

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Troll

Tossers

Toss it in the bin a reload the earlier version. Are we being helped with the windoze vista experience with retrogrades?

The problem is all the PC tossers end me xl files, bugger.

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Pint

Can it be true?

Is Wordpad really going to open .odt files? -Wow, that is totally jaw-dropping. Time was(like now) MS acted like ODF didn't exist, let alone open a document in it.

The times certainly are a'changin'.....

(OT - A Nelson "ha-ha" icon would be a good addition to the family)

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Happy

This is crap

All you need to do is:

1) Uninstall / remove Office 2008.

2) Go to MVLS.

3) Download Office 2008 with SP2 dmg file.

4) Install.

5) No Problem, you can open Office XML files.

Office 2008 SP2, Done.

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Why does anyone upgrade Office anyhow?

Since about the year 2000 Windows and Office(TM) have been reasonable tools for completing office tasks -- since then there have been additions which exist only to make MS more money.

I realise I sound like a Luddite but I am most certainly not -- I just fail to understand why anyone would feel the need to spend money to replace an OS or office application that was less than 5 years old.

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Coat

@ Cameron Colley

"I just fail to understand why anyone would feel the need to spend money to replace an OS or office application that was less than 5 years old."

Because they're bright, shiny and new. And they are a revenue stream. Like you said ... what other reasons do you need?

Don't confuse 'em with facts or lecture them about wants vs. needs. Just smile and take their money.

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Gates Horns

Who uses 2007?

If I knew anyone running Office 2007, then this might be a problem.

Fortunately, everyone I know who still uses a PC (including me, for work) still use XP with Office 2003.

Ribbon is just too horrible for words (no pun intended...).

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Anonymous Coward

Check the spell check dictionary

It can quit working following any update as well.

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Unhappy

Office

A Japanese colleague sent me an Excel file from his PC. Unfortunately, the character set was not automatically changed by my English Office 2008 Excel, so I only saw ..well.. incomprehensible garbage. So I tried different fonts (Osaka, etc), created a new user on my Mac using Japanese language for the system (Finder, etc.). No luck.. Excel would not display the content. I then downloaded Open Office and the first thing the application did when I opened the Excel file was a pop up box which asked me which font set I wanted to use (JIS). And the file opened, revealing the Japanese text I needed to see. That easy! And Open Office was free! No going back to MS Office for me.

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Gates Horns

Microshafted

It appears that the latest 12.2.1 update fixes the file opening issues.

I say appears because I get new messages saying my .xlsx files have "incompatibalities" and can only be opened in "read" mode...

I'm going back to Office 2007 on VMWare Fusion, not going to bother losing too much hair on this latest "update".

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