Microsoft delivers first update for Mac Office 2008

Patches Excel, fixes two-dozen bugs, but some users complain they can't update

Microsoft patched the latest version of Office for Mac Tuesday to fix more than two dozen problems, including a security snafu revealed just days after the suite launched in mid-January.

Some users, however, have reported problems getting their machines to "see" the update.

Dubbed Office 2008 for Mac 12.0.1, the update patches three vulnerabilities in Excel, the suite's spreadsheet application, that were noted yesterday when Microsoft rolled out its usual monthly security fixes. But the update also addresses a slew of other bugs and quirks, including several that went public almost immediately after Office 2008 debuted January 15.

"This update fixes an issue that could give a local user who does not have administrator permissions access [to] Office 2008 program files," said the accompanying advisory posted to the Microsoft support site.

Two months ago, Joel Bruner, a Chicago-based Mac consultant, noticed the permissions glitch and posted information about it to his blog. Microsoft acknowledged the problem, then later in January told users how to work around it.

Microsoft also claimed that 12.0.1 includes numerous performance, stability and reliability improvements -- it called out 24 items in a bullet list -- in all four of the applications that make up the suite: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage.

The applications, notably PowerPoint, should open faster, said Microsoft, an answer to users who have complained about the programs' lackadaisical launch speeds. Also improved, said Microsoft, is Entourage's synchronization with other applications and with Exchange servers.

But on Microsoft's Office support forums, some users complained that they were having a tough time getting the update installed. For several users, the Microsoft-built Office updating tool -- which was itself updated only recently -- wouldn't show them 12.0.1.

"I've run it manually, and it shows no needed updates," said a user labeled as "Zerocool" in a message Tuesday. Several others chimed in with identical experiences. Those users turned instead to the stand-alone installer, which weighed in at 114MB, to apply the update.

Others, however, reported that they were unable to apply the update no matter what they tried. Still more beefed that sync issues continue to exist.

One user put it bluntly. "I was chugging along on Office v.X for years with no problems," said someone identified as Ernie. "I wish I had never updated to Office 2008. It has NOT been worth the hassle. I'm now seriously thinking of just ditching MS Office and using the built-in Apple apps [ Apple's iWork '08 suite is not 'built-in,' but costs US$79 -- Ed. ] because this is not worth the time and irritation.

The Office 2008 for Mac 12.0.1 update can be downloaded from Microsoft's Mac-specific Web site.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?