Microsoft Debuts SP1 Upgrade For Office For Mac 2011

A new service pack for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 is available, offering security enhancements, improved stability and the ability to synchronize Outlook for Mac and Apple's Sync Services.

Service Pack 1, available at the Microsoft download site as a 246 MB file, also provides a number of performance enhancements and features including Outlook support for Exchange-based, server-side rules; new Outlook Redirect and Resend buttons; the ability to edit existing Outlook messages; and Solver integration support in Excel.

"Office for Mac SP1 is a big step forward," said Pat Fox, senior director of product management, Office for Mac, in a blog announcing the software update. "But we know we have more work to do, specifically around better integration with additional services."

Office for Mac 2011, which hit store shelves last fall, marked the first update of the popular software product in three years.

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With the added Outlook synchronization capabilities, Office for Mac 2011 users can sync the Outlook calendar, as well as contacts, notes and tasks, with any service or device that supports the Apple Sync Services, including the iPhone and iPad. Fox said that was one of the top feature requests from customers.

But Fox said Apple is introducing a new version of their MobileMe online services and that software that will no longer sync with MacOS Sync Services as of May 5. That means Outlook 2011 SP1 calendars that sync with Sync Services on the Mac will not be able to sync with MobileMe calendars due to what Fox described as the "broken link between MobileMe and Sync Services."