Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 SP1 next week; big sync changes

Microsoft is set to release the first service pack for Office for Mac 2011 next week, bringing improvements to the platform and some major sync changes to calendars, contacts and more. SP1 will bring security improvements, greater stability, performance improvements and a few added features.

Office for Mac 2011 released back in October 2010, bringing a lot of improvements to the platform, including for the first time ever, Outlook. Office 2011 released in four different flavours, which included Office Web Apps, remote desktop and SharePoint in the Academic and Standard edition.

Service pack 1 will be made available for all versions of Office for Mac 2011 and will bring some major changes to the sync services. For starters, SP1 will bring Outlook syncing support between Outlook and Apple Sync services. This service was one of the most requested features thus far, and will enable users to sync your services and devices, including your iPhone's or iPad's calendars, notes, contacts, and tasks.

With the recent changes to Apple's MobileMe platform, Outlook 2011 calendars that sync with Sync Services will no longer sync with MobileMe starting May 5, 2011. Apple's latest change to the MobileMe platform breaks the link between MobileMe and Sync Services.

The Office for Mac 2011 team posted a support chart on their website for the following services:

Outlooksp1

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25 Comments

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Recently moved to iWork i was sick of waiting for it to load, you add a new font and it takes 30+ seconds to rebuild on load. Hopefully all this improved.. when its open it's not so bad, but not as fast as it could be.

Uplift said,
Recently moved to iWork i was sick of waiting for it to load, you add a new font and it takes 30+ seconds to rebuild on load. Hopefully all this improved.. when its open it's not so bad, but not as fast as it could be.

Yeah, it really DOES have huge loading times. I can't believe for a quad-core computer equipped with 8 GB of RAM, this would take 10 seconds to load. On Windows, Office 2010 starts in half the time, even under Parallels.

But iWork isn't robust and complete enough for me, except Keynote. I can't do the switch and considering iWork '11 or '12 is far away in the abyss, this is not something I'm going to do tomorrow.

Disappointing to say the least, but I enjoy using Outlook for mac and have got used to not syncing with mobile me for my contacts and iCal within outlook and use the native mac apps for Contact and Calendar management.. maybe with a few more updates they will give us the functionality that need

What I don't understand is how they don't even support their own email service...hotmail/live mail. How about a damn hotmail connector like outlook for windows has? That and actual google app support and I would actually like this.

:@ The lack of proper Hotmail support is incredibly frustrating. I'm very disappointed that the Office Mac team still hasn't tackled this issue.

Please avoid Microsoft Outlook 2011 for Mac like it is the Plague and avoid the pain of a lock in platform. It has NO function to export data to any format except it's own OLM format, which does not work with any other system.

Don't try to escape to Gmail by copying using IMAP, you will fail because it will make the received date be the same date that you copied to Gmail, not the actual received date in the header of the email. No other mail client does this (eg: Thunderbird, Apple Mail)

You can escape by using EagleFiler (30 day unlimited trial), which will convert it into standard MBOX format, which can then imported into Apple Mail. EagleFiler has it's own quirks, don't try to sort any mail while you have it in their because it does not move nor delete messages properly.

Once you are locked into the Platform, it is still not bed of roses...

Folder management is painful, drag and drop is the only way to manage email. Sync Services is constantly crashing (Hopefully SP1 fixes this I guess) and sometimes the Calendar and Contacts disappear until you delete the com.microsoft.outlook.plist from Library > Preferences (and also have to recustomise your settings).

This software does not work properly and is the worse Microsoft release on the Mac platform they have ever created and it is just shameful that they are charging such a premium to buy the "Business" edition for the privilege, when there are so many bugs and lack of features. I would easily compare Outlook 2011 for Mac to be as bad as Windows ME.

... /sigh. Too bad still no Exchange 2003 support. Better stop holding my breath. Not that I really need to be checking my work email from my home computer... just sayin.

Shadrack said,
... /sigh. Too bad still no Exchange 2003 support. Better stop holding my breath. Not that I really need to be checking my work email from my home computer... just sayin.

Time for work to upgrade. Exchange 2003 is ancient.

scorp508 said,
Office 2011 was not the first time Outlook existed for Macs.

It is the first time it exists for Mac OS X...

ObiWanToby said,

Fix the wikipedia. Entourage is not Outlook.

Who is talking about Entourage? You may want to go back, slow down, and read.

scorp508 said,

Who is talking about Entourage? You may want to go back, slow down, and read.

I read, but you are clearly mis understanding something. Office 2011 is the first time Outlook has actually existed in some true form on OS X.

ObiWanToby said,

Fix the wikipedia. Entourage is not Outlook.

There was a version of Outlook for Mac before it changed to Entourage.

oufc_gav said,

There was a version of Outlook for Mac before it changed to Entourage.

You would be correct, Outlook was on Mac in OS9 called "Microsoft Outlook" had all the same features at the time as outlook on windows

Still not google calendar support? wow seems this SP is a big waste of time. Honestly this has been requested over and over. Back to thunderbird I go.

what said,
Waste of time because it doesn't have the one feature you want... right...

Well in my case, yes it is, considering the amount of clients I know that use office 2008 and want to upgrade to 2011, but can't due to this lack of support. Why was it removed in the first place? Worked just fine.

kiddingguy said,
... and how about SP1 for Office 2010 for Windows?

That was announced as RTM about a month ago, but they were vague as to when it would see the light of day. It's baffling to me that they would hold onto it for so long. They don't even make new integrated images, like they do for Windows, so there's really no excuse.

Biggest problem I'm having at the moment is cold startup times in Excel. There's also some odd behaviour when resizing the window in Excel. Would be nice if they addressed those issues.