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Microsoft promises to add Lion features to Office for Mac

updated 09:20 am EDT, Thu July 28, 2011

2004 suite no longer compatible

Office for Mac 2011 users will be gaining access to some of the enhancements of OS X Lion, says Microsoft's Pat Fox. Specifically the work suite will be getting support for Auto Save, Versions and fullscreen mode. Fox has few other details to offer; regarding the timing of an update, the Office team member explains that the wait will likely be "measured in months not days."

In the meantime, Microsoft has released an update to Communicator for Mac update that should solve some crashes in Lion. It should be available through Microsoft's AutoUpdate system. Alternately, people can fetch it through Download Center.

Fox additionally repeats that Office for Mac 2004 "will not (ever) work on Lion." The software was written for PowerPC systems, he notes. Because Lion no longer includes the Rosetta code needed for backward compatibility, Office users have no choice but to upgrade to 2011 if they also want to run Lion.

by MacNN Staff



  1. noibs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can I Turn It Off?

    Hopefully, if Microsoft does implement autosave and versions they will do it the right way and allow the user to control when and if those features are used. I'm really frustrated that Apple has not given users that right with the Lion versions of Pages, Numbers, Textedit and Preview.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More likely

    measured in years not months given the "crack performance" of the Microsoft Mac ecosystem.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Of course

    it will be months not days - Mac users are always sucking hind teat

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Missing the boat that matters

    noibs is right. Autosave and versions are of limited value if users can't tailor them to their needs. Every app I have that needs autosave already has it and in a form best suited to what it does. And 'versioning' makes no sense when users aren't logging why a version is needed at that point. Snapshots in Scrivener is a much better system. You get to name the snapshot in a way that explains what changes will follow. That's a lot better than a version that just kicks in with a time stamp every hour or so.

    Sadly, there are features the OS X needs far more than it needs autosave and versioning. They include:

    1. An easy way to add keyword metadata on the File Save window.

    2. Text tagging and paragraph style marking like that in InDesign 5.5.

    3. Better search features in text tools, including a well-done, non-geeky GREP search.

    4. Epub export built in and not just clumsily available through Automator scripts. Apple makes a string of mobile devices that display ePub much better than they display PDF, yet Macs can't easily write ePub.

    5. An easy way to send documents to Apple's mobile devices. The File menu should include a option that lets users effortless send a document to their iPhone or iPad by whatever means is first available: cellular, WiFi or USB synch.

  1. facebook_Daniel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    Office 2008

    "Office users have no choice but to upgrade to 2011 if they also want to run Lion."

    Users have one other choice: Office 2008. It matters because different versions of Entourage/Outlook are compatible with different versions of Exchange Server.

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Adobe - Pay Attention

    I have to say I have respect for MS' Mac Business Unit. Unlike Adobe that refuses to adopt "Mac specific" features that the OS's APIs allows them to implement, MSBU actually tries to give its users a Mac experience. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but at least they try. Meanwhile, Adobe's apps are becoming more and more subpar on both OSes as they insist implementing their own UI elements into little AIR applets within their apps. I wish Adobe would wake up and be great again.

  1. Chris Hutcheson

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Perhaps they could just make Outlook work, particularly syncing. That'd be a start, Lion or not.

  1. ferdchet

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's not like the Mac BU hasn't known about Lion for a few months now. Maybe they missed the keynote. Typical MS. Oh well, at least there are other options.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Adobe - Pay attention

    Yes, just what users want. Their 40GB CS document autosaving in the middle of doing something, causing a huge delay until it is finished.

    And then having 15 copies of a photo, with no explanation of why one is different than another. If they are different at all.

    Or going into a photo, trying some ideas on tweaking it, and not realizing that the damn system auto-saved it when you quit, thus leaving you with what you thought was your latest version not being your latest version.

  1. facebook_Jessica

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2012


    Um, where is it?

    So, it's been several months now and Microsoft has yet to utter another word on Lion, and Mountain Lion is about to come out soon as well.

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