Microsoft's new service pack for Office 2008 for Mac includes several new features, such as the ability to save documents to the Microsoft Office Live workplace. In addition, Office 2008 for Mac SP2 boosts the speed of Microsoft Word 2008 and Microsoft Excel 2008. Microsoft's focus with its Office products has been on creating a more collaborative and cloud-centric experience for users.
announced on July 20 the release of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 2,
a midcycle update designed to improve the stability and compatibility of the
application widely considered Microsoft's premier Mac product.
SP2 will be available for free download here starting at 1 p.m. EDT,
and will also be offered via Microsoft AutoUpdate. The full trial version of
Office 2008 for Mac is also available for free from this
One key feature of the service pack is a new tool, Document Connection for
Mac, which improves access to and browsing of documents on SharePoint Products
and Technologies and Microsoft Office Live Workspace. This represents an
attempt on Microsoft's part to boost cross-platform collaboration and
Specifically, Document Connection allows users to open and save documents to
the Microsoft Office Live workplace from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other
Office applications. As part of this, Microsoft Office Live Workspace will
support Safari 4.
With regard to SharePoint, Document Connection will allow easier
collaboration among Mac users by simplifying the processes of browsing,
accessing and managing files both online and offline.
In addition, other updates include two upgrades to Microsoft PowerPoint 2008
for Mac: Custom Path Animation, which allows the creation of motion-path
animations in addition to playing them back, and Default Theme, in which users
can define a default theme with fonts, color scheme, slide layouts and other
SP2 increases the launch and scroll speeds for Microsoft Word 2008, as well
as calculation performance for Microsoft Excel 2008.
Microsoft's recent focus has been on making its Office products more
collaborative and cloud-centric, possibly in response to platforms such as
Google Apps that make productivity suites available over a browser for free.
At its Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans,
which ended July 16, Microsoft announced that its upcoming Microsoft Office
2010 would be offered as a free online service to Microsoft Live subscribers. The
of OneNote, Excel, Word and PowerPoint will not include features available in
the full desktop versions.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.