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Microsoft acknowledges Office 2016-El Capitan crashes but lacks ETA for fix

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 5, 2015
'We are working closely with Apple to resolve this issue,' says company manager

Office 2016 crash cropped
Microsoft admits that users of its Office for Mac 2016 suite are encountering frequent crashes and is working with Apple on a fix.

Microsoft has acknowledged that users of its Office for Mac 2016 application suite are encountering frequent crashes and implied that it's working on a fix, but offered no timeline for delivering an update.

In an emailed statement, a Microsoft spokeswoman said the company is looking into the problem.

"We know that some users may be experiencing issues with Office 2016 for Mac running on El Capitan," the statement read. "We are actively investigating the matter with Apple. Until there is a fix, we recommend people install the latest updates to Office 2016 for Mac using Microsoft AutoUpdate."

Faisal Jeelani, a Microsoft senior program manager, chimed in on a company support thread with a similar message. "We are aware of the issue with Outlook 2011 on El Capitan and of Office 2016 on El Capitan," Jeelani wrote, referring to an already-admitted problem with Outlook 2011 -- the email client bundled with Office for Mac 2011 -- as well as the crashes afflicting users of the newer Office for Mac 2016.

"We are working on a fix for 2011, and for 2016, we are working closely with Apple to resolve this issue as soon as possible," Jeelani wrote. "Unfortunately, we do not have any timelines for either fix, please stay tuned and thank you for your understanding."

Apple released OS X 10.11, aka El Capitan, on Sept. 30. Although reports of Office for Mac application crashes preceded the official El Capitan release by months -- the first message on the thread was posted July 25, about two weeks after Apple seeded the first public beta -- the volume soared as people upgraded their Macs to El Capitan this week.

The support thread where Jeelani's comment appeared was the longest, by far, of those on Microsoft's support site discussing the crash problems. As of late Friday, the thread had logged nearly 21,000 views and contained more than 200 messages, both extremely high numbers for the forum dedicated to Office for Mac 2016.

It remains unclear whether Microsoft's or Apple's code -- or a combination -- is responsible for Office 2016's crashes. Because both the company statement and Jeelani's message mentioned that Microsoft is working or investigating with Apple, one interpretation is that Microsoft believes the problem originates with Apple. Another may be that Microsoft simply needs more information from Apple to understand why Office applications are falling down and can't get up.

 

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