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Office 2016 for Mac users lambaste Microsoft after upgrading to Apple's OS X El Capitan

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 2, 2015
Unclear whether Microsoft or Apple is at fault for irregular crashes of Outlook, Excel and Word.

"Any sane developer should be proactively ensuring compatibility with GM [golden master] prior to release," added "fryle" today. "That's kind of the point of GM. Otherwise you get what we're seeing now: customers upgrading to El Cap and finding Office, a mission-critical suite for most people, is now broken. At worst, Microsoft hasn't taken this seriously enough, and at best, it hasn't been communicating with its customers well enough. There has been no advisory (to my knowledge) warning of the known issues and certainly no ETA on a fix. It's disappointing, to say the least."

"Golden master" is a term used to describe the last testing release of an upcoming program or operating system. Apple released the first El Capitan GM on Sept. 9.

It's unclear whether Microsoft's or Apple's code was responsible for the Office 2016 crashes, or a combination of both. Computerworld has experienced similar Office 2016 crash behavior on the GM and official releases of El Capitan, as well as on a Mac equipped with the public preview of OS X 10.11.1. The Office applications were downloaded from Microsoft's website as part of both consumer and commercial subscriptions to Office 365, which provide rights to locally install the suite on up to five Macs.

The Sept. 23 update that Microsoft released for Office 2016 for Mac did not stop the crashes for Computerworld.

Microsoft did not immediately reply to a request for comment and whether it had a fix in the works.

But someone identified as Sunder Raman -- who said he was a program manager on the Mac Office team -- left several comments on a story about the crashes published earlier today on Thurrott.com. There is a "Sunder Raman" listed on Linkedin.com, who has a title of senior program manager for Outlook on Mac.

"We have been working with Apple through the Beta period and have collectively resolved several issues," Raman said as he responded to criticism that Microsoft dallied during OS X 10.11's three-plus months of developer previews. "Some issues are hard to isolate given the nature of hardware configuration differences like graphics cards, number and type of accounts used, etc."

Microsoft has acknowledged a different issue with Outlook 2011, the predecessor to the email client bundled with Office 2016, on El Capitan. In a support document, Microsoft said it was "researching the problem," which caused Outlook 2011 to crash when trying to sync with an email server.

Office 2016 for Mac sells for either $150 or $230 in perpetual license form, or is available with an Office 365 subscription, which range in price from $70 to $240 annually for the entry-level consumer plan and the most expensive corporate deal, respectively.

 

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