first_imgMicrosoft unveiled Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac yesterday. The service pack contains some notable improvements to the suite, including significant changes to Outlook and overall speed, security, and stability improvements. Many of the complaints that Mac users had about Office 2011 centered around the new version of Microsoft Outlook for Mac, and Microsoft appears to have taken their feedback to heart.Among some of the biggest improvements to Outlook are better support for Apple’s Mac OS X Sync Services, which now allows you to synchronize tasks, notes, and your calendar across machines using Sync Services. The update also adds support for junk mail and filtering rules on Microsoft Exchange servers – so if you work in a cross-platform environment and have mail sorting rules saved to your Exchange account, Outlook for Mac will now recognize them and allows you to manage them.Outlook for Mac also brings back the “resend” and “redirect” features. Resend allows you to re-send the same message to the same or new recipients more than once from your sent items, while redirect allows you to route specific email messages to new recipients as soon as it lands in your inbox, seamlessly to the sender. The service pack also lets you pick from recently used locations for meeting and calendar appointments, similar to Office for Windows.The other apps in the office suite also saw updates, with PowerPoint getting password protection for slideshows and presentation files, and Excel finally getting the Solver analysis tools add-in. All of the applications will benefit from the global stability and security improvements in the suite, and the ability to manage alt-text for images, tables, charts, and movies used in any document created in Microsoft Office.The only downside to the update is that the improvements in Microsoft Office leverage Apple’s Mac OS X Sync Services, which Apple has promised to discontinue later this year. Apple prefers to push customers towards MobileMe instead, and last year’s beta of the new version of MobileMe already includes support for cross-system synchronization. Microsoft will likely wind up patching Office for Mac again when that change occurs. The suite is available now, and requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher to install.Read more at Apple Insiderlast_img

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