Mac Office 2008 SP2: Speed, Stability, Compatibility

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Speed, stability, compatibility — that’s the mantra from the Mac Business Unit for SP2, which will be released today at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

Besides bug fixes, general improvements include faster launching of applications, as well as better performance within, like scrolling in Word and calculation speed in Excel. PowerPoint users will now be able to create motion-path animations, as well as define their default theme.

A new tool, Document Connection, provides Mac Office users improved access to documents through Microsoft SharePoint and Office Live Workspace. Safari 4 is now supported for accessing the browser-based services. According to Microsoft, file-sharing and document fidelity are the most important features for Mac Office users.

“There’s never been a better time to try Office 2008 for Mac — with SP2 we are not only delivering on top customer requests mid-cycle, but also taking a first step in bringing Microsoft software plus services to Mac users,” said Mike Tedesco, senior product manager for MacBU at Microsoft.

Unfortunately, those waiting for the return of Visual Basic for Applications will be disappointed. While the MacBU is planning on restoring VBA, that won’t be happening until the next release of Mac Office, for which no date has been announced.

The free update, around 300MB, will be available at Mactopia, as well as through Microsoft’s software autoupdate.

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