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Microsoft gets an earful as Office for Mac 2016 users amp ire over crashes

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 9, 2015
Apple's latest beta of OS X 10.11.1, aka El Capitan's first update, lists Office 2016 as an area of focus, hinting the OS is at least partly responsible.

On Wednesday, Microsoft issued a fix for a separate-but-related issue, one involving Office for Mac 2011, the new suite's predecessor. That problem had caused Outlook 2011 on El Capitan to crash when syncing with Exchange mail servers.

An update to Office for Mac 2011 claimed to stop the crashes, and users commenting on Microsoft's support forums confirmed that they were again working without interruption.

Not surprisingly, that prompted people running Office for 2016 to ask when their needs would be addressed. "Where is Office for Mac 2016's fix?" wondered "Tony Lin_8" on Wednesday.

Microsoft was not ready to set a timetable for an Office for Mac 2016 update. "Please stay tuned for the fixes for Mac Outlook 2016 on El Capitan," wrote Faisal Jeelani, a Microsoft program manager, in the longest thread Wednesday. "I will update this thread as soon as we have something to share. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

On another thread, a different Microsoft program manager offered a bit more information. "We have isolated the hang after crash/force quit that impacts all Office 2016 apps as well as Outlook 2016 repeated crash after launch," Sunder Raman said yesterday. "We are working with Apple on a solution, please stay tuned."

Previously, Raman had referenced working with Apple, as had a company spokeswoman, inferring that the problem was within El Capitan or that the fault was shared by both firms.

A third possibility, that Microsoft was simply gathering information from Apple, seemed more remote Wednesday after Apple released Beta 3 of OS X 10.11.1, the first expected update to El Capitan, to both developers and public testers.

While the public beta's description only said that it was addressing stability, compatibility and security issues, the developer's version listed Office 2016 as one of two areas of focus, a clue that El Capitan is at least partly to blame for the crashes.

Computerworld downloaded and installed the public preview of Beta 3 Wednesday, and although Office for Mac 2016 applications had not crashed since, it was too early to call the problem solved. After installing Beta 2 last week, Computerworld's Macs running the new suite were crash-free for approximately 36 hours, at which point crashes and application lock-ups resumed.

Excel falls down 


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