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Microsoft Pulls Office for Mac 2011 SP2 Auto Update After Outlook Database Corruption

Following the release of Office for Mac 2011 Service Pack 2 earlier this month, a number of users began reporting issues with corruption of Microsoft Outlook databases. In response, Microsoft early last week acknowledged the issue, providing a workaround for those who had yet to update their Office installations and a fix for those who had already updated and were experiencing problems with Outlook.


On Friday, Microsoft announced that it was taking an additional step and removing Office for 2011 SP2 from Microsoft AutoUpdate until the Outlook corruption is resolved. The update can, however, still be downloaded manually and installed once users follow the directions to rebuild their Outlook databases.
Our goal is provide the simplest update experience for everyone – so we have temporarily stopped pushing out the SP2 update through Microsoft AutoUpdate while we investigate the issue. Customers are still able to obtain the SP2 update via the Microsoft Downloads site by clicking here. We encourage you to either wait for the AutoUpdate, or follow the directions in the above blog post before manually updating to ensure you don’t experience issues. We will provide an update once we have more information to share.
Office for Mac SP2 is Microsoft's second major update to the company's flagship productivity suite for Mac. The release offers a number of security and usability improvements, with a heavy focus on Outlook, which was new in Office 2011 and replaced Entourage.

Top Rated Comments

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26 months ago
Prior issues with corruption in Outlook is why I switched back to Mail. Outlook is a bag of hurt all around.
Rating: 5 Positives
26 months ago
So when I did my MobileMe to iCloud transition, it lost my contacts from my iPhone that I'd collected over the past year. Microsoft corrupts outlook databases? but then who cares? who uses outlook on Mac anyway? I bet the five people who use it are as angry as I was when iCloud deleted my contacts (and then removed them from the iTunes backup before I had a chance to restore from it).

Can nobody properly handle contact data? Seriously, if this is the point we're at in the computer science industry, I think we might need to just all stop what we're doing and go back to basics. OR we need to inform these major software vendors that we don't rely on a paper rolodex for our contact information anymore. We rely on these software products for this information. If they fail to maintain high-reliability systems, the customers are the ones who get hurt.

But then, CS lacks all the rigor of proper engineering anyway...
Rating: 5 Positives
26 months ago

It's not much of a slam when it's completely true. I've practiced Geophysics, aerospace engineering and computer science, and I can tell you that, in general, CS lacks all the appropriate education of reliability, durability, precision, customer responsibility, deference to reality, notational consistency*, thoroughness of documentation, and subjugation of personal pride to achieving mission objectives that are absolutely essential in a real science or engineering. The folks to whom I've spoken who say that CS is not less rigorous simply don't have the experience necessary to comment, or else they work on financial software. I've been fortunate to work with some of the best in the CS industry, but... aerospace is still an order of magnitude more difficult and demanding.

But it's clear you don't understand my point. So, to clarify:
I'm not saying software can't or hasn't make major contributions. I'm just saying compared to real engineerings and sciences, CS (and education in it) is unreliable, flimsy, poorly documented, and lacks proper customer-demand and mission-objective focus.

Apple and Microsoft's growing recent failures in each passing update only serve to prove my point. I only partially blame the tool sets. As iOS developers, we still don't even have tool sets which can search our code for syntax-context aware expressions, like "find all calls to a method named 'foo()' on instances of the 'bar' class". We're left with text searches and reg-ex searches which ask me to construct a syntax so dense and fathomless that the task is usually impractical. Performance profiling tools won't even tell me what the arguments were to function calls which take the most time. If I had run my 10,000 tests for my aerospace dissertation research and failed to match each test result with the data which went in to it, I would have been laughed out of the department, but that's the state of the art in CS. If there is any tendency to improve these failures in the CS industry, excellent. I kind of think maybe Chris Lattner and his team will deliver something incredibly useful like this at some point, but that might just be my little man-crush on him for bring us Obj-C-ARC.

And as for documentation, if a man-page or non-free Apple developer's guide even approached the kind of detail I get from a free data sheet from Digi-Key when browsing for electronic components, I would be shocked. The "header" style documentation I've seen is worse than RadioShack's 74xx series data sheets which sometimes wouldn't tell you which pin was which pin number. In fact, that might be a fair comparison, Radio Shack documentation is to computer science as digi-key's free data sheets are to rigorous engineerings. Apple's documentation on in-app purchase is about as good as it gets, and that amounts to handing me a sample implementation circuit.

And if you manage to prove me wrong, well then I'll just be happy, because things will be better than I think they are. :)

* Notational consistency as applied to science. Engineers are terrible at notational consistency, even in a single industry.


Thats a good way of saying a lot without saying anything :rolleyes:

I'm not even going to bother to respond. You, like other posters who write the same thing just seem to want to slam on CS majors for some reason.

I'm not saying that building planes or space shuttles or something is easier than designing software, but if you don't think CS is real engineering you just simply don't have enough experience in it. Go tell a chip designer at Intel his work isn't engineering.
Rating: 4 Positives
26 months ago
Microsoft developers continue to ignore all of us who tell them moving the "Microsoft Users Data" to the Library where it belongs would solve some issues... but of course they don't need our he;p :rolleyes:
Rating: 3 Positives
26 months ago

Oh ok you win my bad. Software isn't important, only hardware :rolleyes:


I'm beginning to think you're not in this intellectually at all. My point is that software is far more important that it's been treated. It's not being taken seriously enough.
Rating: 2 Positives
26 months ago
It'd be nice of MS to post an updater to roll us back to pre-SP2 and unbeep us.
Rating: 2 Positives
26 months ago
Outlook is the only application on my mac that's full of deficiencies.
What broke the camels back for me was the complete deletion of ALL my contacts during the service pack 1 "upgrade". This news isn't helping.

M$ folks have shown us very clearly that they are NOT interested in putting out a quality product or at the very least something comparable to the windows version.
I'm already using iCal and I am in the process of switching to the mail app.
Rating: 2 Positives
26 months ago

Where is the Lion Full Screen Support? Like they promised back in October?!


Boo! I don't want Office to work like a stupid iOS app, I want it to work like MS Office. If you want versions and all of that crap use iWork.

I guess I lucked out, all three of my installations updated to SP2 without blowing up. Software from both Apple and Microsoft is getting a little weak on the pre-tested side.
Rating: 2 Positives
26 months ago
I agree completely with everything benspratling is saying here. In the US computer science education is a pathetic joke with respect to other countries. In countries such as Great Britain CS courses are so rigorous they would send the college seniors majoring in CS in the US home crying.

I took several engineering courses last semester and a CS course this semester, the difference between the two is the same as night and day. In my CS class we're not graded on the robustness of our programs and code, their readability or their ease of use, but whether or not they give expected sample outputs.

And when it comes time to actually write programs for "real world usage" our students fall woefully behind. I was in a programming competition as a volunteer coder with a junior and a senior. We were tasked with writing 10 programs in about 4 hours, and we couldn't even get 1 program out the door. These programs were hard, but not impossibly so, the problem was that none of us had ever been exposed input/output handling within C/C++ or Java, and none of us had ever been taught how to set up dynamic memory handling in C/C++.

Engineering students make jokes at CS students expense because CS in its current state is a joke.
Rating: 2 Positives
26 months ago
Microsoft. Why am I not surprised?
Rating: 1 Positives

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