Why Microsoft’s Outlook 2011 for the Mac remains a nightmare

“All right, so Microsoft has finally released the Office 2011 for Mac Service Pack One,” Gene Steinberg reports for TechNightOwl. “This is supposed to be a biggie, since it incorporates important security updates, along with some new features; well, make that new, plus some restored features, such as the ability to resend or redirect email in Outlook.”

“So far so good, but none of this amounts to anything if the app itself still isn’t working properly,” Steinberg writes.

“Well, as those of you who have followed my columns know, Outlook represented one disaster after another,” Steinberg reports. “Maybe it was an all-new program from a programming standpoint, but that didn’t mean Microsoft didn’t migrate features, and, unfortunately, long-term bugs. I do not for a moment believe Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit rewrote Outlook from scratch. I’d think it would be closer to say they translated code from Carbon to Cocoa, and then modified and updated it in Xcode. But I’ll let the developers in our audience deal with the niceties of such a process. I’m more concerned with the results.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Personally, I just bought and installed MS Office for the Mac 2011 for Word and Excel, and I have no problems, as it’s a lot faster than previous OS X versions. I really like it.

    As far as email and calendar go, I use Apple’s. Makes more sense to me, especially with what’s coming up in Lion.

  2. It’s Entourage with the Outlook palette. I have used both, and dumfounded how I felt little to no improvement. Office 2008 had Outlook, the real deal Outlook from it’s time. Ever since then office mail on the Mac has been !$&@.

      1. Hey, you! Yes YOU. TX.
        Have you considered posting something positive or useful? Didnt think so.
        You are simply angry/annoyed/frustrated at something in your personal life, so you bring it here.
        Fix your personal problems, get a girlfriend, divorce your wife, stop hitting your kids – whatever.
        Seek help.
        But keep your nasty little jibes under your bed, along with the porno mags and the broken dreams.

            1. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, then you don’t know I’m an idiot cuz ur not one. I tried to make it easy for the blind followers here by signing my comments as “Idiot”. Egg on my face for giving u too much credit.


    1. I’m pretty sure both Word and Excel were running on Macs before Windows even existed.
      It makes no sense to suggest a need for Windows to run these ubiquitous applications.

      1. That may be true but of all the apps I have used, M$ apps crash more often. There are alternatives and I would not recommend any M$ product simply because M$ does not make good product.

    2. @trondude,

      “if you want excel and word, just go back to winblows.”

      Have you considered that some of us love everything about the Mac, but need Excel and Word compatibility with others? Heck, I actually prefer Excel, Word, and even Entourage or Outlook on the Mac as opposed to Windows.

      1. Mr Ed, you have mistakenly assumed this board is for intelligent discussion. I suggest you go elsewhere unless all you want is “Apple is great, everything else sucks”.

    3. I downloaded the demo when I couldn’t figure out how to double-underline a cell in Numbers.

      Knowing me, I probably just missed it.

      That’s why. Otherwise, I love Apple products!

    4. Why? Because giant Universities like Cornell have their head so far up Bill Gates’ building-donating-ass that we’re ALL forced to use Outlook—students, faculty, staff EVERYBODY gets to share the pain of Outlook while Gates showers $millions$ on Cornell. Prof’s get to demand a Mac, but for staff, unless you’re in the arts, you’re forced to a PC. Administrative Aids have begged for Macs so they can work faster—told NO WAY!

      “Thanks for the Millions Bill, send us more pain, please.”

      1. I used to work at the Geneva Experiment Station, part of Cornell. There, you get a Mac unless you ask for a FeeCee.

        Maybe you should change your program to Ag. 🙂

    5. Trondude – couldn’t agree with you more. No M$ crap on my machine & it’s pretty damn happy.

      iWorks & Mail do everything that I need & are just nicer to use.

  3. I WISH I could use Outlook 2011 >< My company uses Exchange 2003 which means that I can only use Entourage since Outlook for Mac only supports Exchange 2007 and up.

  4. I still run (on occasion) Office for Mac 2004. But if, as reported, OS X Lion will no longer support Power PC apps, that will no longer be possible. Well, there’s always iWork. Then I’ll be iFree of Microsoft.

  5. So, finally, Microsoft and Adobe (not to mention Quark Xpress) are migrating to Cocoa. Unfortunately, they are 5-10 years late. Carbon was a workaround to buy some time.

  6. Support Office on the Mac or watch us go back to 1995. Jobs had to be drug kicking and screaming into begging Gates to keep us in Office. If he had his way, the Mac would be just a hobby today.

  7. Outlook always has and always will be a nightmare.

    Its users are either corporate drones that don’t know any better, or people seriously suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

  8. “I’m more concerned with the results.” What? This is Microsoft. If the bowl you are eating from is mounted to the floor, has a lid and handle, then those are the standard Microsoft turds you are looking at. Put the spoon down and walk away. Never come back expecting anything else from Microsoft.

    (Sorry, it had to be said. There are many Microsoft victims out there.)

  9. I still need Word for my business, as I exchange documents with many clients and other people. As much as I like Pages, it can’t properly interpret everything from Word. Numbers and Excel seem to get along just fine, and of course, Keynote beats the snot out of PowerPoint.

    But Word is still King of the Word Processors, and until Pages can open Word docs without missing things (like paragraph numbering, for example), I’ll still use Word.

    However, I won’t upgrade the the latest, “greatest” version until at least a year after it’s been on the market, because Microsoft just can’t get things ironed out before releasing a product. You know Microsoft’s motto: “Third time’s a charm.”

    1. Agreed, Biz. I was able to convince my employer to let me use a Mac at work because I could do so without creating compatibility issues between PC users and me. So it is specifically with thanks to Word and Excel that I haven’t been saddled with a Windows PC for the last six years. Thanks, Mac BU!

  10. MS does this on purpose. Office is their bread and butter, and the prime reason enterprises remain using Windows. They really don’t want Macs at their party.

    My sister (works at a huge university) installed MacOffice on her laptop hoping to forgo the Windows environment, but problems began to abound when critical documents were losing small format settings during the the save-to-desktop>email process. We hired experienced Mac IT to troubleshoot, but the problem was a known issue. The only solution was to install Windows Enterprise, boot into Windows natively and use only Windows to generate, save and email the documents. We even attempted using Windows native Office via Parallels but the same problem arose. In the end we wasted hundreds on Office Mac, and even more on Parallels trying to work in a Mac environment but it seems MS has found a way to bugger the process in their favor.

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