Microsoft service pack includes features that make the productivity suite faster and more Web-friendly.
Microsoft on Monday released a significant update to its Mac Office 2008 productivity suite. In keeping with the company's recent cloud push, the Service Pack 2 update includes a tool that lets users access their documents from the Web.
"With SP2 we are not only delivering on top customer requests midcycle, but also taking a first step in bringing Microsoft software plus services to Mac users," said Mike Tedesco, senior product manager for Microsoft's Mac Business Unit, in a statement.
Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, SP2, offers the Document Connection for Mac tool. It allows user to save and open documents on Microsoft's online SharePoint and Microsoft Office Live Workspace portals. Office Live also is now compatible with Apple's Safari 4 Web browser.
Mac Office 2008, SP2 also includes enhancements that Microsoft added based on user requests.
Custom Path Animation for PowerPoint lets users author Motion Paths—illustrations that depict, for instance, an object's movement—as opposed to simply playing them back. Default Theme for PowerPoint lets users define a default theme for all fonts, color schemes, and layouts.
Microsoft also said that the service pack speeds up launch and scroll times in Word and calculations in Excel.
In an effort to fend off Google and other online rivals, Microsoft is pushing more of its applications to the Web.
The company last week announced that Microsoft Office 2010 will include free, Web-based versions of Office, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Office 2010 is expected to be available in the first half of next year. Mac Office 2008, SP2 can be downloaded for free at Microsoft's Mac Office Web site.
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