UPDATE: Service Pack 1 is now available for download here: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads
Next week, we will release Office for Mac 2011 Service Pack 1 (SP1) which will provide increased stability, security, and some new features to the suite – including improved Outlook syncing support – as well as some performance enhancements. As we shared several months ago, this update will enable calendar syncing between Outlook for Mac and Apple’s Sync Services. This will let you sync your Outlook calendar as well as contacts, notes and tasks with any service or device that supports Sync Services, including your iPhone and iPad. This has been one of our top feature requests – hopefully this is good news to many of you.
Since there’s been so much interest in syncing Outlook calendars, I want to share more detail on a particular limitation that Apple is introducing with their new version of MobileMe. MobileMe will no longer sync with MacOS Sync Services as of May 5th (or now if you have already moved your account to the new version of MobileMe calendar). As a result, Outlook 2011 SP1 calendars that sync with Sync Services on the Mac, will NOT be synced with MobileMe calendars.
So what does this mean? If you sync your iPhone or iPad calendars with Sync Services (ie via iTunes over a cable), your mobile device calendars WILL be synced with Outlook 2011 SP1. If you sync your iPhone or iPad calendars with MobileMe, they will NOT be synced to your Outlook 2011 SP1 calendar, because of the broken link between MobileMe and Sync Services. Hopefully Apple’s changes will not impact very many of you.
Want even more detail? The table below outlines the supported services in Outlook for Mac 2011 SP1:
Office for Mac SP1 is a big step forward. But we know we have more work to do, specifically around better integration with additional services (the “No” cells in the chart above). We recognize that for some of you these are an important part of your workflow, but we don’t have any information to share on potential future updates. But we will continue our work.
I also wanted to note a couple of the other new features coming with SP1: Outlook support for Exchange based server-side rules; Outlook Redirect button (you can redirect the message to the intended recipient and the replies will go to the original sender); Outlook Resend button; Outlook edit of existing messages; and Solver integration support in Excel.
Please continue sharing your feedback and any questions here as we work to incorporate your requests into future updates and releases. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy SP1.