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Interestingly enough Microsoft has released Office 2008 Service Pack 1 today for Macs. What’s interesting about that? Well, it is one of the fastest turnarounds for a Service Pack that I’ve ever seen. The suite of applications was just released back in January 2008, and here we are four months later with a Service Pack. Office 2007 for Windows didn’t see it’s first Service Pack for nearly a year after the consumer launch.

The press release issued by Microsoft said that the “velocity of sales for Office 2008 is nearly three times what [they] saw after the launch of Office 2004.” To help celebrate they decided to give us a glimpse of what the future holds for the next version of Mac Office. Drumroll please… VBA support! That’s right, but you’ll likely be waiting a few years before we see a new Mac Office pop out of the Microsoft bat cave.

What’s really interesting is the timing of the VBA announcement. It was just last week that 3.0 Beta was released with some early stages of VBA support, and it’s almost as if Microsoft was afraid that users might start looking to to pick up where Microsoft left off. That might not be the case, but that was the first thing that popped into my mind.

At any rate Office 2008 SP1 is out, and ready for you to download. The list of features and improvements can be found below, but the 180MB download doesn’t bring anything too earth shattering.

Get Office 2008 SP1 for Mac (180MB)

Microsoft Office Excel

  • Compatibility. Improved compatibility with files exchanged between Excel 2008 for Mac and Excel 2003 and Excel 2007 for Windows
  • Custom Error Bars. Restored formatting option on the Error Bars panel for data series
  • Printing. More reliable printing for elements on Excel 2008 workbooks

Microsoft Entourage

  • Calendar. Significant enhancements to improve calendar view and all-day reminders with reoccurrence
  • Exchange Server support. Overall improvement to synchronization support, including removing attachments from Exchange Server messages and synchronizing to the server, as well as support for editing the contents of Exchange Server messages via AppleScript and synchronizing the changes to the server
  • E-mail images. Ability to send and view images in Entourage from third-party tools

Microsoft Office Word

  • Printing. Improved accuracy when orienting tables with cell shading
  • Document map. Improved reliability and responsiveness to select items
  • Notebook layout. Updated formatting, recording status and a variety of display options

Microsoft Office PowerPoint

  • Printing. Improvements to eliminate crashing when printing documents to high-dpi printers and increased overall printing speed by 10 times on some large presentations
  • Mobile viewing. Ability to view Mac .PPTX files on Windows Mobile phones
  • AppleScript. Ability to use the PowerPoint selection object in AppleScript to implement custom scripts that operate on the current selection in PowerPoint