#PSA: Microsoft Office For Mac Users May Have Issues With macOS High Sierra

If you run either Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 or 2016, I have news for you in terms of your ability to use either while running macOS High Sierra which ships sometime this month:

  • If you’re running Office for Mac 2011, it’s likely not going to work. You should upgrade to Microsoft Office for Mac 2016 for that reason and the fact that support ends for Office for Mac 2011 in October. That means no security or other updates for you.
  • If however you are running Office for Mac 2016, you’re still in trouble. First, you need to be running Office for Mac 2016 version 15.35 to be compatible with macOS High Sierra. You can get that through Microsoft’s update utility or from here. But even then, you may discover that not all functionality will work.

All of this is documented here. But this is a pretty clear message that Mac users don’t matter to Microsoft. That sounds pretty harsh, but here’s why I say that:

  1. Microsoft offers 10 years of of support to PC users of Office. Meanwhile Office 2011 got six years at most.
  2. Features that pop up in the Windows version of Office often take ages to appear on the Mac.
  3. This is not the first time that Microsoft has dropped the ball on day one support for the Mac version of office. As I noted in my El Capitan review from 2 years ago, Office 2016 had major stability issues that took them a long time to fix. Clearly, Microsoft doesn’t put any effort into testing Office on the Mac. Otherwise you’d think that a company of their size would be in front of this sort of stuff.

Now I get that Microsoft would much rather have Mac users switch to Windows. But doing this frankly half-assed support of the Mac platform isn’t going to make any Mac user switch to Windows. In my opinion Microsoft should either kill the Mac product, or step up and support it to the same standard as the Windows version.

Now if you need an Office compatible suite of apps that will work when High Sierra ships, might I suggest the Apple iWork suite? It brings to the table Keynote (their version of Power Point), Numbers (their version of Excel) and Pages (their version of Word). Is it a 1:1 match for what Microsoft serves up? No. But it’s 85% as good. Which is good enough for most of us. Plus it’s free which is hard to beat. Given the above, I’d suggest test driving iWork before High Sierra makes its debut.

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One Response to “#PSA: Microsoft Office For Mac Users May Have Issues With macOS High Sierra”

  1. […] a brand new file system called APFS to the table as well as the fact that Microsoft has warned that Office may not work with High Sierra. There’s likely other things out there that may be problematic such as bugs like the ones […]

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