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Microsoft developer talks about Office 2008 update issues

Erik Schwiebert is one of the lead developers on the Mac Business Unit team under the Microsoft banner. I find their position constantly interesting -- even in these enlightened days of Safari for Windows, many dyed-in-the-wool Mac users still consider Microsoft the enemy, and yet the Mac BU has always been like a kind of diplomatic envoy. We have to use things like Office and Entourage, so we cautiously let them across the border, regarding them like strange visitors from the other side of the wall.

But maybe that's just all in my mind. Recently, the Mac BU released an update for Office 2008, and lots of users, apparently, have suffered from error problems while trying to install it. So many, in fact, that Schwiebert has responded to the problems on his blog, saying that the problems are most likely because users have deleted or otherwise messed with files inside the installation, causing the installer to abort. And that strange Mac BU/Mac users fragile truce comes into play here as well -- he specifically calls out Xslimmer and Monolingual, two programs that delete often-unnecessary files in OS X, for causing the issues.

There's a workaround floating around, but Schwiebert warns it leaves the application suite in a possibly unstable and unsupportable state. Unfortunately, Schwiebert doesn't really offer any solutions (other, we guess, than to reinstall the software so that it's back to the full install, and then apply the update). And the alliance between the Mac BU and their users remains fragile -- we've got to work together, but it seems that many are unhappy about it.