Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac 12.0.1 Update: Requires Internet Explorer for Windows

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
March 13th, 2008 • 9:19 am

Here’s the instructions you get when you try to download the Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac 12.0.1 Update:


Given that this “File Download dialog box” only ever appears when trying to download the file in a Windows environment running Internet Explorer for Windows, the conclusion is obvious: In order to download and install the latest Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac update, you need to use Internet Explorer for Windows.

There are only two possible explanations for this:

  1. Either Microsoft believes that the average Mac user is much smarter than the average Windows user and will be able to figure out by himself that these instructions don’t actually apply to him.
  2. Or Microsoft does not care one bit about providing Mac users with a Mac-friendly experience.

No points for guessing which explanation I favour.

Obviously Microsoft cannot be bothered to customize their “Download Center” web site in order to make it more Mac-friendly. Personally, I find this insulting. It is basically Microsoft’s way of saying to Mac users: As far as we are concerned, you are and always will be second-class customers. At best, we’ll tolerate you. Even though it would probably cost us only one or two man-hours to customize the Download Center message so that it is more Mac-friendly, we are not going to do it, because it is beneath us.

5 Responses to “Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac 12.0.1 Update: Requires Internet Explorer for Windows”

  1. danridley says:

    Oh, come on.

    The download works just fine, and the preceding page includes instructions for Safari (“If you are using Safari, the downloaded file is saved to the desktop unless you specified a different location in the Preferences dialog box of Safari. To check your preferences, on the Safari menu, click Preferences, and then click General.”)

    I can’t picture a hypothetical user who:
    1. Can’t figure out that the instructions on this page are wrong;
    2. Needs the instructions in the first place; and yet
    3. Reads these wrong instructions, links them to the behavior of Internet Explore for Windows, and concludes that you need IE/Win to download this file; and especially
    4. Does all of this in the time before the file starts downloading and closes the window, before their conclusion is modified by *the download starting*.

    I mean, Microsoft *should* update their boilerplate, but the notion that users will conclude IE is required to download this file seems farfetched.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Needless to say, my post was partly tongue-in-cheek.

    Of course, I do not believe that it requires Explorer for Windows and I do not expect any sensible Mac user to believe it either. But the instructions are unnecessarily confusing (for those who might read them) and I find it most disappointing that Microsoft does not make the effort to provide a smooth Mac-friendly experience all the way through.

    The bottom-line is that, yes, Microsoft does indeed treat us as second-class customers. If they really cared about their Mac customers, they would make the effort to at least customize the Download Center interface so that it does not display instructions that are patently wrong.

  3. danridley says:

    Okay. Sorry for misreading your tone; I got the impression that you really did think people would come to that conclusion. I agree with your basic sentiments.

  4. dadhog says:

    I’d post this in the Mac -> Microsoft category, but I can’t figure out how. So I’ll leave this as a semi-related comment to this thread.

    Has anyone actually tried to *run* the Office 2008 for Mac 12.0.1 Update? The installer on my MacBook seems to hang at the “Select a Destination” screen, while displaying the message “Examining additional volumes…”. The Continue button is grayed out, as is the system volume, which it apparently found.


  5. Pierre Igot says:

    The categories are meant for me, for new posts. Betalogue readers are just allowed to post comments on existing posts, not to create new posts. This is not a forum. I suggest trying the Office for Mac forums.

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