Microsoft Office 2004 Service Pack 1

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
October 12th, 2004 • 7:09 am

What happens when you use an ever-changing naming/numbering scheme for your software is that you end up using an ever-changing naming/numbering scheme for your software updates as well. So now Office updates are “service packs”. Why not, I guess?

More importantly, if you’ve read the MacCentral article about this update and are wondering where on earth the download is on the MacBU web site, the answer is: it isn’t there. I suppose it will end up showing up there eventually. But in the mean time, if you don’t want to download the service pack through Microsoft’s typically useless AutoUpdate application, you can find the download here on the dark side of the Microsoft web site. Only available in English for now, of course. Multilingual updates released at the same time is still too much to ask when it comes to Microsoft.

I’ve started downloading it, but 23 MB will take a while at 1.1 KB/s. (I still need bandwidth for other things…)

I’ve read the release notes and, based on those, not much has been fixed. The only significant “improvement” as far as I am concerned is the one about word selection in Word 2004:

Text selection is improved

Previously, when you double-clicked a word to select it, and then dragged the selection to include more words, Word sometimes selected the preceding word in addition to the words you selected. This problem has been fixed. Word no longer selects the word preceding the word you select.

Of course, it’s not an “improvement”, it’s a bug fix — but never mind.

If that’s the only significant thing that they have fixed in Word 2004, I am going to be pissed. There’s no mention of the problem with Postscript fonts and the non-breaking space. Or the one with the disappearing cursor. Or all the other ones that I have had the opportunity to report on here.

I am vaguely hoping that the update fixes more than what the release notes say. But I am not holding my breath. This is a Microsoft update, after all. It might erase my entire hard drive partition, for all I know.

Am I being unfair to Microsoft? Probably in some people’s twisted view of software usability. I don’t particularly care.

7 Responses to “Microsoft Office 2004 Service Pack 1”

  1. Olivier says:

    No, the problem with Postscript fonts and the non-breaking space is not fixed. But then again, since when does Microsoft fix known bugs?

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    They didn’t fix the Postscript font bug? I wanted to say “unbelievable”, but then it’s Microsoft… And then they have the gall to say that the update fixes “bugs that [user] feedback played an important role in identifying”. And MacCentral has the gall to quote them verbatim and unchallenged.

    I suppose that someone somewhere at Microsoft is blaming Apple for this bug and not doing anything about it on purpose.

    Good grief.

    LP: I haven’t forgotten, although I wasn’t a victim of this bug. But it’s fair to say that this was an incident that was very Microsoftian on Apple’s part :).

  3. LoonyPandora says:

    It’s Apple that erases partitions when you install software ;-) Refresh your Memory – if you don’t recall.

  4. Evan Gross says:

    And guess which Word (crasher) bug they didn’t fix, even though it was verified by the MacBU folks early on when I first reported it.

    Send Word 2004 a text input event with more than 127 characters, it crashes. Amazing they couldn’t fix this one. In most apps, it would be a trivial fix – just allocate enough memory for the incoming characters instead of assuming there would never be more than 128.

    And so it goes…(and always will, I suppose, until they scrap the whole code base and start fresh).

  5. Olivier says:

    The scroll wheel bug (delay when scrolling down with the wheel in normal view) has not been fixed either.

  6. Josh says:

    Dare I ask — has the oft-mentioned “Disk is full” bug been fixed?

    Please tell me it has.

  7. Pierre Igot says:

    Only experience will tell. I haven’t encountered it yet since I first started using Word 2004, so that’s a good sign. I also believe that the last time I experienced it in Word X was the time when Rick invited me to submit a bug report to him directly, which is the case mentioned in the blog item you are referring to, so I suspect this particular set of circumstances producing the bug has been eliminated. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the bug is completely gone, but it certainly has become much harder to reproduce :).

    Only a comprehensive survey of thousands of users would enable us to determine that the bug has been completely eradicated. But that’s Microsoft’s job.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.