Office 2008: Applications still crash after simple cut-and-paste actions

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
January 20th, 2008 • 4:46 pm

I am afraid there really is no hope of ever getting a stable crop of reliable Mac OS X applications from Microsoft. In my experience, every single version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X has suffered from stability issues that are totally foreign to other Mac OS X applications.

I have only been using Office 2008 for a couple of days, and I have already experienced my first application crash, sadly in very familiar circumstances.

All I did was to open a very simple spreadsheet file in Excel 2008 (no formatting whatsoever, just a few columns of plain text data). I then selected a range of cells and pressed command-C to copy it. Then I switched to Adobe Illustrator CS3 by clicking on a document window belonging to that application.

Within a couple of seconds following this, Excel 2008 crashed in the background. I hadn’t even got around to pasting the contents of the Clipboard yet when the crash happened. Here’s a link to the crash log:


As you can see if you download this file and open it in TextEdit, it contains the all-too-familiar references to Microsoft’s “OLE” architecture. “OLE OLE” indeed.

This type of crash, clearly related to the way that Microsoft’s internal handling of cut-and-paste operations interacts with Mac OS X’s own architecture for this, has been a staple of all versions of Office applications for Mac OS X for me. The fact that this is the exact same type of crash, occurring in the exact same type of circumstances, suggests that it is not a problem related to Office 2008 being a brand new software release.

This is not a “version 1.0” bug. This is a recurring problem with Microsoft applications in Mac OS X, and the recurrence of the problem clearly suggests that Microsoft’s developers are either unable or unwilling to address the problem once and for all. I therefore have little hope that such crashes will be eliminated in future updates of the product.

So this means that we are (or at least I am) going to have to leave with regular application crashes in Office 2008 for many more years to come. When I compare this to Apple’s own track record for its similar suite of office applications, iWork (which basically crashes once in a blue moon), there is little hesitation about the software company with whom I can entrust my precious data. (Lest we forget, application crashes have the slightly annoying side-effect of causing you to lose all unsaved changes in your documents. Even for a compulsing command-S user such as myself, losing data in such a manner is utterly frustrating.)

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