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Office 2016 for Mac users lambaste Microsoft after upgrading to Apple's OS X El Capitan

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 2, 2015
Unclear whether Microsoft or Apple is at fault for irregular crashes of Outlook, Excel and Word.

office 2016 crash
Ironic ... just as Computerworld tried to email Microsoft's public relations team about Office 2016 for Mac crashes, Outlook went down hard and took both Excel and Word with it.

After Apple released the new OS X El Capitan on Wednesday, users streamed to a Microsoft support discussion forum to report that Office 2016 for Mac regularly crashed, crippling their productivity.

"This is beyond the Pale. We basically can't use Office on our computers," wrote Watson Scott Swail today on the longest thread related to the crash problem.

"I finalized the El Capitan upgrade this morning and since then I can't use my Mac with Office 2016 any longer ... Multiple random crashes from any of the Office 2016 apps," added Francisco Chaves, also today.

The discussion thread where Swail and Chaves posted their complaints had over 140 messages and had been viewed more than 13,300 times, both extremely large numbers for Microsoft's Office for Mac support forum.

While the thread's kick-off message was posted July 25, about two weeks after Microsoft shipped Office 2016 for Mac and Apple delivered the first public beta of OS X 10.11, aka El Capitan, the volume of messages added to the thread swelled yesterday, when Apple released the OS X upgrade.

Some Computerworld staffers have been experiencing the same irregular crashes of Office 2016 applications, notably Outlook, but also Excel and Word, that have been reported on Microsoft's support forum.

The application crashes and the ensuing lock-ups come at various times and when performing various chores with the software, users said. Some have seen Outlook go dead when their Macs awoke from sleep, others asserted that the downfall of one Office application caused all other open Office applications to crash as well, while a few noted that even after a crash, the applications were unresponsive, requiring a Mac restart to clear the decks.

Computerworld has seen all those scenarios, too.

"If I have more than one Office app open and a crash occurs on one of them, the other one locks up too," wrote a user identified only as "EJZK" today. "But only the Office apps. Other apps continue to work fine."

Typical for a peer-to-peer support forum, users proposed multiple solutions and forwarded a host of theories about the crash cause. Invariably, others chimed in to say that the speculated fixes did nothing to help them, or disagreed with another's technical diagnosis.

But the one area of agreement was that the situation was untenable and unacceptable.

"This issue has been happening on [OS X 10.11] beta for months. And it appears that Microsoft still isn't doing anything about it," said Swail in a later post. "As someone else reported, they know about this but do not appear to be doing much about it. It is not an Apple issue. It is a [Microsoft] issue. All my other programs are fine, including the entire Adobe suite, which I think is infinitely more complex than Office."

 

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