Microsoft working on improved Lion compatibility for Office

Microsoft has released an update to its Communicator for Mac, the corporate version of the company's consumer-grade Messenger chat client, that fixes a crash bug when run on the new Lion operating system. The company is also working on updates to its Office for Mac 2011 to support new features found in Lion.

The update, Communicator for Mac 2011 v13.1.2, was released to Microsoft's download site and will be pushed to users via the update service.

The new version of Communicator fixes an issue where the program would crash when users would launch the program. Other glitches included problems with importing mail. "We released an update to Communicator for Mac that fixes the 'crash issue' on Lion. It will come through Microsoft AutoUpdate," Microsoft stated.

The new Lion operating system has brought several problems to current software. Users were having issues with Office for Mac 2008 and 2011 when run on Lion. Microsoft responded by saying, "Office for Mac 2004 will not (ever) work on Lion, as we stated in our original blog. The reason for this is because Office 2004 was a PowerPC-based product and Lion no longer includes Rosetta. Now would be a great time to upgrade to Office for Mac 2011 if you're upgrading to Lion!"

For those curious, Apple dropped support for Rosetta, which is basically an emulator that allows for PowerPC programs to run on Intel-powered Macs. Apple dropped support for Rosetta in the new Lion operating system.

As far as having Office for Mac 2011 support the new features found in Lion such as auto-save, document versioning, and full screen mode, Microsoft's Pat Fox had this to say: "I can't answer [when those will be available] but it's likely measured in months not days."