The new Mac version of Microsoft Office 2008 has started arriving at our client’s studios. While we generally reserve judgement on the inevitable antidotal list of problems that accompany any new software release, there is a significant enough problem with the current Office 2008 installer that we’re recommending larger design studios hold off installing it for the moment.

With this particular problem, the Office 2008 installer incorrectly grants ownership of it’s files to a particular local user as it installs them. That won’t effect most small studios or individual designers, but in some larger managed networks this can cause potential problems. For more details, read the post on Make Mac Work, our sister blog written for IT professionals supporting Mac users:

Make Mac Work: Don’t Install Office 2008 (Yet)

We’re recommending that clients hold off installing Office 2008 until Microsoft releases a patch to fix this issue. That should be soon. For larger studios, we’d prefer clients use the corporate site-license version of Office 2008 anyway (which should ship Feb 1).

Other known issues in Microsoft Office 2008

As an additional resource, Microsoft has commendably compiled an updated page of known issues for each Office 2008 program:

Known issues in Word 2008

Known issues in Excel 2008

Known issues in PowerPoint 2008

Known issues in Entourage 2008

Source: This issue originally discovered with Shayne Sandison in the IT department of Fitch Seattle during testing for an Office 2008 roll-out. We found confirmation of the problem on Joel Bruner’s technical blog, publicized by John Gruber at Daring Fireball. The links to known issues in Office 2008 comes from a tip at the great Mac OS X Hints site.