∞ Office for Mac 2011 SP1 coming next week

Microsoft will release Office for Mac 2011 Service Pack 1 sometime next week, the company told The Loop on Wednesday.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The SP1 update will be big for Mac users and will contain increased stability, security, performance enhancements, and some new features. The biggest new features will come in Outlook.

The update will enable calendar syncing between Outlook for Mac and Apple’s Sync Services. This means you can now sync your Outlook calendars, as well as your contacts, notes and tasks with any service or device that supports Sync Services.

That includes your iPhone and iPad. Microsoft’s Senior Director of Product Management, Pat Fox, told The Loop that this was one of the most requested features from Office for Mac 2011 users.

There is one limitation. As of May 5, Apple’s new MobileMe calendar will no longer sync using Sync Services, so Outlook calendars will not sync with your MobileMe calendar.

It is important to note here that Apple will be using the CalDAV standard for its new MobileMe calendars. CalDAV is supported by Google, Yahoo and others and would seem to make MobileMe more compatible.

Strangely enough, even OutLook for Windows can be used with the new MobileMe. It appears to be just Outlook for Mac that won’t work.

If you sync your iPad or iPhone by plugging into your computer, Outlook will sync your calendars. In other words, if you keep your calendars synced to your computer, you’re fine, but if you sync with MobileMe, you may have a problem.

Fox said that Microsoft will continue to work with Apple on syncing.

Outlook for Mac 2011 SP1 will also include Outlook support for Exchange based server-side rules; Outlook Redirect button (you can redirect the message to the intended recipient and the replies will go to the original sender); Outlook Resend button; Outlook edit of existing messages; and Solver integration support in Excel.

Update: Added that Apple is using the CalDAV standard for its new MobileMe, which is used by Google and Yahoo. Also that Outlook for Windows will support the new MobileMe.