Office For Mac 2011 Uninstall Video

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Richard Serkes
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Office For Mac 2011 Uninstall Video

Post by Richard Serkes » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:06 am

I was poking around in my Office for Mac 2011 folder last weekend and realized I didn't see an UNINSTALL script. There had been one for earlier versions of Office for Mac. Perhaps it was on the installation DVD so I looked there but found nothing. Intrigued, I went to the official Microsoft for Mac website (Mactopia) and put "uninstall office 2011" in the SEARCH window. This is what I found...

There were a couple of articles discussing how to remove Office that said all I needed to do would be to drag the entire Office 2011 folder to TRASH. But then those same articles said that that really wouldn't remove all the ancillary files that are scattered around the hard drive. So if I wanted to really uninstall Office I'd have to go on what amounts to a scavenger hunt on my Mac. A list of files and folders was offered to help me on my quest.

Here's where it got almost funny. Microsoft has prepared a video tutorial on how to really uninstall Office. A video tutorial? Is the real uninstall procedure that convoluted that you need to watch a video? Apparently it is. So I watched the video and laughed all the way through. I felt sorry for the narrator who was trying not to sound like he knew how ridiculous this was. Seriously, a video tutorial for uninstalling Office? Office flings that many files all over the hard drive? Yes, it does.

How hard would it have been for Microsoft to write a script that would automatically go to all those nooks and crannies on your hard drive and delete the files and folders for you? This reminds me of my first SMUG meeting back in February of 2002 when I asked the membership how to uninstall an application on my new iMac. Jay Cline said all I had to do was to drag the application's icon to the trash. There may or may not be an associated .plist file with the application Jay said but it would be so small that it could just be ignored. I didn't believe him but this was confirmed by several others at that meeting. After that meeting I told my wife that when her Windows XP PC gave up the ghost she could buy a Mac or deal with a new Windows PC on her own. I wasn't going to mess with Windows any more.

A video tutorial on how to uninstall an application? I don't know if I should laugh or cry at what Microsoft has done to itself.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Office For Mac 2011 Uninstall Video

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:12 am

Interestingly, Apple introduced the concept of packages in OS X partly to deal with this issue. A package looks and acts like a single file, but it's actually a folder. Supposedly software engineers would put all their files in the package, so installation would always be drag and drop and so would uninstallation.

Microsoft's pretty bad about this issue, but Adobe is at least as bad.

I think the flaw in a lot of uninstall scripts is that they hard code file locations. So if you move anything, or if its name changes, the script fails to get it all.

Even worse is installers that can't deal with a reinstall. If an app is failing badly, sometimes the easy fix is to reinstall it. But unlike an OS X combo updater, some app installers don't force replacement.

In Adobe CS5, there were some updater glitches caused by the absence of a file from the original install. A single missing file, which the updater could just replace, caused the whole update to fail. Many users had this problem because of "cleaner" apps that removed that file assuming it was unnecessary. I had the same updater failure, but in my case the file was in place, but damaged.
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JerryFreilich
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Re: Office For Mac 2011 Uninstall Video

Post by JerryFreilich » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:25 am

I find this whole discussion both pathetic and comical. Here's another good one. When you do Microsoft Office updates, the updater at one point in the process sends up a message that says that you have to quit "Application Microsoft Updater." How pathetic is that?? The world's largest, richest, most famous software company cannot write an updater script that quits its own program at the spot in the process where that needs to occur? Pathetic.

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Richard Serkes
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Re: Office For Mac 2011 Uninstall Video

Post by Richard Serkes » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:52 am

JerryFreilich wrote:I find this whole discussion both pathetic and comical. Here's another good one. When you do Microsoft Office updates, the updater at one point in the process sends up a message that says that you have to quit "Application Microsoft Updater." How pathetic is that?? The world's largest, richest, most famous software company cannot write an updater script that quits its own program at the spot in the process where that needs to occur? Pathetic.
And they also don't have "combo" updaters. If you miss one or more updates you have to download each one separately and apply them one at a time. And you better apply them in the right order!
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Office For Mac 2011 Uninstall Video

Post by Stephen Hart » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:29 am

Adobe Updater also requires that you manually quit Adobe Updater before you can finish installing the updates that Adobe Updater just downloaded.

Furthermore, as I wrote on Macintouch:
Does it bother anyone else that to access just this week's Adobe critical security updates, each user has to figure out how to get separate updates for four applications: Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Shockwave Player and Flash Player? Not only do none of those show up in the CS5 Adobe Updater app, but I got no automatic notifications for the updates despite having auto update on.
And for both Reader and Acrobat, the updater offers to "repair" your installation, which means making one of those apps the default for viewing pdfs in a browser.

Of course, not everyone has both Reader and Acrobat, much less CS 5, so maybe they'd only face three of the four updates.

Apple's Software Update and Installer look better and better as time goes on.

And let's not even try to count the number of critical Flash security updates since Steve Jobs was roundly criticized for not allowing Flash on the iPhone. Probably close to two per month.
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JerryFreilich
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Re: Office For Mac 2011 Uninstall Video

Post by JerryFreilich » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:30 pm

Not even Mickey Mouse?

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