Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit has confirmed Office 2008 for Mac to have been one of the most successful launches yet, and released an upgrade to the suite.

Microsoft claims Office 2008 for Mac sales continue to soar, selling faster than any previous version in the past 19 years. The Mac BU also introduced Service Pack 1 (SP1) offering stability, security and performance enhancements. Microsoft also announced plans to reintroduce Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in the next version of Office.

"The response has been amazing - since we launched in January, the velocity of sales for Office 2008 is nearly three times what we saw after the launch of Office 2004," said Craig Eisler, general manager of the Mac BU at Microsoft.

Office 2008 for Mac SP1 offers improved compatibility with files exchanged between Excel 2008 for Mac and Excel 2003 and Excel 2007 for Windows, alongside more reliable printing of Excel workbooks.

Microsoft Entourage sees significant enhancements to improve calendar view and all-day reminders with reoccurrence; while Exchange Server sees better synchronization support. Users can also now send and view images in Entourage using third-party tools.

Word gains more accurate printing when orienting tables with cell shading. Uses can also customize workspace background setting in Publishing Layout view and Notebook Layout view to new documents;and correctly apply font formatting changes to content when you use the Repeat command. Notebook Layout View is also improved, and users gain the ability to view Mac .PPTX files on Windows Mobile phones. PowerPoint gains better AppleScript support.

The update is available here.