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Microsoft next week will release the first service pack for its Office for Mac 2011 suite, with new features including calendar syncing between Apple’s Sync Services and Microsoft’s Outlook for Mac.

However, Microsoft says upcoming changes from Apple mean that one part of those new sync capabilities — the ability to sync Outlook calendars via Apple’s MobileMe — will work for less than a month.

Apple’s decision to uncouple MobileMe from its Sync Services next month was “an unfortunate surprise” to Microsoft, said Pat Fox, a senior director in Microsoft’s Office product management group, in an interview. He said Microsoft had been developing Service Pack 1 for Mac Office 2011 under the belief that the connection would be there.

In a blog post this morning, Fox explains what the changes will mean …

MobileMe will no longer sync with MacOS Sync Services as of May 5th (or now if you have already moved your account to the new version of MobileMe calendar). As a result, Outlook 2011 SP1 calendars that sync with Sync Services on the Mac, will NOT be synced with MobileMe calendars.

So what does this mean? If you sync your iPhone or iPad calendars with Sync Services (ie via iTunes over a cable), your mobile device calendars WILL be synced with Outlook 2011 SP1. If you sync your iPhone or iPad calendars with MobileMe, they will NOT be synced to your Outlook 2011 SP1 calendar, because of the broken link between MobileMe and Sync Services. Hopefully Apple’s changes will not impact very many of you.

Microsoft says other features of the Mac Office 2011 service pack include better stability, security and support in Mac Outlook for server-side rules in Exchange. The service pack will be available for download by existing Mac Office 2011 users next week.

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