Microsoft has announced that the first major service pack for Office for Mac 2011 is now available to the public. According to the download description, the update fixes critical issues and also helps to improve security, addressing "vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code."

Service Pack 1 adds some minor features like the ability to author Alt Text for objects like shapes, pictures, tables, charts, SmartArt, and movies in any of Office 2011's programs. In addition, Excel 2011 users can now install the Solver analysis tools while PowerPoint users can password-protect their presentations.

It is also said to improve speed and overall reliability but perhaps the most notable changes are within Outlook, which now supports syncing with devices and applications using Apple's Sync Services. This means you can now sync your Outlook calendars, as well as your contacts, notes and tasks with the iPhone and iPad. Outlook has also added support for server-side rules on Microsoft Exchange servers, as well as the ability to resend an email to the same or new recipients, and the ability to redirect an incoming email message to other recipients.

The 246MB update is available from Microsoft's website or any Office application on your Mac under Help > Check for Updates. Service Pack 1 will bring your version of Office up to 14.1.0 and requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later.