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Last October, we announced the upcoming release of the 2nd service pack for the 2007 Microsoft Office System and the 2007 Microsoft Office servers. Today, we’re happy to provide both a formal release date, and more details on what you should expect to see in SP2.
A fair amount has been said about SP2 already, but there is a lot more to share. We’ll cover the highlights here, but please check back on April 28th when all of our documentation will be published. It is important to remember that the information provided today is by no means a comprehensive list. We worked with the individual teams in Office to come up with a list of changes that they were most proud of and felt would be most beneficial to you, our valued customers.
In addition to the numerous product improvements introduced by SP2, you may also notice that our SP2 documentation has been overhauled. Gone are the days of the long-winded or too sparse knowledge base articles that do little to describe what’s included in the actual service pack or that include details that may not be what you are looking for. In their place are what we hope are more user-friendly and informative KB’s. The technical information still exists, but it has been pulled from the main KB articles and now will live on TechNet. And, back by popular demand, is the spreadsheet listing individual bugs that were fixed across all of our products.
The Service Pack team would like to express our sincere thanks to the many beta testers who took the time to download, install, test, and provide feedback to us. This was the largest beta we’ve done to date for an Office service pack with thousands of beta testers from over 60 countries. We know your time is extremely valuable, and we very much appreciate all you’ve done. Your efforts have helped to make this a great release!
Don’t forget to come back on April 28th. We’ll have a comprehensive list of everything we’ve released, where you can find it, and links to additional information. A brief note, some of the information posted earlier needed clarification. We have made slight modifications to the information below.
The Office Service Pack team
We’ll start with updates that pertain to multiple products, highlight fixes to the individual desktop applications, and then discuss fixes to the server products.
Changes that impact desktop applications
The 2007 Office Suite SP2 has been tested and is supported for Internet Explorer 8. Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows 7 and Windows Server R2 will all be supported upon their release.
Changes that impact the server products
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SP2 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server SP2 include fixes and enhancements designed to improve performance, availability, and stability in your server farms. SP2 provides the groundwork for future major releases of SharePoint Products and Technologies.
Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be supported on their release.
Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
Note: Two minor changes were made on April 22, 2009 to the original post of this blog. The changes were: Substantial improvements to Forms-based authentication was moved to the desktop section and support in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SharePointDesigner was added to the sentence. Windows Server R2 was changed to Windows Server 2008 R2.
We're pleased to announce the release of all languages for Service Pack 2 for the 2007 Microsoft Office System, the 2007 Microsoft Office servers, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. As promised, this post contains a list of the products that are patched by SP2 with their corresponding knowledge base articles, information on how to obtain the packages, and links to additional SP2 resources. We hope you'll find this to be one of the best service packs produced by the Office team ever!
List of Service Packs Released
List of Service Packs Released
Office Server Products
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
How to Obtain the Service Pack Packages
Links to Additional Resources
Below you will find a list of the 24 service packs produced by the Office team. The links will take you to the main knowledge base article that describes the changes made to the product or products impacted by that service pack.
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with Service Pack 2 is also available in a single, complete package intended for use in new installations. Links to these packages on the Download Center can be found in knowledge base article 968170.
We recommend using Microsoft Update to apply SP2. Microsoft Update's detection will determine the products and languages you have installed and update your machine all at once.
If you choose not to use Microsoft Update, the SP2 packages are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center. Please click here to find links to the downloads.
Many of the Office teams will be discussing the work they did in SP2. You'll find some great information at the locations below.
Access Team Blog
Excel Team Blog
Gray Knowlton's Blog
Groove Team Blog
InfoPath Team Blog
Natural Language Group Team Blog
David LeBlanc (Office Crypto)
Doug Mahugh's Blog (Office Interoperability)
Stephen Peront's Blog (Office Interoperability)
Office Chart Object Model in PowerPoint and Word
John Guin's Blog (OneNote)
Daniel Escapa's Blog (OneNote)
Outlook Team Blog
Project Team Blog
PowerPoint Team Blog
SharePoint Designer Team Blog
SharePoint Designer Support Blog
Service Pack 2 for SharePoint Technologies and Products
SharePoint Team Blog
Visio Team Blog
Word Team Blog
If you haven't yet enabled Microsoft Update and are not receiving updates through your IT department, you should enable Microsoft Update to receive the latest Office updates and keep your version of Office secure.
If you are using Automatic Updates to automatically keep your machine up to date via Windows Update, you may not be receiving Office updates and should enable Microsoft Update immediately to receive the latest Office updates.
Note: Office 2000 is not supported by Microsoft Update, and Office 2000 users should continue to use Office Update.
For complete details, see "Microsoft Security Updates for April 2009" for home users and "Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for April 2009" for advanced users.
Considering that I work here, I know our goal for the Office product is that I, the customer, am able to do exactly what I expect as soon as I rip open that box (or download that app, or go to that page, or ...). However, I also know that software is complicated-to say the least... Given how many different things it's used for, it's not completely surprising that it doesn't always do exactly what I expect. But man I hate it when I buy stuff that doesn't work the way I expect! Very few things frustrate me more than buying a product that's supposed to make my life better, only to discover that it really makes my life worse as I waste countless hours trying to make it work. The wife and kids know not to mess with daddy when he's got that crazy look in his eyes and more than a few "kids, don't repeat that" words coming out of his mouth.
If things don't work as I expect them to, it is possible to mitigate that crazy look in my eyes, though that can only happen when I believe the manufacturer actually cares about me and wants to help me get the most out of their product. Helping me with issues that I've discovered is a bare minimum. Taking it a big step further and fixing issues before I've even discovered they exist can bring a happy sparkle to my eyes. The cool thing about software is that it can continuously improve like that while I'm using it. I don't have to drop it off at the shop to get it fixed, which is nice.
Our goal in Office is to create a happy sparkle in your eyes. Great customer service means making the customer happy-duh. We work hard on each new release because we really believe that it will make your life better. If we don't quite get there out of the box, we hope to bring the happy sparkle back to your eyes by delivering on our original promise through servicing. We describe how we deliver on that promise as completing, refining and maintaining the product over its 10-year lifespan. So what do we mean by that?
Completing the product means ensuring that the current version provides all of the value we promised it would. As a friend of mine once said, even the highest aspirations can't hide reality. Our objective is to ensure that the product lives up to those aspirations. When issues are discovered, our goal is to remedy them as quickly as possible and get the fixes into customer's hands. Ideally, most of this will happen before the customers are even aware the problem exists.
Refining the product is a bit more subtle. Refining boils down to engaging with customers to gain greater clarity into how they expect the product to work for them (which isn't always how we thought they wanted it to work). In some cases this is about documentation-explaining what we intended and how you can get more from the software. We do this through Knowledge Base articles, TechNet, and even hosting or fostering communities where knowledgeable users share ideas and thoughts.
And-if you haven't used online help in a while, you should try it. Behind the scenes, we are constantly making our topics better, and when a topic isn't helping and you click that "No, it didn't help" button at the bottom of the article, we look at those topics and work to make the information better.
In other cases, changes that result from necessary refinements might mean we need to modify how a feature works. We always have to be especially careful when doing this though, since this tends to be larger in scope than fixing bugs, and some customers may have come to count on the existing functionality.
Finally, maintaining the product means protecting the initial quality of the product against the background of the constantly changing software ecosystem around us. These issues are most often related to security, privacy and reliability. There are some bad hackers out there, and while they're busy trying to get into your machine from anywhere they can, we have folks working just as hard to keep them out. Examples might include responding to a newly discovered security threat, providing e-mail filters to ensure that customers can continue to use email with the same level of privacy and security that they are used to, or updating functionality to remain compatible with a more recently released version of software. We think maintaining the value of your software over time is one of the most important features Microsoft offers. Of course, we're a bit biased.
So, while we are always working on the next release of the Office suite, we are also maintaining the multiple versions that are still within their 10 year lifecycle. Within the first 5 years of a product's lifecycle, we are working with our customers to complete, refine, and maintain the product to make it the best it can be. We then continue to maintain the product for another 5 years.
This is our way of ensuring that the total value proposition for each version of Office is a good one, and that daddy doesn't have to use too many of the "kids don't repeat that" words while working on his computer. Isn't that what we all want?