As part of its efforts to continually improve its products and make them more useful for customers, Microsoft periodically releases update packages known as “service packs.” Service packs deliver product updates and selected enhancements, without the complete overhaul of releasing a new version.
Today the availability of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for the 2007 Microsoft Office system was announced. The service pack includes major performance enhancements for Office applications, most notably Microsoft Office Outlook, as well as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. One big benefit is SP2’s boost to interoperability — with this release, Office supports additional built-in file formats such as PDF and ODF.
PressPass talked with Jane Liles, group program manager, Office Sustained Engineering, to discuss what customers can expect from Service Pack 2, how the improvements will provide added value, and how Microsoft is increasing its commitment to interoperability.
PressPass: Why should someone download this service pack for Office 2007?
Liles: This release builds on customer feedback and offers enhanced stability for Outlook, calendaring reliability, and many more improvements to applications that run on both PCs and servers. Microsoft has also been working hard to build interoperability into its products across the board, and so Office now also includes additional file-format support, which makes it much easier for customers to work with different file formats in the same application.
PressPass: What are the main improvements that customers will notice with SP2?
Liles: Users should notice the improved performance and stability of Outlook, better charting functionality in Excel, and more control over the appearance of SmartArt graphics.
On the server side, IT professionals will notice several enhancements to the security and performance of SharePoint Server 2007, including support for read-only content databases, improvements to forms-based authentication, and an STSADM command-line utility that enables administrators to scan sites that use the variations feature for errors. SharePoint Server will also feature better support for newer versions of the Firefox browser.
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