Office XP Service Pack 3 release

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There’s a service pack for Office XP users but before you go rushing off to get it make sure you get any necessary updates to other software.

Yup, there’s a service pack for Office XP users but before you go rushing off to get it make sure you get any necessary updates to other software.

The Service Pack contains mostly security updates and includes anything in previous service packs or updates. All of that is a good thing however the Pack was not widely circulated around the developer community before release. This means that some Office add-ins, notably anti-spam features for Outlook 2002, won’t work anymore.

That left those add-in makers scrambling to identify the problem and release an update. This is something that Microsoft could have avoided if it had wished to, but presumably either didn’t know nor care about the consequences for customers.

We know that I Hate Spam and Junk-Out have both been updated to cope with SP3, so if you have an anti-spam package with Outlook 2002 you might want to ensure that it is compatible before getting SP3.

It’s not just spam programs, for we’ve heard that the online meeting software WebEx also has trouble with SP3.

Because of these problems we cannot recommend anyone install Office XP SP3 at this stage. Microsoft is being typically silent on the matter, and none of the common compatibility problems are even hinted at as ‘Known Issues’ with the update.

Microsoft wonders why developers and users don’t trust them, then they pull arrogant and easily avoided stunts like this. We’ve been filling the pages of Office Watch with Office update woes for years and Microsoft persists in making them a painful experience for their customers.

The poor service of the Office update team contrasts with the Windows team. Windows XP has a service pack coming and a release candidate for that is becoming available for all who need it to test and adapt. It’s worth an early warning that the Windows XP service pack will have serious consequences for more than a few programs so caution will be needed before updating.

 

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