Office 2007 Service Pack coming in April


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SP2 is out soon, but don’t rush in.

Microsoft has announced that Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) will be released later this month, at least to corporate users of Windows Service Update Services (WSUS).

UPDATE: it’s now confirmed for 28 April 2009.

WSUS is a way for administrators to ‘push out’ patches and service packs to a large number of computers automatically.

With that announcement you should expect SP2 to be available for public download before the end of April or early May 2009.

We normally suggest that Office users delay updating their computers for a few weeks after an Office Service Pack is released.

Microsoft has a patchy record with Service Packs and sometimes there are traps for those eager to update. Many Office 2003 users were caught by some ‘features’ in Office 2003 Service Pack 3, some of which had to be reversed later.

It usually takes Microsoft a few weeks, at least, to admit publicly any problems with a Service Pack. So best to wait until Microsoft comes clean.

Anecdotal reports from testers suggest that Outlook really is a little faster and reliable with Service Pack 2 which, if true, can only be a good thing.  Though it does raise the question – why were these problems not fixed in Service Pack 1 or the initial release?

With Office 2007 SP2 there’s a specific reason for network administrators to hold off deploying. On first starting Outlook 2007 after applying SP2 there’s a long wait while the PST/OST data file is updated. That delay depends on the size of the data file and speed of the computer but our tests had delays up to 32 minutes. We have visions of groups of employees arriving, starting their computers then sitting around waiting for Outlook to start up. Most likely there’ll need to be some notice to staff before releasing SP2, if only to avoid many calls to the help desk.

According to Microsoft, SP2 will include:



  • built-in ability to save as ODF & PDF formats (which is already available as a free download from Microsoft)
  • improvements to Outlook’s performance and calendar reliability
  • Improved cryptographic functionality by supporting all cryptographic algorithms offered by the operating system
  • significant bug fixes for charts in core Office applications
  • Ability for Visio to export UML models to an XML file compliant with the XMI standard
  • the ability for client service packs to be removed using an uninstall tool
  • a host of customer-requested improvements to the Office Server products.
  • a rollup of all fixes that have previously been released for Office 2007 products.
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