Office 2010 Service Pack 1 – unleashed

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Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now available for download, if you want to be a guinea pig for Microsoft.

Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now available for download, if you want to be a guinea pig for Microsoft.

The major update to Office 2010 can be downloaded now:

32-bit Office 2010 (361MB)

64-bit Office 2010 (440MB)

The service pack isn’t just for the core Office apps (Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint). It includes updates to Office Web Apps and SharePoint hosted inside an organization.

This update has had a long gestation but it’s hard to tell how good or extensive the testing has been. As long-time readers know, Microsoft’s history with Office Service Packs has been less than stellar – though it’s been getting better in recent years.

As a result, we’re cautious about any Office patches or updates.

Eventually the Service Pack will be pushed out via Windows Update to all Office 2010 users. We suggest waiting a few weeks, just in case the update has some unexpected surprises. Then download and install when you have a suitable break rather than when Microsoft forces it upon you.

SP1 will requires a reboot to complete updating Office.

Change your mind

Office 2010 Service Pack 1 is reversible; you can uninstall it from Control Panel if necessary. Microsoft cryptically mentions this as “Office client suites using “Add Remove Programs” Control Panel, building on our work from Office 2007 SP2“. That might not sound like a big deal but it wasn’t possible until the second SP for Office 2007. All previous Service Packs could only be removed by uninstalling Office entirely.

What’s in it?

The public list of fixes shows around 400 changes. The explanations of the fixes is fairly clear which, again, makes a nice change from past Service Packs that were paragons of obscurity.

There’s nothing really new or compelling in SP1, some of the highlights are:

  • Compatibility with Office 365, though what that means isn’t detailed and conflicts with statements on the Office 365 site that Office 2007 and Office 2010 are compatible.

  • OneNote adds a ‘Open from Web’ menu item

  • Outlook’s Snooze option now reverts to ‘5 minutes before start’ instead of remembering the last selected snooze time.

  • PowerPoint Presenter view now defaults to showing the slideshow on the secondary display and presenters notes on the primary display. This is the sort of bug that Office developers should hang their heads in shame for needing to fix at all, it should never have happened in the first place let along take so long to fix.

  • Office Web Apps includes support for the Chrome browser and native support for Internet Explorer 9.

  • Excel Web App can now insert a chart.

  • Canadian English, French, Swedish and European Portuguese have improved spelling suggestions.

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