Microsoft releases Office 2007 SP2

Microsoft today released Office 2007 Service Pack 2. It is available now for download, (although you don't have to download it because Microsoft hinted last week that it will automatically push the update out to users without making an update blocker tool available.)

When Microsoft announced the roadmap for Office 2007 SP2 in May, 2008, it promised that the suite would include support for several new document types including the Open Document Format (ODF) v1.1. At the time, the company had just successfully completed a controversial push to make its own document format, Office Open XML, an international standard. Microsoft also finally added support for the Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.5, PDF/A and support for the XML Paper Specification (XPS).

Other than document formats, Outlook may be the biggest beneficiary of SP2. The e-mail client now offers noticeable performance improvements in launching, synchronizing and searching, its makers say. The Outlook team says SP2 includes a much-improved local storage engine for both Personal Folders files (PSTs) and Cached Exchange Stores (OSTs). Improvements will make Outlook storage less demanding on the PC's disk but may require that Outlook take up more space on the disk.

Microsoft offers benchmarking tests performed by Principled Technologies, for those interested in how SP2 might perform on various hardware configurations.

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