Microsoft on Thursday released an evaluation of the Office 2007 System Service Pack 1 to software testers in its Technology Adoption Program (TAP).
Microsoft will be accepting feedback from testers for about 30 days, according to a post on the Windows Connected weblog.
With other Microsoft products, people often wait for the release of a service pack before green-lighting the deployment, but that hasn't been the case with Office 2007, according to Richard Opal, vice president at Peters & Associates, Elmhurst, Ill.
"It's the most stable delivery of a product I've seen from them in years," said Opal. "The integration with Office Sharepoint Server, Infopath, and other products has been exceptional."
However, the revamped user interface in Office 2007 is causing some users to struggle to figure out how to print or save because the buttons are quite different, says Larry Piland, president of Datel Systems, San Diego.
"Office 2007 is different enough that when people first try it, there's often a little bit of shock, and it takes them a month or two to get used to it," he said. "People we talk to know they are going to have to switch over, but they're kind of doing it reluctantly."
However, the underlying technology in Office 2007 is solid, so it's likely that Office 2007 Service Pack 1 will focus more on usability issues when it's eventually released, Piland added.