Microsoft Gets Office 2003 Service Pack 1 Out The Door

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Service Pack 1 for Office 2003 will be downloadable Tuesday, Microsoft said.

As first reported by CRN in January, the service pack, initially expected earlier this year, includes major new features for OneNote 2003 and InfoPath 2003 as well as the usual bug fixes and updates to the core Office applications"Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.

For more information on the download, see Microsoft's Web site.

InfoPath is now better able to take advantage of applications written using managed code, as well as digital signatures. It will also be easier for users to share forms via e-mail, the company said. As reported, it also adds more handwriting support for use in on the Tablet PC.

The new OneNote is better tied into other Office applications and mobile devices, the company said. With this release, there is easier two-way interaction between OneNote and other applications. For example, users will be able to insert Office documents directly into OneNote, and import Outlook 2003 appointment and contact info into OneNote as well. OneNote can now also publish pages to Word 2003, the company said.

Many large corporate accounts and the resellers supporting them have been waiting for this service pack. Such companies do not want to deploy a major new software release until the first service pack is available. Office 2003 itself debuted and was widely available in October of last year.

Also new Tuesday is the availability of the Access Conversion toolkit, announced at TechEd last month. The download is available from Microsoft's Web site.

Since the Office 2003 launch, Microsoft has tried to position the various products as the Office System: Other family members include FrontPage 2003, Project 2003, Office Project Server, Publisher 2003, Real-Time Communications Server 2003, SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Visio 2003.

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