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Office 2007 SP1 rumored to be shipping early

According to ZDNet, Microsoft could release Office 2007 SP1 the week of December 10. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley cites sources claiming familiarity with Microsoft's release window. Microsoft's previous official statements leaned towards an early 2008 release, making this an early Christmas (or late Hanukkah) present for users.

Last week, the SharePoint Server 2007 team blog suggested that SP1 was ready, leaving some to speculate an early release. A clarifying blog post re-stated the early-2008 release plan, adding that the product could be released anytime between now and Q1 2008.

So hedging release date issues aside what will be new in Office 2007 SP1? Well, although the beta has been unusually secretive (something we can attest), the SharePoint blog post and this post (also from ZDNet) give us some ideas.

In addition to the usual bug fixes and compatibility issues, WSS (Windows SharePoint Services) and Office SharePoint Server 2007 SP1 are reported to include AJAX support and new STSAdm commands. Looking at the list of SharePoint Server SP1 hotfixes, it looks like some of the bugs in Outlook/Exchange server, for example, the delayed event timers due to DST, have also been fixed.

Hopefully, these rumors are true, and Office 2007 SP1 will be out before the end of the year. As we mentioned in episode 3 of the Squadcast, we think it is in Microsoft's best interest to get the SP1 product updates (across the board) out sooner rather than later, as their release can only spur companies to upgrade their office suites, which like Vista, have lagged in comparison to prior releases. Furthermore, meeting or even beating an estimated release date can create an enormous amount of customer goodwill, especially since Microsoft is notorious for being late to the party, and not early.

Tags: office 2007, office 2007 sp1, Office2007, Office2007Sp1, sp1, updates