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Office 2007 update comes early

Service Pack 1 for Office, which has gotten a lot less attention than the forthcoming Vista service pack, makes its quiet debut on Tuesday.

Because Microsoft often gets rapped for delivering products late, it seems worth noting that, on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007, it delivered a product early.

The software maker issued the first service pack update to Office 2007, roughly a year after the product first became available to businesses.

The new update, which has gotten a whole lot less attention than Vista SP1, adds largely performance and stability improvements, along with making the server components of Office fully compatible with the forthcoming Windows Server 2008 update.

"These enhancements span the software applications and servers that home and office workers use each day and will make the 2007 Office system an even more robust and effective productivity tool," Office product manager Reed Shaffner said in a feature posted to Microsoft's Web site. "In essence, SP1 targets the issues that customers told us mattered to them most."

Microsoft said the download is available now and customers can also order a CD with the update. At some later date, Microsoft said it will make the service pack available through automatic update.

Shaffner said he hoped the release will remove any lingering doubts that the product is ready for prime time.

"We recently passed the 12 million mark in trial downloads of the 2007 release from," he said. "We're optimistic that with the shipment of SP1 we're removing any residual barriers that may have impeded deployment and that adoption will only accelerate. In the meantime, we'll continue to listen intently to our customers and deliver on their changing needs."