Print 66 comment(s) - last by Blight AC.. on Dec 18 at 11:40 AM

Microsoft releases updates for two popular software platforms

Microsoft has two presents for its customers today with the release of Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Office 2007 and Service Pack 3 (SP3) Release Candidate 1 (RC1) for Windows XP.

According to the Office 2007 SP1 whitepaper [DOC], Microsoft took steps to enhance its productivity suite in the areas of stability, performance and security.

In reference to stability, Microsoft addressed at least five bugs in each of its Office 2007 applications and improved the stability of its server components. Performance improved across the board with Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and the SharePoint Server seeing the biggest gains. Likewise, Microsoft made incremental improvements to security and offers better protection against malicious software.

Office 2007 SP1 can be downloaded directly from Microsoft and weighs in at 281MB.

Microsoft also has a surprise for customers that have stuck with the company's long-serving Windows XP operating system. Windows XP made the headlines in recent months for its increased popularity despite the introduction of Windows Vista.

SP3 includes 1,073 hotfixes and contains four new feature additions for customers: a new activation scheme, Network Access Protection Module, Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module and a Black Hole Router detection algorithm.

Previous beta and release candidate versions of SP3 were available to beta testers, but RC1 is now available for the public to test.

Those who wish to try out Windows XP SP3 RC1 can download it directly from Microsoft.

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RE: no new obvious features?
By webdawg77 on 12/11/2007 2:53:38 PM , Rating: 5
Just installed on a test box. A few things I've noticed and checked.

Works (no noticeable errors)

* Login scripts
* RD to servers
* In-house apps
* Office 2003
* Acrobat 7
* FF

Things I noticed

* Time from login to desktop seems to be a little faster
* Apps load a little faster
* IE 7 seems more responsive

I went to MU site, and there were 4 updates. However, only 1 directly affected XP. The others were for Office 2003, and the MSRT that's put out every month.

After just a little (~ 10 minutes) of testing, it looks to be good.

Sys specs
XP 32-bit
C2D E6300
Intel Video

RE: no new obvious features?
By Blight AC on 12/18/2007 11:19:13 AM , Rating: 2
I've installed this on my Dell Inspiron 9300 system.
Pentium M 1.86 Ghz
Geforce 6800
7200 RPM HDD

There are a few notable improvements so far. Boot up to the login screen is faster. It takes around 20 seconds or so to boot to the login screen, and around 40 seconds to full Desktop with a password login (including the time it takes to enter the password). This is on a PC that has had the same Windows XP install for over 2 years now.. and I'm not sure when the last time I defragmented was. But I do use the Full System Scan monthly which not only does AV and Malware scanning, but also checks and offers to defragment your HDD and does registry cleanup as well.

My main complaint about XP seems to be resolved. And that's the notification pop-ups. Previously, they would just sit their till you closed them. On a Laptop with 1920x1200 resolution and a touchpad mouse, it was a bother to always have to close those notifications. Usually I'd get one after logging in (letting me know the Wireless was connected) and there are a few other things that do it. Either way, now it seems the notifications go away on their own, thankfully.

Another change is to the Remote Desktop Connection. Now, it no longer requests a Username and Password to connect, and states that "You will be asked for credentials when you connect", unless of course you specify credentials in the connection properties. A nice change. Although, I can't seem to remote into a PC with SP3 installed, which worked fine before. I can remote to other PC's from a SP3 machine, but not into the SP3 machine itself.

Games seem to maintain the same performance, although, I've only tested EVE with the Trinity graphics.

That's pretty much all I've tested so far. IE7 loads fast.

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