Microsoft readies three new Office service packs

Summary:Microsoft plans to deliver the first service packs for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 in "mid-summer" 2011.The Softies also plan to deliver service pack 1 for Office 2011 for Mac the week of April 11.

Microsoft plans to deliver the first service packs for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 in "mid-summer" 2011.The Softies also plan to deliver service pack 1 for Office 2011 for Mac the week of April 11.

Microsoft officials said earlier this year that the first service pack (SP1) for Office 2010/SharePoint 2010 would be out some time between May and November 2011. In an April 5 post to the "Microsoft Office Updates" blog, officials narrowed the target to mid-summer and said Microsoft representatives would have more to say about SP1 at the TechEd 2011 conference in mid-May.

The April 5 post noted that SP1 will consist of cmulative and public updates to date for the various point products that are part of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. It also will include some other so-far unspecified fixes, which Microsoft officials said they'd detail between now and the time of the release. Products that will get fixes and updates include Office 2010 suites, Project 2010, Visio 2010, Office 2010 servers, Office Web Apps, Search Server 2010, SharePoint 2010 Products and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint. Microsoft is planning to update all 40 SKU languages for Office when SP1 ships.

On the Mac side of the house, SP1 for Office 2011 next week. In addition to fixes, stability improvements and security updates, Office 2011 SP1 will also include new features, including improved Outlook syncing and unspecified "performance enhancements," according to a April 6 "Office for Mac" blog post.

The new Outlook syncing will enable calendar syncing between Outlook for Mac and Apple's Sync Services, enabling users to sync their Outlook calendar, contacts, notes and tasks "with any service or device that supports Sync Services," including iPhones and iPads, the Softies said.

But it's not all good news for those wanting to take advantage of the new sync capabilities.  Apple's MobileMe will no longer sync with MacOS Sync Services as of May 5 (or now, for those who've already moved to the new version of the MobileMe calendar). The result: Outlook 2011 SP1 calendars that sync with Sync Services on the Mac, will NOT be synced with MobileMe calendars.

Microsoft execs told GeekWire.com that Apple’s decision to uncouple MobileMe from its Sync Services next month was “an unfortunate surprise” to Microsoft. There's no word on when Microsoft will have an update to SP1 to accommodate Apple's change.

Microsoft launched Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 in May 2010. The company launched Office 2011 in late October 2010.

Topics: Collaboration, Microsoft, Software

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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