Windows 7 – Release Candidate availability / Office 2007 – SP2 Availability

Good Morning folks!  More news on Windows 7 and the availability of the official Release Candidate.  We now have some dates that we can share with you.  The RC build is slated to be available for download by MSDN / TechNet subscribers this Thursday (April 30, 2009).  Broader, public availability will begin the following Tuesday (May 5, 2009).  If you haven’t already started using Windows 7, there are plenty of changes since the Beta release.  You can read more about these changes in the following posts from the Engineering Windows 7 blog: Some Changes Since Beta for the RC and A few more changes from Beta to RC…

We also have news about the availability of Service Pack 2 for the 2007 Microsoft Office System and the 2007 Microsoft Office Servers.  The Service Pack is due to ship on April 28th (today!).  There are a number of product improvements and also an overhaul of the SP2 documentation.  The Office Sustained Engineering blog will have more details available on their site, but to whet your appetite, here are some of the highlights (as listed on their blog):

Changes that impact desktop applications:

  • Service Pack 2 adds the ability to open, edit and save documents in version 1.1 of the OpenDocument Format for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These applications now let users save, open, and edit files as OpenDocument Text (*.odt), OpenDocument Spreadsheet (*.ods), and OpenDocument Presentations (*.odp).
  • The 2007 Microsoft Office Service Pack 2 is the first service pack to support uninstall of client updates through the Microsoft Service Pack Uninstall Tool for the 2007 Microsoft Office Suite as well as via Windows Installer command line. The Service Pack Uninstall Tool will be available as a separate download.
  • The Microsoft Save As PDF or XPS add-in has been built into Office applications in SP2. Users no longer have to download and install the add-in separately.
  • When many graphic objects are present performance has been improved.
  • In many scenarios, expect increased print fidelity of graphical objects.
  • Improved interoperability using standard DrawingML markup to describe the visual properties of the SmartArt graphic. 
  • Substantial improvements to Forms-based authentication support in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SPD.

That’s it for today.  Until next time …

CC Hameed

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