Today we’re pleased to announce the 3rd (and likely final) Service Pack release for Office 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007. We are targeting a release date within Calendar Q4 2011. As we approach the date we will have more to share on exact timing.
We are offering this release in preparation for the April October 2012 end of mainstream support for the 2007 client and server products. The October 2011 release provides a 6-month window to test and deploy the release prior to exiting mainstream support. (note: the correction is due to an error in the support date that was fixed on the product support lifecycle web page. The correct date is October).
Upgrading to Office 2010 is also an option for those who are still using Office 2007. Office 2010 will remain in mainstream support until 2015, and this path provides a much better option for those looking to upgrade from Office 2003 prior to its end of life, scheduled for April 2014.
For those of you hoping to test SP3 prior to its deployment, we will continue or standard practice with Service Pack releases. Initially SP3 will be offered through the Microsoft Download Center as a manual download, through Microsoft Update as an Optional update. No earlier than 90 days after release, we will convert SP3 to an Automatic Update for our 2007 customers.
Service Pack 3 contains a roll-up of all 2007 Cumulative and Public Updates since Service Pack 2 for both Office client suites and applications as well as SharePoint Servers, in addition to some new fixes for issues discovered during the lifecycle of SP2.
For each of these products, if you are current with Automatic Updates for Office 2007, you have already installed most of the changes in the release. SP3 is much smaller than 2007 SP1, SP2 or the recently released 2010 SP1. We will provide documentation detailing the changes and the affected packages on TechNet.
The deployment experience should be straightforward. Unlike 2010 SP1, we will not be asking customers to deploy the accompanying Cumulative Update at the same time. Our deployment guidance for 2007 servers remains consistent with the guidance we have provided in the past. Office Client deployment for SP3 will also remain consistent with prior guidance.
SP3 will include changes in the following areas:
Office Client 2007 Suites
Office SharePoint 2007 Servers
Office SharePoint Search Server 2007
Office SharePoint Designer 2007
Office Project 2007
Office Visio 2007
Office Proofing tools 2007
Calendar Printing Assistant for Outlook 2007
Office InterConnect 2007
Office Compatibility Pack
Office Servers Language Pack
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Office Access Runtime and Data Connectivity Components