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Microsoft preparing for Office 2007 Service Pack 3

Looks like Microsoft is gearing up for a third service pack of its Office 2007 software suite. With Office 2007 exiting mainstream support on April of 2012, Microsoft will be releasing one final service pack by the end of this month.

“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 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,” Microsoft stated in an official blog post.

So whats new and exciting with Service Pack 3? SP3 pretty much contains a roll-up of all cumulative and public updates since SP2, as well as some new fixes for issues discovered after the release of SP2.

“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,” Microsoft stated.

Microsoft also suggests that Office 2007 users upgrade to Office 2010 for a longer support cycle. “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.”

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