What's interesting about Office 2003 SP1?

Office 2003 SP1 was released on July 27, 2004.    You can download it here.

In addition to bug fixes, SP1 delivers advances in several key areas:


  • Greater support for InfoPath. Easier and faster for developers to create InfoPath based solutions with more support using managed code, digital signatures and enhanced form sharing via e-mail. End users also will benefit from additional handwriting support for Tablet PCs, improved support for InfoPath e-mail attachments and enriched support for digital signatures.
  • Improved OneNote Integration with Office 2003. With SP1, can easily insert Office documents directly into OneNote, import meeting details from Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, create Outlook 2003 contacts and appointments, and publish pages to Microsoft Office Word 2003.
  • Greater spam control using Outlook. Building on the junk e-mail controls introduced in Outlook 2003 you can better manage and filter spam by moving messages to the junk e-mail folder based on the sender’s country suffix or the character encoding of a message. Outlook 2003 users also can have the names of e-mail reply recipients added automatically to the Safe Sender list, helping ensure that future e-mails are routed properly.
  • Release of the Access Conversion Kit. Upgrading to Access 2003 from older versions of Access is now easier. Customers can use the Access Conversion Kit to reduce deployment and support costs. This is available today as a separate download from http://www.microsoft.com/Office/Access/prodinfo/default.mspx

As a heavy user of both OneNote and InfoPath, it is amazing how many great features were added to this release based directly from customer requests. On his Weblog, Chris Pratley has done a great job of opening a dialog with OneNote users to solicit feedback on future product releases, and explaining why certain decisions were made. I think this is an exciting new way of guiding product development.