- 23 March 2000] Microsoft Corp. [NASDAQ:MSFT] has rolled out Service
Release 1 (SR-1) for Office 2000, which combines previously available
updates with customer-driven enhancements. SR-1 offers more than 500 fixes
and enhancements to the various components of the Office 2000 suite.
naysayers, Microsoft has enjoyed an explosive deployment rate with Office
2000 since its introduction some nine months ago. With deployment on a
record 16 percent of desktops worldwide, Office 2000 has surpassed previous
versions twofold, according to the Redmond, Wash., developer.
assist users in deploying SR-1, Microsoft has made available a new e-service
called Auto Update. This service can examine an installed Office 2000
package and recommend only required enhancements and product updates along
with automating the patching process.
impacted by SR-1 include Access, ClipArt, Excel, FrontPage, Office Tools,
Office Web Server, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, and Word.
The brunt of the patches affect Excel, Word and Outlook.
recommends all Office 2000 users install SR-1 to ensure the latest features
and patches are available. New retail copies of Office 2000 will include
SR-1 as part of the product.
At least in theory, you can download MS Office 2000 SR-1 from http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/info/officeksr1.htm.
But the first question is why?
does a stellar job of convincing the market that each new packet of bug
fixes is an improvement. (For clarity, Microsoft uses the term "service
pack" for Windows NT and Internet Explorer, "service release" for Office
and Windows 95/98 products.) This has not uniformly been true; in the
Windows NT 4.0 world, Service Packs 1, 3, & 5 were pretty good; Service
Pack 2, 4, & 6 had deployment issues.
initial tests on Office 2000 SR-1 have found installation difficulties.
TEC's own testing bears this out. When we were finally able to get SR-1
to download, the installation program insisted on locating a CD for Office
2000 Premium. Unfortunately, our test bed, a Compaq Armada E500, was only
running Small Business Edition. As a result, we were unable to complete
the upgrade. Oh, well.
Microsoft uses its interim releases to deploy new features or essential
software patches. The major pieces of SR-1 include:
- A new version of Internet Explorer 5.01
- AutoUpdate, which lets users determine which fixes they need
- Save My Settings, which lets a user's Office preferences be transferred
easily to another PC
- Patches for Access, Excel, Front Page, Outlook, Publisher, PowerPoint,
- Security patches
of these updates are essential unless users are trying to solve a specific
Office 2000 SR-1 is a bug-laden installation. Most customers don't need
to install it. Fortunately, given the performance of Microsoft's download
site, many users will never get the chance.
Organizations should establish a firm policy that these sorts of updates
should be performed by internal IT staff, and then only after sufficient
testing. None of the new features are essential. We recommend installation
of SR-1 only to patch specific Office 2000-related bugs.
be warned: SR-1 is a 26-40MB download. Don't try this at home on a modem.
You will be better off ordering the CD directly from Microsoft - it's
free except for shipping costs.