Microsoft released Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 today which the company says contains previously unreleased fixes as well as all the public updates, security updates, cumulative updates, and hotfixes released through to February 2009. According to this posting, this service pack is a significant step forward according to Jane Liles, group program manager, Office Sustained Engineering:
Users should notice the improved performance and stability of Outlook, better charting functionality in Excel, and more control over the appearance of SmartArt graphics.
On the server side, IT professionals will notice several enhancements to the security and performance of SharePoint Server 2007, including support for read-only content databases, improvements to forms-based authentication, and an STSADM command-line utility that enables administrators to scan sites that use the variations feature for errors. SharePoint Server will also feature better support for newer versions of the Firefox browser.
Also, having a wider array of file-format choices should really benefit customers. With SP2, Office 2007 now has built-in support for Open XML, ODF and PDF, along with the dozen or so other formats that were already supported in Office 2007.
Supporting a ton of file formats is a big deal. Espically the support for ODF or Open Document Format. I guess that Microsoft clued in that they are not in a position to dictate what file formats the planet uses and decided to get on side with the ones that matter.
Perhaps Microsoft is getting a clue? Time will tell.