For customers concerned about file interoperability, SP2 will add support for version 1.1 of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) specifications, enabling users to open and edit word processor, spreadsheet and presentation documents distributed in the latest version of these open standard formats.
However, perhaps more important is the addition of the 'Save As PDF' function in SP2, which means that users no longer have to install this separately in order to output documents as an Acrobat file. This is widely used for distributing documents because it is a cross-platform standard. Microsoft is also adding support for XPS, its own rival for PDF, enabling Office users to output in both these formats.
According to Microsoft, users can also expect to see some performance improvements, such as faster startup of Outlook, improved fidelity when printing and in PDF and XPS documents, and better handling of graphic-heavy documents.
However, SP2 will also include updates to some of the server-based products included in Microsoft's broader Office System. For example, SharePoint Services and Excel Services will be updated to make them compatible with a broader range of web browsers, while the usual slew of bug fixes will address issues such as reliability of large searches in Search Server.
As usual, the number of changes that will be introduced in this update runs to a very long list, and Microsoft said it will have full details when SP2 is available.
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