Microsoft Delivers Continued Improvement With Office 2003 Service Pack 1

REDMOND, Wash., July 27, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. customers today started downloading the Microsoft
® Office 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) which, as a result of their feedback, delivers continued improvements in reliability and performance for the Microsoft Office System as well as new feature enhancements for Microsoft Office OneNote®
2003 and Microsoft Office InfoPath (TM) 2003. With Office 2003 SP1, customers can develop InfoPath-based solutions more easily; create, organize and share notes more effectively in OneNote; and be even more confident in deploying the most reliable and secure version of Microsoft Office ever released.

“Microsoft really listens to its customers,” said Teresa Grote, chief information officer at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, a law firm in Cincinnati. “We’ve worked closely with Microsoft to suggest improvements to the security and rich media features in OneNote. We’re thrilled to see that those features are included in the SP1 release, and we expect them to continue increasing our staff’s productivity and improving their overall work product.”

Partners are taking advantage of the release of SP1 to build customized Office-based solutions for their customers. “Office 2003 Service Pack 1 illustrates Microsoft’s commitment to innovate based on industry partner and customer feedback,” said Steve Myerow, president of Texcel Systems, Inc., a provider of forms conversion tools. “I’m pleased that the InfoPath feature enhancements included in SP1 reflect so many of our direct requests. Using our new version of FormBridge®
for InfoPath based on SP1, customers will benefit greatly by the ability to easily replicate more complex forms in InfoPath.”

Customer Connection Tools Ensure Office Continues to Meet Customer Needs

Since early in the Microsoft Office System beta testing process, Microsoft has been gathering technical data and customer feedback through an innovative combination of Microsoft error reporting tools, Office Online and the Customer Experience Improvement Program. These customer connection tools enabled Microsoft to identify and prioritize the top customer issues before the launch of the Microsoft Office System last October and to identify and implement additional enhancements in SP1. Microsoft uses these tools to ensure that Office continues to meet customers’ ongoing need for improved performance and reliability.

“Thanks to our customer feedback and connection tools, we’ve made huge strides with the Microsoft Office System in continuing to improve product reliability through each successive release,” said Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president of Office at Microsoft. “At the launch in October, customers were already experiencing an increase in the average time between product errors by seven times over the first beta release. But we didn’t stop there; with SP1, we’ve improved product reliability even further by taking action on the top issues affecting product performance.”

New Features Add Value for End Users, Developers and IT Pros

In addition to improved security, stability and reliability, customers can take advantage of the following feature enhancements in SP1:

  • More support for InfoPath developers using managed code, digital signatures and enhanced form sharing via e-mail. Thanks to additional tools for using managed code and enhanced support for handling Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas, developers using SP1 will find it faster and easier to create InfoPath-based solutions. 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.

  • Richer OneNote integration with Office 2003 editions and mobile devices. With SP1, information workers can 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. Improved support for rich media also allows users to copy notes directly from a Windows Mobile (TM) -based Pocket PC or Smartphone into OneNote and to take video notes that automatically sync with their typed or handwritten notes.

  • Greater spam control in Outlook. SP1 builds on the junk e-mail controls introduced in Outlook 2003, allowing users to better manage incoming international messages 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.

  • Reduced deployment and support costs with the Access Conversion Toolkit. Customers can better plan for and execute Office 2003 upgrades and new installations with the Access Conversion Toolkit, which is available today as a separate download from . With this new set of tools and documentation, organizations can discover, evaluate and convert their Access databases as part of the upgrade process.

Microsoft Office System SP1 is available to registered users on the Microsoft Web site. Additional information is also available at .

About the Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office System is an easy way to help more people use information to positively impact their business. Through a system of familiar and easy-to-use programs, services and solutions, users can connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other — helping ensure that they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of the Microsoft Office 2003 editions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office Project and Microsoft Office Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003 Web site creation and management tool, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Visio® 2003 drawing and diagramming software and the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows®
SharePoint Services and the Microsoft Windows Server (TM) 2003 operating system, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, OneNote, InfoPath, Outlook, Windows Mobile, SharePoint, FrontPage, Visio, Windows and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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