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Office 2007 SP2 Nears With ODF Support

Microsoft is readying Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Office 2007 for an April 28 release, according to the company's Microsoft Update blog.

"Service Pack 2 for the 2007 Microsoft Office system will be available for customers starting April 28 ... [it] will include stability, performance and security improvements as well as additional file format support," a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) spokesperson told InternetNews.com in an e-mail.

In one major addition, SP2 will add native support for the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) file formats. Last spring, Microsoft said it would release ODF support in SP2, which it said at the time was due in the first half of 2009, putting the release right on schedule.

Office 2007 SP2 began a limited private beta test last fall.

Among the other updates coming in SP2 include more reliable Outlook calendaring, as well as better Outlook performance, according to an October 22, 2008 post on Microsoft's Office Sustained Engineering blog. Other new and upgraded features also provide improved cryptographic algorithms, and improved Excel charting.

SP2 will also feature a tool for uninstalling Office client service packs.

Meanwhile, the server edition of Office will also gain some new capabilities, such as improvements in content management, updates made to status approvals for Office Project, and to read-only databases and index rebuilding in SharePoint Services 3.0.

The news comes on the heels of revelations Tuesday that Office 14 – now renamed Office 2010 – will come in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Office 2010 is due out next year.