updated 12:50 pm EDT, Tue September 20, 2005
MS Office 2004SP2 released
Microsoft's (SP2). The update brings significant enhancements to enterprise collaboration with new features to boost Microsoft Exchange Server support in Entourage 2004. In addition, SP2 provides updates across all Office 2004 for Mac applications to help improve overall product security and address top issues identified by Microsoft and its Mac users. [updated: now available published at 9:05 am ET]
"As a longtime Microsoft customer, we consistently have a positive experience with Mac BU products and were eager to test the Office 2004 for Mac SP2 beta," said Joe Stevano, senior systems administrator for Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. "Our day-to-day operations depend on seamless collaboration throughout the organization, so we held off on switching to Entourage because we needed a more robust Exchange Server e-mail client for Macs. We've benefited from the improved Exchange support in SP2 over the past couple of months, and the last barrier to a full Entourage deployment has been removed. We'll soon make Entourage the default e-mail and calendar application for all of our Mac users."
SP2 expands on the Exchange Server functionality built into Entourage 2004 to deliver improved support and help provide Mac users in an Exchange Server environment. Microsoft said the update offers improvements that help enable better e-mail and calendar management, enhanced public folder support, and faster client-server synchronization. Users also can experience improved access to the Global Address List (GAL), including the ability to browse the entire contents of the GAL and see full organizational detail. In addition, enhanced delegate access enables new setup entirely through Entourage without having to go through the Outlook client on a PC.
In addition, the Mac BU said that SP2 also includes cumulative security updates and prioritized fixes for issues identified by Microsoft and through customer feedback. "The Mac BU monitors and receives customer feedback through customer support calls and tools such as Microsoft Error Reporting Protocol, which provides bug data anonymously."
SP2 is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish. Customers will be notified and may download SP2 via Microsoft AutoUpdate beginning later today, or can download it from Mactopia, the company's Mac-centric portal.
The enhancements to Exchange Server support for Entourage 2004 are compatible with Exchange 2000 and higher. Some organizations working in an Exchange Server environment may require the deployment of Update for Exchange 2003 (KB 888619) or Update for Exchange 2000 (KB 892896), both of which are available from Microsoft AutoUpdate or from the Microsoft Download Center.