Microsoft Issues Office 2000 Service Release 1

Late last month Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Office 2000 Service Release-1 (SR-1) for download from the Web and its inclusion in future versions of the Office suite. The Service Release includes system-level updates, application updates, and bug fixes.

Microsoft ( is recommending that all Office 2000 users update the application with SR-1. The company and other reports suggest that this release will go more smoothly than the notorious SR-1 for Office 97. That update essentially needed a second Service Release to fix the problems it created.

By installing SR-1, system-level components are updated to Windows 2000 system levels. SR-1, however, is not required for users of Office 2000 with Windows 2000. But Microsoft's literature says using both provides the optimal experience, and in accordance with Windows 2000, SR-1 is designed to ease deployment of Office.

SR-1 includes application updates for the Office 2000 programs Word, Outlook, Access, Excel, PowerPoint, FrontPage, and Publisher. Also in the release are security updates, including the Excel 2000 SYLK file security update and the Worm.Explore.Zip virus update.

The Service Release includes hundreds of bug fixes, some of which are new while others have been available separately.

Microsoft originally planned to ship SR-1 with Outlook 2000 support for Hotmail. This addition would have enabled Hotmail users to send and receive e-mail via the Outlook interface, thus taking advantage of Outlook’s features. Along the way, this feature was dropped. Microsoft has thus far denied to confirm plans to provide this feature, but the company has not said that it will be discarded altogether either.

Users need the Office 2000 CD to download the Service Release. Microsoft says the Windows Installer requires access to installation CDs or network installation location before applying any Office 2000 update, with the purpose of ensuring integrity.

Reports and users say downloading SR-1, which takes two or three hours via modem, is not a simple task. The download weighs in at between 26 and 40 MB, depending on which operating system and which Office applications are used. Windows 2000 users get away with the 26-MB version.

The download is available at the Office Update Web site:

Microsoft says a free CD version will be available in the coming weeks. The version of Office that ships with SR-1 will be available next month.