Microsoft said on Wednesday that the company is planning a Service Pack 1 for Office 2010 by the end of 2011.
Testers are currently trying out beta build 14.0.6011.1000 from Microsoft’s Connect beta testing portal. The Service pack is expected to contain a roll-up of the usual bug fixes and security patches but no extra features. The SP1 beta download is 294MB.
In a company blog post on Wednesday, Director of Microsoft Office Managed, Quin Nikel said the software giant plans to offer a final version of Office 2010 SP1 by the end of 2011. Citing Microsoft’s recent Windows 7 SP1 announcement, Nikel said “some of you may be wondering when the Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 SP1 will be available for download. Microsoft typically releases a service pack 12 to 18 months after a product is launched and you can expect that same timeframe for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010.”
Microsoft’s upcoming Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 SP1 will consist of minor updates, including all previously released public updates according to the software maker. “For customers that stay current, there’s no need to wait for SP1 to deploy. You are already enjoying the advantages of SP1 and can deploy now knowing that you will benefit from all the innovations included in Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010″ said Niel.
Microsoft said in October that Office 2010 is officially the fastest-selling consumer version of Office in history. More than six million copies have been sold so far since the release in June. Office is currently used by more than 750 million users worldwide according to Microsoft. Office 2010 was the first release of the productivity suite to include both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Microsoft packed both versions onto one DVD across seven different flavours. Office 2010 also includes a free version with Microsoft Word and Excel. The free version, dubbed Office Starter, contains reduced functionality of Word and Excel and advertising.
Microsoft also began offering their Office applications online earlier this year. The software maker recently announced that they have surpassed 30 million users on their Office Web Apps. Microsoft’s biggest competitor in online document editing, Google Docs, currently has over 25 million users. Office Web Apps easily integrate with your Windows Live ID and several online services from Hotmail, Facebook and Docs.com also allow you to share documents from your SkyDrive.