Microsoft delivers Office 2010 SP1 upgrade

Adds Chrome support for online apps as Office 365 launches

Along with today's launch of Office 365, Microsoft also released the first service pack for its Office 2010 business productivity suite.

Microsoft had previously said it would ship Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) by the end of June.

Office 2010 first reached most customers in June 2010.

As it usually does, Microsoft today made Office 2010 SP1 available only as a manual download, and will wait several months before adding it to Windows Update for automatic installation. Microsoft typically gives corporate customers a 30-day heads up before it starts to automatically serve Office service packs through its update services.

Office 2010 SP1 includes the usual roll-up of past security and hotfix patches, as well as a number of improvements and new features, particularly for its Office Web Applications (OWA), the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that are key to Office 365, the service CEO Steve Ballmer today called "Office meets the cloud."

Among the new features in SP1 is official support for Chrome, a rival of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), for running OWA through SharePoint 2010 SP1, which debuted last week.

Microsoft added native support for IE9 for accessing both SharePoint and OWA through the company's newest browser, and printing in the online Word's editing mode and in the OWA version of PowerPoint.

The Outlook 2010 SP1 email client also supports Office 365, said Microsoft in a partial list of the service pack's improvements and additions.

A full change list can be downloaded from Microsoft's website (download Excel workbook)

Users can uninstall SP1 if necessary, a tactic Microsoft first offered in the application suite two years ago with Office 2007 SP2.

Office 2010 SP1 can be downloaded from Microsoft's site in either 32-bit or 64-bit versions. Alternately, users can launch Microsoft Update and manually select SP1.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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