Microsoft releases Office 2000 SR1a

Thanks to ActiveWin's Byron Hinson for the tip: Microsoft has finally released the updated version of Office 2000 Service Release 1 (SR1), dubbed SR1a. The new update includes one new tool, dubbed the Office 2000/Windows 2000 Registry Repair Utility, which is highly recommended for users that upgraded an NT 4.0 system to Windows 2000. But for the rest of the Office using world, Office SR1 is sort of anticlimactic, as Microsoft says you don't need the new patch unless you haven't yet downloaded the original SR1 release.

Microsoft released the original Office 2000 Service Release 1 update in late March, providing users with a host of bug fixes and a few new features primarily aimed at easier deployment in Windows 2000 networks. But Office 2000 SR1 included a number of bugs of its own, mostly due to poor testing of beta versions of the update and a shortened development time. Shortly after shipping the mammoth upgrade, Microsoft received a number of complaints from customers about problems with SR1 and the company delayed plans to offer the product on CD-ROM while the issues were investigated. It didn't take long for Microsoft to realize that it had shipped SR1 too soon.

The most egregious problems in Office SR1 occur on Windows 2000 systems that were upgraded from Windows NT 4.0. Numerous other problems affected the Setup program, however, preventing users from even installing the release. Microsoft says that anyone who was able to install SR1 (other than NT users who upgraded to 2000) will be OK and doesn't need to download the new version. However, users that haven't yet upgraded, and users that previously upgraded NT 4.0 to Windows 2000 before installing the original SR1 patch, should download and install SR1a. Office 2000 SR1a also includes a Registry Repair Utility that will fix problems on those upgraded NT 4.0 systems.

Office 2000 SR1a includes the latest bug fixes and updates to Office 2000, the company's best-selling office productivity suite. Most of the Office 2000 family products are updated by SR1a, including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, FrontPage, and Publisher. Fixes for security issues such as the Excel 2000 SYLK bug and the Worm.Explore.Zip worm are included, and Office 2000 system components are updated to Windows 2000 levels. There are numerous deployment options available, including a 26-40 MB Web-based "active" installer and a 146 MB administrative update for system administrators. For more information, please visit the Office Update Web site

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