| By Susan Bradley |
Microsoft’s optional Service Pack 3 is preparation for the end of mainstream Office 2007 support.
While Microsoft will provide extended Office 2007 support for years to come, SP3 is a milestone for the product that brought us the Ribbon.
Office 2007 SP3 (2526086)
MS to scale back Office 2007 support in 2012
Office 2007 SP3 is an optional update, for now. In about 90 days, you’ll see it pushed out to all Office 2007 users via Windows Update. Note that service packs are not like security updates — there’s usually no immediate need to install them, if you’ve been adding regular updates.
Service packs typically include all fixes released after the product was first launched or since the previous service pack. (So SP3 has all patches released after SP2.)
As noted in an Oct. 6 Microsoft Office Updates blog, SP3 is likely to be the last service pack for Office 2007. April 2012 marks the end of mainstream support — its scheduled end of life comes two years later. Microsoft plans extended support through approximately 2017. (Office 2003 is in extended support until 2014.)
(Microsoft typically provides mainstream product support for five years and extended support for another five years. Mainstream support includes free incident support, free security updates, and nonsecurity hotfixes. Extended support includes paid support, additional free security fixes, and paid nonsecurity hotfixes.)