Office 2003 SP2 Available Through WSUS

Microsoft released Office 2003 SP2 yesterday, which should be old news to those of you who installed the Update Services Notification tool mentioned in an earlier blog post.  SP2 is a very stable service pack that should be deployed to your Office 2003 clients as soon as possible.  I was involved in the private beta of SP2, and can attest to its quality based on first-hand experience.

In typical Microsoft fashion, new features are bundled inside Office 2003 SP2.  The most important addition is an anti-phishing filter in Outlook 2003 SP2.  In order to enable this feature you must also install the newest Junkmail filter, which was released in tandem with SP2 (and also available via WSUS).  After applying both SP2 and the updated Junkmail filter, potential phishing messages will simply end up in the junk mail folder along with traditional SPAM.  If you dig into the Junk E-mail options inside Tools | Options you will notice a new check-box that you can use to enable or disable this new feature (it is enabled by default).

The other new feature that you may or may not notice is a new set of “presence” icons in all the Office applications.  Instead of the “little blue man” icon, which is meant to represent a person – you will now simply see a colored circle.  Nothing major – just something meant to unify Office with the new Office Communicator 2005 client interface.