Does Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) include any security or performance improvements for Outlook 2003?

Security, elimination of crashes, and performance improvements are always a focus of Office service packs, and Office 2003 SP1 is no exception. You can read more about SP1 in the Microsoft article "Description of Office 2003 Service Pack 1" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=842532). In particular, you can read about Outlook 2003 updates in the Microsoft article "Issues that are fixed in Outlook 2003 by Office 2003 Service Pack 1" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=872839). The main security change is the addition of several more file types to the list of attachments that Outlook blocks by default: .asp, .tmp, .ws, and the Visio file types .vsmacros, .vss, .vst, .vsw, and .ws.

As for performance, SP1 gives you a new tool for understanding why Outlook 2003 might download the full Exchange Server Offline Address Book (OAB) more often than you might expect. Typically, Outlook 2003 downloads the full OAB only if at least one-eighth or so of the entries have changed. Otherwise, it downloads and applies a .diff file with just the changes, usually once per day. The Microsoft article "Description of Offline Address Book logging in Outlook 2003 Service Pack 1" (http:// support.microsoft.com/?kbid=843483) describes a new logging feature that you can deploy through Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to obtain information about OAB downloads from the Windows event log.

Another performance-related fix eliminates the delay that might occur when a user first opens Outlook 2003 after the administrator has moved the user's mailbox from an Exchange 2000 Server system to an Exchange Server 2003 system. The delay occurs because Outlook in Exchange Cached Mode first tries to connect to the Exchange 2000 server, then eventually locates the mailbox in its new home on the Exchange 2003 server.

For POP3 mail accounts, SP1 fixes the problem of timeouts occurring when you try to download from multiple accounts on the same mail server and does a better job of deleting messages from the server so that you don't end up downloading them twice.