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August 21, 2002—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Microsoft Issues Second Office XP Service Pack
- RealOne V 2.0 Media Player Launched
- Planning on Getting Certified?
- Take Our Survey and You Could Win a Free T-Shirt!
3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Yesterday, Microsoft released Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), a collection of bug fixes for the company's best-selling office productivity suite. Office XP SP2 is available as a Web download, on CD-ROM, or as a special version for corporate rollouts. SP2 fixes affect the Office XP Web Components and all major Office XP applications, including Microsoft Word 2002, Excel 2002, Outlook 2002, PowerPoint 2002, Access 2002, FrontPage 2002, and Publisher 2002.
"The SP2 update contains significant security enhancements as well as stability and performance improvements," Microsoft states on its Web site. "Some of the fixes included with SP2 have been previously released as separate updates. This service pack combines them into one update."
To download the client version of Office XP SP2, you must first install SP1. Visit the Microsoft Web site for details and the free downloads.
To order Office XP SP2 on CD-ROM, go to the Microsoft Web site.
Administrators who want to roll out SP2 can do so several ways, such as using a slipstreaming feature that adds the SP2 fixes to an Office XP install share on a network. For more information about installing SP2 in a corporate environment, refer to the Microsoft Web site.
RealNetworks launched a new version of its RealOne media player yesterday, but the product's biggest new feature is somewhat of an overstatement. The company claims that RealOne v. 2.0 is the first "universal player" because it supports all three of the most important online video formats: RealVideo, Windows Media Video (WMV), and Apple QuickTime MPEG-4. But the RealOne player requires installation of Windows Media Player (WMP) and Apple QuickTime Player on users' systems before they can enable that support. So whatever benefits the universal player offers users are unclear.
"Today's announcement truly changes the rules of digital media for both consumers and the industry," said RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser. "With only one player, consumers can now get all the media they want: Just click, and it plays."
Users who want to take advantage of the universal player features will have to purchase the $20 Plus player. But some of the free version's features are quite impressive; RealOne v. 2.0 supports DVD playback and full-speed CD burning, two features that often come at an extra cost. For more information, visit the RealNetworks Web site.
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