Microsoft plans to follow up on upgrading the Office 2003 System just three months after the Redmond Company has made the 2007 Office System available to the general public alongside Windows
Vista, on January 30, 2007. According to Microsoft, the third service pack for Office 2003 will be focused on enhancing the security of the productivity suite.
The previous service pack for Office 2003 was made available almost two years ago, on September 26, 2005. As it is the plan now, Microsoft also introduced significant security enhancements, stability and performance improvements. Speculations aside, Office 2003 Service Pack 3 will include Service Pack 2 as well as a collection of updates that have been previously released as separate updates.
According to Microsoft's Lifecycle for Supported Service Packs, Office 2003 SP2 will be supported for 12 to 24 months after the availability of the following service pack at the end of the product's support lifecycle, depending on which one comes first. At this point in time, Microsoft plans to retire mainstream support for Office 2003 SP2 on 4/14/2009 and Extended support on 4/8/2014.
According to Joshua Edwards, a technical product manager for Office at Microsoft, the Redmond Company aims to deliver the superior quality, performance and security of the 2007 Office System to Office 2003.
Apart from confirming that the third service pack for Office 2003 is in the works, Microsoft has failed to comment on the availability date or on the actual contents of the refresh. Still, Office 2003 will receive only a limited part of the capabilities of Office 2007.