The enhancements to InfoPath are more technical and focus on developers and the design end of InfoPath. The changes are specifically around the ability to manage the code within InfoPath. Microsoft has added some tools so that developers who use managed code can make that work better with InfoPath. Microsoft also has added better support for XML schemas, specifically more complex XML schemas so that a developer can use multiple schemas within a form and also use ActiveX data objects. "We have also made other small feature enhancements, like we have improved the functionality of our junk-mail filters in Outlook so that anytime a user sends an e-mail, that address is added to a safe list to prevent the reply perhaps being moved to the junk-mail folder. "It is now also easier to upgrade from older versions of Access to newer versions with the Access Conversion Toolkit, which is also available Tuesday as a separate download here. With this new set of tools and documentation, organizations can discover, evaluate and convert their Access databases as part of the upgrade process, Marks said. Microsoft was also able to collect information about the causes of user crashes through its automated Watson tool, and has advanced tools to analyze the most common crashes and their causes. Marks added that beta tester feedback had also helped and was incorporated into SP1. While Marks declined to say whether the release of SP1 had been delayed at all, he did say that Microsoft did not release a product until it had been fully tested and that it would be "foolish" of Microsoft to release a service pack focusing on quality and reliability before it was ready. While the service pack is unlikely to contain any surprises for users, Marks said, Microsoft has made some improvements that support the Windows XP SP2, "which by and of itself may well have an impact on customers based on what applications they may develop on top of Windows, but we dont foresee Office as being a particular issue with that." But Microsoft has delayed the release of Windows SharePoint Services SP1, as further testing was needed. "We expect this to be released shortly, but we dont have a final date for that as yet. But we want to make sure that the quality of the release is up to scratch, and we felt that it currently hasnt reached that level of quality," Marks said. Asked by eWEEK whether Microsoft expects a spike in sales and deployments of Office 2003 now that SP1 has been released, Marks said the company does not expect to see a "significant speed bump" in sales. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at http://windows.eWEEK.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
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