In a move that shouldn't surprise anyone, Microsoft has released Office 2013 Service Pack 1. Known as KB 2817430, the update for the on-premises versions of Office has been widely anticipated since last year. Those of you renting Office 365 need not be concerned: You will soon receive the updates automagically.
Microsoft describes the changes as falling into two general categories:
Previously unreleased fixes that are included in this service pack. In addition to general product fixes, these fixes include improvements in stability, performance, and security.
All the monthly security updates that were released through January 2014, and all the Cumulative Updates that were released through December 2013.
In addition, there are four individual described minor fixes.
The easiest, safest way to apply SP1 is to go through Microsoft Update. If you must, you can download the update manually from the KB article. Note in particular that if you're running 32-bit Office 2013 on a 64-bit machine (which describes a large percentage of all Office 2013 customers), you need the 32-bit version of the Service Pack.
Microsoft has identified one known installation (actually, uninstallation) problem with the Service Pack:
If the Service Pack 1 update is uninstalled on a computer that is running Windows 8 or 8.1, an Office application tile on the start screen is blank without an application name or icon if the application is pinned to the start screen. To work around this issue, you can repair the Office installation in the Programs and Features control panel.
There's also a long list of COM add-ins for Office 2013 that crash under SP1. If you're using Intel's Sent to Bluetooth, Evernote's Outlook Clipper, or Abbyy Finereader, heed the KB article's warning and update to the latest version of the add-ins.
In addition, Microsoft warns that the Power View and PowerPivot add-ins for standalone Excel 2013 have to be re-installed after you apply SP1, and there are two minor Lync 2013 problems.
For a list of the (gazillion) files changed in SP1, see KB 2817457.
As usual, my advice is to wait before installing SP1. There are no security hole fixes in SP1 that haven't come before. Although Microsoft has a good track record testing and beating Office SP's before release, there's no pressing need to install it immediately. Let's see if any loud screams arise.
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