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Oct 26, 2011

DotA Guide: Pudge - Butcher Introduction

DotA is the most popular custom made map for Warcraft III. To give players a better comprehension of this complex and sometimes complicated game here is a hero guide.

One of the most evil, horror looking heroes in DotA is also one of strong. Alone, or ganking Pudge will always cause terror into the enemy that he grabs. You can recruit him from the Scourge Strength Tavern.

Of course, this monster has a terrifying story: "An undead behemoth seemingly impervious to even the most potent magic, this starving abomination roams the battlefield, continually in search of unwary prey. 

It is said his victims catch only a glimpse of his monstrous frame as they are dragged them through the shadows, bleeding profusely as a jagged hook etches deeper in their flesh. 

Wails of agony echo in the distance, only to be drowned out by the Butcher's maniacal laughter as he severs their limp bodies with his great maw. Unspeakable horrors ensue in a deathly silence, a dreadful omen for what is to come."

All of it's Pudge's abilities are meant to make him grow into an unstopable abomination:

Meat Hook (Shortkey T) - Pudge shoots a hook towards and enemy or a location making the first unit that comes in contact with to be dragged back. The hook deals 90/180/270/360 pure damage to the unsuspecting victim and a small mini-stun that stops spells. Heroes that are invisible can also be hooked and will take damage. 

Rot (Shortkey R) - This is a weapons that all Pudge enemies know and fear. With nice slow effect (20%) and a large damage per second (35/60/85/110) this ability can also be fatal to Pudge itself. As the Meat Hook, this will also slow and deal damage to invisible units.

Flesh Heap (Shortkey F) - This is a the spell that helps Butcher become stronger with each kill he makes. For each hero kill the hero gets 0.9/1.2/1.5/1.8 strenght. This skill also gives him extra resistance to all spells: 4/8/12/16%. Another cool feature is that Pudge can be in a 450 AoE area when an enemy hero dies and he still gets the strength bonus.

Dismember (Shortkey D) - Butcher's ultimatum is a powerful weapon, almost deadly in combination with Rot. It will grab an enemy target and chew on it causing 75/125/175 damage every second. It will last 3 seconds and causes magical damage. Chows down on a target, causing excruciating pain. Lasts 3 seconds. It can be improved by Aghanim's Scepter.

Pudge needs to grow so it's recommended to tackle the middle lane alone. Don't worry he can manage even against range opponents. As for the artifacts make sure you build a lot life regeneration items along with some extra movement speed.

If you have any other suggestions please let all the DotA fans know in a comment.

Phanteks Cooler for AMD and Intel CPUs Appears in Europe

There is definitely no shortage of CPU coolers in the world, but that didn't stop Phanteks from making and releasing one anyway, the company having even decided to go all the way and offer more than one color option. 

The PH-TC14PE was announced some while back, but only now it is arriving in Europe, aiming for high-end systems based on either AMD or Intel CPUs. 

For those interested in the complete list of supported chip sockets, it is not much different from that of the Thermaltake Frio Advanced, to give one example. 

Basically, the newcomer can chill Intel LGA 775, 1155, 1366, 1566 and 2011 socket chips, as well as AM2, AM2+ and AM3 / AM3+ central processing units from Advanced Micro Devices. 

There are two features that could be said to stand out from all others when looking at this particular item. 

One of them is the Physical Antioxidant Thermal Shield (P.A.T.S) technology, while the other is the Cold Plasma Spraying Coating (C.P.S.C.). 

Both of these put together give the cooler a heightened thermal conductivity, which is always relevant when dealing with temperamental PC components like CPUs. 

Of course, fans, two in this case, are present as well, with diameters of 140mm and UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) bearing. 

Furthermore, they have a sound output of up to 19 dBA, which is really something to consider knowing that the speed of the fans is 900 to 1,200 RPM (rotations per minute). 

All in all, the cooler weighs 1,260 grams and measures 159 x 140 x 171 mm (6.25 x 5.51 x 6.73 inches). 

Caseking.de is the one behind the revelation that the silver (standard), blue, red and orange Phanteks PH-TC14PE models are up for order in Europe, for €79.90 (silver) and €84.90 (the others). The announcement (translated) is found here.

AMD Gets Ready to Refresh its Llano APU Lineup

By the end of this year AMD plans to refresh its A-Series mobile APU lineup with new chips based on the same Llano architecture as their predecessors but featuring slightly higher operating frequencies.

The refresh will include seven new APUs from the A4, A6 and A8 product ranges and the names as well as the specifications of these were unveiled by HP in a recently revised PDF file spotted by CPU-World.

The document in question is titled "HP Pavilion dv7 Notebook PC Maintenance and Service Guide," and it confirms a previous AMD mobile roadmap which made its appearance a while ago.

Judging by their name and specifications, only one of the seven APUs to be introduced by the Sunnyvale-based chip maker will be a new part, the A4-3305M, as the others are just refreshed versions of their predecessors.

Like all the other A4 parts, this new chip also packs two processing cores and includes 2MB of Level 2 cache, while its base and Turbo operating frequencies are set at 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz, respectively.

Moving to the refreshed parts, these usually feature a 100MHz higher base and Turbo Core clock speed than the chips they are meant to replace. The only exception to this rule appears to be the A4-3330MX, which, if we believe the guide, has 300 MHz faster stock speed.

The rest of the specifications were left untouched, and we suspect that the integrated graphics cores also haven't suffered any modifications from their initial versions, which means that A4-Series APUs use Radeon HD 6480G graphics, A6-Series Radeon HD 6520G and A8-Series Radeon HD 6620G GPUs.

All the chips have a TDP of 45W. No information regarding the shipping date or the prices of these APUs is available at this time.

Windows 8 Beta Already Being Tested, Suggest Leaked Screenshots

A prerelease development milestone of Windows 8 belonging to the Beta stage is already being tested by some early adopters, seem suggest some recently leaked screenshots.

One of the images included with this article, courtesy of MDL, has been snapped during the boot process, when the tester needed to select which operating system to launch, Windows 8 Beta, or Windows Server 8 Standard Beta. 

The second screenshot reveals that Windows Media Center will be included into Windows 8 Beta. 

Just a reminder, Windows Media Center is one of the Windows components that was not packed into the Windows Developer Preview Microsoft released at BUILD. The software giant did this deliberately, but stressed that the feature would make a comeback in a latest pre-release Build. 

The fact that some testers are already running Windows 8 pre-release Builds belonging to the Beta branch should not be a real surprise. 

After all, the Redmond company was already working on the Windows 8 Beta when it released Windows 8 Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) in mid-September at BUILD. 

It’s only to be expected of Microsoft to advance the development of Windows 8, and it has already a month and a half since Windows 8 Developer Preview downloads went live. 

Personally, I don’t think that the latest leaked screenshots are of the fully-fledged Windows 8 Beta. I believe that Microsoft still has a bit of work ahead of actually signing-off the Beta development milestone for the next version of Windows. 

One thing is clear however, as the company promised, Windows 8 Beta will sport a number of new features compared to the Windows Developer Preview release, including Windows Media Center. 

An official release date for Windows 8 Beta has yet to be announced, although speculation indicates that testers might receive the bits in early January 2012. 

Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.

White Nokia N9 Goes Official, Arrives Soon

Nokia will bring to the market before the end of the ongoing year a new flavor of its MeeGo-Nokia N9, one that is dressed up all in white.

The company already made available for purchase other flavors of the high-end device, and will bring the new version to shelves during the fourth quarter of the ongoing year, starting with the 64GB version.

“Nokia is happy to announce a new addition to the Nokia N9 family with the arrival of the white version of the highly acclaimed device,” the company announced. 

Apparently, the company needed some more time for the development of the white flavor of the new device, although white smartphones are the trend these days. 

Frank Zillikens, who heads up the product marketing for Nokia N9, explains: “The manufacturing process for beautiful white products is quite complex and we wanted to make sure we deliver the best possible quality for our consumers.”

Nokia also announced that the white flavor of N9 arrives on shelves with a glossy finish, which will differentiate it even more from the other flavors, which sport matte black, magenta and cyan colors. 

Unfortunately, Noikia did not unveil specific info on the markets that will receive the new white Nokia N9 in the following months. 

However, the Finnish mobile phone maker announced that the handset is expected to receive a software update in the near future, none other than the PR 1.1 firmware we mentioned in a previous post. 

“The other Nokia N9 news today is the software update, which people will be able to download during the fourth quarter of 2011,” the handset vendor noted in a post on Nokia Conversations.

“The update includes usability improvements, like music controls keys from the lock screen or closing apps by swiping them down by default and NFC tag reading is also added.”

Intel Sandy Bridge-E CPUs Can Reach 5GHz on Air

Expected to be released in mid-November, Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors seem to be capable of great overclocking feats, as one recent report has just unveiled that these CPUs can reach speeds of 5GHz using only air cooling.

This information comes from OCWorkbench which witnessed such a processor reaching 4.92GHz using what the publications calls it to be just a “regular” air cooler.

The chip's temperature remained at about 45°C when in idle, with 1.51 Volts being pushed to it.

In order to achieve this frequency, the processor's BCLK was set at 120MHz, while the multiplier was raised to 41X. The memory used was DDR3-2400 with CAS latency of 10T.

Sadly, we don't have any further information regarding the processor utilized for the overclock, so this could be any of the three chips that Intel plans to launch in November.

Nokia Goes Official with Its First Windows Phones

Today, Nokia made an important step in its evolution as a mobile phone maker by making official its first two handsets that will arrive on shelves with Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system on board, namely the Nokia Lumia 800 and the Nokia Lumia 710. 

Both running under the Windows Phone Mango OS flavor, these devices are expected to mark the beginning of an ascending trend for both Nokia and the mobile OS. 

The anticipation for Nokia's Windows Phones was great, fueled by various leaks and rumors, which culminated with the availability of press photos and specs of these two devices even before they were brought to stage at Nokia World. 

However, both these handsets seem aimed mainly at the mid-level market, and are not the high-end, astonishing superphones that many were waiting for, not to mention that they will be pushed only to a handful of markets in 2011, which might actually prove disappointing for enthusiasts. 

In all fairness, Nokia did say that it would bring even more appealing devices to shelves next year, and that it would also kick off mass production, which means expanded availability, both for these devices, as well as for other, yet-unannounced Windows Phones. 

According to Nokia, its Lumia series of devices marks the availability of “the first true Windows Phones” out there. 

These two devices, and the many more to follow, bring along a true Windows Phone experience, complemented by the availability of specific applications and services for those who will choose to purchase a new Nokia smartphone. 

Nokia Lumia 800 builds on the same design as the MeeGo-powered Nokia N9, though it sports a smaller 3.7'' screen, mainly due to the inclusion of three touch buttons on the front. The Lumia 710 sports about the same features and capabilities as the first Nokia Windows Phone, but in a cheaper package. 

When it comes to hardware specs, these phones pack what can be found in most Windows Phones today. 

The 3.7-inch screen is complemented by a 1.4GHz application processor, which has at its disposal 512MB of RAM for delivering increased performance capabilities. 

Nokia's Lumia phones also arrive on shelves with 8MP and 5MP cameras on the back, respectively, as well as with 16GB and 8GB of internal memory. Also, Nokia Lumia 800 packs a larger battery when compared to Lumia 710. 

The rest of the specs for these two handsets are about the same, including the applications and services that the two come to the market with right from the start. 

Apparently, Nokia will stress a lot on the services that its Windows Phones rely on when it comes to differentiate them from other devices, though their design will also make them stand up in the crowd. 

Nokia's Windows Phones will arrive on shelves with Nokia Drive, a new navigation application and service, along with Nokia Music, which sports the MixRadio music-streaming services, and with fast access to social networking, email and Internet browsing. 

Since both smartphones are based on already existing hardware from the company, the 'wow' factor that users were expecting is somehow diminished, but that does not mean that the two phones won't be successful, especially if available as part of the right offering. 

The prices for these two phones is within the expected range, with Lumia 800 priced at 420 EUR (around $585) and Lumia 710 going for around 270 EUR ($375), which makes them fairly competitive. 

Nokia's Windows Phones are meant to revive both the company and Microsoft's mobile operating system, and Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 are meant to prove the first steps Nokia takes in this direction. 

However, to ensure fast adoption, Nokia will have to make its Windows Phone devices available at even lower price tags, so as to better compete against Android. It will also have to launch cheaper devices for the lower-end of the market. 

The entry-level and mid-tier market are not the only areas on which Nokia needs to focus with its Windows Phone devices, that's for sure. 

At the high-end level, Android and the iPhone are kings at the moment, and Nokia will have to bring to shelves smartphones that will include that 'wow' factor meant to ensure their success. And it needs to make this move fast, for some already consider the Finnish giant as irrelevant. 

Soon after these Nokia phones went official, with price tags and all, one of my colleagues asked me whether I'm confident in Nokia's ability to regain market share in the smartphone area or not. After all, analysts are confident in Nokia's power to regain its foothold. 

Undoubtedly, it's still too soon to say a definite “yes” but, helped by Microsoft and by a strong portfolio of devices that should make a debut in early 2012, Nokia does have a chance against Android and other competitors. 

During the past eight months, the company promised great Windows Phone devices, and the two smartphones unveiled today should be only the first in a far more appealing series.

We've seen a lot of changes in Nokia's strategy lately, with handsets arriving on shelves much faster than before, and with more enhanced and better priced smartphones launched in the past several months when compared to some of the previous devices in the company's portfolio. 

Hopefully, they will continue on the same road, and the future series of Windows Phone smartphones will manage to impress users right from day one. After all, Nokia does need to launch such devices, one should agree.

ECS Also Unveils the X79R-AX Black Deluxe LGA 2011 Board

Together with the Black Extreme version of the X79R-AX we detailed at the start of this week, ECS also unveiled a much simpler version of its LGA 2011 motherboard that is known as the X79R-AX Black Deluxe.

The board takes a lot of its design cues from its older brother and it sports the same four DIMM slots that are placed around the LGA 2011 socket.

These work in a quad-channel mode and support DDR3 speeds of up to 2400MHz, while to the left of these ECS has placed four PCI Express x16 slots, which are driven by the 40 lane PCIe controller integrated inside Sandy Bridge-E processors.

Just two of these slots are able to provide graphics cards with the full PCIe x16 bandwidth, as the other two have only eight PCI Express lanes routed to them, but the X79R-AX Black Deluxe seems to be compatible with 4-way SLI and CrossFireX GPU setups.

The rest of the expansion options include a pair of PCIe x1 slots, six SATA 3Gbps and four SATA 6Gbps ports, two of the latter being driven by a third party controller as the Intel X79 chipset has support for only two such ports.

Moving to the back of the motherboard, we see than the X79R-AX Black Deluxe has cut some corners in terms of connectivity when compared to its older brother as the Deluxe drops eSATA, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from the features list.

Users however still get four USB 3.0 ports and 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out, while two additional USB 3.0 ports are available through an on-board header.

No information regarding pricing or availability was made public by ECS, but more details should be unveiled as we get nearer to the Intel Sandy Bridge-E processor launch.

New Info on BBX-Enabled BlackBerry Colt Available

In the coming months, Research In Motion should unveil to the world its first devices running under the newly announced BBX mobile operating system, and BlackBerry Colt is one of the devices that should be included in the series, most probably the first of them.

We already had the chance to learn some info on the upcoming mobile phone, and now we can have a closer look at the new device, courtesy of a series of details that emerged over at n4bb

The forthcoming BlackBerry Colt smartphone should arrive on the market with a large 4-inch or larger touchscreen display, and with a fast 1.2GHz application processor beneath it. 

Apparently, this would be the same 1.2GHz Snapdragon MSM8655 chip as the one available on the BlackBerry 7-powered handsets, although some suggested that Colt might include a dual-core CPU. 

The upcoming handset will also be able to deliver a high-resolution on that touch-enabled screen it will include, and is also said to arrive on shelves with no physical buttons. 

Moreover, the new mobile phone will include dual-cameras., which means that there will be a front facer for users to take advantage of when making video calls. 

The smartphone will run under the BBX operating system, which was made official not too long ago, and which puts together the current BlackBerry OS with the BlackBerry Tablet OS. 

The handset will also bring along TAT transitions coupled in BBX, which translates into a great experience for end users. 

BlackBerry Colt is said to be thinner than the current Bold 9900, 9930 smartphones, and should pack a similar battery as the PlayBook which means that there will be no more battery pulls when it arrives on shelves.

All in all, it appears that the BlackBerry Colt might not turn out to become the superphone that we were previously expecting it to turn out, and that it will be targeted mainly at the mid-level market.

ADATA Launches SandForce-Based XM13 mSATA SSD

ADATA has been doing quite well in the SSD market lately thanks to the introduction of a series of powerful mSATA drives, and the company has recently announced the launch of another such solution which is known as the XM13.

The drive was first spotted at this year's Computex fair together with other mSATA solid state drives the company has to offer.

The XM13 is however the most powerful of these as its built around a first generation SandForce SF-1200 controller which supports a SATA 3Gbps interface.

In ADATA's latest creation, the SF-1200 is paired together with four 25nm multi-level cell NAND Flash memory chips manufactured by IMFT (a joint venture between Intel and Micron).

This setup can provide either 30GB or 60GB of storage space, and, even though some of the memory channels available were left unpopulated, the drive is capable of reaching sequential transfer rates of up to 250MB/s read and 170MB/s write.

Random read/write throughput is rated at 12,500 IOPS (input/output operations per second), while MTBF is set at 1.2 million hours. ADATA estimated the shock resistance of the XM13 to 1500G/0.5ms, which makes it extremely durable.

The Taiwanese company has designed the XM13 to be used in tablet, ultra-thin notebooks and other highly portable devices, as well as a cache drive for an HDD using Intel's Smart Response Technology.

In fact, Gigabyte has even certified the drive to be used together with a series of the company's motherboards based on the Intel Z68 chipset that feature an mSATA slot, the Z68XP-UD3, Z68XP-D3, Z68AP-D3 and Z68P-DS3.

Pricing for the 30GB version of the XM13 varies between $70 to $80 (50 to 57.5 Euros), while the 60GB version retails for $125 to $135 (90 to 97 Euros).

Nokia Lumia 800 Now Official

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has just made their first handset running under the Windows Phone platform official, none other than the Nokia Lumia 800. 

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has just made the device official, stating that this is the first “true Windows Phone,” which takes full advantage of “the design sensibilities of Windows Phone.”

The new device will arrive on the market with the same looks as the Nokia N9, and should be released in three color flavors, namely Cyan, Black and Magenta. 

The phone packs premium features and capabilities, being described as a beauty in the outside, and as a beast on the inside, bring also capable of great performance capabilities, just as one would expect from this handset. 

It comes with high-end features of Nokia devices, including a great camera and that unique interface on Windows Phone.

Nokia Lumia 800 Full Specs and Price Unveiled

Nokia Lumia 800, “the first true Windows Phone,” as Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop claims, will be available on the market in three color options: cyan, magenta and black.

The Finnish company also revealed some release dates for the Lumia 800, along with the smartphone's suggested retail price of 420 EUR ($585).

Nokia Lumia 800 will be available in the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands beginning November for the price mentioned above.

Furthermore, the phone is also expected to arrive in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan toward the end of the year, while China will get it in early 2012.

Nokia Lumia 800 has the same form factor and design as the MeeGo-based Nokia N9 smartphone, which doesn't come as a surprise, given that first spy shots of the Lumia 800 confirmed this aspect.

As a matter fact, all details about the phone's specs have been pretty much confirmed today during the Nokia World Conference.

So, to recap for those who are still unfamiliar with the device, Nokia Lumia 800 is powered by a single core 1.4 Ghz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor and runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system.

As expected, the handset lacks a microSD card slot for memory expansion, but offers 16GB of internal memory, 512 MB of RAM and 25GB of free SkyDrive storage for storing images and music..

It has a 3.7-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen based on Nokia's ClearBlack technology, which supports 16 million colors and 480 x 800 pixels resolution.

The 8-megapixel camera on the back is among the strong points of the phone. It features Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, dual-LED flash and HD (720p) video recording capabilities.

Nokia Lumia 800 is now available in select countries for pre-order via Nokia's site.

Nokia Lumia 710 Also Official

In addition to the Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia also unveiled the Nokia Lumia 710 smartphone running under Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. 

The new device will arrive on shelves in black and white with black, white, cyan, fuchsia and yellow back covers, and should include features similar with those packed inside Lumia 800.

It will include the same 1.4GHz application processor as the Nokia Lumia 800, so as to offer great performance capabilities at an affordable price tag. 

The new device is expected to arrive on shelves with replaceable back covers that will range from all Windows Phone theme colors. 

“The purposely built, no-nonsense Nokia Lumia 710 can be personalized with exchangeable back covers and thousands of apps to bring the Lumia experience to more people around the world,” Nokia notes. 

“The Nokia Lumia 710 is designed for instant social & image sharing, and the best browsing experience with IE9.” 

The same as the Nokia Lumia 800, the new device will include Nokia Drive, a full-fledged personal navigation device (PND) with free, turn-by-turn navigation, and with Nokia Music, the new services that Nokia announced today.

It will also include MixRadio, a free, global, mobile music-streaming application, along with Gigfinder, so that users can easily find live local music. 

The new device will arrive on shelves before the end of the ongoing year in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan, and should be pushed to more markets in early 2012. 

Ultimately, the new handset should be pushed to 31 operators and retailers in 6 countries, Nokia announced. Nokia Lumia 710 is expected to sport a price tag of around 270 EUR ($375) when made available for purchase.

“In addition to the existing products, which include coverage for WCDMA and HSPA, Nokia also plans LTE and CDMA products to address specific local market requirements,” Nokia announced. 

The company also said that it plans on launching portfolio of products into the US in early 2012, and should also bringing it to mainland China in the first half of 2012.

Full Specs of Nokia Lumia 710 Available

Nokia Lumia 710 is the second Windows Phone device that Finnish handset vendor Nokia unveiled to the world today, and some more info on what it packs inside has just emerged, courtesy of Nokia's official websites. 

The same as the Nokia Lumia 800, the new device arrives on the market with a 3.7-inch touchscreen display, and with a fast 1.4GHz application processor for increased performance capabilities.

The new device also sports 512MB of RAM, along with 8 GB of internal memory, expandable with micro-SD card to up to 24 GB (it supports memory cards of max 16 GB).

Considering the fact that Nokia Lumia 800 does not offer the possibility to expand the available internal memory, it sounds great that Lumia 710 will provide users with this ability.

The specs list of this device also includes a 5-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with auto-focus, LED flash and video recording capabilities.

Nokia Lumia 710 was also packed with WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR connectivity, as well as with 3.5mm AHJ Connector and USB 2.0 High-Speed port.

The new device also packs USB Mass Storage capabilities, along with support for WCDMA, EDGE Class B, GPRS Class B, HSDPA Cat10 14.4 Mbps and HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps.

The handset is powered by a 1300mAh battery that can deliver up to 6.9 hours of talk time, or up to 400 hours of standby time.

The new device also offers appealing capabilities powered by the Windows Phone operating system, including Notes, Calendar, To-do list, detailed contact information, or the HTML5-enabled Internet Explorer 9 mobile browser and Bing.

In the People's Hub, users will find various means to stay connected at all times with their friends and family, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, Chat, and SMS.

The new device is expected to become available in a number of 6 markets in the near future, and should hit the shelves at over 30 carriers and retailers. It will feature a price tag of 270 EUR ($375) before taxes.

Office 2007 Service Pack 3 (SP3) RTM Available for Download

Office 2007 Service Pack 3 (SP3) RTM is now available for download from Microsoft. For the time being, office 2007 customers will need to head over to the Microsoft Download Center and manually install the upgrade. 

It’s worth noting that SP3 is just a standard service pack release for Office 2007, meaning that there are no new features or functionality introduced. 

Instead, the software giant focused on resolving a range of issues that still impacted Office 2007 following the advent of SP2. 

For example, Office 2007 SP3 brings to the table all the cumulative updates and public updates released after SP2. This means that customers which deployed all Office 2007 refreshes already have the vast majority of SP3 improvements. 

Here are some additional enhancements that the Redmond company highlighted:
  • “Documents that require custom security trimming are not returned from alert search queries, even if the user who created the alert could see and query for these documents. 
  • Non-Unicode characters in certain error message strings now display correctly. 
  • Four new bibliography styles are now available in the "Word Citations & Bibliography" feature: Harvard Anglia, IEEE, APA Sixth Edition, and MLA Seventh Edition. 
  • Chinese New Year holiday is now included in the Outlook calendar for Singapore.”

As users must be aware, Office 2007 shipped only in a 32-bit (x86) variant, and it wasn’t until Office 2010 that Microsoft also provided a 64-bit (x64) version of the productivity suite. This means that the Download Center is offering only the 32-bit version of Office 2007 SP3 RTM.

Microsoft has yet to wrap up the delivery process of Office 2007 SP3, which just started with the availability of the bits on the Download Center. 

The upgrade is also served through Microsoft Update to all customers with Automatic Updates enabled, but only to customers that already deployed all Office Automatic Updates. 

According to the software giant, the distribution process of Office 2007 SP3 through AU will only start 90 days from now. 

 Microsoft also revealed some of the issues that were dealt with in SP3:
  • “Fixes an issue in which Excel 2007 sometimes crashes when you open an Excel workbook previously saved in a newer version of Excel. This occurs if the file uses a new feature that is not available in the 2007 Office system.
  • Fixes issues with the Pre and Post Reform rules in the French Thesaurus.
  • Fixes an issue in which encryption settings are not configurable when they are used with a file format compatibility pack converter and Office 2003 or an earlier version of Office.
  • Fixes an issue in which a crash sometimes occurs when an Excel workbook is opened in Excel and then previewed by using the Windows Explorer preview pane feature.
  • Fixes an issue in which Excel Slicers and Ribbon customizations are lost when an XLSX file is first saved as an ODS file, and then saved as an XLSX file in Excel 2007.”

The 2007 Microsoft Office Suite Service Pack 3 (SP3) is available for download here.

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