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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [09.07.04]
Manufactured by: Microsoft

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Office Productivity Performance

This time, the following applications are being used to determine performance:

Adobe Acrobat 5.0.5
Microsoft Access 2002
Microsoft Excel 2002
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
Microsoft Outlook 2002
Microsoft PowerPoint 2002
Microsoft Word 2002
Network Associates McAfee VirusScan 7.0
ScanSoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 6 Preferred
WinZip Computing WinZip 8.1

So if you are a pure Office user, who does a lot of work in Microsoft Office, be sure to pay attention to these results! Keep an eye on whether the particular scenario applies to you though:

Communication: The user receives an email in Outlook 2002 that contains a collection of documents in a zip file. The user reviews his email and updates his calendar while VirusScan 7.0 scans the system. The corporate web site is viewed in Internet Explorer 6.0. Finally, IE is used to look at the samples of the web pages and documents created during the scenario.

This time SP1 is quite a bit faster than SP2! It probably has to do with the more robust Firewall application, since the user is doing a lot of online work, checking emails, etc.

Document Creation: The user edits the document using Word 2002. He transcribes an audio file into a document using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 6. Once the document has all the necessary pieces in place, the user changes it into a portable format for easy and secure distribution using Acrobate 5.0.5. The user creates a marketing presentation in PowerPoint 2002 and adds elements to a slide show template.

This one is almost too close to call. But SP2 gets another win here.

Data Analysis: The user opens a database using Access 2002 and runs some queries. A collection of documents are archived using WinZip 8.1. The queries' results are imported into a spreadsheet using Excel 2002 and used to generate graphical charts.

Sounds like fun eh? Well if this sounds like your kind of job, you'll find SP1 to be ever so slightly faster than SP2 doing this work.

So overall, SP1 is slightly faster than SP2 in the Office Productivity tests. In all but one test however, the scores were extremely close - almost a tie. In the one test where the difference was significant, it was probably due to the enhanced firewall. I don't know about you, but I would be more than willing to trade off some performance for a good firewall! Of course, if you're behind a properly configured router anyway, you can turn the firewall off completely.

Now let's see how web performance was affected by SP2 using WebMark.

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