Microsoft Pushes Office 2003 Bug Patch

Microsoft has quickly released a patch on Saturday which apparently fixes the Microsoft Office 2003 bug which was preventing its users to access documents which were saved via its access control technology.

The company acknowledged the problem in Microsoft Office 2003 on Friday and announced that users will not be able to save or open documents which were protected by Rights Management System.

Reportedly, the company forgot to extend the expiration system of the Information Rights Management certificates which allowed access to protected files.

The problem affected Word 2003, Word 2003 Viewer, Excel 2003, Excel 2003 Viewer, PowerPoint 2003 and Outlook 2003. However, Microsoft Office 2007 and MS Office 2010 beta were not affected by the bug as their digital certificates are still valid.

Microsoft, the manufacturer of world’s most used office business suite range, announced the release of the patch on its blog and said that the patch was only available for manual downloading and won’t be available via automatic Windows update.

The bug was first reported by Technologizer blog which reported that whenever users tried to access RMS protected files, they saw a message on the screen which said "Unexpected error occurred. Please try again later or contact your system administrator".

Our Comments

Good on Microsoft on releasing this patch; nearly seven years after the application suite was first released, Microsoft is still pushing updates out for it. It also shows that quite a number of users are still using it and Microsofot is expected to offer end user customers 60 months of extended support until January 2014.

Related Links

Update: Microsoft patches Office 2003 lockout bug

(Computer World)

Microsoft Patch Fixes Office 2003 Lockout Buger

(PC Pro)

Office 2003 Bug Locks Files

(Information Weel)

Hotfixes Issued for Office 2003 Bug

(MCP Mag)