Company ‘trusts’ users to voluntarily stay within bounds
On Thursday, Microsoft took the unprecedented step of launching a dedicated version of its Office productivity suite for the Apple iPad, giving all iPad users the ability to view Office documents on the go for free, and those willing to pay $100 per year for an Office 365 subscription the power to edit and create them. There’s a slight problem, though.
Adobe kicked off the week with a security advisory warning users of its Flash Player about a zero-day bug that is reportedly “being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks via a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Excel (.xls) file delivered as an email attachment.” The vulnerability has also been confirmed to affect the auth.dll component that accompanies certain versions of Reader and Acrobat X, but the company has yet to come across any exploits targeting them.
Hit the jump to find out more about the vulnerability, including when exactly Adobe hopes to have it patched.
Excel isn't the sexiest application in the world--it has an unfortunate association with the type of Milton-esque office drones we all wish we weren't. All the same, it's a program that most people will end up having to use at some point in their life, and it's one with a lot of arcane secrets. Read on for 10 quick Microsoft Excel tips and tricks that will get you accounting like a pro in no time flat.
Microsoft Office: Can’t live with it, can’t live with… ok, so that’s not entirely true. A number of you likely live without the Microsoft Office suite and, for that, I commend you. That’s not because there’s anything wrong with Office per se; it’s a pricing thing. I don’t always have the money to fork out for a new Office license for whatever systems I acquire, especially when compelling freeware alternatives present themselves in an easy-to-use (and easy-to-download) kind of fashion. Same goes for you.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Dave,” you ask, “why not just install OpenOffice.org and be done with it?” That is certainly a solution for your Office woes. However, that doesn’t mean that the OpenOffice.org suite is the end-all be-all alternative to Microsoft Office Insert-Year-Here. From Web apps to downloadable programs, it’s entirely possible to recreate some of the best parts of this paid-for hunk of apps without resorting to the tried-and-true OpenOffice.org open-source bundle.
And guess what? By going the piecemeal route, you’ll be able to find some new features that simply don’t exist in either aforementioned bundle! So, that said, click the jump to check out some of the best freeware and open-source Microsoft Office replacement apps for your system!
It hasn’t been a good week for Microsoft’s updates to Office. Today, Microsoft came clean on some problems with a recently released seven-patch update for Excel. Apparently, users are seeing Chinese where they’d normally expect to see English. This comes on top of an early faux pas in an update for Office 2007 that caused it to crash under certain circumstances.
Says Microsoft about the most recent snafu: “We have received reports from some of our Excel 2003 and Excel 2002 customers that after installing update KB978471 or KB978474, they are seeing non-English text in the 'Add or Remove Programs' tool (Win[dows] XP) or the 'Programs and Features' --> 'Installed Updates' view (Vista, Win[dows] 7).” Continuing on, Microsoft says if you really need English text uninstall Tuesday’s Excel update, then download and install a corrected version of the patch.
The earlier problem, acknowledged by Microsoft yesterday, involved a non-security hotfix that added support for .Net 4.0 to Office 2007. This caused versions of Office 2007 running on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008 with Terminal Services to crash. Some users also claimed the update would cause Internet Explorer 8 to crash, when being used with SharePoint 2007. Microsoft has already replaced the offending update with a corrected version.
It's a super-sized Patch Tuesday this month, and here's what to expect Windows Update to be sending you in the next day or so (if not already). Follow the links if you prefer to install the updates immediately.
Critical updates include:
A fix for a remote code execution vulnerability in Windows Image Color Management affects users running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000 SP4 (Windows Vista users can breathe easy on this one).
A fix for a sextet of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer 5.01, 6, and 7 affects users of Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2 and SP3, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008.
A fix for a remote code execution vulnerability in the ActiveX control for Microsoft Access's snapshot viewer affects Office 2000 SP3, Office XP SP3, and Office 2003 SP2 and SP3 (Office 2007 users, you ducked this one).