Microsoft Rolls Out Office XP SP-2

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-08-19 Print this article Print

Update: New security updates enhance protection of Office Web components from hackers, says Microsoft spokeswoman.

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday released the second service pack for Office XP, combining previously released and new updates into a single, integrated package. SP-2 is now available for download or can be ordered on CD. A full-file administrative version is also available so organizations can easily deploy SP-2 to all their Office XP users. Microsoft has also posted an "Overview of the Office XP Service Pack 2" on the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
The standard service pack is a collection of all the bug fixes that Microsoft has released and has been working on since it issued the first service pack last December.
Among the bugs that have plagued Office XP this year are two flaws in portions of the Office XP application suite. The two bugs are closely related and, if used in concert, could enable an attacker to gain complete control of a vulnerable machine. A Microsoft spokeswoman told eWEEK that SP-2 is focused on delivering enhanced security, performance and stability to Office XP applications. It includes new security updates that enhance the protection of Office Web components from malicious hackers as well as an Excel 2002 update to prevent the loss of digital signatures when auto-saving an Excel spreadsheet, she said. The service pack also includes security updates already released, including those that prevent Word from running ActiveX controls without warning when the user is using Word to edit e-mail messages and has configured Outlook to disable script. It also provides additional protection against exploits in Excel, which could potentially run macros without warning, the spokeswoman said. On the stability front, SP-2 includes an update for Microsoft Word 2002 that corrects an issue in which the application may unexpectedly close when trying to paste a graphic or shape using a VBA macro; a PowerPoint 2002 update which corrects the application from unexpectedly closing when clicking on a link to view a different slide in the slide sorter view; and an update for Outlook 2002 that stops the application from unexpectedly closing when a mail recipient from an email message is added to the users Contacts list.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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