A followup post about the issue of Access and Excel


 


You cannot change, add, or delete data in tables that are linked to an Excel workbook in Office Access 2003 or in Access 2002:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;904953
 



Background and Summary


 


A recent decision from a court case has determined that certain portions of code found in Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Access 2003, Microsoft Office XP Professional and Microsoft Office Access 2002 infringe a third-party patent.  As a result, Microsoft must make available a revised version of these products with the allegedly infringing code replaced. 


 


To comply with the court order Microsoft is now requiring all future deployments of Microsoft Office Professional 2003 and Microsoft Access 2003 to include service pack 2. Microsoft is also requiring all new deployments of Microsoft Office XP Professional and Access 2002 to include a special patch.


 


Customers who have previously installed affected products are being requested to voluntarily install the patch although installation is not required. In order to ensure customers are aware of these new requirements, Microsoft has been mailing notification letters throughout the month of January.


 


We have received requests from customers to provide more information about the situation leading to this requirement. The attached frequently asked questions document goes into more detail on the circumstances related to this requirement, information on deployment and additional context to the legal situation.




 


 


Frequently Asked Questions





General Questions


 


Q: Who needs to install Microsoft Office 2003 SP2?


A: Any customer installing Microsoft Office Professional 2003 or Microsoft Office Access 2003 from the date of their notification must install Office 2003 SP2. All customers will have been notified, worldwide, by February 2006.  


 


Q: Who needs to install the patch for Microsoft Office XP Professional and Microsoft Access 2002?


A: Any customer installing Microsoft Office XP Professional or Microsoft Office Access 2002 from the date of their notification must install the special patch. All customers will have been notified, worldwide, by February 2006.  


 


Q: What if I am in the middle of an existing deployment of Microsoft Office Professional 2003? Am I affected by this requirement?


A: Yes. Customers currently deploying Microsoft Office Professional 2003 or Microsoft Office Access 2003 are required to apply service pack 2 to all computers from the date of their notification. All customers will have been notified, worldwide, by February 2006.  


 


Q: If I have a computer with Microsoft Office Professional 2003 already installed on it do I need to update that computer with Office 2003 SP2?


A: A customer is not required to install Office 2003 SP2 on any machine already deployed. However, Microsoft strongly recommends they do install SP2 as the service pack includes many product updates the customer will likely value.


 



Software Deployment and Technical Questions


 


Q: Can you explain to me exactly what product behavior needed to be changed to address the intellectual property concerns in question?


A: You can find more technical information on the patch at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/904953/


 


Q: The letter I received directed me to the Microsoft site http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdate/default.aspx, but this is a very general Office Update site. Is there a more direct link I can go to for downloading the appropriate patch for my software?


A: This is the Office Update site.  Clicking on “Check for Updates” link from this page will activate the process necessary to download the patch for Office XP or Office 2003 SP2.


 


To directly obtain the patch for Office 2003 please visit:


http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=57E27A97-2DB6-4654-9DB6-EC7D5B4DD867&displaylang=en


 


To directly obtain the patch for Office XP Professional and Access 2002 please visit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=7497D7F0-BEF5-4054-B854-B1240B5135F5&displaylang=en


 


Q: How can I find out if I have Office 2003 SP2 already installed on my PC?


A: You can find out if Office 2003 SP2 has been installed on a machine by starting any Office application, selecting the “Help” menu choice and then selecting the “About” menu choice. In the “About” dialog box, next to the product name, the letters “SP2” will be displayed.


 


Q: Must I download Office 2003 SP2 from the web?


A: Office 2003 SP2 is included in volume license media kits.  If volume license media kits are not part of your volume licensing program or you have not received a disk and prefer not to download the service pack over the Internet you may order a disk by visiting http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/FX010383631033.aspx


 


Q: Office 2003 SP2 makes more changes than simply updating the code affected by the US court case.  Is there a patch or hot fix I can use that takes care of the intellectual property concerns without making all the other changes related to this service pack?


A: Office 2003 SP2 is the only patch available to properly update Office Professional 2003 and Access 2003.


 


Q:  If a customer is only using Microsoft Access 2003 do they need to install Office 2003 SP2 or is there a separate Access only service pack?


A:  There is not a separate service pack for Microsoft Access.  Office 2003 SP2 is the correct patch to apply for suites and individual applications such as Access.


 


Q:  How will this affect Office 2003 SP1?


A:  Office 2003 SP2 is a cumulative release and includes SP1. This does not, however, affect the support policy for SP1.  Microsoft will continue to support SP1 as defined in the lifecycle support policy.  More information can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/.


 


Q: I deploy Microsoft Office using a standardized corporate installation image. Do installation images that have been previously created and tested with Microsoft Office 2003 need to be updated to include SP2?


A: Any new installation of Office Professional 2003 requires SP2 be applied. If you use a standardized installation image to facilitate corporate deployments you will need to update that image to include SP2.


 


Q: How does this affect Windows Terminal Server installations of Office 2003?


A: New installations would require Office Professional 2003 to be installed with SP2.


 


Q: If I just deployed SP1 do I have to go back and now deploy SP2?


A: No, you do not need to deploy SP2 on an existing installation. Only new installations of Office Professional and Access 2003 require deployment with Office 2003 SP2. Existing machines with no service pack or with service pack 1 do not need to be updated. However, Microsoft strongly recommends they do install SP2 as the service pack includes many product updates the customer will likely value.


 


Q: I have noticed that the date for Microsoft Office 2003 SP2 on the Microsoft download site has changed several times from its initial release. Has Microsoft changed service pack 2 and does that mean I need to download SP2 again and apply it to my machines?


A: No you do not need to download Office 2003 SP2 again or re-apply it to machines already patched with SP2. The contents of service pack 2 have not changed since its initial release.


 


Q: What are the system requirements for Office 2003 SP2?


A: Office 2003 SP2 system requirements are the same as the Office 2003 System requirements for Office client applications. In order to install SP2, you must have installed Office 2003 on a system that meets the installation requirements.


 




Legal Liability and Microsoft’s Indemnity Policy Questions


 


Q: Microsoft has told me that this action is required because of a ruling in a court case. Can you tell me which case this is and which court is involved?


A: The case which necessitated this action is Amado vs. Microsoft which was filed in federal court in California.  


 


Q: Am I considered out of compliance with my volume licensing agreement if I do not deploy Office 2003 SP2 in future installations?


A: Installation of Office 2003 SP2 is a requirement for any new deployments of Office Professional 2003, regardless of which licensing program you are enrolled in. Any future deployments of Office 2003 without Office 2003 SP2 included would be considered out of compliance with Microsoft’s licensing requirements.


 


Q: Are retail customers affected by this action?


A: Yes.  Our retail license has been changed and all retail boxes which contain the affected products will also include a disk with Office 2003 SP2.


 


Q: Is it correct that if I have deployed Office 2003 SP2 then I have nothing to worry about with respect to intellectual property infringement?


A: If Office 2003 SP2 is installed you are in compliance, you will not infringe the intellectual property that is at issue in this case.


 


Q: I thought that Microsoft’s indemnity policy meant that Microsoft stands behind their software and limits my liability against a third party suing me for intellectual property issues related to that software. Doesn’t Microsoft’s indemnity policy protect me from actions like this?


A:  Microsoft’s indemnity policy does cover your pre-existing installations with respect to intellectual property claims in this case.  Microsoft’s ability to protect customers from future infringement claims depends on our ability to change products to comply with court orders. Microsoft respects the intellectual property of others. As such, Microsoft’s licenses specify that new installations of affected products only be made with the appropriate patches applied.

 

One Response to Blame the fruitcakes in Calfornia on this one….

  1. David Schrag says:

    Amado must have been asking for a whole lot of money if MS preferred to go this way rather than just licensing whatever code they’re not allowed to use.