Try harder

On April 18, 2011, in Rants, by

[apologies in advance to any bosses that I’m insulting here but I need to insult you to make my point]

Dear Microsoft:

Recently you sent out updates.  A lot of them.  You had issues with .net.  I was expecting those.  You had issues what an extra authentication patch for Outlook.  I expected that as well.  WHY you shoved it out on a day that you had a bunch of other updates is beyond me… but I’m getting off the point of this rant.

So you knowingly send out an update for PowerPoint 2003 knowing full well that the main users of PowerPoint, i.e. the most technologically illiterate users in the office – the sales people, the marketing people and the bosses that use PowerPoint on a regular basis – would not know what to do when you broke their PowerPoint 2003 presentations. 

Now, tonight you are adding more “workarounds” to your broken update that is starting to annoy me.  Do you honestly think that users that are still running PowerPoint 2003 would have PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 just lying around for use?  Not every one of your customers (obviously to your dismay) has software assurance.  They are using PowerPoint 2003 because they hate change or that they are cheap. 

Reinforcing to this group of folks that you really are the evil empire is not helping to make your case.

I know you guys try hard, but really…try harder on this one. 


Known issues with this security update
Presentations that contain layouts with a background images may cause an error when they are opened in PowerPoint 2003. When the error occurs, you receive a message that states that some contents (text, images, or objects) have corrupted. The specific content lost will be what is specified in the layout, not the actual slide content itself. Items that were removed will display a blank box or a box that contains “cleansed.”

Workarounds for this issue:

    * Workaround 1: Open the affected file in PowerPoint 2007 or 2010, and then delete images from Slide Master.

      To do this, follow these steps:
         1. Open the affected file in PowerPoint 2007 or in PowerPoint 2010.
         2. Click View, click Master Views, and then click Slide Master to view the Master View.
         3. Delete images that are causing the issue in each Master.

      Note If you have to use the deleted images in the slides, insert them directly into each slide instead of into the Master. You can edit the files in which this change is done in PowerPoint 2003.
    * Workaround 2: Open the affected file in PowerPoint 2010, and then save it as “PowerPoint Picture Presentation (.pptx).”

      To do this, follow these steps:
         1. Open the affected file in PowerPoint 2010.
         2. Click Save As, and then select PowerPoint Picture Presentation to save the file.

      Note If editing is not necessary, configure all the slides as images by using the previous procedure. The files that are saved images cannot be re-edited because all the information becomes an image when the files are converted.
    * Workaround 3: Open the affected file in PowerPoint 2007, and then save it as HTML format.

      To do this, follow these steps:
         1. Open the affected file in PowerPoint 2007.
         2. Click Save As, and then select Single File Web Page or Web Page to save the file.
      Note The files can be re-edited in this format in PowerPoint 2003. However, when they are saved as PowerPoint format again, the symptom will reoccur.
    * Workaround 4: After the error message is displayed, save a copy of the presentation, and then perform edits on the copy.

Microsoft is researching this problem and will post more information in this article when the information becomes available.


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