Hi All,

As you may know, Office 2003 Service Pack 3 contains some changes to the behaviour of Office. For example, certain file types cannot be opened or saved by default, although you can re-enable this functionality by setting registry keys as described in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article and on David LeBlanc’s blog. A common question is whether these behaviour changes are included in post-SP3 security updates. In short, yes: security updates released after SP3 contain behaviour changes first released in SP3, even if you do not have SP3 installed. This post will briefly describe why that occurs and will outline which updates contain which changes.

For several reasons, Office patches are cumulative - broadly speaking, they contain all changes from previous updates to the same component, including service packs. By “component”, we mean the set of files in the patch - typically, this is the file or set of files like excel.exe that define the core, central functionality of an application. We plan to provide a more thorough explanation in a future post. The key thing to know for this discussion is that the latest update to Excel will contain SP3 changes in Excel, including behaviour changes, and likewise for the other Office applications. This occurs even if SP3 has not been installed - if you have SP2 installed and install a security update released after January 1st, 2008, you will see the SP3 behaviour changes. The information in this post applies to all update types, including security updates, non-security updates, and hotfixes.

Below, you will find a list describing which changes are contained in which updates. For the most part, the title of an update should make it clear which product is affected - for example, “Security Update for Microsoft Office Word 2003” is an update for Word. A few files like mso.dll and cdrimp32.flt may be more confusing. These files are typically contained in updates called “Security Update for Microsoft Office 2003”, and you can determine exactly which files are affected by such an update by consulting the “File Information” section of the security bulletin.

If you install an update to Microsoft Office Access 2003, you will see the following behaviour change:

·        Access add-ins can no longer be configured for use by all users. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938809.

If you install an update to Microsoft Office Excel 2003, such as MS08-014, you will see the following behaviour change:

·        Certain macros in older Excel file formats have increased security. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938806.

If you install an update to Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, such as MS08-015, you will see the following behaviour change:

·        MAPI forms do not run in public folders and user folders. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938816.

·        Attachments with the .gadget extension can no longer be opened in Outlook. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938811.

If you install an update to Microsoft Office Project 2003, such as MS08-018, you will see the following behaviour change:

·        Documents saved in certain formats no longer contain the version number of Office. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938807.

If you install an update to Microsoft Office Word 2003, such as MS08-009, you will see the following behaviour change:

·        The Fast Save setting in Microsoft Office Word has been removed. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938808.

If you install an update to Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Word 2003, PowerPoint 2003, or cdrimp32.flt, you will see the following behaviour change in the updated application:

·        Office 2003 can no longer open or save certain file formats. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938810.

If you install an update to the file MSO.DLL, such as MS08-016, you will see the following behaviour changes:

·        Office 2003 can now be configured to allow or deny specific COM components. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938815.

·        Some COM components with unusual characteristics may not function as expected. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938814.

·        Changes have been made to the behaviour of Microsoft Office Document Imaging. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938813.

·        Documents saved in certain formats no longer contain the version number of Office. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 938807.

KB951646 is now live so please read this - Description of the behavior changes that occur after you install post-Office 2003 Service Pack 3 updates - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951646

Nick.

(This information was obtained from the Office Sustained Engineering Blog - http://blogs.technet.com/office_sustained_engineering/default.aspx)